Improving Productivity on Twitter

#TwitterSmarter Chat Recap with Chris Dack: Providing Customer Service on Twitter

As everyday Twitter users, we all strive to get the most out of our time and effort. However, as we often try and spend a lot of our time engaging and creating content, we compromise productivity. Even though we know that quality is more important than quantity, some of us struggle to hit the right balance when it comes to social media.

That’s why we invited digital marketing consultant, Chris Dack, to help us understand what we can do to increase our productivity on Twitter. We asked about automation tactics, do’s and don’ts, and more. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Chris Dack
Topic: Improving Productivity on Twitter
Format: eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: How much time should you spend in a day engaging on Twitter?

A simple rule of thumb is to aim for about 30 minutes a day engaging. But remember—it also depends on your daily workload and commitments on other social channels.

You could spend all 30 minutes at a time, but that can quickly become overwhelming. Instead, as Nick suggested, consider doing out 10-15-minute blocks throughout the day to ensure you’re timely with people in other time zones as well.

One of the most common problems with drawing up guidelines like this is that it’s easy to go overboard. Before you start scrolling through the bottomless feed, see that you’re not wasting time being in the wrong place at the wrong time. As Christopher rightly pointed out, if your audience aren’t on Twitter, then you might not need to spend as much time. It all depends on what your audience wants and how much you can offer.

Q2: Can you be productive without posting original content every time?

Yes, you can. Like Sabrina told us, share other people’s content as much as you can. We consume content online all the time. Found something that you enjoyed? Other people might too—share it, credit it, and engage with those original authors.

Just remember though, as Erin said, it’s essential that you credit your source. It’s not only nice to tag them and say how much you appreciate their work, but it’s also a violation to take credit for someone else’s work.

Wondering how to find great content that’s worth sharing? Our guest talked about the treasure trove that’s Advanced Search. It’s a great way to find content from industry leaders, about any topics you care about. You can filter and search content by keywords, hashtags, dates, accounts, and even links and engagement.

Q3: What’s the difference between creating and curating content?

The main difference between the two is that creating refers to all the blogs, articles, social media posts, ebooks, and courses that you design and offer your audience.

Curating, on the other hand, refers to any resources you share that other people have created. This includes all the links, videos, podcasts, images, and infographics that you find online. Whenever you share such material, remember to thank and acknowledge the owner.

One interesting way to think about them, like our friend suggested, is that all content you create is a direct result of how you want to establish yourself. It can be a reflection of your primary message, while also offering something to your audience.

Whereas curating is finding material that your audience will appreciate. Mind you, you can also curate a bunch of blogs from industry experts, and still include one or two of your own articles that you’ve recently updated.

As Rachel reminded us, curating is also a great way to use other people’s content to show how it relates to your own brand.

Q4: What are some ways to curate content?

Curating is a game of mix-and-match. Chris uses a combination of sources to get his curate-worthy content. And it’s easy too—use Feedly to find seasonal content across industries, subscribe to influential people on YouTube for videos, and follow some of your competitors and industry leaders on LinkedIn for more varied content. Pull them together and you’ve got a great mix of content in different formats and lengths, ideal for curating.

You can also just… search. As I said before, Twitter’s Advanced Search is an excellent functionality to find almost any type of content. Like Jake suggested, look for top publications, hashtags, influencers, lists, and more.

And of course, join a Twitter chat! As Janet said, chats are a great way to come across so many useful content pieces. You can even curate a set of tweets in a Twitter Moment and share that with your audience.

Q5: How does scheduling content increase productivity?

Well, it’s takes one thing off your to-do list. But scheduling also helps you keep your profile updated at all times. Like our guest, you can also use your free time to find content and schedule them so that you can spend more of your social media time engaging with people in real-time.

Dr. Donald made a great point about having the mindset to create. That’s true—most of us need to dedicate time and energy to create something useful. When you allocate time to create new content, you can then sprinkle that content throughout your scheduled calendar and have something valuable to share every time. It also gives you a clear picture of what you have planned for your social media for the upcoming weeks.

Remember, though, it’s also important to keep an eye on your scheduled posts. In a constantly changing world, something might happen that changes your post radically. Some news may even render your content useless, like Avery pointed out. Always be aware of your scheduled posts.

And of course, no matter how many wonderful and helpful posts you curate and schedule, if you’re not there to help out someone in real-time, you’re losing audience. As Gabriela said, you can’t automate engagement.

Q6: What are some tools that help schedule content?

Ah, there’re so many! Chris mainly uses Hootsuite, and many of our chat regulars vouch for its ease of use as well.

Some of Madalyn’s favorites, aside from Hootsuite, are Buffer, Social Jukebox, and Agorapulse.

Here are a few more tools that our community members shared.

  • Sprout Social
  • Metricool
  • ContentCal
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Pocket

But you don’t always have to think fancy. Most of these tools have a free version, even if it’s not displayed on their pricing pages. You can trial the product and continue using it even after your trial ends. Tweet Deck is another entirely free tool that is great for scheduling, as well as monitoring lists, hashtags, and other users’ content.

Q7: What are the do’s and don’ts of scheduling content on Twitter?

Don’t shy away from repurposing good old content. Evergreen is meant to be revised and re-shared. And when you update such content, schedule them for the next few weeks or months, so that they’re constantly adding value to newer audience.

If you’re curating content, don’t schedule without reading them first. Every time you share a post, you’re endorsing the content and the author. You don’t want to be vouching for people you don’t really know.

When it comes to scheduling, planning your content is essential. However, as our friend said, don’t go overboard. Take it a week or two at a time. That way, you can still share new and relevant content every time. Plus, you never know what’s coming.

What if you’d scheduled a post about ways to use commute time effectively, only for the whole world to start working from home in less than a week? Bad timing can be disastrous.

Here are a few other ideas our members shared.


  • Check your spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
  • Have a strategy and schedule content around your goals.
  • Allow for flexibility and timely posts in your schedule.
  • Check your schedule regularly to make sure it remains relevant.
  • Follow up with people who engage with your content.
  • Use proper hashtags to elevate your reach.


  • Schedule one-on-one responses.
  • Overuse hashtags or jump on trends that change so often.
  • Respond without compassion or humility. Don’t be a bot—in other words.

Q8: What are some Twitter features that help increase productivity?

Twitter Lists, of course. It’s an amazing way to categorize people you want to hear from. It’s also an easy way to keep up with tweets rather than on your fleeting feed. Madalyn has a blog that covers all you need to know about Lists.

We also had an entire #TwitterSmarter chat dedicated to Twitter Lists. Check out the summary for some of the basics we covered.

Advanced Search, as I said (twice in this post already!), is also a good tool to generate ideas. If you’re looking for news and current events that the world is talking about right now, take a look at the Explore functionality. You’ll even see Moments featuring all the top global events, all curated by Twitter itself.

Oh, and bookmarks. Since most Twitter users often used the Like button to save content they wanted to come back to afterward, Twitter finally brought the bookmarking feature. Saving and returning is now easier than ever.

If you’ve managed the social media account of a brand, you’ll resonate with Sarah. There was a time when you had to log out of Twitter and log into another account every time you wanted to share a personal tweet. Now though, you can switch between multiple accounts easily. Tweet Deck also has that feature.

The Media Studio is also a slightly-less known feature that helps you analyze your content, schedule posts, and optimize your time and energy.

And finally, as Lady Lecondoliak said, the most important aspect of Twitter that’s guaranteed to increase productivity, is the log out feature. We all deserve breaks, folks.

Well, that’s all from me this week. Thanks for reading, and for more insight from our chat with Chris, check out this Twitter Moment that Joana put together. If you’ve got some time next Thursday, join us for the #TwitterSmarter chat at 1pm ET.

These are strange and testing times. If you’re struggling and need someone to talk to, hit me up any time.

Stay safe and vigilant, people. ?


About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

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