16/04/2014

5 Easy Ways to Stop Twitter Addiction [Social Thursday]

Announcing a new blog series: [Social Thursday]

Over the past few months I’ve been working heavily on my Twitter presence. Throughout this time I’ve learnt a lot about the best ways to create engagement, credibility and increase your following on Twitter. As you probably know, Twitter is growing in a staggering pace [DATA], and so are the third-party tools around it. Therefore the learning never stops and I’m learning new, exciting things everyday.

From now on, I’m going to dedicate Thursdays to posts about social media and Twitter in particular. I’m going to share a lot of my knowledge and experience, to review related products and more. I hope it helps you succeed. Your feedback and ideas are welcome of course…

twitter addiction

 

How to Stop Twitter Addiction

I’ve been using Twitter since 2007, but only a few months ago did I start exploring its full potential. Although my hard work had paid off, spending countless hours engaging with other tweeps, reading tweets and retweeting them came with a price tag. I realized that, like many of you, I was a twitter-addict. There are many reasons why, just like Facebook (or even more) Twitter would keep us to the edge of our seat. That could easily require a separate post.

However, I’m going to assume you don’t care why you’re addicted. You just want to be rehabbed… So here are 7 ways to stop Twitter addiction:


#1.Limit your Twitter-time

Have you ever heard of Parkinson’s Law? It says that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. In other words, it means that if you had 12 hours free, you’d tweet 12 hours. If you had only, say, 15 minutes a day allocated for tweeting, the task would suddenly look simpler and take much less time. While it doesn’t always work ‘right out of the box’, it’s a good idea to limit yourself to a reasonable amount of time on Twitter, just like you would on any other social network. Once you @mention others they will get your tweet and reply you even if you’re away.

Takeaways
Set an egg timer. I suggest a session of 15 minutes a day or 2 sessions of 15 minutes each, to accommodate time-zone differences. This free online stopwatch will get you started (thanks, @rachelkarl).

 

#2.Schedule tweets

Here’s the thing: On one hand, you need a certain ‘tweet frequency’ to build your presence on the social network. That’s how it works, because unlike Facebook and other social networks where there’s an actual page of posts, Twitter is more like a river – a constant flow of information. If you don’t flow with it, you are soon forgotten behind. On the other hand, you can’t spend all day on Twitter right? We’re trying to rehab you here, remember? So what do you do?

Well, my advice is to schedule tweets. It’s ok; no one really expects you be chained to your laptop 24/7. There are also time-zone differences which mean you can’t be up when all your followers are. Just don’t forget to also engage with people. That’s where Twitter gets really fun as well as powerful.

Takeaways
Follow @awsamuel’s social media plan. It’s a good plan to get started with. @ChrisBrogan suggests that for every self-promotion, RT 12 links to other people’s posts. I tend to agree.

 

#3.When it’s time to say Goodbye…

I bet you’ve seen this kind of conversations:
Tweep A: RT (your link here) < Great post!
Tweep B: Thanks a lot for the RT!
Tweep A: You’re welcome :)
Tweep B: How is it going, by the way?
Tweep A: Going great, sunny day… How bout you?
Tweep B: Not too bad, thanks.

You see, it’s taken 6 tweets for a pretty boring, not too valuable conversation, let’s face it… I’m not saying you shouldn’t be polite, but Tweep B could have done without the How is it going… bit, and the world would have kept turning. There’s time to talk and time to say goodbye! Twitter is an open conversation platform, so every time you tweet it creates more noise on the public timeline of your followers.

Takeaways
Think before you tweet and keep conversations short and sweet… You’ll save a lot of time and your followers will love you more :)

 

 

A lot of tweets...

#4.Clean your stream

One of the things that really get us hooked into Twitter is the constant flow of tweets in the public timeline (our followers’ feed). Sometimes the pace is so rapid that you can hardly click on a link before another 30 tweets turn up. Worse yet, probably most of these tweets are useless junk in the form of automated feeds/sales messages/hashtag spam etc. Useless waffle but eats up your valuable time all the same!

Takeaways
Every few weeks, spend about 20 minutes in front of Twitter and weed out the time-wasters as you please:

  • The tweeters on steroids (tweet every 5 minutes or so. I’m not talking about conversations, but rather about automated tweets)
  • The followers’ obsessed (FOLLOW ME, I’LL FOLLOW YOU BACK etc.). No offense if that’s you but these tweeps know nothing about value or engagement.
  • The classic spam bots (a weird username, no profile photo, no followers but 1000s of updates us, tweets like: “Did you hear this, Douglas?” followed by your handle and an affiliate link to some crap.)
  • The hashtag spammers (weather it’s #5thingsyoucantdo or #obama – as long as it’s trending, they’ll tweet about it, just to get a bit of attention.)
  • The @reply spammers (they are real, annoying people who try to get your followers attention. They would simply @reply to you with an affiliate link.)

You can use Tweepi and ManageFlitter to speed up the process.

 

#5.Use lists

Even if your timeline is cluttered, there’s still hope… You can use lists, which are filtered by your followers’ location, bio, following/followers count and a lot more. This way your Twitter sessions become much more useful and relevant and it’s much easier to keep them short.

Takeaways

 

What about you?

Are you addicted to Twitter?

What makes Twitter so addictive?

Any ideas on how to fight Twitter addiction?

Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

If this article has been of value to you, why not share the love by tweeting it, sharing it on Facebook, digging it or stumbling it? Thanks…

About Adam

Adam is a blogger, writer, marketer and a designer by day. By night he surfs the darkest corners of the Internets in search for quality independent content. He then shares that on twitter.
He also enjoys running, cooking and watching cats sleep.

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"What I have become addicted to is not Twitter... it is your blog..."

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Comments

  1. Sarah Mitus says:

    I'm excited to see what comes of social Thursday.

    I certainly feel like I'm a twitter addict, and have trouble maintaining the small increments of time. If you are going to limit twitter time, consider using it during a time a tweet chat is occurring in your field. This will give more exposure in a smaller time frame than a normal time to tweet, if you use the chat hashtag.

    • AdamTroudart says:

      Thanks for your helpful tip Sarah!
      I don't normally use hashtags to follow chats but I should start doing that!

      I'm just as excited about Social Thursday. Please tell me if there's any content you'd like to see there…

  2. April says:

    So, I think I am a Twitter addict! But I love engaging with tweeps pure and simple. The whole idea of Twitter is about 'conversations' and sharing information is it not? Sometimes I do feel that becoming too clinical takes the 'fun' out of the whole concept.

    However I get that I am also making connections for my business too. It can be hard finding a balance.

    I found myself cringing when you described some of the 'types' of twitter users out there and started to think 'was I one of them'? – #paranoid!!!! :)

    I too hate automated tweets and detest tweeps who don't respond to Dm's.

    This post has made me start to think hard about 'why I use Twitter'

    Thanks Adam fro making me 'think' again!!!

    Great post …..

  3. if I tweet this, does it make me an addict? nice piece, good advice. thanks.

  4. AdamTroudart says:

    That would make you a RT Addict :D

    Thanks Jann…

  5. Nice information that you presented here. I know I limit my time on Twitter and just try and make sure that things are on a nice flow.
    My recent post Why Is Google Always Late To The Party

    • AdamTroudart says:

      Thanks. Actually if you really want to build a thriving community around your personal brand, the more time you spend on Twitter, the better. Just see what @GaryVee has done using Twitter, Tumblr etc. But that does take a lot of, well, hustle…

    • AdamTroudart says:

      Thanks a lot Justice.
      You are right, but actally after reading Crush it! (my review is here: http://adamtroudart.com/crush-it-review/ ) I realized that spending hours on Twitter can actually be beneficial, IF you are following a strategy (ex: having lead capture pages in place, updating your blog regularly and so on). What do you think?

  6. Yea dude,

    Definitely limiting the time spent, and scheduling tweets is a MUST!!!! Love the new social series man, keep it coming. I am working on a Social Media School launch, and I would love to have you help work on a module or something… Details soon…

    Surfs up!
    My recent post 5 Reasons You Must Write Down Your Goals

    • AdamTroudart says:

      Thanks dude. Scheduling tweet is a must unless you have all the time in your hands. Social Media School sounds cool! Is it going to be online? I'd love to help with anything, just let me know! Keep surfing…

  7. I find this interesting…..and I will tell you I love cheese.

  8. To be honest, I find one of the easiest ways to stop twitter addiction is to just disable notifications. This way I am not tempted to go onto Twitter as often. The hardest addiction to break in my eyes is Facebook!

    • Adam says:

      I find the best way to manage social media is to dedicate, say, 30 minutes a day or even an hour every evening and just go through all the networks. This way you’re highly focused and much more efficient. Disabling notifications can help too but if notifications bother you it means you check your email very often, which is yet another addiction (I’m guilty of that too)… Facebook is indeed more addictive. I think the reason is that there is much more content there – long posts, images, videos and it’s that long feed you keep scrolling down and it never ends. It’s like a different world you enter, a complete eco-system. I think the best way to fight Facebook addiction is to avoid it altogether and to use it only once a day during your social media sessions or when you really have a specific reason, like answering a message or uploading a certain photo.

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