There is one concern that comes up at every digital media training session I’ve ever run. How do you find the time to commit to successful social media? It’s not just the newbies who have this concern, you could be the most enthusiastic tweeter, it can still be difficult to co-ordinate your time to produce a successful social media presence. So, here are my top tips for streamlining your social media:
1. Schedule, schedule, schedule (but don’t sound like an autobot – make sure you compose all your own messages)
While the joy you get from social media is in the interactions, it’s ok to schedule a portion of your posts. What doesn’t work is if that’s all you do.
I use BufferApp to schedule for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, unfortunately there’s no Google+ integration yet but I believe it’s in the pipeline. The great thing about BufferApp is that I can schedule posts while doing my job. Throughout the day you probably come across many articles, videos, pictures, blogs that are relevant to your sector. With a couple of clicks (using the Chrome extension) you can schedule that sharing across multiple platforms. Make sure you rewrite the suggested text so that the post is in your “voice”, scheduling is fine but sounding automated isn’t.
2. Find inspirational content to share
If you know you’re going to be offline for a few days (or at least mobile dependent), have a play with StumbleUpon to find content that is worth sharing with your audience. Depending on the interests you pick, you will get randomised posts that are tailored to your profile. The more you use StumbleUpon the more relevant the posts become. You can also use tools like Scoop.it and Summify to see what the people you follow are sharing.
3. Keep an eye on your channels
If your timeline moves so quickly you can’t possibly keep an eye on the twitter chat, use lists and columns to organise and manage any important feeds. I like Tweetdeck for keeping an eye on conversations because of the black background but you can also use a dashboard like HootSuite. Just add a column with your chosen search term or list of users and flick back and forth throughout the day.
4. Keep ahead of the trends
This is particularly useful if you are trying to build a following in foreign markets. TrendsMap uses both GoogleMaps and twitter API to make it easy to see who is talking about what in a particular town / city / country. If you see something that is relevant to your business, add the hashtag to your columns in Tweetdeck and get involved in the conversation (and see your follower count and RTs grow).
5. Recipe of success
If This Then That is a relatively new site that lets you match up multiple accounts to make your own recipes (automated actions). I’ve written before about how to set up your own recipes so I won’t bore you with that again here. What I will say though is that it’s become invaluable to me for keeping track of things like twitter mentions and comments on guest blogs.
Social media may be free at the point of entry but to do it well is time consuming. However, the opportunities to build relationships, drive traffic and create value are endless. To really get the best out of social media you do need to invest in it but that investment should be focused on the best areas for your goals. Treat social media like any of your communication channels; measure, evaluate, improve.
What are your top time saving tips?
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