Help for busy social media days

Posted on February 24, 2009. Filed under: Social Media How-Tos | Tags: , , , , , |

BIC040I’m starting the day with a list of “to-do’s” that fills a whole page in my notebook.  On one hand, it’s overwhelming, but it is also very exciting, because it’s clear from my list that people are looking for information and help when it comes to marketing and social media. In response, I’ve been saying “yes” whenever people ask for help, and staying open to whatever comes as a result.  Here’s what it looks like:

  1. Send follow-up social media package proposal, as requested, to client who won my Facebook Fan Page service
  2. Finish communications plan for local client.
  3. Email strategic partner about social media strategies for local tourism campaign
  4. Make follow-up phone calls from networking meeting (there are around 6 of them!)
  5. Talk to another strategic partner about writing services for his established internet marketing business
  6. Publicize local “pilot” workshop on social media
  7. Work some more on my own website
  8. Publish first e-newsletter

There’s a mix of preparation, implementation and communication in all of that work, and it’s important to get the balance right.  I also hope to pass on the results of some of the research I’ve been doing in the off-hours.  So what can I do to stay productive and on top of the “social media” scene at the same time?  I can use some cool tools.  Here are a few of my favourites:

Mozilla Firefox Browser: This is one powerful browser, and I’ve customized it with some helpful plug-ins, including Shareaholic, which lets me bookmark, tweet, or post some of my findings to Facebook, as I find them.  Now I’m researching and communicating at the same time!

TweetDeck: Frankly, I couldn’t manage Twitter without this incredibly useful tool from Adobe.  Now that I’ve got a Twitter community of hundreds – and that’s actually modest compared to some users who have been around longer and working it harder – I need a way to sort my “tweeple” into groups, keep track of important conversations and keywords that have my attention, and basically see what I need to see all on one screen. When I really don’t have time to get sucked into the social media vortex, but still want to touch base with my networks, Ping is incredibly helpful.  Add all your social media sites here.  Write your status update once, and show up all over the place.

TweetLater: I’m still in “courtship” mode with this service – I tend to be an “in the moment” type of person when it comes to Twitter, but I can completely understand the usefulness of planning ahead.  You can share some of your favourite resources with the Twitter community while you are offline, and be seen by a broader range of people than your usual “early morning” crowd, if that’s when you tend to be online.  Heck, people have parcelled out their little nuggets of wisdom many days and weeks in advance.  If you’ve got good content, and people are giving you positive feedback, then it’s a good idea.

Another feature of TweetLater, and one I am still toying with, is it can automate your follow-backs – that is, when someone follows you, you can add them to your own “following” list.  The advantage of this function is that Twitter rewards reciprocity.  The more people you follow, the more they let follow you. (Some people say there’s a 2000 follower limit – in fact, that doesn’t apply if you’ve got no more than a 10% gap between who you follow and who is following you. ) My worry with this function, though, is that it does leave you open to some spammers and ‘bots who are increasingly present on the system.  I may have to eventually block some of these people, and much prefer manually following (good feeling!) to manually unfollowing (bad feeling!)

Those are four that I like – in fact, there are dozens – no, hundreds – of tools on the Web that help you optimize your time using social media. Another time I’ll look in my “favourites” file on TweetDeck and post some of the articles that list more of them.

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