5 Twitter Tips for Managing

I will be brief with today’s intro: This is the 2nd of a 2-parter, and if you are newly joining me (perhaps because you’ve followed a tweet referral?) I highly recommend you take this first link below, start reading there, and come back.
[Isn’t blog linking from Twitter and blog-to-blog the grandest thing? I think so.]

Two days ago: Leadership Tuesday and 5 Twitter Tips for Leading
Today: Management Thursday and 5 Twitter Tips for Managing

For ultra-great context if you are new to my writing, you might also want to visit these posts before or after you read what follows. They will help you frame why I write of leading and managing as VERBS all managers employ for best usefulness. Title alone of the first one can be a possible extension to both my articles this week ”“ can you develop a 30/70 rhythm tweeting as a true Alaka‘i Twitter ninja?

  1. The 30-70 Rule in Leading and Managing [same post, TS link]
  2. Leadership is Why and When [same post, TS link]
  3. Management is What and How [same post, TS link]

Because I have clear definitions for management and leadership (as my Alaka‘i Language of Intention), I can measure the specific activities I associate with each one.

Here are the tips:

To make Twitter more useful to you as someone who manages:

1. Think of Twitter as a useful management tool

This first tip should be thought of as number 6 to my 5 Twitter Tips for Leading. We are shifting from idea generation to idea capture and implementation: Leading put you in collection mode. Managing helps you process what you collected.

To those who have said “I don’t have time for Twitter” I think you are partially right. None of us has time to waste on something that is a distraction versus a highly useful tool. Now that you are using Twitter for the research and development of more ideas, you have to capture those ideas and put them to good use. Fantastic news! Twitter can help you do that too.

A big advantage to Twitter is that once you consider it a management tool it’s way more fun than most work tools are. For our purposes with managing, we need to have Twitter help us channel energies which have now become available to us specifically when we have used it for more visionary progression (as we talked about in Part 1).

2. Capture. Give your new ideas context relevant to your work

In other words, figure out how you will process the stuff that Twitter now delivers to you. Design your system for capturing your ideas (Calendar? Notebook or Word doc? Excel spreadsheet? Sent to Gmail and labeled, tagged for Delicious or lifestream Tumbled?) How do you keep your project buckets organized? Capture your new Twitter ideas within your most effective productivity habits.

In Twitter itself, how do you use Favorites?

  • I use those in @rosasay to capture reading I need to finish, and ideas I have not yet processed into my personal work system using my Strong Week Plan and Weekly Review.
  • In contrast, I use the Favorites associated with my Twitter feed accounts as new follower tutorials (take a look at @talkingstory or @sayalakai and you will immediately see what I mean). I’ve tried both, and I have found that people who use the Twitter web client really prefer skimming Favorites-as-tutorials versus taking a bio link to a Twitter landing page, especially if they use your Twitter feed instead of RSS (they want a direct clink to your current blog post, and not to a Twitter landing page they have already read.)

Once you get intentional about the 5 Twitter Tips for Leading you will find that new ideas are flowing like a dam has burst somewhere in Idea Heaven, and they are coming at you like crazy. I advise you to be ruthless about purging and discarding anything which does not fit into the reasonableness of the coming week: Invoke the Pareto Principle. Things happen fast on Twitter, and you will continually get new inputs: If a current input doesn’t create a burning desire in you to act on it almost immediately, consider it clutter.

Don’t over-organize or get into analysis-paralysis: Go for simplicity and speed, and once you design your system for capture-with-context-relevance practice it consistently so you instill a new habit, for great habits put you on automatic pilot in a good way: You Are Your Habits, so Make ‘em Good!

3. Execute. Give your adaptive efforts boundaries. Tie to specificity

Number 2. should get you into a better Twitter rhythm. Now you must balance that: Know when to walk away and into the real world. Twitter isn’t going anywhere. Get your stuff done.

If you skim through the tweets on my conversational account and you will see that I use Twitter simply to play and have fun too, but I do that within the other boundaries I have set for myself there as defined by these 10 tips. My biggest self-imposed boundary is that I don’t tweet from a device like a cellphone or blackberry at all, and I will rarely tweet when I travel ”“ when I have downtime traveling I am working on the 5 Twitter Tips for Leading, and not these (as defined in those tips, I ‘read’ and will rarely ‘converse’ when I travel).

“Tie to specificity” is about finishing well: In your intentional leading with Twitter (Part 1) you set some goals. Now, within your intentional managing, you assess where you are with those goals and complete the idea-project you’d set your sights on.

This is where you also get real about just how much you can handle at any given time, handling it well or not at all. Better to completely ace one project than get mediocre results with several of them. At any given time I am only handling one goal with each of my Twitter accounts.

4. Change it up, but stick within your niche, project context or goal intention

It’s become cliché but it’s also true: Embracing change must be the new normal for managers today to succeed and survive. Well guess what; Twitter can help you with this too. Change it up there, but get the next shift for your change from how you are deciding to Lead on Twitter to begin with.

It may take you some time to get to this one, and understand how it differs from Tip number 1 in 5 Twitter Tips for Leading, “Think of Twitter as a Learning Resource and Idea Generator.” I have been on Twitter for about 18 months now, and the app is still evolving; thus my use of it does too: We change and shift together.

Some examples:
Within these tips I have focused on idea generation and capture, however you may choose to “change it up” in a number of ways. You can use Twitter for problem-solving. You can use Twitter for networking. You can use Twitter for job-hunting and mentorship. You can use Twitter for marketing, or as a Customer Feedback Loop. If you blog, you can use Twitter as a feed publisher and to build community. I am now experimenting with tweeting my book there, 140 characters at a time, and mixed in with some other value-alignment coaching (visit @MwAloha to check it out). Twitter is a tremendous resource when you travel to a place you’ve never been to before and want recommendations, or want to convert virtual connections into those invaluable face to face ones.

5. Follow others who walk in your shoes. Ask good questions. Give as well as you receive, and give more

Similar to blogs, gaining success on Twitter demands an abundance mentality: I love the way that competitiveness can melt away there because competitors become your “tweeple.” The web-based sense of place everyone shares is so vast we quickly come to realize there is enough business for everyone, and “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

Follow wisely, and over time you will find you have built a very like-minded community of managers who will probably have challenges and opportunities similar to yours. These tips have been progressive: You now share recommendations and networks with your Twitter neighborhoods and communities — and you share day-to-day workplace and market experiences. This is the pay-off you have been working toward, for now you can ask good questions and receive an abundance of helpful, highly relevant answers. I really would love to see more hard-working managers on Twitter who are asking questions like these:

  • “I am looking for a great staff meeting exercise with elements of play conducive to creativity: Any ideas?”
  • “I have a new employee who is extremely talented, well-qualified, but struggling with a language barrier. How can I help him?”
  • “I’ve no choice but to lay-off an exceptional customer-service agent, and she is a star! Dm me if you are looking for someone, and let’s talk.”

I tweet because it gives me access to people and information that I wouldn’t normally have access to through other channels of communication” I tweet because it’s a great place to get questions answered and research information in REAL TIME.
Tim Milburn, Why Do I Tweet?

I really believe we’ve just skimmed the surface with how Twitter, and other web-based apps like it, will help our communications evolve. Hang on for the ride, for I think it will continue to be pretty great.

As you tweet, say thank you as much as you can, and mean it, because Twitter has now become a management tool for you in practice and not just theory.

That makes 10: 5 Tips for Leading, 5 Tips for Managing

These two posts have talked you through the 10 Tips with being an Alaka‘i Twitter ninja. Let’s look at them one more time in a short form you can jot down on an index card kept close until they become habit:

5 Twitter Tips for Leading (Your Twitter SELF-LEADERSHIP)

1. Use Twitter for IDEA generation and to LEARN
2. Get specific to create a FERTILE Twitter ENVIRONMENT
3. Always LEAD as you READ and CONVERSE
4. Follow on Twitter to GOAL-FILTER
5. Capitalize on Twitter VISIBILITY. Lead with your VALUES

5 Twitter Tips for Managing (Your Twitter SELF-MANAGEMENT)

6. Use Twitter as a management TOOL
7. CAPTURE the best ideas and make them RELEVANT to your work
8. CHANGE IT UP to optimize, and stay fresh
9. Know when to walk away from Twitter to GET STUFF DONE
10. Network with other managers. BE MORE OF WHO YOU ARE

Now what?

Get these 10 Tips to work for you, and like so many others (including me) you will think of Twitter this way: “Twitter is an opportunity for you to lead in a way that was not possible until now.”

I will end with a link to a terrific (and short!) post done by Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. Here’s a snippet:

“You and I both know that people today crave leadership. They are dying for role models. They want to see what good leadership looks like—as it is lived out in the challenges of everyday life.”

“If you are living your life on-purpose, like I know you are, then by Twittering, you are modeling something worth emulating. This is unquestionably the most powerful way to lead.”

Let’s talk story.
Any thoughts to share?

For those who prefer them, here are the Talking Story copies of the links embedded in the beginning of this posting with a great 5th on habits. Visit the Archive Page for more:

Article originally published on Say “Alaka‘i” August 2009
5 Twitter Tips for Managing