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March 24, 2012

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5 tips for Getting the Most Out of Social Media

This social media is sapping my time

You will never find enough time for social media if you don’t see the value in using it.  See How to Find the Time for Social Media for more on recognizing the value. Since I see value, I carve out time for social media, but have also found ways to snatch snippets of time most people throw away.  I also use some tools that maximize the power of social media.  Here are five tips on using time wisely and taking a few shortcuts.

  • Use a smart-phone to make use of lag time – I do almost 3/4 of my social media interaction on my iPhone.  Waiting in the doctor’s office, standing in lines at the store, waiting between meetings, traffic jams (when the vehicle is stopped), I grab the iPhone and steal a few minutes to read posts and comment.  I have my phone apps organized with Facebook, Hootsuite (used for Twitter and LinkedIn) and several popular blogs. I take videos and photos that I may use later in posts.  I use the Check in feature on Facebook when I’m out with friends.  This can greatly expand your world of contacts and exposure.  It also helps whatever venue you’re checking into.  These golden time snippets of lag time  –  15 minutes here, 5 minutes there, can add up to an hour or more a day.
  • Comment more than you post – It takes a lot less time to be interested in others than to think about how to attract attention to yourself. When people say, “I can’t think of what to write in a post” I always reply, “Respond to what someone else says.” This builds stronger relationships – connections that will refer you to others.  Make 80% of your social media time being interested in other people, your connections.  Make a thoughtful comment on Facebook. Give credit to others’ accomplishments.  Be sincere.  Be a good friend. It takes seconds to thoughtfully comment, and often yields more value than your post.
  • Lists – organize contacts on Facebook, Twitter and Blogs – As your friends and followers grow in number, it can be hard to keep track of people.  After awhile you find you’re always talking to the same connections. Organizing contacts into lists highlights a whole group of contacts – some you may have forgotten about.  Both Facebook and Twitter have a LIST function, and it’s a good way to keep your connections strong or pay attention to one particular group.  I also use iGoogle to organize the blogs I follow.  Then when I want to see the latest trends and conversations about  Ireland or Maryland or Travel or Social Media or News or Writing …. I just click the corresponding iGoogle tab and there’s a whole list of blogs in that category.
  • Always be aware of your virtual network – The connections you have with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and blogging are a virtual community. .. a community that exists 24 /7.  It’s always there.  You can check in whenever you like – view the conversations, and contribute.  This is a way to connect with hundreds of people in a timely way.   If something is happening to you now that could be relevant to your network, post it now, post it when it happens, include a photo or image.
  • Know when to turn it off – Social media can cause you to run through time like an SUV runs through gasoline.  If you’re writing or working at your desk, turn all social media networks off.  Close the tabs. Disable the alerts.  It’s too tempting to be distracted by “socializing.” Before you know it you’ve diverted your attention and posted on Facebook, tweeted on Twitter, looked up new Friends, checked a few timelines, followed of few tweeps, organized your contacts, read a few blog posts, made a few comments ….. hours can be consumed.  Allow yourself some time at the desk for social media and then turn it off and get back to work.  Use your smartphone during free snippets of time throughout the day for additional social media time.

This social media is sapping my timeIf someone said to you, “I’ll give you $10,000 if you can spend one half hour a day for thirty days using social media, we’d all find the time.  All of us have 24 hours in a day.  No one has more.  No one has less.  How we use time depends on what we value.  If you get results, you’ll make the time.

Recognize that “results” aren’t always more sales.  The best results are indirect, like building relationships that eventually becomes an “ad agency” that markets you and draws opportunities to you.  It takes a lot more work and time to get results by shoving your marketing copy down people’s throats, then it does to make a friend who will deliver exponential value in connecting you with his or her network.  It takes one tenth of the time to affirm a relationship then it does to close a sale…and when you appear to be selling on social platforms, people reject you…. and you may never even know it.

HELPFUL LINKS –

How to Use Facebook Lists | Using Twitter Lists  | Using iGoogle to Organize Feeds

 

 

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. May 28 2012

    What great ideas, Mindie!

    Your comments help me get a better “grip” on this whirlwind called Social Media. As a brand-spankin’ newbie to SM, I am reading, reading, reading books and online blogs like yours to catch up on how I can better serve my micro- to small- B2B businesses, and show them the value of integrating SM into their marketing mix.

    I have created a blog page and just recently created a Facebook business page. (And here I thought I was doing a lot with just that, then I read what all YOU are doing. I feel like a total sloth!) Next is a neighborhood e-newsletter to help me get that under my belt.

    I don’t think all SM platforms will be effective for an industrial sector company. I do think there are some aspects that I want to concentrate their [and my] efforts towards higher lead generation and engagement, and ultimately bids and sales.

    What do you see as beneficial SM platforms for industrial companies? They are targeting a pretty precise audience, like the oil & gas sectors. Some only do business locally, others have a “global” prospect pool.

    I’d appreciate your insight on this. Thanks so much in advance.

    Donna B Alexander

    PS: Girl, with all that you do – when do you sleep? :>

    Reply
    • Jun 28 2012

      Hello, Donna.
      I sleep at night and sometimes get overwhelmed… like today.

      In answer to your questions … here’s my answer.

      LinkedIn is probably the best SM platform for industrial companies. Use facebook to nurture personal relationships – for example, it you made a connection with key representative in an industry on LinkedIn – BUT – you want to make that personal relationship with the connection stronger, connect on Facebook and build a personal relationship.

      LinkedIn and Twitter serve those professional relationships that don’t go beyond that to personal.

      Facebook helps to build personal relationships.

      Hope this helps.

      mb

      Reply

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