I’ve been noticing a common thread running through many of the conversations I am having with clients and colleagues regarding Twitter.

Despite all the great content available online regarding Twitter do’s and don’ts, there still seems to be a significant amount of confusion (across my network) about “what to do on twitter.” People seem to be struggling with the actual day-to-day tasks that pull together all the best practices.

This post is designed to highlight Twitter workflow and aims to help you organize and plan your own “twitter routine”.

Workflow Components

A Twitter workflow consists of four main activities:

Discovery – Gathering information to analyze or share. Examples include:

  • Subscribing to blogs in order to share useful content with your followers.
  • Conducting keyword searches to monitor relevant conversations i.e. brand, industry, competitor.
  • Searching for new people to follow for education, prospecting and/or follower acquisition.

Implementation – Tactical execution of Twitter activities. Examples include:

  • Scheduling and publishing tweets
  • Responding to @mentions and DMs
  • RT other peoples content

Management – Planning and organizing information flow. Examples include:

  • Set up Twitter lists
  • Use a Twitter dashboard i.e. Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, etc. to filter streams
  • Publish a monthly Twitter editorial calendar

Measurement – Analyzing Twitter metrics to inform decision making. Examples include:

  • Use dashboard analytics or third party tools like Bitly to measure audience activity

Twitter Workflow Example

The example below is based on my own Twitter workflow. It’s driven by four channel objectives: sharing information, building awareness, making connections and marketing my services.

This workflow is not set in stone and will vary from user to user depending on your objectives.

Do this make sense? How do you organize your presence on Twitter? What are your thoughts on the time investment required in the example above? The comments are yours.

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About Mark Smiciklas

Mark Smiciklas

Mark Smiciklas is a Digital Strategist, author and President of Intersection Consulting; a Vancouver based digital marketing agency that teaches organizations how to leverage the dynamics of the web to achieve business goals. Mark is also the managing editor at Solopreneur.ca and is an established marketing and social media practitioner recognized for his visual thinking and practical strategic approach. You can connect with him on Google+.

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Comments & Reactions

Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://twitter.com/3rhinomedia Don Stanley

    Found this very helpful Jason. I think this is a huge challenge for all of us: how do we manage inputs and still get purposeful work accomplished. I just heard a stat that 26% of our time is dedicated to managing the information overload we deal with. Yikes! That’s a lot of wasted time. And it’s systems like this that help reduced that number and help create meaningful results. Appreciate you sharing!

    • http://twitter.com/intersection1 Mark Smiciklas

      Thanks for the comment Don – glad you found the post helpful.

      • Netblack98

        Very nice & impressive article you have posted.. Wonderful post, It is really not difficult to study your blog.. I have found good information in your blog… So excellent … It’s a treasure for me to reading your blog..I will definitely share it with others.thanks

  • http://twitter.com/3rhinomedia Don Stanley

    Found this very helpful Jason. I think this is a huge challenge for all of us: how do we manage inputs and still get purposeful work accomplished. I just heard a stat that 26% of our time is dedicated to managing the information overload we deal with. Yikes! That’s a lot of wasted time. And it’s systems like this that help reduced that number and help create meaningful results. Appreciate you sharing!

    • http://twitter.com/intersection1 Mark Smiciklas

      Thanks for the comment Don – glad you found the post helpful.

      • Netblack98

        Very nice & impressive article you have posted.. Wonderful post, It is really not difficult to study your blog.. I have found good information in your blog… So excellent … It’s a treasure for me to reading your blog..I will definitely share it with others.thanks

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  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Business Assistant

    Hi Mark,

    Really an awesome workflow and loved it. I think people who want to effectively use twitter can use this workflow. Thank for the share…

    • http://twitter.com/intersection1 Mark Smiciklas

      Thanks – glad you got some value from the post.

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Business Assistant

    Dear Mark,

    Really an awesome workflow and loved it. I think people who want to effectively use twitter can use this workflow. Thank for the share…

    • http://twitter.com/intersection1 Mark Smiciklas

      Thanks – glad you got some value from the post.

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  • Anonymous

    Thanks Mark for sharing your Twitter work flow sample as it gives me an idea on how to control my time on conversing online.  Though, it only takes me less than an hour to automate posts for the whole week, each week.. I get to spend more time in listening and talking to peers instead.  It’s just that twitter is becoming an addiction for me lately as I love to hangout in these Twitter chats where you get to spend an hour of discussing topics with like minds ( and influencers as well ).  That’s what I love Twitter for, among many other things.

    • http://twitter.com/intersection1 Mark Smiciklas

      You’re welcome. Great point about automation – scheduling tweets is an effective way to manage the process of sharing but you have to interact in real time as well.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Mark for sharing your Twitter work flow sample as it gives me an idea on how to control my time on conversing online.  Though, it only takes me less than an hour to automate posts for the whole week, each week.. I get to spend more time in listening and talking to peers instead.  It’s just that twitter is becoming an addiction for me lately as I love to hangout in these Twitter chats where you get to spend an hour of discussing topics with like minds ( and influencers as well ).  That’s what I love Twitter for, among many other things.

    • http://twitter.com/intersection1 Mark Smiciklas

      You’re welcome. Great point about automation – scheduling tweets is an effective way to manage the process of sharing but you have to interact in real time as well.

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  • http://twitter.com/RavenCourts Courtney Seiter

    Looks a lot like my workflow! Nice to see it written down–feels a lot more orderly this way. I tend to plow through RSS feeds for an hour or so at night and then schedule posts for the next day, leaving me a little less panicked each morning, as well as more free to wander into chats and interesting conversations online.

    • http://twitter.com/intersection1 Mark Smiciklas

      Cool! Here’s something to help you to streamline even further…If you subscribe to a lot of feeds take a look at Buffer – it allows you to schedule posts right from Google Reader.

  • http://twitter.com/RavenCourts Courtney Seiter

    Looks a lot like my workflow! Nice to see it written down–feels a lot more orderly this way. I tend to plow through RSS feeds for an hour or so at night and then schedule posts for the next day, leaving me a little less panicked each morning, as well as more free to wander into chats and interesting conversations online.

    • http://twitter.com/intersection1 Mark Smiciklas

      Cool! Here’s something to help you to streamline even further…If you subscribe to a lot of feeds take a look at Buffer – it allows you to schedule posts right from Google Reader.

  • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

    Mark, this is awesome, I’m going to share it with clients. I do have a question for you – why do you schedule your tweets in clusters? Most scheduling/timing apps space them out (what does Timely or Buffer say for you?) and many users only dip in to Twitter a few times a day, so if you only tweet in three brief timeframes (vs 8-10 times in a day), aren’t you missing people?  Would love to know if you’ve tested this against your own followers and therefore that’s how you do it, or if it’s instinct, or if you’ve read other data on it. Thanks!

    • http://twitter.com/intersection1 Mark Smiciklas

      Thanks Stephanie.

      Regarding clustering – it’s a blend of instinct and analytics. Based on my history, Buffer recommended something very similar to what I was already doing, but I adjusted it based on my primary target audience (geographically, CAN and USA). First and foremost I only share links that I find interesting and have imposed a daily max. of 9 scheduled tweets – I supplement these with a few more interesting RT from the people I follow, time permitting :)

      Specifically, I like to post 3 tweets in a 15-20 minute cluster (5-6 minutes in between tweets). I also work on the premise that people dip into Twitter a few times a day and try to drop my clusters into those time slots: these include 7am-8am PST, 8am-9am PST, 11am-12pm PST, 1pm-2pm PST and 4pm-5pm PST. I move them around and gauge results.

      My view is that people have a higher likelihood of connecting with a cluster than a single tweet.  The 5-6 minute increments are based on my personal preference…it drives me crazy seeing 5 or more consecutive tweets from a single user – my goal is not to inflict that on my followers :) I don’t worry too much about missing people. In order to maximize reach using my system I would have to send out 15-20 tweets per day…too much for me.

      I hope that helps clarify things.

  • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

    Mark, this is awesome, I’m going to share it with clients. I do have a question for you – why do you schedule your tweets in clusters? Most scheduling/timing apps space them out (what does Timely or Buffer say for you?) and many users only dip in to Twitter a few times a day, so if you only tweet in three brief timeframes (vs 8-10 times in a day), aren’t you missing people?  Would love to know if you’ve tested this against your own followers and therefore that’s how you do it, or if it’s instinct, or if you’ve read other data on it. Thanks!

    • http://twitter.com/intersection1 Mark Smiciklas

      Thanks Stephanie.

      Regarding clustering – it’s a blend of instinct and analytics. Based on my history, Buffer recommended something very similar to what I was already doing, but I adjusted it based on my primary target audience (geographically, CAN and USA). First and foremost I only share links that I find interesting and have imposed a daily max. of 9 scheduled tweets – I supplement these with a few more interesting RT from the people I follow, time permitting :)

      Specifically, I like to post 3 tweets in a 15-20 minute cluster (5-6 minutes in between tweets). I also work on the premise that people dip into Twitter a few times a day and try to drop my clusters into those time slots: these include 7am-8am PST, 8am-9am PST, 11am-12pm PST, 1pm-2pm PST and 4pm-5pm PST. I move them around and gauge results.

      My view is that people have a higher likelihood of connecting with a cluster than a single tweet.  The 5-6 minute increments are based on my personal preference…it drives me crazy seeing 5 or more consecutive tweets from a single user – my goal is not to inflict that on my followers :) I don’t worry too much about missing people. In order to maximize reach using my system I would have to send out 15-20 tweets per day…too much for me.

      I hope that helps clarify things.

  • http://twitter.com/inddice Inddice Group

    Planning strategies are so powerful as so as social media tools

  • http://twitter.com/inddice Inddice Group

    Planning strategies are so powerful as so as social media tools

  • http://twitter.com/inddice Inddice Group

    Planning strategies are so powerful as so as social media tools

  • http://twitter.com/inddice Inddice Group

    Planning strategies are so powerful as so as social media tools

  • http://twitter.com/jennewilson Jennifer Wilson

    Very helpful! This is a great guide to managing Twitter.

  • http://twitter.com/jennewilson Jennifer Wilson

    Very helpful! This is a great guide to managing Twitter.

  • http://twitter.com/RozerArt Hristo Butchvarov

    I am using this scheme everyday:

    Follow 10 people

    Pre-post five tweets daily

    Respond to @ replies

    Respond to direct messages

    Tell followers to follow a
    friend

  • http://twitter.com/RozerArt Hristo Butchvarov

    I am using this scheme everyday:

    Follow 10 people

    Pre-post five tweets daily

    Respond to @ replies

    Respond to direct messages

    Tell followers to follow a
    friend

  • http://twitter.com/danortegaPR Daniel Ortega

    Thank you for the post. I agree with the Workflow chart, which can be used for just about any social aspect for a successful organization. 

    • http://wearesocialpeople.com Tammy Kahn Fennell

      Yes, I agree too, very good workflow chart. @intersection1:twitter did a great job! Would love to see @MarketMeSuite:disqus  included on future ones though ;)
      ~Tammy

  • http://twitter.com/danortegaPR Daniel Ortega

    Thank you for the post. I agree with the Workflow chart, which can be used for just about any social aspect for a successful organization. 

    • http://wearesocialpeople.com Tammy Kahn Fennell

      Yes, I agree too, very good workflow chart. @intersection1:twitter did a great job! Would love to see @MarketMeSuite:disqus  included on future ones though ;)
      ~Tammy

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  • @russ_mattinson

    Hey Mark! Interesting post – this type of planning could be very useful to corpcomms depts setting out on their social media journey, particularly when working with slimmed resources. 

    • http://www.i95dev.com Henry Louis

      Yes, Exactly. Well said. It is really very interesting post to read.

  • @russ_mattinson

    Hey Mark! Interesting post – this type of planning could be very useful to corpcomms depts setting out on their social media journey, particularly when working with slimmed resources. 

    • http://www.i95dev.com Henry Louis

      Yes, Exactly. Well said. It is really very interesting post to read.

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  • APhanner

    “…objectives: sharing information, building awareness, making connections and marketing my service”

    These are great objectives, even when building a personal brand! Definitely captured the right workflow!

  • APhanner

    “…objectives: sharing information, building awareness, making connections and marketing my service”

    These are great objectives, even when building a personal brand! Definitely captured the right workflow!

  • Anonymous

    A lot of these tasks can be automated with TweetAdder http://www.tweetadder.com/idevaffiliate/idevaffiliate.php?id=13521

  • Anonymous

    A lot of these tasks can be automated with TweetAdder http://www.tweetadder.com/idevaffiliate/idevaffiliate.php?id=13521

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