“How do you use social media?” It’s a question I’d never been asked until recently. As I explained, it became clear to me that social media has become so deeply integrated with my life that I don’t even notice all its uses. Here are four ways I use social media, as well as the tools that make it possible.
Monitor Trends and Dig Deeper
I love learning, but events unfold quickly and information is scattered. Social media offers an incredible variety of breaking news, detailed commentary, and social signaling on topics that matter, but it’s often challenging to get only relevant information. Enter Topsy.
Topsy has been described as “the Google of social media.” It’s great for finding time-sensitive information, watching an event unfold, or digging deeper into an area of interest. The service works
across social networks and many different languages to bring you the best.
Twitter has evolved into a personal RSS feed. If you want to research the competition, keep up with your friends, or get content from your favorite publication, Twitter is gold. The problem lies in the volume. If you follow more than 150 people, seeing the most important information is a function of luck. Even Twitter lists become overwhelming because they require constant mindfulness about when and how many times per day to check in.
I found myself having constant information anxiety about what I was missing. Some might call this “the fear of missing out” (FOMO). I searched everywhere for a tool that would send me just the best from anyone I selected on Twitter. The tool didn’t exist, and my pain level got high enough that we decided to build it. Solve your own problems, right?
Brook sends you a daily email digest of the five best tweets from those you select. Every day, it does the hard work by grabbing tweets, scoring them based on social endorsement and filtering out duplicate results, aggregating the subscriptions, and sending them to your email every morning. It’s like having a personal Twitter assistant, and the digest has turned into my daily newspaper.
Find Out When You or Your Friends Are Being Talked About
It’s important to keep up with what is being said about you, your friends, or key topics. This can tip you off to important new developments and help maintain your reputation. However, searching for your company name, your name, your industry category, or your friends on multiple social media platforms can be extremely time-consuming.
A service that I like is Mention. Mention is a great tool because it’s a set-it-and-forget-it resource for keyword tracking on multiple social platforms. You can tell it which keywords you want to monitor, and it will notify you when it finds posts containing those terms. Make sure you pick specific terms, though, or you could end up with a ton of irrelevant notifications.
Another good tool is Newsle, which allows you to connect your social media and get notified via email when one of your friends gets mentioned in a news article. It has helped me keep up with my friends’ accomplishments, big announcements, and even an unfortunate arrest (seriously).
Optimize Your Posts and Track Clicks
Always being actively engaged in social media is not practical, nor is it productive. I found myself wanting to create a bank of sharable content — without sharing it all at once.
Buffer has been a huge blessing. It integrates with my browser and allows me to generate a social post with one click, select the distribution platforms, and store it for later to be released on a schedule. By allowing me to spread out my content throughout the day across all my social networks, it literally doubled my engagement.
The other key aspect of Buffer is its easy ability to track clicks. Each post contains a unique, shortened URL, allowing me to easily check how many people clicked my shares. Posts with literally no social engagement have been some of the most clicked-on, while others that got a ton of retweets received almost no clicks.
Bottom Line: Be Active but Efficient
Being immersed in social media and real-time data can be important. However, it doesn’t have to consume your life or create the need for additional employees. There are many tools out there (including the ones I’ve mentioned here) that can help you get what you need — without burning time.