Thursday, June 5, 2014

Win the Social Media Battle

Winning the social media battleThe biggest battle most people face with social media is finding the time to do it. Obviously, you need to spend some time being active on it in order to build your profile and presence. But there are some simple tools you can use to leverage your efforts and build your online reputation.

Broadly, there are four things you should be doing to build your online presence:

  1. Comment with value: Make relevant, useful comments on other people's material.
  2. Curate with context: Share other people's material with your network.
  3. Collate with perspective: Point out patterns in seemingly disparate areas.
  4. Create unique material: Create and publish your own material.

I hope you're doing some combination of these four things as part of building your social media presence. If not, you should be!

OK, so how do you get more leverage from your efforts? Let's look at some options ...

Commenting: Make your comments go further

If you answer a question in a LinkedIn group, do you stop there or copy your answer into a blog post? It only takes a few minutes to do, but it spreads your expertise further.

When you finish reading a book, do you write a review on Amazon.com? You should. And do you then copy that review into your blog? You should do that as well.

Curating: Make it more efficient

Curating content means you read (or watch or listen to) a whole bunch of stuff, discard most of it, and share the gems with your network.

First, choose when and where you want to consume the content by using a tool like Pocket to bookmark interesting stuff to the Cloud, so you can read it later on your phone or tablet. That way, you won't be distracted from your other work.

Then, when you want to share something, use a tool like Buffer to distribute it to your social media networks. Buffer lets you space out your postings over time, so you don't flood your followers with a whole bunch of updates at the same time.

For even better results, use a tool like Crowdbooster to figure out the best times to post.

Collating: Gather and store ideas quickly

When collating, you're looking for patterns across different areas, so you won't necessarily be able to post something immediately. So you need a way to efficiently gather, store and then find material later.

Use a tool like Evernote to store your ideas, and make sure you connect it to your Web browser, e-mail, phone and tablet, so you can easily store things you find in your Evernote account.

Also choose the best sources for new ideas and material. For example, Slideshare is a great source for getting an overview of a topic, because it's less detailed than reading a book or watching a video.

Creating: Make each piece work harder!

Make no mistake: Creating highly-relevant, engaging content is not easy. So when you do create something - whether it's a blog post, newsletter article, video, slide show, or webinar - work really hard to make it work really hard for you.

The key platform for this is your blog. Post everything there, and use a tool like Twitterfeed to distribute it to your social media networks.

How can you use these ideas?

First, are you commenting, curating, collating and creating? If not, get started - even if you start slowly at first.

Then look at ways to get more value from it. I hope you've got some ideas - now put them into practice!

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