How I Manage Social Media In Less Than 30 Minutes a Day

clockSince it is best to learn by example, I thought I would share with you exactly how I manage my social media outlets in less than 30 minutes a day.

When I make my way down to the office in the morning, first thing I do is…
 

1) SET MY TIMER

Some may think this is a little OCD but it works. I have a desktop timer that has become my best friend in regards to getting things done. I don't know about you but when I know that I only have a certain amount of time to get things done, whoa nelly, do I fly. That has helped significantly in avoiding the social media time suck. I know that I only have 20 minutes to get my updates scheduled for the day, so I set my little timer and get to it!
 

2) CHECK BLOGS AND NEWS FEEDS

Keeping yourself updated and informed regarding the publishing world, other writers you respect, your niche, etc., is vital in today's world. Changes happen every day so it's important to stay on top of things. But following key blogs within your industry are another great way to share and create content for your followers.

I currently use Google Reader to manage all of the RSS feeds I subscribe to, but since they just announced that it will be shut down July 1st, I'll be switching to a service or app. There's a good piece on RSS Readers at Lifehacker. Another way to follow blogs and news feeds is to create a "News" list in Twitter, since blogs typically tweet a new post. There are lots of ways to subscribe to blog and news feeds. Find the one that's best for you and start using it every day to stay on top of things.

My routine is to scan the RSS feeds I subscribe to for topics that I think my audience would either benefit from or find interesting. If I find an article or blog that is interesting I'll read it quickly. If I want to share that blog post I will….

3) …SCHEDULE IT IN BUFFER

Buffer quickly became my absolute favorite social media resource. It has saved me so much time, kept me consistent with updates, and helped grow my audience. The nice thing is that it's not an overcomplicated tool or difficult to use. It's easy to set up, has great features and you will be a Buffer pro before you know it. You can connect Google Reader with Buffer to make things seamless and easy.

So, going back to the blog post I want to share, I go to the bottom of the blog post in my Google Reader and select "send to Buffer" (which you will need to install into your Google Reader account)….

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….and this will pop up.

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You can share the blog with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn Accounts. Every social media audience is different so you might only want to share that blog with your Twitter fans, which Buffer allows you to do. You can share it with one, two or all three outlets. It's fantastic. You can also cut and paste links you want to share directly on the Buffer page as well if you don’t want to install it in your Google Reader.

You can personalize the message that will be posted or keep the original blog post headline. It also allows you to post it instantly or schedule it in your Buffer account.

Another brilliant feature on Buffer is that you can pick the times you want your posts to go live. Twitter requires more posts in a day to be visible (I try to make at least 10 posts a day with Twitter, no more than 2 a day with Facebook, and 2-3 a day with LinkedIn) I have various times throughout the day for posts to be scheduled to go live.

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I try to share 2-3 blog posts that I find helpful or interesting, various quotes or words of inspiration, questions, pictures, and other engaging material. All of this can be scheduled in Buffer. I put all of my updates in for the day and I am good to go. It puts all of my posts in a queue with when it will post. Ta-da!
 

4) WHEN I USE HOOTSUITE

Another timesaving tool I use is HootSuite. HootSuite is a social media management tool that allows you to manage and update multiple social media outlets in one dashboard. I can read all of my Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc., outlets in one place. While I use Buffer for my everyday updates, when I have a specific post to make at a specified time (like a blog post we have written) I schedule it to post on HootSuite. I can pick exactly when I want my blog to post and it even sends me an email when it has gone live.

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I also use HootSuite to check on posts, direct messages, questions, etc., on my social media outlets.

It takes me on average 20 minutes to get my social media updated for the day first thing in the morning. I do go to my HootSuite once mid-morning and one more time in the afternoon for about 5 minutes each. Again, I set my handy timer and get to it. But ONLY FOR 5 MINUTES. Again, avoid the time suck! But it is important to answer questions in a timely manner, so be sure to stay on top of your communication. If I don't have messages I will scan the Twitter feed to retweet or reply to posts.

Whim…bam…boom. We are done. With the right tools, a few guidelines, and a set schedule, you can begin to master your social media presence in 30 minutes!

 

(Photo courtesy of Marcus dePaula.)