Social Media on Less Than Two Hours a Day
I’m an enterprise social media consultant, as are my two partners. We obviously spend more than two hours a day on social media, so what’s the deal with the title?
The title refers to the amount of time I spend on keeping our social media presence going. If I can do it in two hours a day for our business, so can you for yours.
Here’s how and where I do it:
Processing New Twitter Followers – 10 minutes
Twitter sends me emails whenever someone follows me. I get probably 10-20 a day and, rather than respond to them as they come it (and interrupting my flow), I respond to them in the late afternoon or evening. This works out well, because the biggest audience on Twitter tends to be after about 5:30 Eastern time. The East Coast folks are getting off work and checking Twitter, and the West Coasters are thinking about an afternoon coffee and quick social media check-in.
I open my emails and quickly decide if I want to follow the person back. I have a bunch of rules that I use, and they probably are generally not that interesting, but a big determinant is how many followers the person has. If they don’t have many, I may decline to follow. If they don’t have a lot of tweets, I may decline also. And if they’re a bot (lots of follows, drastically fewer followers, and only a dozen or so tweets), I delete the email and move on.
If the follower passes my initial screen, I click to go to their profile. I still might not follow back unless I can find a tweet of theirs to retweet. Retweeting gets you noticed, may get you more followers, and gets you gratitude from your follower, if they’re savvy.Using this process, I can churn through 20 followers in about 10 minutes.
Tweeting – 5 minutes
I rarely do tweets from the Twitter service itself any more. The reason is that I use the various curation platforms that I describe in the following sections. I check the @Mentions tab on the Twitter Website and, if I’ve been mentioned, I send a nice thank you to the person who mentioned me. Same with retweets. I might do a couple of searches for hashtags – a keyword preceded by a hash or pound sign (#). If others have directed tweets to me, I respond.
Curating My Paper.li – 0 minutes
One of the fastest growing trends in social media, curation means helping others make sense of the daily firehose flow of information, links, pictures, and videos. There are several free platforms that enable you to create a publication based on either the flow of your Twitter, Facebook or other social accounts or on hand-picked articles you encounter and want to share.
Paper.li offers a powerful interface to shape your newspaper around a particular topic. Here’s my paper: paper.li/MikeEllsworth/1308248319
After an initial startup period of one or two months, I let my Paper.lis go on their own. They select material from the feeds on a variety of topics that I’m interested in, including social media, social networking, and curation. The paper automatically generates a new edition each day (or, for lower-volume topics, whenever there’s something to publish), and I can leave it alone or I can tweak it by deleting articles, promoting them, and blocking certain people’s articles from being automatically included.
To be honest, when I first started the paper, it took about a week of perhaps half an hour a day to get the keywords and feeds tweaked so that I could then leave it alone, which I mostly do now.
Curating My Scoop.it Topics – 15 minutes
Scoop.it enables you to create a newspaper based on a particular topic that includes only the articles you select. The topic I spend the most time on is Enterprise Social Media (the others are Social Media and Marketing Research, Social Media for Workforce Development, Social Selling for Lawyers, and Social Selling for B2B), and I spend probably the biggest portion of my daily social media routine on curating this topic. You can read it here: www.scoop.it/t/enterprise-social-media and here’s what the paper looks like:
Because it is hand-curated, Scoop.it takes more time. The service suggests various articles based on your Twitter and Facebook feeds as well as blogs and other social properties. You can add a bookmarklet to your browser and add any URL you happen to be viewing to your paper.
The cool part of this process is that Scoop.it enables you to not only add an article, but to comment on it, automatically tweet it, post it to your Facebook wall, and add it to your Tumblr or WordPress blog. If you’re concerned with keeping up with a regular blog posting schedule, this last is a godsend. Depending on the article, I may send posts to both our Tumblr account (mellsworth.tumblr.com) and the Social Media Performance Group blog (smperformance.wordpress.com).
Thus a single article can become a tweet (that can be echoed onto my Facebook wall), a post on the SMPG Facebook page (facebook.com/SocialMediaPerformance), an article in my Scoop.it newspaper, and a post on Tumblr and WordPress. (BTW, you may find those who recommend against cross-posting. Tell that to famous social media guru Guy Kawasaki.)
One of the coolest things you can do with Scoop.it is spread out your posts over the day, or over several days, using Buffer, which plugs in to the Scoop.it platform. I love Buffer; it also has a bookmarklet, and it’s a great way to not overwhelm your audience with dozens of posts.
So I spend a chunk of time finding, reading and curating articles on Scoop.it, often while watching last night’s Conan or Jimmy Fallon on my DVR. ;=}
Storify – 5 minutes
Storify is another hand-curated site. Whenever I encounter a lot of articles around a single subject, I’ll go to Storify to create a rollup, known there as a story. Here’s what one looks like:
I do this as much for myself as for others, since I’ll be returning to this particular story when I go to renovate the Social Media Performance Group Facebook page in the near future. I don’t do this every day, though.
Empire Avenue – 30 minutes
OK, I’m on record as saying that Klout – which with 100+ million members is the most popular service that purports to rank one’s social media impact – is superficial, wrong-headed, and a waste of time.
When I ran into Empire Avenue, which calls itself the social media stock market, it occurred to me that the site may turn out to be a much more accurate representation of social media influence than Klout. There are some leading social media lights on the site, but many of the top names don’t participate that much. I’m intensely interested in the operation of online marketplaces, so I joined, and in less than two weeks, became a “Vice President – Social Networking.” A year and a half later, the Avenue has changed, and no longer awards such spiffy honorifics.
The concept is simple: You connect up your social presences and the site establishes a share price for you. Other members – or perhaps more properly, players – buy shares in you, and get dividends based on your social media activity. The more they buy, the higher your price goes, and so on, like any stock market. Members can leave shout outs – often very breathless and punctuated with lots of exclamation points – for one another, and are encouraged to follow one another on other social sites.
Members are from all walks of life, but the most successful seem to be in social media or real estate.What has been the result of my dalliance with Empire Avenue? Lots more twitter followers, more Facebook friends, an invitation to join an exclusive group on Facebook, and lots more likes for the Social Media Performance Group Facebook page. Join me on Empire Avenue using this link: empireavenue.com/?t=04p2zobi
Blogging – 45 minutes
This daily total represents the amount of time I spend on the weekend setting up the week’s blog posts. We aim at three posts per week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Since we’ve written six social media books, I spend some portion of this time adapting book chapters as blog posts. I also write the week’s blogs. We try to write at least one original blog a week (and this is it for this week!) I use WordPress’ scheduling capability to publish the posts throughout the week. So you’re reading this on Thursday (or later) but I wrote it on Saturday.
Facebook – 10 to 15 minutes
Frankly, Facebook could take more time depending on whether my friends are having interesting discussions. Recently I’ve spent more time on Facebook because I recently joined that closed Facebook group I mentioned, and whose members discuss social media topics and retweet each others’ tweets.
But in general, Facebook takes a little bit of my time and I often spend that time on my smartphone while I’m walking to my parking deck in the evening – yes, I’m one of those . . .
Not included in this time is various other social media activities specifically intended for building our business, and that’s the way it should be. If your business is not social media consulting, you’ll be spending the rest of your day on your business as well. You don’t need to spend two hours a day on social media, of course, but you should select the most effective activities and set aside some time each day to work on your social media presence.
Also not included is time spent building and nurturing relationships with those you find common ground with via this process. But since that’s a key element to business development, I lump that in with the time you’d be spending working on building your business anyway.
The effect of our emphasis on curation, starting in 2011, was a fairly dramatic rise in my Klout score:
Since then I’ve risen to a robust 60. Not that that means anything, of course . . .