So many social media sites, so little time. This is my plan for keeping on top of it all, and getting more out of your social media life.
Breakfast – catch up and schedule
Get the latest on what’s happening and find shareable content with Digg Reader for news and blogs, YouTrends for the latest trending videos, Reddit for trending funnies and Twitter for the big conversations globally or in your area. Instantly share the most interesting stuff using Buffer (and its brilliant Chrome plugin), which staggers your updates throughout the day. This keeps your Twitter and Facebook filled with good content, taking the pressure off in case you have a busy day.
Lunch – respond and engage
This is when everyone jumps on Facebook and Twitter so a good time to check in on the ‘big two’. Use TweetDeck to view Twitter and respond to engagement from your Buffered posts – thank any retweets and mentions with replies or favorites. Then have a scan for any recent developments worth commenting on or adding to your Buffer.
As you’re probably at a computer, this is also a great time to show some love on Pinterest, trawling through your feed to find great images to like and re-pin.
Dinner – longer reads
Chances are you’re in the majority that have flirted with Google+ but don’t use it regularly. I find that people get great value out of it once they start, so get the ball rolling by posting something and actively joining a conversation in a Community relevant to you or on your timeline, every afternoon. It’s a heavily American audience so early evening is a good time to start posting if you’re in UK/Europe.
This time is also when a lot of commuters are bored on the train, reading Twitter, so your Buffer should have a few scheduled slots between 5pm and 7pm. A good time to post links to well-written content (like the best stuff on Medium, for example)
Supper – prime time conversations
The peak of social media traffic in the week is always at around 8pm, in line with TV’s prime time. Conversation on Twitter is largely driven by real-time conversation around TV, so if you’re watching a popular show get tweeting about it with the hashtag, make any witty observations and retweet other people’s. Share relevant bite-sized content on the topic such as memes – as opposed to long blogs or videos.
If you’re really keen, now is a good time to put a few things in your Buffer so you have content going out to followers in other time zones while you sleep.
It goes without saying you should try to maintain your weekday activity where possible, especially the ‘breakfast’ and ‘supper’ ones, but here are some weekend-specific to-dos:
Saturday – capture your moments
Typically the quietest day in social media as people spend the least time at screens on Saturdays, instead opting for shopping, seeing friends and doing stuff around the house. This is however when you’re likely to do your most interesting stuff so take lots of pictures with your phone’s camera app, and then Instagram them both on the day and later. Think of your fun weekend activities as opportunities to capture photos for use throughout the week.
Sunday – putting time into bigger content pieces
In opposition to Saturday, Sunday is traditionally the busiest day online, particularly in the mid-afternoon post-lunch lull. It’s when the most people are online, they have the most time and are most relaxed – meaning the best content to put out here is long-form content such as blogs, articles and videos. It’s also when you have the most time to properly produce and promote it.
Write a blog post or record your video blog or podcast in the morning, post it in the afternoon and then take the time to promote it across all your platforms. Beyond putting links with great hooks such as questions or counter-intuitive statements (e.g. Why Drinking is Good For You, Could Drinking Really Be Healthy?) generate conversation where possible through reaching out to passion centres of the topic e.g. tweet at influential people in that sphere asking them what they think, go to the Google+ Community or sub-Reddit and ask people there what they think. Remember to not take a promotional tone, but a human and conversational one.
Twitter – follow new people, @mention influencers and keep an eye on your Buffer analytics to learn what’s working and what’s not. Use ManageFlitter to find new people to follow and clean out your Following list if bloated.
Blog – at least one post per week, but always as many as you can manage. Use Google Analytics to see what worked and where traffic is coming from.
Review your blog theme and any widgets you’re using. Is everything up-to-date? Is your bio still true or relevant across all networks? Do you still have links to sites you’ve abandoned?
Use ManageFlitter or Klout to chart your growth on Twitter and in social media over the year.
Most of all, have fun and enjoy it. I don’t get round to all of the above but now I’ve actually written it down in this post I’m going to start trying! Let me know any useful habits of yours in the comments below!
Everyone’s favourite caractère tragique Alan Partridge (created and played by Steve Coogan) has returned after 8 years of absence from our screens, only this time round he’s fronting ‘Norfolk Digital Radio’ and we can see his hapless exploits in a Fosters-sponsored YouTube series ‘Alan Partridge’s Mid Morning Matters’ in which Alan and new, young sidekick played by Tim Key (who’s deservedly doing very well at the moment) bumble through his morning radio show. The usually-funny Will Andrews also puts in a good performance. Word on the street is that Baby Cow Productions, the company started many comedy moons ago by Armando Ianucci and Steve Coogan were given complete creative control of the series. Is it funny? Is this essentially an appetite-whetter for the forthcoming Alan Partridge movie? Have Fosters taken a hands-off enough approach?
I’m back online after a whole week off work and without any tweets, blog posts, photo uploads or much action between me and the internet at all.
If you’re curious to know what it’s like to live without Facebook, Twitter, iPlayer, Digg or whatever it is that keep you stuck to your laptop in bed, at the dinner table, on the sofa, on the train and at work I urge you to give it a go. It really made me realise that amongst other things…
This doesn’t mean to say I’m ditching social media in any way. The week has merely served to recalibrate my use of it. I will be resuming service on my Twitter, Flickr, MySpace, willfrancis.com, Tumblr and the rest from the minute this blog post goes live 🙂