Make Time For Social Media By Not Tweeting BS

by on 11/18/2011 • 52 Comments | Social Media

By far the question I’m asked most in regard to social media is how do I make time for it. There’s SO much to do in a day – as a business owner, how do you find the time to tweet or Facebook or do any of the other social actions you MUST do to find your customers? My advice is typically two-fold.

  1. Schedule social media the same way you schedule other tasks.
  2. Stop wasting time doing shit that doesn’t matter.

If you want to be successful in social media, you need to take it seriously. The same way you schedule other work tasks – answering email, meetings with staff, work projects – to make it fit in your day. If you didn’t schedule in that meeting with your business partner, you’d probably find you didn’t “have time” for that either at the end of the week.

However, you can also save and CREATE time by not wasting it engaging in pointless social media. There are certain types of tweets and updates that, as marketers, we no longer need to write. And by NOT writing them you’ll not only increase your influence by being less of a social media douche, you’ll also free up time in your day to engage in ways that matter. It’s like magic.

Below are 10 tweets you can save your fingers (and your audience) from having to create.

1. The “Good Morning” Tweet

Waking up to see “Good Morning” or “Good Morning, Twtter” trending every day makes me seriously fear for us as humans. Why are you doing this? No, I want you to ask yourself. Why on Earth do you feel the need to say good morning to Twitter? STOP! While we’re at it, you also do not need to say goodnight to Twitter. Twitter will sleep just fine even if you’re not there to tuck it in.

2. The Inspirational Quote Tweet

One way to show how not deep and poignant you are is to tweet/share quotes that are intended to make you look deep and poignant. If you can’t think of something clever or motivational to tweet all by yourself, then save your tweet for when you can. Or maybe you can get Ashton to tweet from your account since he’s gone and outsourced his. At least he outsourced his account to people who are alive. You outsourced yours to Shakespeare.

3. The Vague Hustlin’ Tweet

You’ve seen them.

“Super awesome product to announce soon. Sorry, can’t share details yet! HAHA! #hustlin”

Hey, jerk, if you can’t talk about it, don’t tweet about it. It’s that simple. Because now you’re just show-boating and annoying all of us. Not surprisingly, the tech space is a huge offender of this one.

4. RTing Content You Know Everyone’s Already Seen

Maybe you’re just doing it in some vain attempt to increase your Klout score but Mashable doesn’t need you to RT their iPhone release news the same way Chris Brogan doesn’t need you to RT his post on human business. If they wrote it, people are probably going to find it on their own. Because they follow these guys and because everyone ELSE on the Internet is going to RT it first. If Chris has an exceptionally awesome (like even more awesome than usual), sure, share it. But instead of repeating the echo chamber all the time, find worthy content that’s NOT being RT’d or shared to death. Your audience will appreciate it more.

5. The Name-Dropper Tweet

Every time you tweet that you’re having dinner with Scott Stratten, Brian Solis, Missy Ward, John Jantsch and [Insert Someone Else] AT THE SAME TIME you make the whole Internet roll their collective eyes at you. Because if you were really that cool, you wouldn’t feel the need to out your dinner party to the whole world. You’d just eat and enjoy their company. Now we see how inadequate you feel that you needed to point it out. And we all feel sorry for you.

6. The Constant “I HAVE THE BEST WIFE/HUSBAND/SIGNIFICANT OTHER” Tweet

Hey, I am super stoked for you that you’re in a relationship. Congrats. That’s awesome. But…not one really cares. I mean, we care in that “you’re a good person and we want you to be happy” way, but not in the way that we need (or want) to be reminded of your relationship 24/7. The louder you yell about it, the more we think you need a shrink more than a RT. Because, people who are actually happy compared to those who pretend to be SO HAPPY don’t feel the need to tweet about.  They just kind of are. Focus on the value people are coming to you for, not your new girlfriend of 20 seconds.

7. Bandwagon Tweets

Someone popular said something dumb and now the Internet has come together to CALL THEM OUT and let everyone know how WRONG they were about that thing. POWER OF THE PEOPLE! Yeah…it’s just another day on the Internet so maybe just sit out on this one? Why be one more voice in the noise? If you’re having a hard time fitting social media into your day, you definitely don’t need to be wasting time in bandwagon flame wars. Go talk to a potential customer. The Internet will flog their A-lister all on their own.

8. The Holy Passive Aggressive Tweet

We’ve all been there. We’ve all been irked by someone we know and felt the burning hot urge to share our frustrations with the world. It’s the American way, after all – we’re not happy until everyone around us is miserable. However…maybe keep it yourself. Think of what you could accomplish if you saved all that passive aggressive tweet energy and focused it on something more productive! Like, maybe a new blog post. Or a cool contest. Or rescuing a kitten from a high tree. The possibilities are endless.

9. The “Read My Latest Blog Post!” Tweet

Sure, you should let people know you have a new post out and maybe they’d like to mosy on over and read it, but don’t be a tool. Don’t scream it. Don’t tweet it 10 days in one day. Don’t act like you’ve just cured cancer. Just let people know it exists, and then get out of the way.

10. The “I Love Mondays” Tweet

Just shut up, okay? Monday’s hard enough.

If you don’t have time for social media, isn’t best to at least use the time you do have wisely?

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About the Author

Lisa Barone

Lisa Barone co-founded Outspoken Media in 2009 and served as Chief Branding Officer until April 2012.

Get social with Lisa at Twitter

52 thoughts on “Make Time For Social Media By Not Tweeting BS

  1. Not posting #soblessed #happymonday #lookwhoI’meatingwith tweets has allowed me to find the time within my busy work schedule to comment on this post.

    See what I did there ; )

    In all seriousness, though, great perspective. I can always tell when I’m having a relatively slow, lazy, or somewhat unproductive day by the volume of non-crucial social network posts that I make.

    • Ha, totally. Some days I’ll look at what I tweeted in a day and be completely horrified. Counting your vapid tweets is a good way to track lulls in productivity/motivation. :)

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! It should be required reading for anyone just getting on Twitter. And unfortunately, many who are already on Twitter. WTH are some people thinking?

  3. I’m with Jill.
    Love the blacked out names and real life examples. I want to do the same with bad bio pics (rule of thumb don’t less attractive than you are in real life – most can be fixed with a smile or brighter light), but I’m sure to be found out and then scorn. Especially since most are self proclaimed social media mavens.
    Quick question, how did you find these bad tweets? Keyword search (tool?) or just showed up in your stream (I doubt). Or is there a favorite list where you’re sure to find these types of examples.

    • I’d like to +1 you creating that post. And then let me know when you do so I can tweet the hell out of it. :)

      I did some very quick Twitter searches to pull some quick examples. People are pretty predictable so it wasn’t very hard.

      • You are funny.
        I’ll let you know all right! I think you understand me completely and know a few of the “gurus” I’m talking about.
        Let’s promote beauty along with the other fundamentals of marketing.
        Glad I found your site via the ever wonderful (and smiling) Jill Whalen.

  4. Can I get a big Amen for sister Lisa telling like it is. Love this story soooo much. Tempted to tweet it, but perhaps I shouldn’t.

  5. Lisa,

    Love the list of 10. Hopefully I’m not guilty of those things but I’m sure a couple I am…

    On the issue of how do you find time for Social Media my thought is this: Don’t think of social media as an “extra” part of your work day. Think of it as a necessary function of work day. Where do i find time? It’s part of how I make money and expand my brand how do I NOT make time.

    I had another insurance agent say to me the other day, “no one in my office wants to do Admin stuff like Social Media…”

    Admin?! You mean you’d rather have your salesperson pushing papers around their desk then marketing your business?

    Silly… Great post.

    Thanks,

    Ryan H.

    • The truth is we’re ALL guilty of tweeting these at one point or another. You just want to be aware of what you’re putting out there and how much is noise vs how much is signal. :)

      And I totally agree with you about the making time for social media thing. When people ask how I “make time” for social, it’s the same way I “make time” to have staff meetings or the way I “make time” to do client work. It’s part of your work load. You just do it.

  6. wow. is there a single tweet-type of mine you overlooked? Oh yeah – those great food photos. And my rants. Other than those, you pretty much identified 80% of the tweets that go into my twitter success style. So either you’re way off, or you’ve identified the cause as to why you have five times as many followers as I do. :-)

  7. OK – I will admit that im notoriously bad at over promoting my blog posts. Let’s face it though, Twitter is a great source for spreading good content.

    Other then that I think all your points are valid. The motivational tweets drive me crazy as they never seem to be unique but the same ones puked time after time.

  8. You’ve just described about 80% – 90% of the tweets out there – and the whole social thing. (I’ve seen many a person who says they don’t want to see that, actually do it themselves.)

    I don’t agree with most of the suggestions. The so-called BS is what you typically share with friends, or co-workers at the proverbial water cooler, or the checkout dude at the market – social stuff. What’s wrong with good morning, or good night? I rather like knowing that someone cares enough about their husband or wife to announce it – its rare! And I’m happy for them!

    Ranting is good sometimes. You can find kindred spirits who are maybe working toward the saving the kittens thing. Also, not everyone who says who they are lunching with is doing it for the dropping-the-name thing. Heck, if that’s out, then may as well shut down Four Square.

    meh… let people tweet what they want to tweet. Who’s to say what the right or wrong way to be social. I’d be surprised if everyone read all the tweets they get anyway. Rather than telling people what they can and cannot tweet, just unfollow them!

    • I think you need to take a look at why you’re on Twitter and decide whether or not what you’re actually putting out is helping you to meet your goals. IMO, the “good morning” tweets, the constant tweeting about your wife, the same old motivational quotes…they’re not helping. At all. And if that’s the case you’re using social media to waste your time, not do business.

  9. I love this list! Your posts always brighten my day. :)

    I might add the “what I’m having for dinner” posts. Especially if you’ve taken the time to upload photos of your food. Unless you’re a restaurant showing me a photograph of your delicious special of the day.

  10. Great post! Not too long ago, I was a complete twitter newb and made many of these mistakes…. because you learn twitter from doing twitter, and that was what everyone else was doing. Didn’t take me too long to realize that most of that was a complete waste of time, and thought life.
    Thanks!

  11. Glad to see Group Think is alive and well in Social Media! Just a sampling from this week from only two of you ;[

    LisaBarone
    Its Raining Men on the radio. #fuckyeahfriday

    jillwhalen
    It kinda sucks that when I’m in my house, my cellphone rarely notifies me that someone’s calling me until 20 mins. later.

    jillwhalen
    Do people actually call back those who leave voice mails saying they’re “calling for telemarketing purposes”? #weirdos

    jillwhalen
    Got a voicemail from Google Inc. It was 2 seconds of static.

    jillwhalen
    5:30 PM friday IM – Husband: heading home. 5:32: Just got email from [BIG CLIENT] Not leaving yet. 6:15 Ok they’re happy…leaving! #weekend

  12. I’m perfectly fine with mine tweets as well. They’re at least original and they’re my own voice. Which “good morning twitter” is not.

    That aside, Lisa was talking about people who feel they don’t have the time for social media. That’s not me! Social media is in my blood as I’ve been doing it since the ’90’s. There are 2 kinds of people in the world, those who enjoy social media in a natural way and those who don’t get it and just aren’t comfortable sharing.

    The latter group doesn’t know what to Tweet so they stick with what they think they’re supposed to Tweet. Which only makes them sound like everyone else on Twitter. Boring.

  13. Based on this post i can say that:

    It was created on a very bad monday morning, by someone who’s been having or had a very bad relationship status, who saved all that negative energy mentioned on bullet 8 and this post should not be shared or re tweeted because everyone else has already read it o knows about it.

  14. Practice what you preach much?

    “It’s a Snickerdoodle coffee and Girl Talk kind of morning” (see #1)
    “Restless night. Today won’t be pretty.” (see #1)
    “It’s nice that the Atrium blasts out music. And by “nice” I mean, OMG, CAN YOU STOP?!” (See #8)
    “5.5 weeks til Christmas.” (See #4 – AKA crap everyone knows)
    “First Monday back in Troy in 2 weeks. Today’s going to be an awesome (albeit crazy) day!” (is that a two-fer? #1 and #10)

    • If you don’t see the difference between “Good morning, Twitter” and any of the tweets you selected, then it’s clear we have two very different uses for Twitter.

  15. Thank you Lisa.
    This is a very accurate list!
    I see these day after day, even from “Twitter veterans”,
    and it’s frustrating. Life’s too short to read menial junk.

    For years, I’ve advised clients, and just plain tweeted:
    “Be human, but go back and read your own stream to get a sense of
    which were superfluous chatter, that dilutes your stream quality.
    There are millions of things people can spend their precious time on.
    If you’ve got someone’s attention, don’t be so self absorbed that you
    take it for granted, with the trite minutia of your day…”

  16. I’m guilty of… 6 & 8. Which makes me happily passive-aggressive? I just got married, which explains the former, and I commute on transit for 3 hours a day, which explains the latter.

    I don’t tend to tweet out a bunch of social media links or make a big production of saying hi to my “twitterfam” each day, complete with individual greetings to everyone who could potentially be online. And I LOATHE the bizarro content cycle that leaves everyone in the universe linking to the same. five. posts. They’re not THAT good, even if they’re that good.

    But the ones that make me the most insane are the quote tweets and the “I’m hustlin’!” tweets. Good! You’re inspired! You’re working hard! Doesn’t mean you need to channel Tony Robbins. Blech.

  17. This is excellent advise. Have a plan and stick to it. Slate your social media comments and posts just like you would other tasks. And keeping your tweets or posts relevant is the way to go.

  18. Can we add the “oooh, I’m only 3 Facebook friends away from 1,000, please come friend me!” tweets? Or their variation, the daily “please please please come vote for me at online competition XYZ!!!” tweets?

  19. I’m going to add those tweets that a junior member of an organization does once a day while sipping their first coffee of the morning, and often it’s nothing more than a link to an article on Outspoken Media!

  20. I agree with all of the above except the inspirational quotes comment. I’ve run a few different Twitter accounts over the years and the quotes I’ve posted have consistently been heavily retweeted.

    That said, you need to pick interesting, preferably off-beat quotes, ideally somehow related to your topic. As much as I love Shakespeare, he’s been tweeted to death.

    Having a sense of humor about it helps, too. Doing it to seem profound turns people off because they know it’s a shame. Approaching it from a lighter, “I think this is cool” (without saying that) intention works much better.

  21. You do need to be conversational to a great extent on twitter. It is easy to pick out a self promoter. It’s all about building relationships and earning trust for your brand.

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