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After the Honeymoon: Balancing Social Media & Real Life

by Doug on July 30, 2009

Today was Greenville Social Media Club‘s first Pecha Kutcha. We had a great time and some really great presentations! I can’t wait for the next one. While we’re waiting to get our hands on the video I thought I’d share my presentation, content and links.


General Social Media Productivity Tools & Tactics

Define your goal. If you don’t know where you’re going how will you know when you get there? Will you use social media for business, pleasure, a mixture? Are you there to reach new customers, connect with existing customers or connect with people in your industry?

Metric your goal. No sense in setting a goal if you don’t have something to measure success or failure by. Sure it’s easier to avoid measuring your goals, you’ll fail a lot less often that way.

Tool: RescueTime. An excellent tool, free for individual users. Allows you to see what applications and websites are eating up your time, both specifically and in broad categories like “Social Media” (Facebook, Twitter etc) and “Communications” (email, instant messaging etc).

Tool: LeechBlock. Keep yourself accountable. This great FireFox addon will keep you from spending time on the websites that drag you down the most. It will allow just a few minutes per hour of a certain site or block the site out right. (Great for kids too!)
Focus your networks ~ Where are the people that meet your focus/goal at? There are hundreds of social media networks and websites. Then you have Ning networks and LinkedIn or Facebook Groups and more! You don’t need to be on 200 different social media networks. You need to be where your goals will be met. Stick with the big players.

Use tools to post to multiple sites. Ping.fm for status updates, TubeMogul for video, pikchur for photos, and Pidgin for instant messaging. This saves you from having to login and post stuff to multiple accounts and keeps your many accounts feeling like they’re still alive even if you’ve not logged in in awhile.

Apply the Pareto Principle (80/20) rule. 20% of what you do on/with social media produces about 80% of your results. What can you do to focus on just the 20% and cut out the rest so that you can spend that time elsewhere?

Books: “The 4-Hour Workweek” and “The Power of Less.” Both of these books have  a ton of practical advice that can be applied to many areas of your life, not just social media.

Further reading/resources on general tools & tactics:

Email (the original social media) Productivity Tools & Tactics

Filter your email – Keeping my twitter follower management to once a week means the spammers are usually gone and folks just following for the sake of following have often unfollowed too.

Use just two accounts. If you need more email addresses, forward them to one of these two accounts. You’ll save time and it will be easier to find things. Use one account for personal and one account for business.

Schedule your email time, 3 times a day is best. Once folks get trained that you answer in a couple of hours they won’t mind. Don’t be a slave!

  • Don’t check email automatically on your phone. Save it for lookups and emergency reference. The quality of your response will be better on the PC and you’ll waste more time trying to respond on a mobile keyboard. Additionally you risk accidents if you do it while driving!

Further reading/resources on email tools and tactics:

Twitter Productivity Tools and Tactics

Don’t mix posting with reading. If you’ve got a hot link to share, use ping.fm or bit.ly so that you don’t get lost the the hyperlink blackhole.

Set clear rules (and stick with them). If you plan to follow everyone, make it clear you don’t use DM (or you don’t use email whichever road you choose to take). If not make it clear what your rules/guidelines are and folks should be understanding. Again, be ruthless. How you use Twitter is up to you, you’ll find your own way to get value. Just make sure that you stay in control instead of letting it control you.

Schedule your Twitter time. Same as email. When are your customers or the other folks that you want to reach using Twitter? If you use tools like TweetDeck you risk being interrupted all the time. Research shows that it can take as long as 15 minutes to get your mind back on task after an interruption from instant messaging (same rule applies to email notifications and new tweet notices!). Check Twitter at regular intervals instead of  staying logged in all day.

Further reading/resources for Twitter productivity tools and tactics:

Facebook Productivity Tools and Tactics

Block Apps right away. Apps will always drain your time. What’s your goal? Is this app going to interfere with it? Many apps have access to lots of your data that they just don’t need. I always block first and ask questions later. You can always unblock an app and blocking an app never stops you from being able to see it on a friend’s profile.

Use Lists to Filter. Facebook has some incredibly powerful filtering and privacy settings and it’s all about your lists. Get in the habit of adding new friends to lists. You’ll be able to see what’s going on in different networks or allow folks that you don’t know very well to be friends with you but have limited access to your profile. You can have people on more than one list. Some examples of good lists to start with: Family, Church, Clubs, School Friends. You can have up to 100 different lists with up to 1000 people in each list.

Again schedule based on your goals. You can waste an awful lot of time on Facebook and they’re not going to do anything to help you with that! You’ve got to respect your goals and being willing to stop facebooking when it’s not contributing to your goals. For example, because Facebook is very personal for me, I limit my usage to sharing links via the bookmarklet (or Ping.fm) or logging in after 6 or once for a few minutes earlier in the day.

What do you do to stay productive and still be active with social media? What tools are you using?

Thanks to:

  • SlideRocket for awesome presentation software
  • Jackson Marketing for hosting our event
  • Flickr and stock.exchange for photos
  • Irfranview & Photoshop for photo editing
  • Social Media Club Greenville
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