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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