Trepidatiously I admit, I was once a Myspacer. Thankfully, I recovered, slaying the digital depiction of that days-gone-by social media dragon. Yet, as the train of social media raucously rambled over the tracks once known as my so-called life, came the advent of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Plaxo and now Google+. Yikes.
Unfortunately, I am shackled in the slave collar of social media as a freelance writer; both for inspiration and promotion of my work and blogs. I had to figure out a way to manage all my profiles, keep up with my multiple accounts and somehow keep from losing my mind in the process. So, I tweaked my Twitter, fessed up to my Facebook, levitated my Linked in and plucked my Plaxo to come up with a couple of catch-all solutions, effectively managing my tiny social media empire like a pro.
I played with different platforms
Most days, I am incredibly thankful that there are people out there who are far more intelligent than I am. Without these brilliant minds, I would certainly be completely out of mine. I use Twaitter to manage my Twitter and Ping accounts, send out recurring updates, article promotion and tiny tidbits for a few months at a time before I set them to automatically expire. It's a great tool, and I would be lost without it.
Using Ping, I was able to synch up my Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Linked in, and a variety of other social media slave drivers, effectively automating my shameless self-promotion. Insert sigh of relief.
I still have a few different accounts -- and that isn't fun
As a business owner and Jane of all trades when it comes to businesses website and multiple streams of income, I have several ideas in the works. A finance and real estate writer by trade, I found a niche building a following for a website launch in August, which I work on myself in addition to my writing. Of course, this means that I had to create separate, stand-alone Twitter, Facebook, and Ping accounts designed to drive traffic to that website and update the fan base specific to it.
After the website, I have a few e-books in progress, different websites for those and different social media promotion accounts -- it's enough to drive a sane person into a strait jacket.
Timing is everything
How do I manage all of these accounts, effectively interact with my following and actually build my business without getting sucked into the black hole of social marketing, you ask? Timing and organization is my answer.
I am a big fan of to-do lists -- I am also a spreadsheet fanatic. I took about an hour to get organized, adding my daily updates to my to-do list and drafting a spreadsheet to manage it all. I allocate 30 minutes each day to each account. I log on, interact, chat up my followers, comment on their goings on, do a quick promotion or status update and go on with my day. I check off each item, then rinse and repeat.
I use spreadsheets to track the articles and venues I market, as well as my Twitter and Ping start and end dates for each. This keeps my content lively and fresh; repeating any one thing only for short spurts. After the initial spreadsheet creation, it only takes me a few minutes to update it, which I do once per week.
The nice thing about social media marketing, for me anyway, is that I don't have to think too hard about it. I can do it while I am watching the latest installment of my favorite television show, and accomplish it at various times of the day. My hope for you is that you don't have all of bordering-on-the-realm-of-ridiculous accounts to manage, but if you have one or two, to-do lists and spreadsheets work harmoniously together, keeping your social media business head above water; happily tweaking Tweets and parlaying your Pings. From my social media empire to yours, have a happy update.
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