Why twitter Seems Hard to You
What feels hard and a lot of work is tweeting all the time and creating interesting tweets so people will follow. It isn’t.
Still, posting to twittter can seem overwhelming. The volume is higher than other social networks and a feed can move very quickly. The more accounts followed the faster that feed will move. This reduces the time your brand and message has to impact your follower. This means to be very effective on twitter you must tweet consistently at a high volume. For many small businesses, dedicating someone to create tweets and interact with followers on a consistent daily basis requires too much time or is too expensive. This makes twitter seem difficult and many underestimate the potential twitter offers your online presence.
Really you only need to tweet some of the day if you schedule tweets in advance and bring in feeds in the appropriate volume.
Many brands auto send their facebook status updates to twitter. In general, this is a good idea and can be expanded upon. Links to any online points of sale or other social network profiles is great as long as they are not overwhelming. Depending on your twitter volume you can schedule in reminders to follow on other networks like Pintrest, Instagram, foursquare, or a reminder to visit your online store. For example:
“Check out our new Instagram profile! http://instagram.com/yourprofile”
These should be set to tweet infrequently, but consistently over time. Schedule months in advance to spread them out. These links will remain relevant over that amount of time so you can spread them out very far. This also avoids seeming “spammy” and now gives you a steady long term stream of tweet content.
Bringing in a feed like RSS (think of a RSS feed as a an online robot that repeats everything you say) is a way to get some auto tweeting content. Depending on how often your feed refreshes this can lead to a “spammy” feed and will turn off followers. Services like hootsuite or iffft can help regulate an RSS feed so only a tweet or two happen on any given day. These services can also help you hit multiple networks at once.
Temptation to let feeds and scheduling do all the work is great, but it should be resisted. These type of tweets should be a fail safe for when you are too busy to attend to your twitter feed. Nothing is better than original tweets from a person. The right ReTweets can also be effective. Feeds and scheduled tweets cannot do this. Personality is what will get you more followers. These tactics are meant to free up time for you to showcase personality in original tweets and interaction.
Not substitution at all, humans should still do the majority of the work, but simply scheduling tweets and possibly bringing in a feed can help reduce the amount of daily work and bring twitter into a more manageable light.
The ability to focus in on local followers is great for small businesses. On the other hand since the twittersphere is a global network with high virality, large businesses can use it to reach very large groups quickly. For any sized brand this is an advantage online. Not only can twitter help you spread messages to a targeted geolocation or to the entire globe, it can help you gain higher activity across other networks or even drive sales online. This means with a little work and planning, twitter is likely a benefit to your brand, whatever that brand may be.