The world of social media can be completely overwhelming. In addition to knowing and understanding the various networks and social media sites, you need to spend time managing your presence on each one. For most of us, managing social media is something that happens in our spare time - but there are several effective ways to organize and streamline how you interact with your online social world.
Know your purpose. Many people I work with feel compelled to use social media – if they’re using it personally, it’s because their friends are on it; if for business, because their competitors are on it. Most don’t feel like they have a choice, and I’d argue that the choice isn’t so much whether to use social media – for most of us, it’s a foregone conclusion that if we aren’t using it currently, we will be soon. Instead, the choice is more about which networks you should be on to best communicate with your people – whether they’re your friends or clients. If you have an email list, you can use a tool like MailChimp SocialPro to determine which networks your people are on, and start spending time on those social networks. You don’t need to be everywhere all at once. Be purposeful about which networks you’re using, and then your overwhelm will go down considerably.
Set aside time. Social media can be giant time suck, so it’s important that you compartmentalize it. Depending on what your goals are for using it, set aside specific times each day or each week to manage it. Even something as simple as fifteen minutes, once a day, can help keep you on top of your various social networks. One client of mine sets aside the first few minutes of each workday to post something relevant to her followers on her social networks, and a few minutes at the end of the day to respond to any comments. Managing your social media doesn’t have to be an all-encompassing, all-day affair.
Centralize. If you’re going to the individual websites for each and every one of your social networks, you’re wasting a lot of time jumping from site to site. Whether you’re using social media for business or just for personal use, getting all your social media centralized can help save you a lot of time and make it easier to manage the individual elements. Use a tool like Postling (http://bit.ly/cls-postling-10) , which creates a dashboard where you can see what’s going on with all of your social networks from one spot, as well as letting you post, and cross-post, easily from a single login. You do have to enter your login information for each of your social networks, but once that’s done, you’ll find yourself going to each individual social network’s site far less frequently.