This post originally appeared on the GiftWorks Guest Blog.
Do you feel like you are suffering from “Twitter Fatigue”?
Are you “tweeting in the dark”, spending more and more time on Twitter but getting less and less out of it?
I know this story.
A few months (or years) ago, you signed up for a Twitter account. You dutifully wrote a clever bio, uploaded your picture and started tweeting.
Maybe you followed a few accounts and learned a bit about the culture and etiquette of the network before sending your first tweet.
Maybe you started simply following everyone back and only tweeting your own content, while spending less and less time engaging in conversations, acknowledging people and retweeting.
You may have just realized that keeping up with the never-ending stream of news and content on Twitter can be overwhelming and over stimulating.
Things have managed to get out of control in your Twitterverse – and you may be considering dropping this social network all together.
The good news – You can take the power back!
You have the power to control your Twitter experience.
Here are my top 6 tips to regain control and use Twitter more effectively:
1) Streamline your followers.
This is just a euphemism for “Unfollow lots of people”.
Unfollowing may seem harsh, but you can’t make it personal. You need to go through the list of accounts you Follow and hit the Unfollow button several (if not many) times.
Doing so will dramatically refresh your Twitter account.
Want to find out who hasn’t sent out a tweet in months, who doesn’t have an avatar (a red flag of a spammer) and who isn’t following you back?
You will feel lighter, cleaner and more in control of the content you see on Twitter after a good purge!
2) Use Twitter Lists to your advantage.
You don’t have to directly Follow an individual Twitter user to put them on one of your Lists!
Lists are a fantastic way to cut through all the Twitter clutter (Twutter?).
For example, I created an “A-List” of my favorite and most interesting Tweeps, in topics ranging from nonprofits to social media to women’s issues. That way I can check this list to see what my faves are tweeting about, rather than sorting through the jumbled Twitter feed.
Creating such a list saves time, creates community (it’s pretty awesome to be added to someone’s List) and filters out conversations that may be spam/coupons.
Kim Garst (definitely on my “A-List”) wrote a great post on how you can use Twitter lists for time management and profit.
3) Start using Buffer. Immediately.
Oh Buffer, how do I love thee, let me count the ways!
I will soon write an entire Ode to Buffer, a love note of sorts, because I have become completely enamored and obsessed with this incredible time-saving application.
The brilliance behind Buffer is that you can create a customized schedule of tweets to post at all times of the day and night.
This ensures a constant presence on Twitter and minimizes rapid fire tweeting (when you send 6-10 tweets at once).
I use Buffer for all the Twitter accounts I manage professionally and it has significantly improved engagement.
Buffer is free (up to a point), and claims to increase by 200% users’ clicks on links, retweets, number of followers, Klout score, and more.
It’s worth checking out for the time-saving benefits alone.
4) Sign up for The Tweeted Times and get a free “newspaper”-esque electronic publication of tweets with photos, links and other helpful information.
This is useful for doing a quick scan of your tweets and seeing what is most popular within your specific Twitterverse.
The Tweeted Times also provides more information than can fit into 140 characters, but manages to keep things simple enough so that it’s similar to scanning headlines and the lead of a newspaper article.
5) Be original. Write and create.
If you feel like you are just regurgitating old information and tweeting links to your website, try to actually write your own 100% original tweet.
Write a piece of helpful information, a summary of a news article or an idea for a future blog post and tweet it out. Do this a few times a week, and measure the results.
6) Stop syncing your Twitter account with your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
What started out as a time-saver is now annoying everyone in your online communities.
Frequent posts on Twitter are encouraged – posts more than twice a day on Facebook and LinkedIn are asking for a user to click the “Hide” or “Block” button.
Twitter has a particular feel to it that cannot be easily copied on Facebook and LinkedIn (who wants to see all those hashtags and @mentions when you are not using Twitter?)
Start tweeting just for tweeting’s sake and I am positive you will reap the benefits of increased engagement (and fan appreciation) from all your social networks.
How are you using Twitter? Are there any tips that I missed? Please post your ideas in the Comments section. Thanks for reading!