I’m taking a break from the usual material on lead generation strategy and tactics to do a post on managing my social media time.
If you’re like me (and if you’re not, read this anyway), you’re looking for ways to monitor social media and blog feeds without jumping around to multiple platforms. We’re all busy, and am sure we have our own methods to monitor, share, and comment on the tweets, posts, blogs, and updates we receive each day. So I did a little research, and with the help of some tools, I think I am closer to my vision. So here’s my method to be more efficient with my social media time.
First, my toolset:
- RSS Reader from Google. This is my preferred “first thing in the morning” check, so I can catch up on the latest feeds, news, and insights. (actually I start with Zite on iPad, but that’s in bed actually!)
- Google Chrome. My process only works with this browser. (But feel free to test others after it’s set up with Chrome)
- Accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
- A Gmail account to use Google’s Reader.
Second, download the following extensions from Google Chrome Store:
- Go to https://chrome.google.com/webstore
- Search and install the following extensions:
- Gooce+ that lets you view your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter feeds from Google+
Now your Google+ tool bar looks like this and when configured, you can view your other social media streams. I just did this for the aforementioned, but many social media sites can be configured.
- Extended Share for Google Plus. Then, when you see a post you like on Google+, this extension adds a share button as below.
- RSS Share for Google Plus and Google Reader. This extension does two things. One, It brings your RSS feeds right onto your Google+ streaming page, where you can review your news and share interesting articles to your circles, then re-share via other social networks with the previously described extension. This integration does work a little sluggish, and won’t allow me to give an initial comment during a share. So in my test I shared the post, then commented afterward by clicking “comment.” Second, the extension adds a share option to Google Plus on Google Reader.
I like this, because as I mentioned, I go to my RSS Google Reader first, and here I am able to share WITH initial comments as below:
Third, now let’s set up sharing on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter from the Google Reader, since we already set up Google+.
- Facebook and Twitter. The easy ones. From your Google Reader, at the bottom of your feeds, click Manage Subscriptions, then click Send To, then check Facebook, Twitter. You’ll have to authorize these connections just the first time. (You can also go to the top right and click Reader Settings)
- LinkedIn sharing. A little more intricate. Go to Settings and Send To again. This time, click on Create a Custom Link. In the Name field, type LinkedIn. In the URL field, copy and paste this:
In the Icon field, copy and paste this:
Then, you’ll be all set to share your RSS feeds to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.
Fourth, a while back, Twitter removed RSS feeds visibly from their platform. Once, you were able to save RSS feeds of timelines, users, searches, and lists. Gone? Well sort of.. A little digging from Twitter documentation and Internet research, and now ladies and gentlemen, the methods to follow Twitter feeds on your Google Reader. Again, another time saver below.
On your Google Reader, click Add a Subscription, copy and paste the URLs below, and replace my name with your search query, topic, or user that you want to follow.
* Hashtag search: http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=%23#paulmosenson
* User mention search: http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=%40paulmosenson
* Keyword search: http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=paul+mosenson
Here are a couple Twitter searches I created RSS feeds for, with the topic lead generation-one a hashtag search, the other a keyword search:
So now I can share some useful content not just from blogs and feeds but also from Twitter, right from my Reader, based on search terms or hashtags I am following.
What we’ve seen so far is a sample of social media platform integration with the goal to make cross-sharing content easy. If I start from Google+, I can share stuff on Twitter and LinkedIn. If I start from my Google Reader, I can share stuff from blogs and Twitter to Google+ and the other channels.
Now, all of the above sharing happens as I do them; there’s no tweet scheduling. So let’s add that feature, so we can spread out tweets, blogs, and articles we like on Twitter.
Fifth, Download Bufferapp (bufferapp.com) and integrate it into your Twitter account. Buffer allows you to schedule tweets throughout the day or week. So as you review your RSS and Twitter feeds from Google reader, if there’s any you’d like to share more than one time, add those Tweets to the buffer, where you get to select times and days of your tweets. This doesn’t take the place of Twitter itself, but it is a time-saving tool. Many Twitter 3rd party dashboards do have Tweet later options.
So let’s send one of my blog posts to Twitter as an example from the Reader.
Once you Tweet the post, Twitter will automatically open up to your Twitter timeline with the post. When you hover over the post, you’ll see the Buffer app, click it.
You’ll see the post again, with two options, Post Now (don’t do that- you already did from the Reader), or Add to Buffer. Once you add to Buffer, the tweet will be scheduled automatically to the next available time slot chosen when you set up Buffer. Below is mine. Tomorrow at 11:15 was the next slot available for one of my Tweets. Note the integration with bit.ly.
The above scenario also works if you click on a Tweet from the RSS feed you’re following. After I click the Tweet from the Reader, I can do the usual engaging, or send to the Buffer app later rather than retweet or reply immediately.
You can learn more about the Bufferapp when you download it.
The above information describes my approach to time efficiency and social media. By integrating platforms, social sharing becomes much more efficient and interesting. What do you think? What are your time saving social media methods?