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Friday, April 07, 2017

Streamline Your Social Media Life With These 9 Tips

By Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Social media can be a time suck if we’re not careful. 

We can spend hours and hours without seeing results that justify the effort—unless we pay attention. It’s time to work smarter, not harder. 

Today, I think I can give you some ideas of how to multiply the benefits without cutting in to valuable writing—and family—time.

9 Time-Saving Tips for Social Media

1. Use a scheduling program. If you’ve spent any time at all reading this blog or following me on social media, you’ve heard me say this. It doesn’t matter which program you use. My personal favorite is Hootsuite, but Buffer is just as good. By using a scheduling program, you can multiply your presence on social media without being tied to it all day and all night.

2. Set a timer. After thirty minutes on social media, your return on investment goes way down. It’s easy to get lost on a network, scrolling through what others are posting, but that’s not working smarter. Do what you need to do, have a few conversations, then get off the Internet. Your writing progress with go up and so will your social media presence.

3. Pick three. Pick three social media networks, that is. None of us can have a consistent—meaningful—presence on more than that. If you follow my advice and use Twitter and Facebook, you’ll reach almost one hundred percent of your audience. After that, pick another one you enjoy or want to try out. Don’t try to follow all the newest trends, no one can keep up with them all. Relax, do two or three well, and don’t stress about the rest.

4. Don’t play fair. I used to think that I needed to spend the same amount of time on all three of the networks I used. But the truth is, that wasn’t working smart. Each of us has a social media sweet spot. For me, that’s twitter. So when I spend thirty minutes a day on social media, that’s the network I spend the most time on. I just get more bang for the buck there. I still do Facebook and Google+, but buy spending my time where I’m most effective, I have a larger reach.

5. Promote others ahead of yourself. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have so little time, it has to be about you. Stick with Edie’s 5 to 1 rule, (For every 5 social media updates, you’re only allowed to then post 1 promoting yourself) no matter how rushed you are. Putting others ahead of yourself—unless it’s release day for a new book—will always get you farther faster when it comes to social media.

6. Vary your updates. By not being predictable, people will be more interested in what you have to say. I share four types of updates to keep my social media feed fresh:
  • An inspiring quote or Bible verse.
  • Something funny.
  • An open-ended question.
  • A link to something I find valuable.
7. Remember to be authentic. It’s easy to get caught up in  only sharing the best of life with those you hang out with online, but none of us has a storybook life. Don’t be depressing, but give enough of yourself so that if someone finally got to hang out with you in person, after getting to know you online, you wouldn’t seem like a different person.

8. Be safe. Authentic is good, but so is being safe. Remember to not advertise the fact that you’re away from home, or check in at places. Always use a different password for EVERY single thing that requires a password. Don’t store those passwords on your phone or computer, unless you use a special program like KeePass and 1Password. And NEVER enter credit card information or a password on public wifi.

9. Engage with those who engage with you. If you post an update, especially a question, be sure to stop back by and comment on those who’ve taken the time to answer. It’s the very height of rudeness and self-centeredness to ask a question to generate a conversation and then ignore those who participate. Don’t forget to answer comments on your blog posts either. And if someone mentions you, follows you, or otherwise promotes you, try to thank them. Sometimes there may be too many to answer everyone individually. In that case, send out a blanket thank you, like “Thank you to everyone who has followed me today.” Or  “Thank you to everyone who has shared my blog post.” And always follow people back—as long as they’re not creepy or spammers.

These are the ways that I streamline my social media time. These may seem like small things, but together they really save me a lot of time. I’d love to know what tips you have for saving time with social media. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

TWEETABLES

Streamline Your Social Media Life With These 9 Tips by Edie Melson (Click to Tweet)

It’s time to work smarter, not harder.~ Edie Melson (Click to Tweet)

How to multiply the benefits without cutting in to valuable writing time~ Edie Melson (Click to Tweet)



Edie Melson—author, blogger, speaker—has written numerous books, including her most recent, fiction, Alone, and nonfiction, While My Child is AwayShe’s also the military family blogger at Guideposts.org. Her popular blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s the director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and a member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She’s the the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine, Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy, and the Senior Editor for NovelRocket.com.

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