4 Killer Tips for Improving Your Social Media Workflow

Too busy for social networking

Save yourself from being buried by your social network accounts by following these four tips

Google+, Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter, Quora; so many social sites and so little time. Finding a way to efficiently manage your social presence is a must for the busy cafe and restaurant owner, yet the solution seems elusive. Check out these four tips for improving your social media efficiency.

Link up social accounts for ease of sharing

Tip #1: Link up accounts....for the paranoid among you, google will find you anyway and this will make it much easier to share and build up social proof.

For instance, you can link up your twitter, facebook, and quora account so that when you answer a question on quora you can also post it to FB and Twitter if so desired. Many social networking accounts also let you have multiple twitter accounts linked up so that you can choose which one to post to. So, if an answer on Quora would be more appropriate going to your personal twitter account then send it there, if more beneficial to your business account then send it to that one. There may be times where you don't want to send it at all, in which case you can just uncheck the share box(es). However, having accounts linked up will encourage more sharing and will allow for cross channel marketing as people see you on more popular accounts and then are directed to other places where they can interact with you. Want to see the extent of your current social network and how you are connected? Take a look at what google sees here:

See your social connections ~ note this will only work if you are logged into your google account and only you can see your information.

Follow people

Tip #2: Follow the same people in multiple accounts and interact with them on multiple accounts.

It is called social networking for a reason, i.e. personal interaction with other people through the networking website. It is the 21st century version of sitting on your neighbor’s porch and sharing pie and lemonade. To take the analogy further, connecting with the same people on multiple social sites is like hosting a neighborhood barbecue get-together. It gives multiple avenues for interaction and building relationships as well as extending your potential network (you get to meet new people through your existing network). The more places you interact with the leaders in your sector, and positively contribute to the conversation, the wider your own network and influence will become.

Social network icons

Tip #3: Fill out that profile and make it consistent.

We live in a very visual age, and search is also becoming more visual. Search engines are incorporating social proof into how they rank webpages. You may have noticed little images popping up next to search results, this is to show you that someone in your network or extended network has shared that page (like, tweet, +1, etc). Try to fill out your profile appropriately to take advantage of this with the same branding (if setting up a company page) or the same info and picture (if setting up a personal page). This will help not only your business, but also your friends and those in your network as people will easily recognize your branding or picture when it shows up alongside search results. Do yourself a favor and have the same picture in all of your profiles for ease of recognition. An Anonymous silhouette in the profile box does not help here and is starting to be equated with spam. In other words, if you haven’t taken the time to fill out your profile then it is doubtful that you have anything beneficial to say, at least that is how it appears.

multiple tabs open to social network sites

Tip #4: Use tools to make social sharing easy and expedient.

With all of the different social networks out there it can take a lot of time to monitor feeds and keep track of what is going on. One must constantly look for tools that pull all of this together and make it easy to share and monitor conversations. Right now, unless you are willing to spend thousands of dollars a month, you will have a hard time finding a solution that will work for everything (if you know of one, please leave a note in the comments and share your social knowledge), thus you will probably need to piecemeal a solution together. As everyone has their own style, you will need to find what works for you. At the bare minimum your solution should address these social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Here are some suggestions for tools that you may use:

  • Hootesuite: a browser based tool that allows you to connect FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn (plus WordPress for you bloggers, and myspace for you old school people....seriously who uses myspace anymore?)
  • Tweetdeck: A browser or PC based tool that does much of the same thing as hootesuite but allows for more accounts to be connected.
  • A browser window dedicated to your social networks. Opera is a good choice as it is a light and fast browser, Mozilla is sweet as it has extensions that would be useful but they tend to make browsing slow and also bog down the computer. The benefits of using a dedicated browser solely for SN sites is that you can have a tab open for each account or conversation which allows you to keep track of multiple conversations at one time. This also allows you to use your favorite browser for normal web surfing without cluttering up your browser session. Additionally, having a dedicated browser for SN sites means that you can save your session when you leave and have it come right back up the next time you start that browser so that you can pick up right where you left off.
  • Find what works for you and if you have a suggestion on a tool (or extension) let everyone know by replying in the comments (and don’t forget to share it with the share options :).

Finally, when you find a solution that works for you don't get so caught up in it that you forget to look at new products as they come out. In the fast paced world of social networking, standing still is one step short of the graveyard (just ask Myspace and Xenga). The innovation of social sites drives innovation in the tools that are used to browse and be involved in the conversations on those sites. Don't get stuck in a rut, tweak the system and make it work for you. And don't forget to share what you have learned in the comments or pass this information on by using one of the social buttons on the left.