Ten Twitter tips for the time poor

We’ve found Twitter to be a great way to keep up with research, share our practice and make new connections. However, we juggle tweeting with our daily learning design work, and it can easily become distracting and time consuming.
These tips outline the tools and techniques that helped us make the most of Twitter and keep it from taking over.

1. Live tweet from events.
This is a great way to make new and relevant connections. Use the event’s hashtag to find other attendees to connect with and discuss ideas during the event and after.

2. Filter tweets with free tools.
Use a social media dashboard to filter tweets from relevant people and organisations. You can also use it to schedule your own tweets. We find that free tools are fine.

3. Create lists.
Create lists of different groups of followers (ours include OU teams and external researchers). You can then filter content from these lists via your Twitter dashboard and see at a glance what people with similar interests are discussing.

4. Cut distractions.
Your Twitter dashboard will also keep distracting tweets out of sight – essential when strong opinions are being shared and time is precious.

5. Explore others’ Twitter lists.
People in your network may have curated lists of their contacts. If they’ve made these lists public you can view them via their Twitter profile and include them in your dashboard.

6. Save tweets for later.
Save interesting tweets and other nuggets of news to the drafts folder of your Twitter management tool. You and your colleagues can dip into this and share its contents.

7. Schedule posts.
Schedule posts when you know you’ll be busy so you can focus on the tasks at hand.

8. Don’t worry about repeating yourself.
This can feel awkward at first. However, tweets are ephemeral and, with an ever-changing Twitter audience, repeats won’t be obvious and will help you engage with relevant people.

9. Share the load.
If you’re part of a team, split the Twitter work using a rota and individual responsibilities. Two of our team members create content to share while others focus on engagement with followers. This means we’re working to our strengths and making the most of people’s time.

10. Use analytics.
Even a brief glance at your analytics will show which topics are of interest to members of your network.