Keeping Your Social Media Organized
If you are like me you jumped into social media with both feet, taking recommendations from friends about which sites were the best to participate on. Before I knew it, I had membership on more than forty social networking sites—everything from MySpace and Facebook to YouTube and FLICKR. There is really no end to the number of sites you can join. In fact, Mashable.com has compiled a monster list of 350 established social networking sites (http://mashable.com/2007/10/23/social-networking-god/) catering to every community imaginable. In addition to being part of your networking many use these sites for strategically marketing their products or services.
But after a while, it can become overwhelming. Every site has its own login and password. They all have their own protocol and it can be exhausting trying to keep up with posting on them all. That’s why I’d like to offer three tips for managing your social media to be able to make the most of it.
Just because you can join 50 social networking sites doesn’t mean you should. The key to social networking is being social. If you don’t have time to interact with your contacts, you’re just another name on a list of their friends. It is important to isolate which of these sites have the kind of people you want to appeal to and focus your efforts there. For example, if you are a musician, MySpace is probably a lot more effective than LinkedIn which is used more for professionals. Learning about the demographics of each of the social networking sites will help you decide if you will be able to have an impact with your presence.
2. Use a Spreadsheet
Until someone comes up with a way to keep all your social networking information in one place, I highly recommend using a spreadsheet to keep track of all the sites where you regularly participate. Logins, passwords, URL’s, and notes that can help you keep yourself organized are best compiled in one sheet which you can access at all times.
3. Make a Schedule
Having a plan for using social media is very important. Hit or miss participation on these sites will produce the same kinds of results. If you hope to see anything from your social media efforts, you must be consistent. John Jantsch wrote an excellent post on his blog Duct Tape Marketing called My Social Media System (http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/2009/01/22/my-social-media-system/) where he outlines the sites he uses, and the schedule he has created to keep up with them. Some of these social media sites, such as Twitter, move at a much faster pace than others. That means you want to make an effort to visit them more frequently and keep updated daily, or even multiple times a day.
There is a fine balance that must be struck between the number of sites you choose to participate on, and the amount of time and energy you have to develop real, meaningful contacts. The key to social media is quality, not quantity. Social media members are very sensitive to spam and traditional selling techniques. Simply logging in once a month and doing a fly by with a bunch of self-promoting posts is not going to gain you a favorable response; and in fact will work against you in this instance.
Do you have any tips for keeping your social network efforts organized and effective? Leave a comment and let us know!