I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if you want to grow your blog, you’re going to spend more time on social media (and supporting other bloggers) than you’re going to spend on your own blog. And most of us? Well, we spend a lot of time on our own blogs. Which means we spend a lot of time on social media. And social media? It can be exhausting – unpleasant, even.
I’ve got some tips for managing all the social media “noise” we are subjected to – I promise you, once you get it under control (and for me, getting it under control is a work in progress!), you’ll feel less stressed and more productive.
Facebook – Do you remember when Facebook used to be a fun and convenient way to keep up with your best friends? Well, today’s Facebook is an entirely different beast. I hardly even see the posts from my best friends anymore. I spend most of my Facebook time in different Facebook blogging groups or managing my own blog’s page and I know that, without a doubt, Facebook has been an incredible tool in my blogging journey.
Except for the part where it’s totally overwhelming and a productivity black hole. Here’s how I manage:
- Turn off notifications. If you’re in ten Facebook groups and you absolutely cannot bear to leave them, at least turn off the notifications – and just check in periodically. I’ve chosen three groups that I love, and I receive those notifications. I’m in other groups, too – but I just peek in on those groups every now and then. Turning off your notifications will make you feel great – I promise you.
- Schedule posts for your blog’s page.
- If you have an active fan page for your blog, sit down once or twice a day to interact with people and respond to their comments. You don’t need to respond to everyone immediately.
Twitter – Twitter is a great tool for building relationships, easily sharing your content (and other bloggers’ content) and keeping up with what’s going on in your industry (sad to admit it, but Twitter is where I get most of my news – blogging and otherwise). The downside to Twitter is that it’s fast-moving and hard to keep up with everyone.
- Use an app that will help you manage who you’re following. I use a service called JustUnfollow.com – it’s free, but I pay $9.99 a month for their more robust service. It allows me to see which of my followers I’m not following (so I can follow back, if I choose) and which people I’m following aren’t following me back (so I can unfollow, if I choose). Blogging should never be tit-for-tat, but if you’re following 500 people who aren’t following you back – and who aren’t adding anything helpful to your Twitter stream – that’s a lot of social media “noise” you could do without.
- Use lists to organize who you follow. Again, Twitter is fast-moving! It’s hard to keep up with the people you actually want to keep up with sometimes. You can set up lists to organize the people you follow (for exampe, a list for local people, a list for bloggers in your niche, a list for bloggers you’ve met…however you’d like to organize everyone). Then, you can check in with that list and see what the people you’re interested in have been up to.
- Schedule your tweets.
Everything Else – You probably spend a lot of time on Facebook and Twitter, but I imagine you also spend a lot (if not tons) of time on Pinterest, checking email and your analytics, and checking in with your ad networks to see how much money you’re making. Checking this stuff randomly throughout the day can be time-consuming.
- Install the Pinterest app on your phone. I pin frequently from my phone when I’m out and about and have some downtime (bonus: pinning at different times of day is a great way to build your Pinterest following!).
- Check your Analytics, ad networks, etc. once a day (I don’t make a lot of money on ads and I can’t imagine that will change in a 24-hour period, so I actually only check in on that once a week or so).
- One thing I was famous for when I worked in an office was always having an empty email inbox – when it came to email, I felt like there was no time like the present – and I answered them all ASAP. These days, though, I’ve got kids home with me most of the time, and they aren’t very helpful when it comes to answering emails, which means my emails can build up. I try to set aside once or twice a day to answer emails – that way I’m getting back to everyone within 24 hours and not stressing all day about the unanswered emails in my inbox.
Be sure to check out the first two installments in my “Efficient Blogging” series:
How do you handle all the social media we have to deal with as bloggers? What are your tips for keeping it all under control?