Social media is hot and day after day I get people asking the same group of questions. One of these is always, “Should I really bother with Twitter and Facebook? I don’t really have much time to spare.”
Social media networking is the future of the Internet. Sites like Google are paying more attention to it and it is becoming more and more important to SEO. Your audience, that means your potential customers, are likely spending most of their online time using these sites. Isn’t that enough reason? Well, if not, hopefully this article by Dr. Mani will show you how to MAKE time for these sites.
How To Manage Social Media Networking – In 15 Minutes
I wear many hats and juggle many projects. And so it’s rare that I manage to find more than 15 minutes in the daily schedule to engage in social networking online. But that’s plenty enough – because I have a routine that works well.
I have a significant presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and some forums, all of which I follow reasonably closely… yet manage it all in under a quarter hour per day. Here’s how my routine goes.
I log in to the Web based Twitter interface (though I have TweetDeck, I use it rarely to queue up a tweet for posting later) and first glance at what’s trending, and then click on the @Mentions tab to see if anyone has tweeted a personal message.
Then I check the private messages, which are few because I only follow less than 40 people on the network. After this, I read quickly through my Timeline. Notice the emphasis on “Read”. Not scroll past. That’s key to the relationships I’ve built through Twitter.
I explore some links, and will click the Retweet button to share the ones that may be interesting to followers, or even re-post it as an RT to my followers. If I have something to share with my audience, I’ll publish a few tweets, or an inspirational quote, or a link to something worth looking at.
Typically, this takes five minutes – often less!
On my profile page I’ll check to see if any discussion has taken place on content I shared with my network – or if any friends have posted to my Wall. Then I check my messages and reply to them.
After this, I’ll quickly skim through status updates and stories, clicking ‘Like’ when I see something interesting, or even posting a quick comment. Stuff that I particularly like, I’ll share with my network – by clicking the button.
Time taken: 5 minutes, max.
My ‘Circles’ are set up so that I can follow updates from a select group of people who always share useful or interesting tid-bits. These updates are in my ‘Inbox’ circle – and that’s the only place I glance at, unless I have more time on my hands. It’s a quick and easy way to keep up with what’s happening, and that’s the basis on which folks get ‘circled’ into my inbox.
From time to time, I’ll click on the enticing red box that constantly posts updates and ‘Notifications’ – but have trained myself to ignore it most of the time 🙂
That’s how I get out of G+ in under 3 minutes, usually.
Over years, I’ve refined forum-scanning into a fine art. I scroll rapidly through the front page of discussion forums, quickly identifying topics that are of potential interest, and opening them in new tabs.
I almost never browse beyond the second page, because if the topic is of interest to many forum members, sooner or later it’ll bubble back to the front page – and I can read it then!
Skimming through the discussions, pausing only to read posts from people I know from experience are knowledgeable and provide balanced viewpoints, can speed up this forum browsing significantly. I ignore controversial and provocative points of view, because engaging in debates on forums is rarely a profitable use of time.
Whenever I have information that could contribute to the discussion, I’ll share a post, even drafting out lengthy responses if they are likely to add some value to forum members who follow these topics.
Time taken: Between 5 and 10 minutes.
Spreading Out Socialization
It helps that I don’t chunk all these things into one sequence – but spread it out over the course of my working time. I may write an article, and when it’s done, hop over to Twitter for a break before doing the next thing.
This way, just as with offline socializing, the online version provides relaxation and a break from intensely focused activity – though in its own way, my social consumption and participation is a routine in itself.
But then, that’s the only way I know (short of shunning them altogether) to avoid getting sucked down the rabbit-holes of seductive social networks, where the less wary are known to waste dozens of non-productive hours every week!
About the author:
Dr.Mani is an Internet infopreneur who has taught hundreds of information marketers how to turn words into wealth. His best-selling guide, “Think, Write & Retire” can be downloaded from www.ThinkWriteRetire.com
In the comments below:
Let me know how YOU manage your social networking for your business. Do you have any great tips to share?