Twitter is a HUGE social media network. It can also be a great tool for promoting yourself and your business. However, it's not enough to just set it up and wait for the business to come to you. You wouldn't set up a brick and mortar shop, set back in a chair, kick your feet up and wait for business to walk in your door, would you? Like any other social media network, you must cultivate relationships with your followers, share information you think potential clients might want and follow people you find interesting.
"But, Pam. I just don't have time to sit and tweet all day long." I understand that you have a life. To bring in business, you have to be out in the field as well as online. So, how can you get it all done? Scheduling your tweets, that's how! Here are just some of the methods you can use to schedule future tweets on your Twitter account:
HootSuite - With a free HootSuite account, not only can you view all your social media networks in one place, but you can schedule future posts there as well. With one HootSuite account, you can post to your Twitter, Facebook, Facebook business page, LinkedIn, Ping.fm, WordPress, MySpace, Foursquare and/or Mixi accounts at one time. You can also add an image and/or file and shrink a link using the link shortener provided. Posts can be scheduled in 5 minute increments and you can have an email sent to you when the message has been posted.
Twuffer - This is a free service that is very easy to use. You can schedule future tweets every hour. Keep track of what is scheduled to be tweeted, when it is scheduled and when past scheduled tweets have been tweeted via your dashboard.
AutoTweeter - This desktop application not only allows you to send tweets, but you can follow people for specified periods of time and add a custom reply all set up by you.
FutureTweets - Schedule daily, monthly or even yearly tweets. You can even add a fun icon to your tweet through FutureTweets' "Send Some (heart)" app or post it upside down with the "Flip the Tweet" selection to make your tweet stand out from the rest!
SocialOomph (formerly TweetLater) - With SocialOomph, you can schedule tweets for anytime, track keywords, promote yourself with an extended Twitter profile, draft and save tweets that you can resuse over and over again (instead of continually retyping), send direct messages to new followers automatically, track your cliks, automatically follow anyone who follows you, view any mentions of your Twitter name or retweets, personalize your status feed and much more. Very easy to use!
Active Rain - If you're an Active Rain member, you can set up your blog to automatically send a "tweet" whenever you create a new post. This can be done by going into your Settings section on your Active Rain account and adding your username and password to the Twitter section. While you can't "schedule" a future tweet this way, it is a way to make sure you have regular "tweets" on your Twitter account to show other users that you are worthy of following.
Advertise an open house, a listing, an event you or your office is hosting or anything else on Twitter by scheduling your "tweets" using any one of these methods above. You can even set up future tweets to happen when you are on vacation. By staggering them at different times and on different days, you can develop a better plan on what times you should "tweet" in the future for maximum benefit.