Composing and sending tweets isn’t rocket science. Literal children have six-figure Twitter followings, after all. But there’s most definitely an art to engaging one’s audience. Suffice to say, Twitter is one of those easy to learn, hard to master media.
Busy leaders don’t have time to master Twitter. And, while most run companies with dedicated social media employees, they don’t always have the resources (or attentive bandwidth) to manage their own social domains.
When organizational imperatives come calling, personal priorities naturally lapse. They don’t have to, though. You can devote the full measure of your attention to leading your department or organization and still have time and energy left over to craft a killer Twitter persona.
Not convinced? Follow these six Twitter tips for time-pressed Type A leaders and prepare to be amazed.
1. Use Scheduling Software
If you’re not yet using a free social media scheduling tool like Hootsuite, what are you waiting for? Millions of individuals and organizations use scheduling software to plan and set tweets days or weeks in advance, freeing up valuable resources for real-time tweeting on late-breaking topics. (Or, you know, not tweeting at all.) Plus, scheduling software is one more way to differentiate yourself from this guy, whose admittedly impressive Twitter feed never met a spur-of-the-moment tweet (or retweet) it didn’t like, and who probably-maybe-definitely isn’t aware that Hootsuite exists.
2. Mix It Up With Inspirational Quotes (Not Your Own)
What’s tougher: digging up a timely, meaty take on a topical industry trend and putting your own two-cent (okay, five-dollar) spin on it — or digging up an inspiring, non-controversial quote that sounds like something you’d say yourself? If you answered “the former,” you’re not being serious with yourself. Your followers do want to hear from Sun Tzu or Abraham Lincoln, even if they’ve heard it before. Give them what they want — and then close out your Twitter app for the day.
3. Don’t Stray Too Far From Your Forte
Inspirational quotes aside, your followers really do expect you to tell them things they don’t know. (They mean it when they say that, you know.) If you really want to add value to the Twitter conversation, make sure you’re sharing content and hot takes that you can defend. The last thing you want is a tweet-buttal that elicits a correction, particularly when you deliver the erroneous original with confidence.
Nashville-based communications executive Rosemary Plorin’s Twitter account is a great example: her tweets are relevant and she never strays too far from her PR-and-strategy wheelhouse. Safe to say businesses that stick to their niche expertise can devote less time and energy to getting their facts straight (and wording polished) when they’re sharing concepts they could probably defend in their sleep.
4. Ask Unto Your Followers…
This is a simple one. Your followers want to engage with you, and you want to come off as engaging. So why not set the terms of engagement and come what may? Ask one public question per day, making it clear that anyone is welcome to respond. Use a trending hashtag for visibility. Bonus points for tweeting your question in reply to an influencer — that loops in the influencer’s followers and boosts the likelihood of a robust conversation.
5. Learn to Let It Go
The Twittersphere is a notoriously loud and often vapid place. At times, it’s better to sit back and let others do the talking. This is particularly true when you’ve either uttered(outright) or been associated with a controversy.
It’s one thing to step up to defend your honor or set the record straight. It’s entirely another to get involved in a shouting war with trolls who want nothing more than to tear you down. That doesn’t end well for anyone involved — and can actually do your reputation harm. If you don’t have anything nice to say…g