Social Networking Tips and Time Savers

When I tell other business owners and clients how active I am in social networking and what a valuable marketing tool it is, they ask me how I find the time? If you’ve dabbled a bit with Facebook and Twitter it can seem like a lot of work to keep up with everyone. For a busy business owner it seems impossible to find the time.

The truth is that I spend no more than 20 minutes a day on social network marketing—sometimes less. There are so many ways to automate and more apps appear each month. Take a few hours to set these up and then watch them do lots of the work for you.  Let me share what I use:

To manage Twitter I use TweetDeck and SocialOomph. TweetDeck allows you to create columns of users that you want to follow for different reasons. And you can enter all your tweets from there. So you could have a VIP column for example, or a column for people that tweet about a certain keyword or topic. This allows you to easily wade through the hundreds of tweets on your Twitter homepage and only read and respond to the followers that it’s important for you to interact with. That doesn’t mean I ignore the rest. I do sometimes scroll through them. But with thousands of followers reading them all would be impossible. It also will separate your direct messages into a column, as well as other tweets that mention your name. Overall it’s a command central for Twitter.

SocialOomph is like an autoresponder for Twitter. I use it to do 2 things:

  1. to automatically follow anyone who follows me and to send them an automated message when they begin to follow me
  2. it can function as an autoresponder, so I load up tweets and tell SocialOomph when to post them to Twitter. Then I can walk away and continue to have my tweets appear.

Then I add my Twitter feed to my Facebook and LinkedIn profile pages, so each time I post to Twitter it appears on my wall. My blog feed is also set up to appear on my Facebook and Linked In pages, which means when I enter a new blog post the information immediately appears on Facebook and Linked In.  I outsource the managing of my Facebook account to my wonderful virtual assistant, who handles friend requests and invitations for me in just a few minutes a day. My VA also knows the system we use for creating events on Facebook, inviting friends and announcing it on Twitter.

I also have accounts at social bookmarking sites like Digg and StumbleUpon and have my blog listed at sites like FriendFeed and Technorati. I added my twitter feed to my profile pages on those sites as well so my tweets also appear there. So in essence, whatever I tweet about on Twitter gets sent out to a lot of different sites making it easy to keep active and making it appear that there’s fresh content on all of them each day.

Just like anything else in your small business, setting this up and creating this Social Network Marketing system will save you lots of time. Sure it will take some time initially, but once it’s on autopilot your social media marketing will help you create new fans and followers who are interested in your business and products and in very little time.

  • John O'Connor
    Posted at 09:47h, 15 January Reply

    Janis, this is good, core advice. I do feel that with the 100s of choices business owners, careerists, entrepreneurs and people in career transition need to do a lot of due diligence before they develop and ramp up their online media plan. In fact, a lot needs to be done to do it right. It’s rather easy to do some ad hoc social media and think you are being productive. Additionally, I like your idea of at some time getting your social media focus to a set discipline every day. So many people waste so much valuable time in trial and error. They do this in business. They do this in job search. The front end work and personal/business media plan needs to be as tight as muscle fiber before sending anything into autopilot mode.

  • Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion
    Posted at 11:29h, 15 January Reply

    Good stuff Janis. Like you, I use Tweetdeck and Socialooph, both of which make life much easier and more manageable. I think this topic is of tremendous relevance as so much of this new technology and mediums demand time, and therefore balance is key. I’d also submit that it’s better to focus on only a few mediums and do them well versus focusing on many and doing a below average job on each.

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