The 5-Minute-a-Day Twitter Strategy

A guest post by James King of Better Start Blogging

Twitter is a micro-blogging platform that allows users to publish 140-character messages (known as tweets) to other Twitter account holders. For many, Twitter is also a place to gather daily news and learn of events. Even broadcasting companies like the BBC and CNN use Twitter to engage their target audiences.

Regardless of whether you’re part of a multi-billion corporation, like Scott Monty who’s the head of Social Media for Ford Motor Company, or a newbie trying to develop an online presence for a blog, Twitter can be implemented to enhance your online image.

Twitter is the easiest, least time-intensive and most effective social media platform around. Plus you can benefit from using Twitter for only 5 minutes a day. In just three months you can easily develop a strong online presence while feeding your audience the rich information they crave.

How to succeed on Twitter

The key to success with any social media outlet is the mindset of the Twitter user. To be a successful Twitter user and develop a successful following you must provide more quality information than anyone else.

Social media is about sharing. Blogging is about sharing. Relationships are about sharing. Use Twitter to provide answers to peoples’ problems, help them, provide guidance, and share great blog posts. People want value and quality answers.

Twitter is a powerful networking tool

We all want more opportunities in life, right? Twitter is a convenient networking tool that opens doors to opportunities. I’ve met people face-to-face from a simple tweet. Networking is a long-term process, and the more people we know the better. I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Networking on Twitter could be the start of something beautiful.

5 Powerful Twitter Tips

1. Network with one person a day on Twitter.

Just one person! Over 90 days, that’s 90 people you’ve had contact with.

Have you heard of the six degrees of separation? This theory refers to the concept that everyone is just six steps away from any other person on earth. You never know who else you’ll be introduced to whilst networking. The exciting part of networking with other people is they may know your hero or role model!

2. Retweet great content.

We all want the best from our dealings with people, right? By retweeting the useful content of others, we’re already on the path of building a strong, sharing community. You’ll notice many blogs have a button that displays the number of tweets. When you read a great post, retweet it to your Twitter community to build rapport.

You have 140 characters to share or write a clear and concise message, so use this to constantly create value for your followers–even an inspiring quote is great information to share with your Twitter audience.

3. Use Follow Friday

On Fridays you may see thousands of Twitter messages like this: #followfriday @jeansarauer

Follow Friday is a method of suggesting great people to follow on Twitter. This gives you the chance to follow people based on recommendations from friends and to point out people who you think deserve special attention. Participating in Follow Friday is an easy way to build rapport with other Twitter users.

4. Always show gratitude. A thank you goes a long way.

Gratitude can be shown in many ways including:

  • commenting on a great post
  • sending the user a direct message
  • linking to their blog post

5. Always follow your fans

Twitter is solely about developing relationships with people. If someone wishes to follow you, follow them back. You’re showing gratitude.

Twitter can be a social media addiction if you let it be, so try to spend just 5 minutes a day on it. This is an easy way to promote yourself and others. Focus on delivering quality information, and the rest will certainly follow.

Over to you:

How do you feel about using Twitter? Do you feel it’s worthwhile or are you a social media skeptic?

James King is a web designer and blogger. His blog is Better Start Blogging – Full of useful tips for blogging and marketing.

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69 Responses to The 5-Minute-a-Day Twitter Strategy

  1. Sufism World September 7, 2010 at 6:20 am #

    I agree with your post, and I believe twitter to be a powerful social engagement tool. Like all social networking tools unless you don’t try it you don’t know. Most people prefer for the social media tool to be established for a while before they dive into using it – I guess I am one of them.
    Sufism World recently posted..two wings to fly- not one

    • Jean Sarauer September 7, 2010 at 7:40 am #

      The not-knowing-it-til-you-try-it thought is so spot on. Many people think that Twitter will take huge amounts of time. I spend 5-10 minutes a day on it, myself yet it is a top source of traffic each month. Definitely worth the teeny time investment!
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..The 5-Minute-a-Day Twitter Strategy

      • James King September 7, 2010 at 9:20 am #

        Hello Jean & Sufism World,

        Just like anything Twitter is powerful in small bites. Just like Jean 5-10 mins a day is enough. The addiction of social media presents a number of problems.

        Just like Twitter, I find that Technorati gives me a good source of traffic. It’s worth applying to Technorati too.

        • Jean Sarauer September 7, 2010 at 10:21 am #

          James, I’ve never done anything at all with Technorati. Maybe some day you can write a post for us about that too? :)

  2. caren gittleman September 7, 2010 at 8:00 am #

    Fabulous posting!
    I find Twitter to be sooo much more useful in terms of networking than Facebook could ever hope to be!

    I have met some amazing people, found some dynamite blogs (like yours and Jean’s) and have learned so much!

    I think I do engage in all 5 points that you mentioned (but I am a little selective on the fifth point. I follow MOST that follow me but not all…)

    It is still hard to limit my Twitter time to 5 min but I will work harder on that!

    Cat Chat http://opcatchat.blogspot.com
    caren gittleman recently posted..Careers For Your Cat- A Review By Cody

    • Jean Sarauer September 7, 2010 at 8:40 am #

      Caren, that’s really cool that you found this blog and Jame’s through Twitter. That should be encouraging to others who are unsure about trying it. I’ll have to start kicking you off after 5 minutes, Caren :)

    • James King September 7, 2010 at 9:22 am #

      Twitter is ideal for networking. I encourage that people follow their followers. As they’re networking and building rapport.

  3. rob white September 7, 2010 at 8:55 am #

    Twitter was such a mystery to me at first… it was really like being immersed in foreign language. I think I’ve caught on pretty well. I’ve learned to share and network. It became more fun when I learned how to let my personality come through… I get great joy out of offering my own original thoughts & quotes. I have found the time spent to be worth it… 5-10 minutes a day is definitely worth the return.

    • James King September 7, 2010 at 9:23 am #

      Hi Rob,

      Excellent points. Twitter can be like a new language. Technology changes so far, but Twitter is here to stay. I post a lot of inspiring quotes on Twitter as well.

    • Jean Sarauer September 7, 2010 at 10:22 am #

      That was how I felt at first too, Rob–it was like a foreign language and I really didn’t ‘get’ it.

  4. Royale Scuderi September 7, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    A quick Twitter primer if you will for those wanting to dunk their toes in social media. A consistent use of small bits of time are a great way to get in the social media sphere.

    I do disagree with #5 and screen those that I follow back, but each person needs to develop their own set of guidelines…

    • Jean Sarauer September 7, 2010 at 10:23 am #

      I’ve been automatically following everyone who follows me, but I will likely be changing that strategy. I do seem to end up with a lot of spammy followers.

  5. Angela Artemis September 7, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    Great useful info! Thanks!
    I will follow everyone until I see that it’s just advertising – then I cut them off.
    Angela Artemis recently posted..Why I’m Celebrating Labor Day and You Should Too

    • Jean Sarauer September 7, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

      That’s my strategy too, Angela. I can’t imagine not following someone if they’re not spammy.

  6. Wayne FArley September 7, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    I will take great control to spend 5 minutes on Twitter. That thing is so addictive once you get into it. All the points you highlighted are valid, I’m happy to say that I’ve made quite a lot of connections using this medium. My struggle is restraining myself once I get going.
    Wayne FArley recently posted..13 Characteristics of an Air Traffic Controller

    • Jean Sarauer September 7, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

      Wayne, I’m going to have to keep an eye on you and kick you off after your allotted time :)

  7. Farnoosh September 7, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    This is all fantastic advice and I use it all but how does this sum up to just FIVE minutes again? ;)!
    I think it may be that you don’t read the other Tweets or subscribe to others – I really think it’s a great idea to limit time on Twitter but I must respectfully argue that what you advice here amounts to far more than 5 minutes 😉 unless it’s done once and then you shut it for the rest of the day and do not respond to any other direct messages or do not send another thank you for all the Tweets done on your posts etc….I think a more realistic estimate is 20 minutes on Twitter broken into 4 or 5 chunks of 4-5minutes a day – even that’s minimal depending on one’s goals and desired level of interaction.
    Farnoosh recently posted..A New Mindset on Passions and Professions

    • Jean Sarauer September 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

      Hi Farnoosh. I’m one who often doesn’t read other Tweets. I’ll tweet posts from the blog sites so I don’t count that as my ‘twitter time.’ Then, when I go on site to post my own link, I check my @ replies. Responding to those usually goes quickly, although when there are many kind generous souls RTing posts, it does take longer :) Oh, my DMs come to my email, so reading them there doesn’t count as Twitter time either :)

    • James King September 7, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

      Hi Farnoosh,

      I would agree 5 minutes 4 times a day is ideal. Depending on your time frame. I have the iPhone with its Twitter plugins and check it in the morning, and the evening.

      I’ve been to networking events mostly about social media fans and they live on the platform. It’s best networking in the real world.

      • Farnoosh September 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

        Hi guys, so I stopped all Twitter emails coming to my Inbox and I just spend whatever time I need within Hootsuite which, James, I also have on my iPhone. I tried others but so far, this one I like best (although it’s not perfect and sometimes doesn’t sync up and is missing a DM feature I think but overall very good)….but alas, definitely not 5 minutes…..thanks so much for the replies!
        Farnoosh recently posted..A New Mindset on Passions and Professions

        • Jean Sarauer September 7, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

          I’ve been wondering about using Hootsuite. I did use Tweetdeck for a bit but found myself watching the stream and jumping in. Definitely not a good thing for productivity! I don’t use Twitter from my phone either or would probably abuse it. I have very little discipline. Hence the illegal passions mentioned in your blog comments, Farnoosh :)

  8. Sandra Lee September 7, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    These are terrific, basic Twitter tips. I appreciate the core message about delivering quality.

    However, I do agree with Farnoosh that it’s unlikely that this can be accomplished in 5-minutes. I didn’t see the question of time addressed in this article. I totally love you Jean, so I hope you don’t mind my humorously saying that counting DM’s that go to your email box as non-Twitter time seems a little like cheating!!!!

    A helpful article overall though!
    Sandra Lee recently posted..Energy Medicine- activating your “inner mom”

    • Jean Sarauer September 7, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

      Doggone it, Sandra, I was sure you of all people would let me get away with that. :)

      For me the major takeaway with the article is that Twitter is simple to use, and doesn’t have to take much time for a powerful impact. I use it minimally and it’s a major source of traffic, so I’d love to see everyone at east give it a shot.

      • Farnoosh September 7, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

        We are not going to let you get away with a THING ;)! Where would be the fun in that, dearest Jean!?
        Anyway all kidding aside, there IS some good advice here and I don’t think Sandra or I are arguing that just that it takes a bit longer to get through Twitter tasks in (at least) our days….And if you don’t know it already, you know I love ya too, Jean!
        Farnoosh recently posted..A New Mindset on Passions and Professions

        • Jean Sarauer September 7, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

          I suppose it takes me a bit less time because I normally have three cups of coffee before my Twitter time? :)

  9. {Grow With} Stacy September 7, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    Great tips! I need to spend more time using twitter to it’s full potential! I’m barely beginning to understand all that can be done with it.
    {Grow With} Stacy recently posted..How to Deal With Difficult People

    • Jean Sarauer September 7, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

      Hi Stacy. I don’t use it to it’s full potential either. But I figure if I keep taking baby steps and learning from people like James, it will all work out.

  10. Dia September 7, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    Hi Jean and James,

    Very nice article. I think the part where you mention about interacting with one person a day is a great idea as Twitter now is one of the best sites for marketing. Thanks for sharing
    Dia recently posted..Power of attitude

    • Jean Sarauer September 7, 2010 at 7:17 pm #

      I agree it’s one of the best marketing sites, Dia. I’m really glad I didn’t stick with the original thought I had about Twitter, which was, ‘This is stupid!”

  11. Peppy September 7, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    Just the article I’ve been waiting for – though I didn’t know it at the time.

    I’m relatively new to Twitter and haven’t yet reached the “AHH” moment of understanding all the hype – though I’ve been determined to stick with it. The article, for me, showed clearly that being Twitter savvy in no way replaces solid, well written and accurate content … so spend more time on your writing and the extra 5 (or so) minutes can be used to Twitter.

    Thanks!
    Peppy recently posted..Friendship – Trying to Solve the Puzzle

    • Jean Sarauer September 8, 2010 at 9:09 am #

      Good point, Peppy. Our blog content needs to remain top-notch. The whole point of marketing is to get folks to come back to our blogs, and if they visit and find nothing but bits of rubbish, they won’t likely be back!

  12. Andrea DeBell - britetalk September 7, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    I love Twitter but it took me a while to get used to it. ‘Network with one person a day on Twitter’ is my fav tip. It took me a while to get this one.

    I think I probably spend more time than it’s need to on Twitter. I like to thank everyone that retweets my stuff but this gets to be very time consuming. What do you think about it, is it necessary?

    Loving blessings
    Andrea DeBell – britetalk recently posted..How to Get What You Want in Three Steps

    • James King September 8, 2010 at 2:08 am #

      Hello Andrea,

      Twitter is a nice platform. It really depends on your priorities.

      I think it’s important to show thanks. Being grateful is important. as you’re blog grows you’ll get busier. So it’s important to develop the best content. Never forget your roots and be grateful that people are listening to you.

      If you don’t have time to thank everyone. Just send a generalised thank you Tweet.

    • Jean Sarauer September 8, 2010 at 9:11 am #

      Hi Andrea. I try to thank everyone who sends Tweets but I don’t always manage to do that. I set strict time limits on the things I do for blogging, so when my time is up, even if I haven’t thanked everyone, I make myself step away. It’s the only way I can continue to get my writing done and still have a life!

  13. Jered September 8, 2010 at 1:56 am #

    Thanks for this post, James.

    I’ve been wanting to get more involved with Twitter. I think this post just gave me that nudge I needed.
    Jered recently posted..30 Leadership Super-Powers

    • Jean Sarauer September 8, 2010 at 9:14 am #

      I’m not one to have ‘regrets’ per se, but if I were allowed a ‘do-over’ I would get active on Twitter on Day One of blogging. The traffic that comes from there has been high quality for me too–four minutes or so on site average.

  14. Susan Kennedy September 8, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    My problem is reading other peoples Tweets – I don’t even follow that many people, but those that I do keep posting interesting links. If I keep a Twitter window open all day sometimes I get next to no work done, but on the flip side, if I don’t I am out of the loop…
    Susan Kennedy recently posted..How To Emigrate To Australia

    • Jean Sarauer September 8, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

      I don’t dare keep a Twitter window open or I’d be doomed. I know I’m out of the loop, but I’d never produce any work otherwise.

  15. Kathy September 8, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    James,

    You sucked me in on the title because I spend too much time on Twitter when I actually allow myself to use it. And, I followed a tweet about this post to get here.

    You gave some solid advice about using Twitter, but I think you didn’t deliver in the promise of the 5 minutes a day thing. I don’t see in your post any advice about how to limit ourselves to five minutes a day while still accomplishing our objectives with the service. I was really looking for the answer to that.
    Kathy recently posted..Does That Blogger Know That You Like Them

    • Jean Sarauer September 8, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

      I think the challenge, Kathy, is to get super-aware of how you use Twitter and then scale it down in a way that works for your personal needs. For me, that’s 5-10 minutes most days because I really can’t do more. Granted, I rarely have a conversation on there. For me it’s almost 100% posting links, RTing others, and saying thank you.

      • James King September 8, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

        Hi Kathy,

        Small world in a post I wrote this morning, I included a backlink to your blog.

        Twitter can be addictive. For many, its proven to be a way of gaining content.

        The answer for 5 minutes a day. Is purely to limit your time and get the most out of your time.

        You’d be surprised how much I can get done in five minutes. I send a tweet and return to it later in the evening or the following morning. Twitter can be as demanding as you wish.

  16. Denise September 8, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    I confess, I’ve been resisting Twitter. (I was also very late to the Facebook party.) I’m afraid it’ll be a huge timesuck and, well, I don’t really get it. On the other hand, my blog has almost no subscribers, so I need to do something! This post gives me hope that maybe I’ll be able to dip my toe in and not have it take over my life. Thanks!
    Denise recently posted..We Interrupt This Blog…

    • Jean Sarauer September 8, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

      I didn’t get it either, Denise, so don’t feel bad. It’s a lot like Facebook except shorter messages, really. And if you do have time for conversations, the immediate, short, back-and-forth can be fun.

  17. Harriet September 8, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    I love Twitter. I started off using it because my friends were but now I use it to meet other people. I’ve met some great people on Twitter and even met some of them in real life too. Twitter is great!
    Harriet recently posted..Used TAG Heuer Aquaracer

    • Jean Sarauer September 8, 2010 at 7:24 pm #

      Hi Harriet. Love hearing how well Twitter has worked out for you. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Evelyn September 8, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    Hi James,
    This is an awesome post!

    I think I will try networking with one person everyday. It helps broaden the circle.

    I always think it is kind to show gratitude. To anyone who takes the time to mention you in a tweet.

    I’m lazy when it comes to follow Friday, but starting this Friday, I will do much better.

    Five minutes, hmmm I don’t know if I can stick with that, but I can stick with checking in at least twice a day. lol

    Thanks for sharing your 5-Minute a day Twitter strategy!

    Take care,

    Evelyn
    Evelyn recently posted..Numbers Don’t Matter- People Do

    • James King September 8, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

      Hi Evelyn,

      I am pleased you enjoyed this information. This is a general overview on how to use Twitter. The key is not to get addicted.

      Have fun.

    • Jean Sarauer September 8, 2010 at 7:29 pm #

      I’m not good with the Friday Follow or any of the hashtag stuff either, Evelyn. I’d definitely be on Twitter a lot longer than five minutes if I got into all that!

  19. Aileen September 8, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    This is a great guide for using Twitter efficiently! I will confess I often get caught up sometimes in clicking on all the great links I see, that I’m not yet an efficient user.

    :)
    Aileen recently posted..Dr Wayne Dyer is now on Tour!

    • Jean Sarauer September 8, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

      Well, knock that off right now, Aileen 😉

  20. Clearly Composed September 8, 2010 at 6:22 pm #

    I love retweeting stuff for other people. It makes me think of stocking stuffers for some reason. *lol* It’s just a lil something you can give that says, thanks for being you. :)
    Clearly Composed recently posted.. Nutrition Spotlight- The Autumn Salad

    • Jean Sarauer September 8, 2010 at 7:25 pm #

      I know just how you feel. It’s such an easy way to show appreciation and share the love!

  21. Patricia@lavenderuses September 8, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    I am relatively new to blogging and to Twitter. However, once I finally got how important Twitter is to building relationships and also my profile I so love it. I spend way more than 5 minutes tweeting each day and I came over to this site from a tweet with this post recommended. I have found lots of helpful sites from tweets and that in turn means I get to meet heaps more people in the blogging community. Also as I get to build relationships, I get more visitors to my site and more RT too. Twitter is a great source of building relationships and I like what you say about networking with one person a day. Yet another useful tip on how to make Twitter a positive and useful experience.
    Patricia Perth Australia
    Patricia@lavenderuses recently posted..Lavender Health-Lavender in treatment for hair loss

    • Jean Sarauer September 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, Patricia. Your comments are really encouraging!

  22. Arvind Devalia September 9, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    Thanks James for your great tweeting tips. Though I hae been on twitter for over a year, I have only recently begun taking it seriously.

    I spend around 30 mins a day on Twitter, mich more than your suggested 5 mins. But I love it, as it’s a great way of getting my message out there.

    Already I am reaping the benefits of some great relationships, new friends, increased exposure and added traffic to my blog.

    All power to Twitter!
    Arvind Devalia recently posted..9-11 Remembered- 11 Articles to Sow Peace and Healing

  23. Tess Bold Life September 10, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    I’m liking Twitter more and more. I also have met many friends there. I agree with Farnoosh. One thing that I’ve realized is I don’t Tweet everyday. Even when I’m absent for a few I just jump in and catch up. Twitter is my friend not my addiction;) And I love love love Clearly Composed stocking stuffer feeling…that’s Twitter Joy!
    Tess Bold Life recently posted..Naked in Eden with Robin Easton

    • Jean Sarauer September 10, 2010 at 11:22 am #

      Tess, it’s the same for me as far as not using it every day. With most things online or off, when I feel like “I HAVE to do this, it’s time to step away for awhile.”

  24. Infant Strollers September 12, 2010 at 6:36 am #

    I lately found your blog/website and have really loved reading through this and some of your other posts. I believed I would dive out from the shadows and leave my first comment. I’m not certain what to say other than I’ve enjoyed reading through and will continue to go to as frequently as I can.

  25. Charlotte Website Design September 16, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    Thanks for this great post! It’s definitely a struggle sometimes to keep the time I spend on Twitter within reason as I try to build a following. These are great tips to make the job more manageable.

    Beth Arvin
    Fame Foundry
    Charlotte Website Design recently posted..A Rotten Apple Leadership Follies from Antennagate

    • Jean Sarauer September 17, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

      I’ve ended up having to just say no to myself when I want to stay on Twitter longer than my allowed time. It sounds childish, but it works!

  26. henri achterkamp September 21, 2010 at 5:49 am #

    Hello,
    When i’m using Follow Friday for one of my interesting tweeps, I always give a “personal” reason why I follow a tweep. My friend-followers can read why I follow someone, so they can better choose to follow or not.
    It costs a little bit time, but it’s more personal.
    (Sorry, for my bad English; I’m from NL)

    • Jean Sarauer September 21, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

      Hi Henri. Your English is just fine! Heck, my English is nothing to brag about :) Great idea about personalizing the friend follow! Thanks for sharing.

  27. red September 22, 2010 at 5:28 am #

    It is a good idea so we do not have to waste time in twitter.
    red recently posted..How to promote Snisply article

  28. David September 22, 2010 at 5:44 am #

    Thanks – very useful.
    David

  29. Tony September 28, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    Great advice Jean. Sadly, we do sometimes forget that the point of social media is to, in fact, be social! I love you insights especially the one about connecting with just one person every day. Thanks for sharing!
    Tony recently posted..Use Twitter for Marketing But Don’t Lose Your Soul

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