Social Networking in 15 Minutes a Day
A lot of people wonder how they can do all the online networking they’re “supposed” to do without it completely draining all their time and energy. Well, I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve developed a strategy that works for me, so I thought I’d share it with you.
1. I write my blog posts for the week in one or two sittings, usually on the weekend.
2. I schedule my blog to post automatically each day so I don’t have to think about my blog all week unless I want to.
3. I’m flexible so that if a timely idea hits me mid-week, I can go ahead and write a blog post and schedule it for whenever I want.
4. All the blog comments go directly to a separate email box. Whenever I get comments that give me an idea for another blog post, I divert those emails to a separate folder called “Save for Blog.”
5. I also keep a Word doc with ongoing ideas for blog posts, which I jot down whenever they strike me. When I need to write a post and get stuck, I have both my Word doc and my email “Save for Blog” file for ideas.
6. Some of my posts require almost no effort on my part. I strategically use guest posts and Q4Us, to maintain consistent postings without having to write so much.
1. I use TweetDeck to keep my tweets organized on my desktop, but there are many other Twitter apps you can use. Just don’t rely on the Twitter website itself – it’s extremely inefficient.
2. I don’t keep TweetDeck open while I’m working! I take breaks from working and open TweetDeck, or sometimes I actually keep it open on a different computer so I can check it when I take quick periodic breaks.
3. I generally give myself about a two-minute limit on Twitter during work hours, which includes tweeting, reading, and responding.
4. I use TweetLater and often schedule the day’s worth of tweets in the morning before I begin my work day. Then as I’m checking Twitter later in the day, I don’t have to think of new tweets, I simply respond to others, and read people’s responses to mine.
5. In my “leisure” time (nights and weekends) I typically don’t limit myself. I sometimes tweet a lot and get into conversations with people, but I don’t look at it as a waste of time. It’s fun and it can also be valuable networking.
1. I adopted the philosophy that we each use social networking for our own purposes, and we get to choose how we use each platform.
2. Therefore I’ve decided to use Facebook only for my family members across the country, and people with whom I’m actually acquainted in real life.
3. I update Facebook approximately once a day, sometimes less. My Facebook friends are a different group than my Twitter friends. People were getting annoyed at so many updates, so I’ve cut it way down.
4. I’ve noticed that Facebook tends to swallow much more time (if you let it). The conversations are interesting and can really suck you in! For that reason, I typically only open up Facebook once a day, and it’s usually not during the hours I’m working.
Visiting Other Blogs
(late breaking update)
I forgot to mention scheduling time to read and comment on other blogs. If you’re actively trying to build your own blog traffic, this is a necessary and valuable use of your time. Try to plan on an extra 15 minutes a day for this, and visit/comment on several blogs each day.
When my blogs were new, I spent a lot of time commenting on other blogs. Now I don’t need to as much, since Twitter seems to be the most effective way to drive people back to my blog. However, I read about 20 other blogs regularly, and it’s almost always on my Blackberry when I’m away from home: sitting in the kids’ carpool line or hanging out at their various activities. In fact, whenever I have brief moments of waiting, even 5 minutes or less, I automatically pull out my Blackberry and read blogs. I keep up very effectively this way.
These are my strategies to make sure social networking works FOR me without taking up all my time. What are your strategies?