How to Be Involved on Twitter in Less Than an Hour a Day

The following is part of a series on Hootsuite Social Media tool. In this post I’m going to show you how to set up a series of lists and custom tabs on Hootsuite to engage your followers and become part of you community–without needing to spend all day on Twitter.

This account was a local account. I was primarily following and looking to engage local followers in a particular city. I was also interested in people who travel to the destination on a regular basis. For more details, see How to Set Up A Local Twitter Account.

As I mentioned in that post, this industry was in the travel/hospitality area, so I was looking to interact with those accounts in addition to regular people. On any account that follows more than 300 people, the main stream becomes an unmanageable barrage of noise. The only way to make sense of it is to use lists. When you create lists, you can create two kinds of lists: public, which everyone can see or private, which only you can see. You need to decide what the purpose of the list is and whether it should be public or not.

I created four lists for hotels, restaurants, clubs, and hospitality. I created a list of hotels, restaurants, clubs, and travel related attractions or services in the area. I sent the list off to a subcontractor on oDesk and, 2 days and $25 later, I had a list of  all their Twitter accounts. Not all of the businesses had Twitter accounts, though, in fact, I was kinda surprised that only 60% did–but it is what it is. Then I set about following those accounts and putting them on the proper lists. I made note of accounts that were following less than 400 people and had a positive following to follower ratio for future follower raid.

The next lists I created were for Klout followers. Now you can debate whether Klout is an effective measure of Twitter influence but, right now, it’s the best we have (see What Social Signal Might Google Use). Using the hootsuite filter, I put everyone I was following with a Klout score over 30 onto one list. One week later, I filtered the list again for people with a Klout score over 50. The logic is that, if you have a Klout score over 30, you are fairly active in social media; if you have one over 50, you probably have quite a bit of online influence.

The next list I created was for government or other municipality official accounts (things like the parks department). Then I created a list for news accounts and added local reporters, local news stations, or anyone who curated interesting-looking news tweets. The final list I created was for retweet watch. This was for any other active tweeters who didn’t appear on any other lists. Some people fell into the “overtweet” or “promotional” category and got filtered out over time.

Next, I created a tab specifically for that website and included the following streams:

  • Home
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Clubs
  • Hospitality
  • Klout-A
  • Klout-B
  • Official
  • News
  • Watch

You can have a maximum of 10 streams per tab on Hootsuite. Using Ziteapp and Google Alerts and a local Calendar of Events, I get an idea of what’s going on locally and, thanks to the weather bug app, I can access local weather and webcams fairly quickly. So, with my normal reading, I can schedule tweets for today or over the next few weeks, talk about local events, and even see the weather.

Using my tabs, I scan through the home feed looking for people talking about local stuff and have conversations with them. Using the restaurant, hotels and other tabs, I have more conversations, retweet and make friends, and even get invited to local events (which is the subject for another post). Basically, I’m able to schedule tweets, retweets, and conversational replys to make it look like I’m on Twitter all day with 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon. I have another tab set up for Q&A type stuff, which can take a variable amount of time depending on what’s going on.

Now, if you have an “event” or “campaign” online or offline, you’ll want to be on Twitter that day but, normally, 20-30 minutes spread around the day can give you an active and engaged Twitter profile. The best part is that you can migrate the tabs to an iPhone or iPad so you don’t even need to be sitting at your desk, you can be at the mall, poolside, or anywhere you are connected. There are a lot of social media clients, but I’ve found Hootsuite to be a powerful tool that helps me get things done.

To be clear Hootsuite is a paid tool with a monthly subscription. If you sign up through any of my links I earn a commission. However, I hope this and other tutorials show you how to use it effectively, productively, and profitably. It’s something I use everyvday and am comfortable recommending it to you. Feel free to sign up for a 30 day free trial and give it a try.

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