The Minimalist Guide to Twitter: How to Handle It in 15 Minutes a Day

by Jimmy Daly


Has this ever happened to you?

You started a blog and excitedly venture over to Twitter to share your newest blog post.

You type your message, click Tweet and you’re just about to leave when…

Something in your timeline catches your eye.

It’ll only take a few seconds to check it out, right?

Then you see something else. Then something else.

And before you know it, an hour has passed and you’re left wondering where the hell your time went.

It’s a common problem. Twitter’s a powerful tool for bloggers, but it’s also a dangerous distraction.

Scrolling endlessly through your feed can feel productive – particularly when you tell yourself it’s research – but deep down you know it’s the opposite. Even the “proven” social strategies seem to deliver nothing.

So, is it possible to get the benefits of Twitter without being sidetracked by the distractions or wasting time on ineffective tactics?

Fortunately, it is.

In fact, it’s possible in just 15 minutes a day. Here’s how…

The Secret to Getting Better Results in Less Time on Twitter

Twitter can be a valuable tool for bloggers, but it can also be a major time suck. Being successful on Twitter with minimal effort means being ruthless with your time.

Typically, bloggers face two main obstacles to a minimalist approach.

Firstly, the Twitter platform itself is loaded with distractions. The feed constantly updates, leaving you anxious to stick around just to see what the next tweet says. Twitter Ads and “helpful” suggestions of new people to follow threaten to send you down a new rabbit hole every few minutes. And frankly, it’s overwhelming.

Secondly, the web is swimming with advice about getting better results from Twitter and so you can easily struggle to cut through the noise. A Google search for “Twitter marketing” returns 678 million results. Good luck sorting through all that! The result is that you feel constant pressure to try the latest strategy without knowing whether it will work.

Despite these distractions, a couple of simple rules will help you make the most of your Twitter time without becoming a Twitter addict.

Rule #1: Visit sparingly

It’s counter-intuitive, but you can achieve most of what you need to do as a Twitter-savvy blogger without actually visiting

Minimizing the time spent on the main site lets you focus on your agenda – not Twitter’s – and numerous tools exist that allow you to leverage the platform more indirectly.

Rule #2: Stay focused on a small number of goals

Much of the overwhelm that bloggers experience in relation to Twitter comes from a lack of focus. They try too many approaches at once, hoping that one of them will lead to success.

That’s why it’s important to get laser-focused on a few goals.

Let’s look at what those goals should be.

2 Smart Goals for Traffic-Hungry Bloggers

Most bloggers ultimately want more traffic from Twitter and that means concentrating on two specific areas:

  1. Getting more followers (particularly users who have a large network of their own)
  2. Increasing conversions (i.e., getting more clicks from your tweets)

Sure, other goals may lead to more blog traffic, but time spent on these two has the best chance of yielding results. Here’s why:

  • The more followers you have, the more people on average will see each of your tweets. This means more people to click your links and retweet your content.
  • The higher your conversions, the more traffic you get on average from each tweet.

Remember, we’re not trying to do everything that works. Just to get smarter about where we’re spending our time.

The Most Effective Tactics for Getting More Followers and Conversions

If you want Twitter success in just 15 minutes a day, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for goofing around.

Getting more Twitter followers and converting more tweets into clicks boils down to using a small number of proven tactics.

So let’s review those tactics before digging into how you can make them work effectively in the least possible time.

The following Twitter behaviors are the building blocks of any successful Twitter strategy:

  • Tweeting often. At one level, Twitter success is simply a numbers game – you’re not going to gain traction on the platform with one tweet a week. With the right combination of value and frequency, followers will start to form a habit of clicking and sharing your tweets. Five tweets per day is a good base level – increase for as long as engagement continues to rise.
  • Using hashtags. Hashtags are the glue that bonds Twitter discussions together. Total strangers who share a common interest can be connected with a single hashtag. Using hashtags is the easiest way to expand your reach beyond your current follower list and tap into the full power of the Twitter platform.
  • Retweeting influencers. Retweeting – Twitter’s version of content curation – can be valuable for your followers and a way to get noticed by the influencers whose content you share. A retweet is a gesture of goodwill and a great way to start a relationship with an influencer who may reciprocate with a follow or a future retweet of your content.
  • Favoriting tweets. Like retweeting, favoriting is an effective way to get noticed by influencers who might one day share your content. When you favorite a tweet, the owner receives a notification – often by email – alerting them. This is a cool way to “introduce” yourself to influencers who you want to share your content and tweets.
  • Joining Twitter chats. How often are people interested in networking with strangers? Not that often, but it happens during Twitter chats all the time. Twitter chats relevant to your industry are a great way to get more followers and conversions.
  • Writing a killer bio. Your Twitter bio is your social media elevator pitch. Make sure it describes who you are, gets people excited to follow you, and uses keywords relevant to your business. Use power words and sensory details, if appropriate.

Those are the basic tactics. But how will you implement them without sacrificing too much of your precious time to the Twitter gods?

3 Simple Ways to Minimize Your Time on Twitter

The tactics described above are highly effective, but they still have the capacity to eat into a big chunk of your day.

The key to time-efficient Twitter mastery is to find ways to get the benefit from the various tactics without having to spend lots of time on them.

And there are three basic strategies for achieving more in less time:

  • Efficiency – reducing the time required to complete necessary manual tasks.
  • Optimization – getting better results from the effort you put in.
  • Automation – converting time-consuming manual tasks into automated tasks.

Let’s take a closer look at each to identify all the ways you can use Twitter not just faster, but better.

Strategy #1: Increase Your Efficiency

Take advantage of keyboard shortcuts

One way to spend as little time as possible on is to be as efficient as possible while you’re there.

So did you know that Twitter has simple keyboard shortcuts for common tasks?

Imprint these on your brain to save mouse clicks – and precious time:

  • n – new tweet
  • f – favorite tweet
  • r – reply
  • t – retweet
  • cmd + enter – send tweet

Some of these work in popular Twitter apps such as TweetDeck too!

Cut through the noise with Twitter influencer lists

Retweeting and favoriting influencers’ tweets are powerful tactics, but how do you find them without getting lost in a river of content?

The trick is to create a small number of carefully-curated lists of Twitter influencers. Once you have a list, you can bookmark its URL and navigate directly to that page when you visit Twitter, avoiding your main feed altogether.


Third-party tools such as and Twitlistmanager make building Twitter lists very easy. And if you are following a specific hashtag – for example one related to a live event – the List Builder for Twitter Chrome extension can automatically create lists based on hashtag use.

If you really want to get fancy with lists, you can use Zapier to save tweets from influencers to a Google Spreadsheet. There, you can analyze them further and keep a real-time swipe file of inspiration for your own tweets.

Easily find shareable content with these new Buffer features

Most bloggers are aware of Buffer – it’s a fantastic tool for scheduling your Twitter (and other social media) updates in batches.

But Buffer also has a couple of less-well-known features that will help you discover high-quality content to share, normally a time-consuming task.

Similar to Twitter lists but centered around sites not users, the new “Feeds” feature connects your Buffer account to your favorite site’s RSS feeds so you can add articles to your queue with a single click.

Also, check out the Daily app (iOS only) – a Tinder-style app that uses the “swipe right if you like it, swipe left if you don’t” model to quickly share from a list of daily favorites curated by the Buffer team.


Strategy #2: Optimize Your Efforts

Discover the perfect time and frequency for your tweets

You wouldn’t be surprised to learn that tweeting when it’s the middle of the night for most of your readers is unlikely to get the best results. But working out the optimal time for your tweets is not so easy.

Tweet frequency also affects results. Track Social found that brands get much higher engagement – up to 300% – by tweeting more than once a day. But more than five tweets per day lowered engagement levels. Of course, this doesn’t mean that five tweets per day is the right formula for every blogger, but a sweet spot likely exists for your audience too.

Another school of thought says the more you tweet, the more clicks and retweets you’ll get overall, even if the average value per tweet is lower. Buzzfeed posts nearly 100 times per day and still gets 370 retweets per tweet – but they have a large following and will certainly be spending longer than 15 minutes a day on their efforts.

Here are a few tools to help you optimize the timing of your tweets.

  • Tweriod analyzes engagement on past tweets and suggests optimal times for posting. You can connect it to Buffer and automatically use Tweriod’s suggested times for queued tweets.
  • Hootsuite has an Autoschedule feature which uses an algorithm to decide when your tweets should be posted based on past history and other user data.

Use targeted tools to optimize other Twitter tasks

Adjusting your tweet timing and frequency are not the only ways to optimize your Twitter efforts.

You can supercharge various other Twitter tactics by getting smarter about where you focus your limited time.

Here’s how:

Strategy #3: Automate Common Tasks

Automation is the Holy Grail for the time-conscious Twitter user. Setting things up so you can gain followers and increase traffic without any additional manual effort on your part (beyond any initial configuration) is one of the best ways to scale your Twitter activity.


Fortunately, you have no shortage of automation options.

The downside is that searching for the perfect set of automations is just another time suck, so find a few tools that work for you and ignore the rest.

The following list is a great place to start:

  • IFTTT: Create custom recipes to automate a variety of Twitter-related tasks, for example: add content from RSS feeds to Twitter or Buffer; automatically add users whose tweets you’ve favorited to a custom list; trigger an email when a important influencer posts a new tweet. (You can find more ideas here.)
  • SumAll: Get daily email reports about your Twitter activity and engagement.
  • Buzzsumo: Get a notification when a topic, person or brand is being tweeted about.
  • Mention: Track mentions of topics and people on Twitter and beyond. Get email updates on new mentions.
  • Evergreen Post Tweeter: Automatically tweet old posts on your blog using a WordPress plugin.
  • Nuzzel: Receive a daily email of content that your Twitter followers are talking about.
  • Timing App: Find out exactly how much time you spend on Twitter.

Your 15-Minute Daily Power Plan for Twitter

Now that you have all the tools you need to manage Twitter efficiently, it’s time to craft a 15-minute plan of action.

Here’s a template you can use to plan your own Twitter strategy, broken down minute by minute.

1 – 5: Check your Twitter notifications and reply to people who have questions. Check analytics in Buffer, Hootsuite or Twitter Analytics for yesterday’s wins. Apply those lessons to today. Specifically, look for tweets with a high number of clicks or retweets. If you’ve found something that works well, schedule it again and don’t be afraid to ask for a retweet from someone influential.

6 – 10: Check email alerts from Buzzsumo, Mention, Nuzzel, etc. Schedule tweets/retweets in Buffer and add relevant content ideas to your swipe file. Share your latest content with your best followers and ask them to share it. Pro tip: Make sure your Evergreen Post Tweeter schedule doesn’t overlap directly with your Buffer schedule. Use the data from Tweriod to optimize each.

11 – 15: Add content to your Buffer queue via RSS feeds. Add your own content and that of other influencers. Try to share content your followers won’t find elsewhere by regularly visiting relevant subreddits and forums. Use to add the best hashtags.

Are You Ready to Become a Twitter Minimalist?

In the real world, most bloggers take one of two paths with Twitter.

Either they launch themselves headfirst into every new Twitter strategy and try not to worry too much about all the time they’re spending (or maybe wasting) on social media.

Or they ignore Twitter altogether and simply try to suppress the fear that by doing so they’re making a huge mistake and missing out on tons of targeted traffic.

But a third path exists. Twitter minimalism.

The Twitter minimalist creates the perfect balance between effort and results.

They focus on just a few tactics. They get efficient with necessary manual tasks; they optimize to achieve better results; they automate to put their Twitter success on autopilot.

So why not invest a little time in creating your own 15-minute Twitter power plan?

Because when you do it right, a little effort can go a long way.

About the Author: Jimmy Daly is the content editor at Vero. Based in Tucson, Ariz., he is a runner, fitness nut and outdoorsman. Follow him on Twitter and Google+ for updates on email marketing, content, productivity and fitness.
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Jimmy Daly


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Written by Jimmy Daly

58 thoughts on “The Minimalist Guide to Twitter: How to Handle It in 15 Minutes a Day”

  1. Hey Jimmy,

    Great tips you’ve given us here!

    To date, I’ve concentrated primarily on Google Plus. But a couple months ago I decided it was time to incorporate Twitter into my social media strategy. I must admit… it’s been a much slower go than Google Plus. In five months on G+, I’ve gone from 22 to 10,006 followers! On Twitter, I’ve only managed 544 so far.

    All that to say, your tips will come in handy for me (since I have had a tendency to spend too much time on Google Plus). Any info which helps me work smarter not harder is welcomed info. 🙂

    You did a great job, Jimmy. I’m going to reread to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Tweeting this shortly!

    – Kevin

    • Kevin – Sounds like you should write this same post for G+ users. 22 to 10,006 followers is super impressive. What kind of traffic do you get from G+? At the moment, we are getting about 10% of our monthly traffic on the Vero blog from Twitter.

      • Hey Jimmy,

        Not a bad idea!

        Surprisingly, G+ trails Twitter in referrals — even though it has 18 times as many followers. Twitter is responsible for about 11% of the traffic Be A Better Blogger receives, while G+ is responsible for just under 9%.

        I’m pleased to have the G+ followers I have now, but I definitely wish I had that number on Twitter. 🙂

        And speaking of Twitter, I just followed you. Hope you have an awesome Thursday, Jimmy.

        – Kevin

      • #blogphotochat is the one I’m a regular at – but of course it entirely depends on the organiser and how regular the chats are.

        I’ll check out #bufferchat as I love their product (and also will have my own starting in the new year – #copychat – to talk about writing and copy)

  2. How do you do that? You are always reading my mind and I don’t even know you. 🙂
    Last night I was thinking about quitting Twitter because it does not bring any readers to my blog and I find it to be very much less user friendly than FB. Thanks for your thoughts on Twitter.

  3. Nice work, Jimmy!

    Twitter is dangerous for someone who’s school reports used to say ‘easily distracted’. Social media can be amazing, when used well but so, so harmful for our productivity when we need to be focusing on our agendas. So this is really useful stuff….

    Two approaches I’ve been using for ages which are working magically is a personal ‘no internet before noon’ policy which gets the most important task of the day done. Also having ‘focus’ days when I’m zoned in on purely creating content. Wireless off. Takes discipline but I realised I miss out on very little for the long-game.

    Having a fifteen minute approach to Twitter is only going to amplify this, thanks!

    Great to have a round-up of useful tools and a new strategy for twitter minimalism.

    As a user of some of these tools, and somebody who is really getting into minimalistic approaches, it’s always great to be introduced to many more powerful tools to create efficiency and increase productivity!

    Look forward to trying out to see what works for me.

  4. Thanks, Jimmy, for these very useful and Tweet-worthy tips. I’ve been assigned to lead a marketing project to promote the lnsideUp app for businesses and several of your suggestions will be going into our plan.

  5. This is an awesome resource. Many thanks. These tips will be extremely useful. I have just printed a copy for future reference and I’m now going to reread the post and make some notes.

  6. Hi Jimmy

    Really wonderful tips and quite time saving for those who use Twitter as a mean to achieve a higher end.

    It is widely admitted that once you arrive at Twitter it is not you who decides when to quit but it is the level of activity at your timeline that sets the time when you better go from there.

    Staying focused is the secrete of Twitter success for those who want to take its maximum advantage in minimum time.

    Thanks for sharing such wonderful tips.

  7. Thanks for a great post, Jimmy.

    Twitter definitely works. I got 2000 twitter followers in 28 days (cold market and highly targeted people which is interested in my niche: time management, productivity and goal setting.)

    Personally I`m using Hootsuite to plan my tweets (5 planned tweets per day) and Socialbro to get reports and auto-schedule messaging when people follow me, favorite my tweet, retweet or add me to a list.

    Thanks for good tips.

    Tor Refsland

      • Thanks, Jimmy.

        It was all organic 🙂

        What is your number #1 tip to get conversion (i.e. getting more clicks on your tweets) ?

        You say that you got 3,000+ visitors in a month to your website from Twitter. That is great. Did you do that from your Twitter account (Jimmy Daly) ? 🙂


      • Still damn good!

        Those visits are from Twitter as a whole. I use my personal account along with @veroapp to get things rolling but most of the traffic comes from RTs and people sharing directly from our blog or Buffer.

        As for more #1 conversion tip: Don’t oversell your content. In other words, train people to expect great content and don’t use flashy headlines that underdeliver. As they get used to visiting your site and clicking links in your feed, it’ll become second nature.

      • Thanks for the compliment and your great replies, Jimmy.

        You mention that a majority of the traffic to your site comes from RT, people sharing from blog or Buffer.

        Regarding traffic from Buffer, how does that work? Is it through the Daily app?


  8. Thank you for the fantastic tips and tools. I am fairly new to Twitter and admit to lurking instead of being an active participant. The tools you mentioned should be a great help to me!

  9. Thank you Jimmy for such a great post. I’ve just made the decision to get more active on Twitter. This post is very timely – they do say that when the student is ready the teacher arrives. With a full time job and what I call my side hustle – blogging – I really have to be both effective and efficient with my time. I already use Hootsuite and when I’ve been consistent with my scheduling I have seen good results. With the tools and your 15 minute daily power plan I’m sure that I’ll start to see better results. Than you.

  10. Wow, this is the great tips to get more and more traffic from twitter. Basically re-twit is necessary to build up the relation with followers. Thanks to share this idea.

  11. Great advice. Twitter is one of those black holes that can end up sucking your time if you are not careful so I truly appreciate these Twitter hacks to help me keep my time on there to a minimum!

  12. Can I say you are one in a million. 24 hours a go I made a decision to consciously work on getting new followers with strategies, timed goals and targets already penned down. Just checking through my mail I found your post. I agree it may take me an hour or more to get all set up with the tools, etc. but most definitely you’re in my influencers list and deserve a follow. Thank you.

  13. You’ve managed to solve real problems here. And I agree with all your points, especially the idea of visiting Twitter often. You can truly learn how to manage your account easily if you spend time knowing the platform. Good point about becoming a Twitter minimalist. I think it’s worth telling every online marketer to have this focus from now on.

  14. Twitter is dangerous for someone who’s school reports used to say ‘easily distracted’. Social media can be amazing, when used well but so, so harmful for our productivity when we need to be focusing on our agendas. So this is really useful stuff….

    Two approaches I’ve been using for ages which are working magically is a personal ‘no internet before noon’ policy which gets the most important task of the day done. Also having ‘focus’ days when I’m zoned in on purely creating content. Wireless off. Takes discipline but I realised I miss out on very little for the long-game.

  15. Hey Jimmy,
    Thanks so much for so many great tips and resources on how to better manage Twitter! You are so right, it can be addictive. And we all want to be more productive and better manage our time…
    15 minutes per day on Twitter is definitely a great habit to have.
    Actually, 15 minutes per day per social media platform where you want to be active is a good start.
    The key though is the consistency!
    Great post!

    P.S. I just registered to SumAll, thanks to you!

  16. I just spent the past hour going through this post. To be honest, I still don’t understand the appeal of twitter but now I know I will at least be able to use it effectively.

  17. Hi Jimmy,

    I’ve found that engaging frequently helps you get a bunch out of twitter in minimal time. Many gain no traction on the network because they rarely engage. Tweets from non engaged users go ignored; nobody likes to tweet a bot, or to click a bot account. You may be real and legit but if you never chat people won’t trust you.

    If you stop in 2-3 times daily to engage people, asking questions, sharing answers, and noticing others, people will notice you. I also found that like on any network, the time you put in yields either positive or negative results. Like, you’ll need to tweet smart, and not waste time on the network, but if you are spending 20 to 30 intelligent minutes on the site you’ll reap quite awesome results.

    15 minutes minimum, I’d say, and then tack on a few more if you’re keen to draw in followers and generate more traffic through the site. You get what you give, every time, so keep giving, and send out targeted tweets, and stay in the stream to maximize your returns through the site.

    Smart tips Jimmy. Tweeting with a plan saves you loads of time, for sure. Tweeting and Pinning from Bali 😉


  18. This is certainly a comprehensive way to be highly productive in Twitter. I’m a relative beginner at the twittering game, and at times it has looked daunting – the sheer number of tweets that come floating to your accounts (I have 2, one for each of my 2 website personalities). These tips will definitely make the whole Twitter process more manageable.

  19. Hi Jimmy,
    Great tips! If it is a new company trying to build content on their twitter page, how many post should they have a day? What would be reasonable without being over active?

  20. Hi Jim!
    Thanks for sharing these great tips. I never knew about the twitter shortcuts. Also, happy to see Mention among the tools to monitor Twitter.


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