As a social media editor, Facebook page manager and tweeter extraordinaire for business accounts, student organizations and my own personal pages, I spend a lot of time browsing social media sites. It’s not just all fun and games for me (I’ve read countless posts on how to cut down your time on these types of sites and trust me, it’s never going to happen), but I’ve managed to get myself into a pretty regular routine of posting. However, my recent research into all the social media managing options out there seems to be telling me one thing: I’m doing it wrong. There are hundreds of applications, tools and tricks that claim to be the next best thing in social media.
How can I filter through all of those when I still have neglected some of the most basic rules of social media? These functions exist for a reason: to help make social media posting easier and more effective for the user. But for some reason, I just don’t make the time for them. I know why I don’t use some of these tools, but others are more elusively un-useful. Here’s the list of things that I’m just not doing:
1. Scheduling my updates. So many tools exist to make social media something I don’t have to think about all day long. Sometimes I convince myself that updating “when I get around to it” makes the post feel more natural and less canned, therefore getting more readers. However, my scheduled posts don’t have to sound scheduled if I just take some time in the beginning of my day to think with a fresh mind how I as a reader would want to see my post. To give myself some credit, I have started using ifttt for combining some of my Facebook page and Twitter updates, and thus far it has worked fantastically. It takes away some of the control on the Twitter end but I’ve found it to be worth it as far as timesaving goes.
2. Using lists. I have created multiple Twitter lists and even Facebook lists, but I don’t even come close to touching my Twitter lists and only check my Facebook “Close Friends” lists every so often. Why? The lists could cut down on so much of the clutter in my various newsfeeds. I attribute this to laziness on my part but also as a condition of the sites I use. Both Facebook and Twitter default to the main newsfeed, leaving me to scroll through the updates as it loads rather than clicking on a sidebar to find what I’m really looking for. I fear that someday, if I start using the lists, I’m going to miss out on an important update because the person isn’t on my list.
3. Using a social media client. With this I add a note of more often because I do use social media clients, just not every time. I like the TweetDeck for Google Chrome application, but I use it mostly for Twitter and find the original Facebook site to be more visually appealing. Call me old school, but I really like the Twitter website and have found the recent redesign to be intuitive and easy to manage. Social media clients often promote the usage of other tools such as scheduling, lists, hashtag monitoring, etc. because of the columns that are the main part of the design. Getting myself in the habit of checking a social media client (properly formatted with columns of lists, mentions and hashtags I’d like to follow) at least once daily would likely increase my productivity on these sites.
4. Monitoring shortened links. When I share posts or send updates via TweetDeck or ifttt, I usually make an effort to use my bitly account (even though I’ve heard tiny.cc does a better job – thoughts?) but I rarely go back into my account to see the number of times a link was clicked. I do use Facebook insights because they appear right below the post on the Facebook page, reminding me to click on the full insights page to see all the details. I avoid the bitly page often out of fear (this is becoming a common theme here and it’s scaring me) that no one has clicked on my posts.
I was ready to write example number five, but my self-confidence in my social media skills is already eroded enough, and let’s face it, if you’ve read this far down you should win a prize. But enough about me – what are some things you don’t do on social media that you should or (to mix it up) things you used to do that you don’t do anymore because they weren’t useful or worth the time? Instead of the next hottest trend in social media, I’m interested in finding our your habits. Share in the comments!