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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How to Streamline Your Social Media - For Busy, Busy People



I've been crazy busy lately, no time to blog, but my busyness got me thinking about a presentation I gave last year about Streamlining. My apologies if this is a bit outdated in any way (I know it does not include Pinterest, for one), but I thought I'd put my notes up in case they're of interest to you...

When we talk about an Online Presence, we’re talking about not only a website, but your blogging presence, your Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, LibraryThing, GoodReads, and now Google +.

Not only do the experts tell you that you should have a presence on all of these platforms, but also that you need to add content regularly to keep them dynamic. How is that even possible, you might ask. I know I did.

There are a couple of choices:
1. Cut back and only involve yourself in your favorite social media platforms.
2. Learn to streamline. And by streamlining, I mean automate.

Keep in mind, automating and flogging are not the same thing. Chances are your audience will either only follow you in one social media outlet, or, if they follow you in more than one, they won’t get annoyed if they see the same blog post, for example, tweeted as well as posted on Facebook, MySpace, GoodReads, and LinkedIn.

Here's a bit of a rundown on how you can link up and automate your different platforms for social media:

1.    Your website
– Make sure your website includes links (little icons are nicer than just text) to all of your other social media platforms. Ideally, on your home page of your website, with one click, followers should be able to follow you anywhere else that you are set up online.

2.    Your blog – For many of you, maybe your blog is your website, and that’s great. Same thing goes with having easy links to all your other presences on the web. Blogs also have handy widgets that can help you add dynamic content from other sites. For example, in the sidebar of my blog, I have a widget that displays what I’m reading (linked from GoodReads), another that displays my recent tweets from Twitter, one that invites people to “Like” my Facebook author page, and another that showcases my latest YouTube videos.

3.    Your Twitter – It’s easy to set it up so all your tweets go automatically to Facebook, but do you really want that? I used to have mine set up that way until I realized many of my Facebook friends were getting frustrated because they couldn’t follow much of what came up as my statuses on Facebook. Many-a-Twitter-virgin would ask me why I always had these @ signs at the beginning of statuses, or why the heck I used the pound sign so much. Now I used Tweetdeck, and with a simple click of a tab I can decide if I want to send a tweet just to Twitter or to Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn.

4.    Your Facebook – You can feed your blog into the notes section of Facebook using Feedburner, but I use Networked Blogs, an application within Facebook to automatically feed by blog both into my personal Facebook page and also into my new Facebook author page. I don’t even think about it anymore. If I make it onto Facebook once a week to update my status, that’s great, but my account stays active just because my blog posts there automatically. There’s always something new there for my Facebook followers to see.

5.    NetVibes – this is a great site that allows you to update your statuses (and keep an eye on everything from the local weather and news to your favorite blogs) all in one place. It’s dashboard-style, and easy to navigate and drag widget boxes to wherever they’re most useful for you. If you don’t have extra time to keep up with social media, take a few minutes to set this up with all of your accounts, and then just open it up once a day to update everything in one place. It’s enough to keep you active everywhere.

The idea is to set things up once so your content filters through to all your outlets. If you think you have a high-interest post that needs multiple mentions, a nice way to do this is to start your posting with something like: “For the afternoon crowd,” so your followers know that you are purposely posting something more than once to try to hit a different crowd. That’s much less annoying than just seeing the same message over and over again. Nobody likes to be hit over the head with something.

Which brings me to another point: Don’t automate everything. Don’t hit people over the head with your product, whether it’s reviews or your latest book. I love to follow people back on Twitter, especially if it’s someone who loves books, but I admit, if as soon as I follow someone, I get a direct message telling me to check out their book or their blog, I usually unfollow them right away. That, in the world of social media, reeks of desperation, not professionalism.
There are many more social media outlets than what I’ve mentioned, of course, but most of them are making it truly easy to link up with all the others. While editing your GoodReads profile, you’ll see it’s self-explanatory how to add your blog, or to copy a GoodReads button or widget to add to your blog or website. There are plenty of badges or icons or galleries that you can add to your website and/or blog with almost every social media platform.

MySpace still links up with most of the biggies, but I personally don’t know anyone who spends time there anymore. Google + can be really useful for grouping your contacts into separate circles.

The thing is, there’s always something new, and there will always be something new. Take charge of what you’re involved in now, streamline it to the best of your ability, and when The Next New Thing comes along, you’ll have the time and energy to give it a try.


Helpful Links to Streamline Your Social Media:


Social media is an important part of the cutting edge book industry today, but you don’t have to spend a lot of time at it to keep active. Here are some links and brief descriptions that will help you along in streamlining your online presence:

feedburner.com– This is a free service to burn your blog feed and feed it into other social media outlets.
Netvibes.com (or iGoogle.com) – This is a dashboard that makes it easy to monitor all of your social media platforms in one place. You can also send your blog there, or watch other blogs that interest you. It’s easy to update statuses all in one place if you don’t want them to all be exactly the same. This is great for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, My Space, and probably many others.
Ping.FM – This can be used to update all of your social networks at once. Fast and easy if you want to post the same message everywhere.
Tweetdeck.com (or HootSuite.com) – Some also prefer to use Hootsuite, but I’ve found Tweetdeck more user-friendly. Update multiple Twitter accounts from one place. With the click of one button, decide whether or not to forward your tweet to Facebook or to tweet it from more than one Twitter account. Watch what specific people are tweeting about and easily retweet their interesting messages.
Tweetlater.com – Set up automatic tweets for later in the day if you won’t be around. (Again, please don’t flog the same message again and again…desperation, not professionalism!)
Twitterfeed.com – Add your blog on this site and it will automatically feed your blog posts onto Twitter for you. Here’s a hint: You can add hashtags either at the source on Twitterfeed or in your blog title to help drive traffic on a particular subject.
Upcoming.org – Are you involved in a lot of physical appearances? Make sure you list the information here (and sign up to find out about upcoming events in your area).

I hope this information is helpful! It's reminding me that I need to do a check-up to make sure all my links and automatons are still running smoothly. And I'm always open to new and helpful advice. Is there anything I haven't covered here that would make my life easier? Oh my stars, please share!!!

Happy Streamlining!

12 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for all the links! I've often wondered how to automate without flogging :)

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  2. How did you know I was compiling links about social media? ;) Thanks so much for your tips, Denise! (and HI!)

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