One of my all-time favorite new school books is Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Workweek. Tim has been dubbed a life design expert, offering practical methods for automating the day-to-day so that you can get to the business of living life. As a blogger, you can probably understand when I say that I sometimes struggle to organize a seemingly infinite list of things to do which can eat up my workday and stretch into my very cool weekends. If you’re writing for or managing multiple websites and blogs, time management becomes a real issue.
The time investment required to manage your social presence can be steep. Managing your social media campaign can literally become a part-time job in and of itself (or at least amount to the same number of hours you’d be scheduled to work at a part-time McDonald’s gig in order to earn money for prom).
I want to offer some really quick tips for maximizing the time you invest in your social media campaign. Many of them are quite easy to do, but are often overlooked as people focus on what Jamie Turner (60 Second Marketer) calls the Launch.
1) Success Leaves Footprints
In order to understand social media, you must first engage in social media. There are credible sites like Klout that provide social media ranking. Facebook, Twitter and Google all have metrics functions to measure page traffic. You can find articles in celebration of the 20 best Facebook pages and 50 best websites. Once you have set your goals for your social media strategy, take advantage of the paradigms that currently exist and mimic their success. W.E.B DuBois is quoted as having said that success always leaves footprints. Someone has already done what you intend to accomplish. Follow their lead.
2) Automate to Alleviate
If you’re working a 9 to 5 and using social media to build a side business, it can be difficult to carve out an extra 15 hours per week for social media (I mean, come on! It’s football season!), particularly if you’re already committed to researching blog topics. So what’s the answer? Robots!
There are some pretty helpful full-featured automation tools that you can use to not only consolidate your social media, but help you to stay abreast of conversations and news in your niche so that you’re not just talking, but you’re talking about what others are talking about. Hootsuite, TweetDeck, Virtue, SocialOomph, Disqus and Ping.fm are just a few automation tools that can help you to streamline the management of your social presence.
The White House and I use Hootsuite to automate messages distributed across multiple social media platforms. Hootsuite manages my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. I schedule tweets through Hootsuite and they show up on both pages. My Twitter account automatically links to my Facebook page so that whatever I tweet, it automatically goes to Facebook. My blog publicizes to all three platforms – Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Hootsuite also handles WordPress, Ping.fm, Foursquare, Mixi and Myspace. I set aside an hour or so every few weeks to schedule multiple daily tweets that are in my niche that will go out over the course of the following two to four weeks.
3) Routines Work
Create a daily routine that works for you. Because I ghost write for several different blogs in the same niche, I tend to use weekly themes. Your themes don’t have to be immutable as you want to stay up-to-date on current events. It helped me to sit down and write out a list of blog topics I wanted to cover for the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2011. For the most part, I kept to the list, but when things come up that are influencers, I can go with the flow. The week Amy Winehouse died (still heartbroken over that one), I shifted my theme to how habits determine personal and professional effectiveness.
If you can etch out an hour or two a day to invest into social media, do so. It’s worth the effort. Post your thoughts below.