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It’s pretty common knowledge that implementing an effective social media strategy takes time. That makes tips on how to maximize your social media productivity, such as those shared by Todd Schnick, co-founder of #Innochat, on his strategy for allocating your time very valuable. Todd’s recommendation was to divide your social media participation time into thirds, with 1/3 of your time within each category:

  • Observing / listening in others’ social media outlets
  • Participating in others’ outlets through commenting, guest blogging, etc.
  • Creating content and being active within your own outlets

Ever since Todd shared that concept in early 2009, his social media productivity strategy has been front and center in my mind (and ensconced in my social media strategy presentations). The truth is I rarely come close to this balanced approach since creating Brainzooming content definitely represents the majority of my time.

One way of improving your time allocation though is by investing your effort in activities which contribute to more than one of these categories. The following list includes some of the multi-category approaches I have tried.

13 strategies to maximize your social media time efficiency

1. Use tweets with your original content as input to create a blog post. For example, this blog post on 5 personal strategies started as a series of individual tweets.

2. Comment on another blog and use the comment as the basis for an original post on your blog.

3. Do a post comprised of comments (or links) other people have shared on Twitter you’ve found valuable.

4. Incorporate Twitter-based responses you’ve received from others on your content / ideas / tweets into a blog post.

5. Write a post inviting guest posts for your blog, then tweet links to your invitation post to solicit guest bloggers.

6. When you come across someone interested in topics related to your blog, ask them to do a guest blog post (and refer them back to the post in #5).

7. If you write a guest post for another site, do a complementary post on your blog pointing your followers to it.

8. Participate in Twitter-based chats on topics of interest (#Ideachat – Monthly, 2nd Saturday at 9 am ET) and use your comments during the chat as the basis for a blog post.

9. Create your own Twitter chat linked to your blog topic to benefit your audience.

10. Use answers you’ve created for LinkedIn Q&A or other discussion groups as starters for blog posts.

11. Write a response article to a blog post you’ve come across via Twitter, RSS feeds, etc.

12. Use what people on Facebook, Twitter, or other networks are talking about as the inspiration for a post. Be sure to include links to the original conversation, including letting the people you’re referencing know about it so they can promote it within their networks.

13. Answers to reader questions can be reformatted into blog posts. This post was originally an email response to a reader’s question about how to strengthen his social media participation without taking too much time from necessary business development activities!

What are you doing to maximize your social media productivity? Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we’ve developed  integrated social media strategy for other brands and can do the same for yours.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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31 Responses to “Social Media Productivity – 13 Tips to Maximize Your Time”

  1. Todd Schnick says:

    Thanks Mike. A thrill to be mentioned…

    • Mike Brown says:

      Todd – It’s only right you get a mention. I’ve used the version of your concept depicted in the chart here in many presentations!

      Thanks again for the original idea!

      Mike

  2. Really great tips! I’m always looking for ways to get more done in less time.

    I think that using the LinkedIn answers is a great idea!

    • Mike Brown says:

      Thanks Katherine!

      It’s not really mentioned in the post, but the LinkedIn idea can go both ways. You can use blog posts you’ve already written as the basis to answer questions on LinkedIn.

      Mike

  3. Diane Stein says:

    This is a great list of tips! Here is another one – don’t get lost! Social media can eat up your time with little to no results if you don’t have a plan. Take the time to plan out how and why you intend to use social media and be sure to include in this plan the resources you have as well as how they can best be utilized. And don’t forget to have some way to track your results so you know if you are getting a return on your investment.

    • Mike Brown says:

      Diane – You’re absolutely right about having a plan and a reason that social media activity makes sense in your business. Tracking is important along with a willingness to modify your plan to take best advantage of new opportunities or learnings you have.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Mike

  4. dominiq says:

    Excellent tips. Thanks.

    On our end: Using our own app and efficiently engaging with 2000+ social media bloggers like these: http://blog.ecairn.com/2010/03/11/1970/ :-)

  5. Jon Thomas says:

    Great post. I’ve found the chats to be particularly useful. I think the biggest challenge isn’t so much finding things to do in regards to social media and content creation, but staying focused. Making sure you segment your time effectively (the graph was simple but true) and stick to that.

    I try to use my first morning hour just consuming content, then the next spreading some of the best content, another few hours in the afternoon creating, etc. Though avoiding distraction is something I battle with every day. There is so much noise out there that you can get sidetracked in a matter of seconds.

    Jon

    • Mike Brown says:

      It’s true Jon there are all kinds of places to spend time. For me, it’s important to spend time doing things that can get used in multiple ways. I probably don’t tend to use as defined of periods of activity as you discuss, but I can definitely see the benefit of taking that approach.

      Mike

  6. That’s a fascinating concept, Mike, and I’d love to learn more about it.

    How exactly have you implemented that?

    I find having a goal and setting a timer are essential, whatever my Social Media focus is.

    Best,
    Christine

    • Mike Brown says:

      Not sure which concept specifically Christine, but most of them have links to blog posts which show examples. Let me know if there’s a particular one you’d like more discussion on.

      The idea of timing your activity is a great one to monitor your time investment!

  7. tannerc says:

    One thing that has proven to be the most beneficial for me and my business has been participation in existing conversations. Providing insight or valuable feedback to an existing conversation occurring on Facebook or Twitter (as examples) has brought a truly surprising amount of traffic to my websites and increase customer acquisition by a notable amount!

  8. tannerc says:

    One thing that has proven to be the most beneficial for me and my business has been participation in existing conversations. Providing insight or valuable feedback to an existing conversation occurring on Facebook or Twitter (as examples) has brought a truly surprising amount of traffic to my websites and increase customer acquisition by a notable amount!

  9. tannerc says:

    One thing that has proven to be the most beneficial for me and my business has been participation in existing conversations. Providing insight or valuable feedback to an existing conversation occurring on Facebook or Twitter (as examples) has brought a truly surprising amount of traffic to my websites and increase customer acquisition by a notable amount!

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s always easier to go where the audience is and participate than trying to gather a new audience. Great point Tanner! 

  10. Julia says:

    We noticed that one of our infographics was becoming quite controversial on Twitter/ in the blogging world, so we wrote a response to it in our company blog on tumblr. Seemed like a good idea, until we realized that only Tumblr users are able to comment, thus, effectively stopping the dialogue. 

    Any suggestions, how to get around this?

  11. Mike Brown says:

    At times Julia, you simply have to go where the conversation is – either with the content itself (which didn’t work with Tumblr) or to become active in the conversation. If you’re trying to reach a broader audience on an ongoing basis, you may want to consider other blogging platforms. You may also want to consider adding a live Twitter widget to your blog post that brings in the convo going on over at Twitter so that it’s visible along with your blog post.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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