Using Twitter for your school is a great way to share information, engage your audience, and help your inbound marketing efforts. The difficulty is that Twitter, and for that matter – all social media, will consume as many minutes as you allow it. Whether your “real” job at school is admissions, communications, marketing, advancement, development, or alumni – social media should be an integral part of your work effort. To that end, I’d like to help you manage your Twitter efforts by showing you how to tweet for your school in 30 minutes a week.
Before we get to your 30 minutes a week, there is some work that you’ll need to complete as preparation for your weekly efforts. The good news is that once you complete these tasks you won’t have to do them again so for that reason I don’t include their time in your 30 minutes.
1. Identify Internal News Sources
I believe that the best use of Twitter for a school is to share information. The first part of that sharing will come from internal sources including, but not limited to the following: school website, school RSS news feed, school blog, other social media channels including Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
2. Identify External News Sources
The second source of your Twitter information will come from external sources including, but not limited to the following: local newspaper, local major city newspapers, local Patch Newspaper, local library website, local community information. Spend about 3o minutes thinking about and identifying potential sources and it will be time well spent with your Twitter efforts.
3. Signup for a Timely Account
One of the tools that iLove is Timely. Timely is a free tool that allows you take control of your Twitter accounts by allowing you to schedule your tweets by adding them to a queue. Timely will then determine the best time to send out your Tweets – signup for a Timely account and then add your school’s Twitter account. Next, go to settings and select the number of times you’d like Timely to tweet for your school (We use 3 times a day and tweet on the weekends). Finally, drag the “Create a Timley” bookmark to your bookmarks bar in your browser to help you save even more time when scheduling your tweets.
[callout]Unfortunately, since I first published this post Timely has been retired. I now suggested that you try Buffer at www.bufferapp.com [/callout]
4. Select a Day/Time to spend your 3o minutes
I think it’s important to determine a day and time in your week when you are going to spend time scheduling tweets for Twitter. I think it’s important that you make this a scheduled meeting in your calendar and do it the same day and time every week. I happen to schedule tweets for my school on Monday mornings after I get a cup of coffee.
30 Minutes A Week
Now that you’ve completed your preparation it’s time to schedule tweets for your school. On the day and time that you’ve scheduled sit down at your computer and spend 25 minutes adding tweets to your Timely queue by going to the webpage, video, or photo you want to share and clicking on the “Create a Timely” bookmark in your bookmark bar. If you tweet like we do, 7 days a week and 3 times a day, you’ll need to add at least 21 items to your Timely queue.
Spend the remaining 5 minutes you have each week to add additional items to your queue as the need arises. Also spend a few minutes looking at the Performance Tab in your Timely queue to see which tweets work best for your school and make sure to add more of that kind of tweet each week.
One final word of advice is to try and follow the 75/25 rule when you tweet for your school. We have found the most success following this rule and have seen our engagement increase, our Twitter followers increase, and our retweets rise.
The 75/25 rules is simply this: 75% of the time tweet information related to your school and 25% of the time tweet information not related to your school like community events and news.
I’ve found success following this plan and am able to tweet for my school in only 30 minutes a week. I’m convinced that you too can be successful following this plan and hope that tweeting for your school seems a little less daunting. If you have any questions please let me know by posting your questions in the comments section below.