I manage several social media accounts for businesses throughout Western Canada. I manage properties in Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. The accounts I manage have a combined followership of over 70,000.

This means, I have a lot to do every day. There are people to follow, comments to respond to, and content to retweet.

When I sit down to manage a client’s social media account, I usually put in 30 minutes at one sitting (unless they are on my Diablo package; then I’m always on call). There’s a lot to do in that 30 minutes, and now that I’ve been doing it for over 8 years, I’ve developed a tried-and-tested system that brings my clients results.

For example:

  • I doubled Google+ followers for a client in just 3 months
  • I increased Facebook reach for a client by 6200% in 2 years
  • I quadrupled a client’s Google+ traffic in 1 year
  • I grew a client’s Twitter followers 9300% over 3 years
  • I reached 1 million Pinterest visitors in 1 year for a client

Since my system works for me, I thought I’d share it with you. Here is what I do to manage Twitter accounts, but the 6 principles can apply to other social media sites, too.

1. Respond to mentions

When I open up a Twitter account, I immediately open the “Notifications” tab. One of the first things I do is check for any mentions I received since the last time I logged in. They could be comments, questions, or shoutouts.

Depending on the nature of the comment, I thank them for the comment or continue the conversation. For questions, I simply answer the question, hopefully pointing them to a page on the client’s website or blog for more details. For shoutouts, I simply thank them for mentioning my name.

I try to favourite the mention, as well, to give them another nod, but mainly to help me know what content I’ve already interacted with.

2. Retweet the retweeters

The next thing I look for is anyone who retweeted one of my tweets. I thank each of them, and I bring up their profile to see if they have something I can retweet in return that is related to my client’s industry. Retweeting those who retweet me is a way to say thank you, and it populates my timeline with original content I don’t have to write.

3. Follow the followers

The third thing I do is check for new followers. I usually follow them back (unless they are bots or potentially offensive accounts) and add them to lists I’ve created as a way to manage my timeline.

4. Curate content

Next, I try to find content to share as original tweets. I do this via two streams: accounts that recently retweeted me (see #2) and through my Twitter lists.

Once I have half a dozen or so potentially engaging articles, news stories, or blog posts, I schedule them in a service like Buffer to provide content outside of the 30 minutes I’m actually on the account. I use a combination of mentions, hashtags, and images to make the posts more compelling.

5. Clean up followers

Usually by this time, I’ve nearly used up my half an hour, especially on Mondays (I generally don’t manage social media on the weekends, so there is a bit of a backup on Mondays). If I have extra time, however, I will use a service like Tweepi to cleanup the follower list, unfollowing those who unfollowed me and those who haven’t tweeted in months.

There is some controversy among social media managers around unfollowing those who unfollow you, but I’ve found that most of those who unfollow me only followed me in the first place to get me to follow them back in an effort to boost their numbers. If I managed an account full-time (like I did until I started my business last year), I’d be more selective in who I follow. I just don’t have the time for that luxury. Some see my methods as crude, but they build followers and engagement in the long run.

6. Search for engagers

Not all who engage with your content will show up on your “Notifications” feed. For example, if someone shared one of your blog posts directly from your website and didn’t include your username, it wouldn’t show up.

One way to find content like this is to do a search for your website address. (Here’s my business, for example). Also, search for your company and product names.

When you find content here, thank them and retweet it.

That’s my 6-step process to supercharge Twitter engagement in just 30 minutes per day. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

About Kim Siever

I am a copywriter and copyeditor. I blog on writing tips mostly, but I sometimes throw in my thoughts about running a small business. Follow me on Twitter at @hotpepper.

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