So this week seems to be a “social media week.” I am talking tonight to a group at the Suffield library on how social media can impact your career to increase your exposure, gain new clients, and engage with your customers in new and very rewarding ways. I’ll be chatting about how to express your personal brand in a very digital way. Then, on Wednesday, I’m speaking to the Social Media Club of New Haven.
One question that comes up often has to do with managing all your different accounts. Certainly LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are the big three social networking sites. There may be some other areas where people in your industry are gathering to talk and interact. Each person should examine strategically, what the right sites are for your particular situation. Now, I happen to be on all three, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and yes, there are times when I don’t have time to update or don’t engage in conversations as much as I’d like to. With social networking , I find that the big consideration is time.
The easiest way that I have found to address this issue is to recommend to people that they post something in the morning (or whenever it’s convenient for you), quickly look at those who you do business with or are interested in, and scan the conversations going on, contribute for a set period of time (could be just 5-15 minutes/day). Set time limits for your day for how much time you’ll spend on this, and then move on with your day. It’s so easy for social networking to take over your life. Everyone’s lives are so interesting — the comments that they make can be delightful or inane, but it’s certainly entertaining. You have to actively manage your time. Otherwise you lose yourself in the digital social aspect of life.
One of the tools that I use to help manage this is TweetDeck. Many people find the Twitter feed is a little bit clunky, so Twitter applications have been developed to manage these in a more organized fashion. TweetDeck and HootSuite are two popular applications that help you manage your contacts and your communications. TweetDeck allows you to put people in groupings so that you can follow several different discussions at the same time, and make sure that you don’t miss important conversations that you want to be notified about. They are free to download. Check them out, and let me know what you think. I’m always interested in comments and feedback.