Twitter, and social media in general, has opened up a world of procrastination! But procrastination definitely doesn’t equal prizes!!! Time wasted is time lost and, if you own a business, means money is also lost.

So, how can you limit your time on Twitter?

1. Realise how much your time is worth!

Everyone knows time is money! But do you really know how much your time is worth?

Work out how much you’d like to take from the business this year and divide it by working hours in a year (around 1760). This gives you a base hourly rate. Times this by your productivity ratio. For example, if you are productive for a third of your time you would times by 3. The result will be how much your time is worth each hour.

For example, if you want to take £50,000 out of the business / 1760 = £28.41
If you are productive a third of the time (which most people are) x 3 = £85.23

Suddenly, every hour you lose means a loss of over £85! Get it?!!

So, don’t be wasting time on Twitter!

2. Use lists

Lists are essential in going direct to the tweets of the users you want to see for that particular function, e.g. useful industry information, potential clients, current customers, etc. There will be a whole blog post on using lists where I’ll go into more detail on this.

3. Schedule messages

If you know you’ve only got half an hour to go on Twitter at 6.30am in the morning but don’t want to send out all your updates at once, schedule them to go later in the day. You can do this on platforms such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. Just make sure your scheduled messages aren’t time bound, e.g. weather related. And if you are asking a question, make sure you will be present within the next couple of hours to reply to any responses.

4. Don’t just read, engage!

Don’t waste time being nosy, reading what everyone else is up to. Make sure you actually respond to people, reply to their tweets and engage with them, so that you are building relationships rather than just passively listening in. Listening without responding won’t win you any business!

5. Restrict your time

Give yourself set chunks of time and state within that time what you are going to achieve. E.g. compose 4 tweets, respond to 3 people in potential clients list, monitor searches, follow 10 new users.  Don’t do anything on Twitter beyond these set targets.

6. Don’t have your phone flashing at you!

The mobile phone really has allowed for more time wasting than ever! Turn off alerts for new @mentions so that you only see these when you actively go on Twitter on the net or on your phone.

7. Imagine you’re paying for it

The danger with free tools like Twitter is to spend long periods of time on them without achieving anything. Imagine you were paying £100 a day to use Twitter and you only had 30 minutes each day to use it. I’d imagine you’d approach it in a completely different manner! Well time is money after all, so this is true to some degree! For one day, restrict your use to only 30 minutes in that day, imagining that you’re paying £100 for the privilege, and record what you do. Bear this in mind each time you use Twitter.

Twitter is a brilliant marketing and relationship building tool that will help you win more business.  Just make sure you’re not losing time and money through it!