Tweets in 10 – “I Don’t have the Twime to Tweet Twegularly”

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on February 15, 2011 in: Twitter Tips & Tools

Twitter is a powerful tool that allows users to connect with each other and to engage an audience. However, it’s not always possible to tweet. We lead busy lives and we can only tweet so much. Presumably, you’re reading this post for exactly this reason – you wanted to be a proficient Twitter user but you didn’t want to waste all day on Twitter. Perfectly understandable.

If you want to tweet in only ten minutes, you can do so successfully and I’ve outlined ways to do that in my Tweets In 10 blog posts. It is possible, but sometimes it’s not practical, to limit your Twitter effort to a small ten minute window. For example, maybe you want to limit the amount of time you’re on Twitter but still want to speak to your audience throughout the day. Or, maybe you want to spend ten minutes on Twitter but don’t want to look like you’re ONLY spending ten minutes on Twitter. Or maybe you want to spend ten minutes on Twitter but you have an appointment the next day during the time that you would normally tweet. Or maybe you want to roll out a great new promotion at a very specific time. For these reasons, or for many other reasons, the ability to schedule your tweets is very helpful.

So, scheduling prewritten tweets for later publication is a good idea. It’s very convenient, it extends your engagement beyond the time when you’re sitting in front of your computer, and can still save you time (by batching all of your tweeting at once even if you’re scheduling it for publication later).

There are tools you can use to write tweets and schedule them for later but the tool I use and recommend for this is HootSuite. However, it’s not the only one out there. If scheduling tweets is important to you now (or you think it might be important to you in the future) make sure that whatever application you use gives you the ability to schedule tweets.

Scheduled tweet best practices

  • If you’re going to schedule retweets, keep them scheduled for the same day. There’s no rule that says you have to but it’s a weak use of retweeting if you retweet something a day or week later.
  • Don’t use scheduling as the ONLY way you use Twitter. Either use Twitter with in-the-moment tweets and scheduled tweets, or use Twitter only with in-the-moment tweets. If the only way you are using Twitter is to schedule tweets, you are missing out on the value of Twitter. Unlike a blog, which is a medium that can handle content that is all scheduled, Twitter is a real time medium of engagement so scheduling won’t always be an effective use of your time.
  • Schedule tweets that are informative or motivational. For example, schedule a tweet containing a famous quote that you find inspiring or schedule a tweet that says you like kittens. Don’t schedule tweets where you are engaging other people. For example, don’t schedule a tweet that says “Hi @IAC_Heather, how are you?” because when I respond and you turn out to be watching a movie and you don’t get my response, that’s not cool.
  • The farther out you tweet, the more timeless your tweet needs to be. Some tweetable stuff is eternally timeless (such as those inspiring quotes I mentioned earlier) but if you schedule a tweet about something not timeless, and the news turns against it prior to the tweet publication, you’ll end up looking foolish. A good example might be a tweet about your favorite stock. If you like XYZ stock and you get really productive and schedule a tweet about it for next week, that might seem great until the CEO is arrested at the end of this week for embezzlement! Then next week’s tweet is no longer relevant and you’ll waste time going in to look for it to edit it. So, scheduled tweets should be the kind of thing that won’t be impacted by news.
  • If you need to outsource some of your marketing, and you want to outsource some of your Twitter engagement, scheduled tweets are a good thing to outsource. That way, you can be a prolific tweeter while giving some of the non-engagement stuff to someone else and keeping the high-value person-to-person engagement for yourself.

Bonus Tip:  A Good Balance
I personally like to make sure I have a good mix of scheduled tweets versus live tweets versus auto tweets.

Things I auto tweet: Everytime I post a blog, using a WordPress PlugIn; Everytime an article of mine gets published on Ezine Articles, using their Twitter feature.

Things I schedule tweets for: I retweet my auto-tweets for about 12 hours after the initial tweet. This is the same tweet as the initial adding (RT) to it at the end. This assures my followers on opposite schedules each have a chance of reading my blogs. My product marketing tweets are scheduled as well, I do not market a specific product more than once a week, so for example, my Twitter Kit that you have purchased I will schedule one tweet a week promoting this. My #followfriday tweets can be scheduled and tweeted each Friday for my favorite tweeters.

Live Tweets: My day to day interaction with my follower base.

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