Time Saving Tips to Streamline Your Social Media Strategy

Despite our best intentions, it’s easy to “put off” filing papers, keeping good expense records, tackling the kids playroom or organizing the spice rack…..after all, there are so many things that are higher priority, and those menial tasks can be done when you have some “spare time”, right?

But suddenly, tax time arrives and you find yourself drowning in receipts as you scramble to get your files in order.  You end up wasting your valuable time as you spend hours on end trying to fill in all the gaps.   Whatever happened to that spare time?!  Oh right, a good friend called and needed an ear….the kid got sick…..the weather was just too beautiful….you know the story.

The really ironic thing is that people say they don’t have the time to stay organized, when the truth of the matter is that organization is one of the best time savers that exists!

Not only that, but organization creates the space for creative expression and productivity.  And who doesn’t want to be more creative and productive?!

For me, organization has always been easy.  I’m one of those people that finds great satisfaction in rearranging closets, pantries and drawers.  There is a place for everything in our house, and even with a 2 year old, I know where everything is at almost all times!  I say almost, because anyone with a 2 year old knows that finding shoes in the pots and pans or cars in the refrigerator is just par for the course! ;)

Considering my passion for organization, I’m sure you can imagine my dismay when I found myself 2 months in to my social media journey gasping for breath as I looked around and realized I had absolutely no systems in place here!   And we all know how important systems are thanks to Robert Allen & Mark Victor Hansen!

SAVE YOUR SELF TIME ENERGY MONEY

So how did I find myself wasting my valuable time, energy & in turn money?   I guess because it all just happened so fast.  I found the Tribe Mastermind when I wasn’t even looking, and suddenly found myself launching my blog and stepping on the gas before I even knew what car I had gotten in to!    Luckily, I always know what direction I’m heading, and trust that when my intuition says to push the pedal down, I’m usually on to something great!

All I knew was that I was having fun, making great connections, forming new business relationships and overall pleased with the journey, but truth be told, the more my connections grew the more overwhelmed I became.

I knew that I was missing out on a lot of relationship building on both Twitter & Facebook, and it was clear that I had to push pause and put some serious organizational systems in place ASAP!   I am by no means an expert in social media, I just hope to share some of what I’ve learned along the way to hopefully help you avoid going through the same growing pains I’ve gone through (self-inflicted as they may be!). ;)

Here are my TOP PRIORITY organization tools for getting started in social media:

Tip #1:  Sign up for either TweetDeck or HootSuite right away!

Unless you want to get sucked in to the time-space continuum of the Twittersphere, this is a must! I waited until I was following over 1000 people to do this, and now I have a huge mess to clean up.  While I have the most important lists created now, I know there are a lot of people that I would love to be building a connection with that I’m sure have gotten lost in the mix.

Basically these are full-functioning, free services that link to your Twitter profile and allow you to not only create lists and groups, but to separate them in columns so you can see a stream of just those people you want to be seeing.   You also have a column of people who mentioned you in a tweet or ReTweeted a post of yours….before I had this tool I am positive that I was not thanking people….not because I wasn’t appreciative, but because I had no idea they’d mentioned me!  This tool is HUGE for tribe syndication and relationship building in general!

These Twitter Clients have a bunch of other fabulous features, but in keeping this post geared to my new social media friends, I’ll just leave it at that for now.

Tip #2:  Create Facebook Lists!

In my opinion, Facebook will suck you in to a time warp way more so that Twitter, because this is the place where relationships really go deeper.  When you have lists created, you can tune in to a specific group and really maximize your Facebook experience.   I have lists for my core tribe, my extended tribe, my high school friends, college, internet marketers, network marketers, prospects, best mates, communities I’m part of, etc.  You get the picture.   By taking the time to organize these lists, I can go to Facebook knowing if I’m there for business or pleasure, and who specifically I’m looking to connect with.  If you don’t create these lists, as you add more friends, you will not only miss out on a lot of people you want to be connecting with as your feed runs on and on, but you will undoubtedly get sidetracked by friends’ conversations when you are there for business!

With the recent changes Facebook made, you now have to click on the “Friends” link in your left sidebar, and from there you can create lists and see all the lists you’ve created.  Then as you add new friends, you can just select a group for them to go in right away and you’re all set for a much smoother and more productive facebook experience!

Tip # 3:  Organize your Bookmarks!

Why I didn’t do this from the beginning I’m not sure, but for the same reason you create folders for your documents, downloads, pictures and emails, it is essential to create folders for your bookmarks!    Again, after bookmarking hundreds of sites over time, I’m not sure how I overlooked the “organize bookmarks” option, but somehow I did!  This is a lifesaver if you have a lot of blogs you are syndicating!

Tip #4:  Tweet Automation with Social Oomph!

This one is a bit more advanced, but it is the newest addition to my arsenal and I can’t go without mentioning it because it is really brilliant!   I have worked pretty hard at tuning in to Twitter at intervals throughout the day so that I could connect with different people who might be on at different times.  But some days I couldn’t find a spare moment to get on once let alone 5 times!  And let’s not forget that to run my business and my family requires sleep!  But Twitter doesn’t sleep, right?  Of course not, there are people all over the world in different time zones active and engaged in relationship building on Twitter 24/7.  This is where Social Oomph comes in.

After you set up your free account, you can spend 20 minutes entering in a good mix of whatever you tweet about and set them to publish at intervals throughout the day!   You could do this every morning, or you could do it one day a week and set up the whole week’s worth!   As I mentioned, this is a new tool to me, so all I can share is the basics, but I am really excited to spend less time expanding my connections by tweeting throughout the day on autopilot!   I’m sure there is a balancing act of Social Oomph and TweetDeck that I have yet to learn, but I am thrilled to be plugged in and sharing what I can with you along the way!

………………………..

So my message to anyone reading who may be new to social media, is DO NOT WAIT to set up the tools to streamline your process! And if you have been engaged in social media for a while and have been putting off organizing because the project just seems to daunting, just remember you don’t have to do it all at one time!  Spend 20 minutes a day on organization and you will SAVE hours each week once you’re all set up!

I don’t know if you know this, but the average person spends an hour a day searching for things!  That’s crazy to me!  Whether it’s social media organization or life organization, putting systems in place will let your creativity and productivity soar!

I hope this has been helpful, particularly to my new social media friends!  If it has, please Retweet to your followers!  And to all my experienced social media friends, I’d love to hear in the comments if you have a  favorite time saving tip to add to the mix!  Thanks!

Special Note: Please read Kimberly Castleberry’s comments below.  As I mentioned, I am new to all of this but wanted to pass along what I’m learning along the way.  Having only used TweetDeck, I assumed HootSuite was the same.   Kimberly is on the cutting edge of all things tech, so per her wisdom, I”m switching to HootSuite, which will also cover the automation of my tweets that had me so excited about Social Oomph.  You can read her comments about what is valuable about each and make your decision from there!  Happy Organizing!

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43 Responses to “Time Saving Tips to Streamline Your Social Media Strategy”

  1. Beth,

    I can so relate to your post. I also got very involved very quickly in social media and blogging, and still find myself somewhat unorganized. And now that it’s February I’m also beginning to think about the piles of unorganized tax receipts I have to get together before April 15 (yikes!!) How does this happen?

    Anyone who’s new (or not so new) to online marketing will be very wise to take your advice immediately, before things get out of hand.

    The good news is that it’s never too late to improve this situation. It could even make it onto my high priority list for this week! Thanks…
    .-= Kathy Jodrey´s last blog ..How To Add Facebook Fan Page to Blog In Less than 5 Minutes =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Kathy, I completely agree….no matter if you are just beginning or an old hat, it is never too late to improve your situation! Thanks!

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  2. Hi Beth,

    Some top tips here. Organisation is soooo the key, I too got drowned in friend invites and #ReTweets and #FollowFridays and #TribeTuesdays that I didnt even know were happening until I discovered Tweetdeck.

    I have been looking into automating my tweets and I will have to look more closely at social oomph. I have it set up for my direct messages but nothing else.

    As I am in the UK it is hit or miss if my tweets get to my target audience when I want them to and I am not happy about staying up until 4 am everynight just to get the results I want in my business.

    If I find any other automated tools I will be sure to share them with you.

    Speak Soon and Thank You
    Beth Hewitt
    .-= Beth Hewitt´s last blog ..The Princess and the Frog =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Well Beth, despite the fact that you are an amazing rock star and wake up at 4 am to syndicate with us, I’d have to say that some tweet automation would do you a ‘world’ of good! ;) We’re in this together….

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  3. Systems are the lubrication of any well-run organization. Why not add it to your social media and even personal life.

    With so much going on these days, there is just no way to do it all yourself and leveraging technology is one of the best ways. Thanks for sharing these great tips. It is always a treat to read your posts.
    .-= Jose H. Caraballo´s last blog ..The Biggest Problem Credit Counseling Agencies (Part 1) =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I really appreciate that Jose! And yes, leverage is key! :)

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  4. Congratulations on getting your social media organized. I’ve also implemented the tools you’ve mentioned and that have been a life saver. The funny thing is though, that as the list of friends and followers grows in my life I still find that at times I’m spending too much time on the social sites.

    You’ve given me a good reminder that even though I have some tools in place the tools need to be updated for better use. My original lists on Twitter and Facebook have been useful but I think I’m have to go another level deeper and create a few new lists. This way I can connect and build a better relationship with people I want to get to know better.

    A great post with good tips that comes at a time when I need to hear you message. Time to sharpen the saw a little more.

    Thanks Beth.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Don! You’ve been at this a bit longer than I have, so I should just find out what tools you’re using and follow suit, right? :) I’m glad that these tips inspired you to sharpen the saw even more! :)

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  5. This is rockin’ information Beth! You’re so right when you tell people to get this stuff FIRST… BEFORE you get SWAMPED!

    One thing I’ll note is that if you use Hootsuite instead of Tweetdeck, the individual tweet scheduling is actually built into Hootsuite. Socialoomph is still a great free tool to send an auto-DM “thank you” to new followers and generate a keyword track of your @name replies, but for daily scheduling its so much easier to do that from Hootsuite.

    For advanced twitter management, including follow/unfollow/safelist, tweet rotation automation, and a dozen other useful toys, I depend on TweetSpinner’s paid service. Tweetspinner is the only rotation scheduling tool that can still talk directly to twitter.. AND… its cheaper than SocialOomph’s paid service. Great company and you can affiliate for it too and make your money back.

    I cant say enough good things about both Facebook and Twitter Lists (and twitter columns/searches in hootsuite/ tweetdeck) … these are key to managing these two giant forces with far less overwhelm. They give you more targeted control and oversight. Facebook Lists are one of the best kept secrets on Facebook!

    Awesome tips!
    .-= Kimberly Castleberry´s last blog ..What To Do If Your Twitter Account Is Hacked =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Wow Kimberly, I appreciate the goddess of tech calling my tips “rockin’ information’! Especially considering I only know what I know and clearly didn’t know as much as I thought I did! Now, truth be told, I use TweetDeck and not HootSuite, so figured they did the same thing. Very cool to learn that HootSuite does so much more ~ so would you recommend not even using TweetDeck? Thanks for offering your very experienced tips, you’re the best!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Castleberry
    Twitter: AskKim
    Reply:

    Pros for Tweetdeck:
    1) Its pretty/shiny/sexy/glossy-black

    2) It uses bitly, which lets us track the number of times a link is EVER tracked total (even when other people share it, not necessarily all your own sharing, if you re-share a bitly it includes all the clicks of people before and after you)

    3) Has a little auto shorten post tool that turns you into u, and other character saving bits if you need it.

    Pros for Hootsuite:

    1) Better integration with everything from facebook pages to ping.fm to wordpress (although I havent exactly figured out why I would want to blog from hootsuite LOL)

    2) individual tweet scheduling, I havent found a maximum number limit or distance into the future limit, although I havent tried insane values, stored in an easy to access column super accessible

    3) owly links have click tracking on a per-message basis, so you can find out if minor re-wordings and minor time-of day differences affect your click-through results

    4) runs in a browser, takes FAR less PC resources, doesnt slow PC as much, does not need installed so you can access it from a friends house/corporate function without your own pc as long as twitter is not blocked and sometimes even if it is, no need to install anything

    5) new save draft feature lets you come back and finish writing a tweet later … or easily schedule and then re-schedule a tweet multiple times, brand new yesterday and crazy handy!

    For me, its Hootsuite hands down. Paired to Tweetspinner its the most powerful combo I’ve found for all the utilities you could possibly need when you toss in a couple free utilities from various places. I have a hard time recommending tweetdeck at this time although its not a bad product at all, its just under performing at the moment compared to hootsuite.
    .-= Kimberly Castleberry´s last blog ..Hot Facebook Tip: Invite All of Your Friends At One Time =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Kimberly ~ I’ve added a note at the bottom of my post to read your comments here ~ I really appreciate you taking the time to add so much value to my post here!

  6. Beth,

    Thanks so much for writing this… I am headed down that road as we speak. The other I realized I had all these bookmarks and couldn’t find anything I was looking for. I am scattered all over my computer with different browsers and files and it is just a mess. So I am on a mission now! Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Susan Davis´s last blog ..What Planet are YOU on? =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Susan….get on top of it while you can! You will be so happy you did, I promise! :) Let me know how the mission is going and if I can support in any way!

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  7. I can really use these tips as I’m just starting out in these Social Media arenas. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    There is always light at the end of the tunnel…..this is just about walking on a smooth dirt path versus walking over rocks, roots and streams. :)

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  8. these are valuable tips Beth,
    I will certainly need to apply these
    as my desk is in such a mess.
    I can at last visualize it looking tidy
    .-= jean´s last blog ..“Attraction Marketing” =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Awesome, Jean….visualization is definitely the first step! Please let me know if I can ever help (well, obviously not physically….as much as I’d LOVE to be in Australia right now!) ;)

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  9. Beth — LOL! The organization bit, were you reading my mind? I’m getting better for sure but you were right on target w/this one! Great tips on bookmarking files!

    Yes – Social Oomph is an essential to all Tweeple – listen to Beth and use it!
    .-= Brandy Price´s last blog ..This Post’s For You! =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Brandy ~ glad to hear you got your bookmarks organized! Organization definitely takes time, but once organized it saves tons of time….very worth it!

    [Reply]

  10. Hi Beth,

    This is such an important topic and it can never be addressed often enough!

    I used to be pretty organized, but by the time I hit 3 children, things started to slide! Now that they are teens, it is worse!

    That lack of organization has slipped into my work habits, especially since they are so intertwined with home life. When I learned to do Social Media, no one focused on the boring topic of organization. I didn’t even know what the lists were for.

    You have inspired me to correct this situation and deal with it a little at a time. I will visit this post often as I work on setting things straight!

    Nancy
    “Mentor Mama”

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Nancy ~ My mom was the same….but luckily she had me to obsessively reorganize her purse, her closet, the pantry….lol! It’s so clear that it’s a matter of perspective….to me the topic of organization is far from boring! :) Anyhow, glad I could offer up some inspiration for you!

    [Reply]

  11. I can soo relate to this! This is about hpw I got tarted too, I was off and running before I even knew what happenned.. I love the tools and resources, I dont know what I would do without them!
    .-= Julianna Brower´s last blog ..Day 7 Social Media Video Bootcamp =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Unfortunately I think a lot of people can relate ~ thus my thinking that this post was a good idea! ;)

    [Reply]

  12. Hey Beth, I am like you…LOVE organization. I couldn’t live without finding a way to organize everything. Still, being fairly new to social media, you have given me some very valuable tips on creating systems that will help things work much more efficiently (I totally forgot about Social Oomph). You’re the best!

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Glad I could help, Jennifer! The more I get to know you the more we have in common! ;)

    [Reply]

  13. Hey Beth!

    Number 3 for sure! I totally have to do that. Thanks for the kick butt reminder.

    I really like this post, you’ve invested a lot in time into it.

    Thanks Beth!
    .-= Ryan Yokome´s last blog ..5 Kick Butt Ways To *Grow Your Business* Starting With Your Mindset =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Ryan, happy to do some butt-kickin’! :)

    [Reply]

  14. Hi Beth,
    Awesome information you are sharing here. I completely agree, the speed with which the social media and blogging community grows (especially with tribe alliances) is amazing…and it can quickly lead to being overwhelmed. I use all of these tools you have mentioned and find them all very valuable.

    I agree with Kim that HootSuite is much more user friendly and faster for setting up pre-scheduled tweets.

    I do still like to use TweetDeck for real time twitter activity though. It seems to update faster and more accurately than HootSuite in real time monitoring.

    Also, there is a great free tool for managing twitter followers that I like to use “Friend or Follow” (there’s a post about it on my site if you are interested). It helps with finding out who you are following, but who’s not following back.

    Keep bringing the value…You ROCK STAR you… :-)

    Krista
    .-= Krista Abbott´s last blog ..The Power of Perspective =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hey Krista ~ thanks for the heads up about friend or follow. I recently installed Troy’s Greasemonkey Script (a la Kim) which shows who’s following you back as well, along with a bunch of other very cool features! The bottom line is it is better to be learning about the tools and putting them to use than just trying to keep up….which won’t work for very long! ;)

    [Reply]

  15. Hi Beth,
    Thanks for articulating these time saving tips! I am feeling overwhelmed right now with all the different directions I seem to be going now that I am a part of the Tribe Mastermind Community and really building up my blog. I just got introduced to HootSuite but don’t know a thing about how to use it…you seem to be on top of these tools and I will follow your guidance as I continue to drive along this Social Media highway. You are a great writer, BTW!
    Best, Mary Lou
    .-= Mary Lou´s last blog ..Olympic Lessons =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Mary Lou! I definitely can relate to the overwhelm of all the new information ~ I just keep reminding myself that as long as I’m taking one step in front of the other that I’ll keep moving forward (ok, maybe with a few steps back!) ;) ~ but overall, it’s about the journey not the destination.

    [Reply]

  16. Another great post Beth! It is really hard for me to imagine you having a hard time with organization. You always seem to be so on top of your game all of the time! You have given some really great advice here!

    I am like you with Tweet Deck and Hoot Suite. I have tried to use Hoot Suite, but it doesn’t want to let me log in to my account, so I have become much more familiar with Tweet Deck. It is great to hear Kimberly’s comparison of the two. I guess I will need to try harder to make it work.

    The only other tool that I can think of that you haven’t mentioned is Google Reader for keeping up with the Blogs that you are following. When you subscribe to an RSS feed you can choose to follow it using your Google Reader. Once you follow a blog, you can then assign each blog to a category. Google Reader will show you how many new posts there are for each blog you are following so it is really easy to see what you have missed.

    I always look forward to reading your posts and watching your videos! You have so much knowledge and wisdom to share and you have a great way with words!
    .-= Melissa Wright´s last blog ..What I have learned from the Olympics =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Again, you are too kind Melissa! And thanks for the tip about Google Reader ~ I had no idea about it so will definitely check it out!

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  17. Organization tools are definitely a must with social media since it can be “fuzzy” in the beginning. Thanks for the great tips Beth!
    .-= Michelle Shutter´s last blog ..Video Marketing? Where Do I Begin? =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    You’re welcome Michelle! And to think I’ve learned SO much more since I wrote this post! :)

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  18. Aloha Beth,

    Wow, this is an incredible post! So much value and will save everyone so much time! Thank you for taking the time to write this and Kimberly additional comments….. incredible!!
    I’m keeping this one in my fan page library!

    Mahalo (thank you),
    Kellie :)
    .-= Kellie Hosaka´s last blog ..What Is “Spiritual Awakening” & How Does It Relate To My Business? – pt. 1 =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Awesome, so glad you found this post so helpful Kellie!

    [Reply]

  19. Hi Beth,

    will definitely share this article with all those great tips and Kimberly adding her knowledge and experience as well.

    I am getting used to using hootsuite and love being able to schedule in advance.
    I also like being able to read all the facebook posts on hootsuite which don’t appear on my FB wall.

    Thanks for sharing this!
    Cheers,
    Yorinda

    [Reply]

  20. Facebook friends list really comes in handy. It helps you keep away from distraction. Facebook is really a powerful tool in social media marketing and need to utilize it’s functionality to get a better result in your campaign.

    [Reply]

  21. Hi Beth,
    I recently read an article on Hootsuite and I found a very positive review for it and I again saw your recommendation of HootSuite here and now I am going to check it and make my account there.
    Pete Goumas´s last blog post ..VitalMax Vitamins Coupons & Review

    [Reply]

  22. Hey this is a fantastic post i like how you talk about everything having its place and how that saves time i agree with this all the way. I keep telling other people this and its almost like the adults are behaving more like children and find it so hard to stay organised while sometimes that’s just pure laziness in its self.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks! You might be right that some people don’t do things that could help them save time out of laziness, but lots of time I think that people are so caught up in their “busy-ness”, that taking the time out to set these things up seems daunting, so they avoid it. When really it would save them SO much time in the long run! So rather than telling them, just keep on doing it yourself….maybe they’ll see how much more you’re accomplishing and want to know your secrets. ;)

    [Reply]

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