I want to share with you a little experiment I am doing to work smarter while marketing on Twitter. You may have noticed that over the last two months, I was super engaged with social media marketing. On many days, I spent somewhere between 4 and 6 hours first creating content, then marketing that content on Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Facebook, and Pinterest.
As I shared a couple days ago in my last blog post, the number of hours I was putting in caused me to face social media burnout head on. As a result, I went from driving over 2000+ new visitors to the Nichevertising website during the months of April and May while at my peak, to having my results fall off a cliff so far in June as I was unable to sustain the effort.
Starting with a Hypothesis
The experiment I am starting this week is based on a hypothesis I have around Twitter engagement. Specifically, I believe that the reason my social media marketing results fell off a cliff is because so far in June, I stopped engaging on Twitter as much as I was in April and May.
I think that if I ramp back up my engagement in conversations that matter on Twitter, traffic from Twitter will ramp up at the same rate. However, I must use more efficient tools to sustain this effort so I don’t get burned out.
A 5 Step Process that Works
When at my social media marketing peak during the months of April and May, I found a simple five step process to create sustainable interest in the content I was marketing.
At a high level, what I did was first schedule my tweets for the entire day, then use the rest of the day to engage with other people’s content.
The five steps I used to do this were:
1. First thing in the morning, start by scheduling tweets to post the content I was marketing 1 to 2 times an hour from about 10am all the way to 11pm depending on the day of the week.
2. Several times a day (usually around 7am, 10am, 1pm, and 3pm) using the advanced Twitter search to find conversations and hashtags on relevant topics
3. Then, either @replying or retweeting the tweets that I found most interesting
4. Adding those people to Twitter lists if they engaged back with me
5. The next morning after scheduling my content marketing tweets, review those lists and schedule further tweets with @replies and retweets of the people on my list.
I am not going to intentionally try to confuse you here, but let me explain in detail where the breakdown to this process occurred.
The unsustainable steps were steps 2, 3, and 4. When I stopped doing those 3 steps, step 5 became less useful and step 5 is actually what fueled interest in the content I was sharing in step 1. Got it so far?
The reason why step 5 became less useful is because you can only @reply and retweet the same people so many times before they start becoming a little numb to your engagement.
As it turns out, the first time someone meets a new retweeter friend, it’s exciting to them. After the 5th or 6th time you have retweeted them, not so much. So it’s best to tone down the retweets and @replies to any one person to every few days and no more than once a day.
Chances are, once you actively engage someone over time, they will have visited your website and have decided that they either like your content or that you are just noise. You will know this based on if the people you retweet and @reply, retweet and @reply you back.
So for step 5 to work as a tool of engagement to drive traffic to the content you are marketing, you must fuel it with new people you add to your list. I ran out of this fuel.
The Twitter Efficiency Tool I Will Test
The great thing here is that I know what fuel I need to put into my engagement tank. Great new friends who tweet and share content covering the same topics I cover.
The problem is I just don’t have enough time in my day to find, engage, and list all the interesting people I need to to keep the tank full.
So what I need are tools to help me with those three things: finding, engaging, and listing interesting people. Since I know I don’t want to automate engagement, my focus over the next few weeks will be on the finding and listing process.
This week, I am just going to focus on finding people. The tool I am going to try is Topsy.
I previously mentioned Topsy in a post I wrote a few weeks back covering 21 techniques to influence the marketing influencers.
Topsy provides a social search of online experts. You can focus your search on multiple social networks or you can focus just on Twitter if you are like me.
What I am going to do this week is set up an email alert using Topsy’s Twitter keyword search.
I will then use this email alert to replace step 2 in my 5 step process. My goal is to bundle 95% of all my twitter time into one time block I can optimize for sustained engagement throughout the day.
I will let you know how this experiment works out next week.