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  • Gary Roth

Twitter Deserves 30 Minutes A Day

Twitter offers an unmatched opportunity for brand building, social networking, and customer engagement, among others.

But at what cost? you may be thinking.

Obviously, the service itself is free. I don’t know how much longer the folks at Twitter can sustain this business model. It's likely to stay free, although you may see a massive increase in ads and other promoted materials, but hey, that's the game, right?

The learning curve itself is also inexpensive. Most people can get the hang of it in less than an hour, or even faster. It's pretty straightforward, but if you have trouble, grab this book.

But what about the time it takes to tweet? Ah, yes, “the time.”

This is the standard objection from people who haven’t actually tried it. “How do you find the time to Twitter?” they ask. In my experience, it takes me less than thirty minutes a day. Thirty minutes to a world of influence is a small price to pay.

Here’s how the math works out. I am a fairly active Twitter user. I average about thirteen tweets a day. Most tweets take me fifteen to thirty seconds each. (Yes, I have timed them.) Don’t forget, you only have 280 characters. It can’t take much time. Nevertheless, let’s be conservative and assume that it takes me thirty seconds for each tweet.

Thirteen times thirty is six and a half minutes. I probably spend another fifteen minutes a day scanning other people’s tweets and responding to direct messages or replies. Even then, I am doing this during downtime— early in the morning as I am reading, in between meetings or projects during the day, or in the evening as a way of relaxing. Added up, that’s just over twenty minutes a day.

In my opinion, that’s not a big investment of time, especially for the benefits I receive. Think about what you can do in twenty minutes: check Facebook, take a power nap, play Angry Birds, sort and load the laundry into the washing machine, or make breakfast. These are all good things, some more valuable than others. My point is if you have time to do them, you have time to use Twitter. The key is to be intentional and not allow it to become a huge time suck.

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