productivity

Top 4 Time Savers for Social Media

timesavers

Many business people aiming to light up their social world set up a LinkedIn profile, a Facebook page, a Twitter account... and then halt and hope for leads to roll in. Then they realize that the daily updating, monitoring, responding, and rerouting takes time and effort.

Managing all those new accounts with no immediate payoff begins to feel like a big chore. Is social media just a waste of time?

Hang in there! Stay on top of your social world by using tools that save you time, instead of the ones that waste your time.

Here's your guide to the Top 4 social media tools that can amplify your ability to engage customers, prospects, and audiences quickly and efficiently.

1. About.me

About-Me-profile-salesperson
About-Me-profile-salesperson

Who are you, digitally? One online profile can show off your entire social persona.

Your free About.me page takes only minutes to set up. This is a great way to connect all of your social profiles into one place, so when customers are researching you, all your accounts and links are available on one page - all about you.

PRO TIP: Be sure to use a really good high-resolution photograph for the background.

TIME SAVER: Give out your About.me page link anytime you need to provide your complete social profile. Instead of copying and pasting your social links to Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and seven other web pages, simply direct traffic to this one page and the visitor can choose how to dig into your social world from one elegantly branded hub.

2. Klout

Klout-for-salespeople
Klout-for-salespeople

Having a high Klout score tells people what kind of social impact, social reputation, and social activity you have online.

Everyone starts at 10. Justin Bieber is at 100. You're probably somewhere in between.

Klout will analyze your profiles, your posting frequency, and your followers to determine your true social reach.

This number will change over time - hopefully by moving up. It's an easy metric to measure how successful your personal brand is across the internet.

PROTIP: Research the Klout score of your competition! Challenge yourself to out-Klout them in 6 months.

TIME SAVER: Klout allows you to sign in with your Twitter or Facebook account. No need to create and remember an additional password.

3. Feedly

feedly
feedly

Monitoring all of the blogs of your prospective customers individually can be overwhelming. But using an RSS reader can bring all of their latest posts into one dashboard for you to review at a glance.

RSS (that is, Really Simple Syndication) is a real-time feed that sends out an alert whenever a blog or website is updated. As far as RSS readers go, Feedly is one of the best.

It integrates with Google Reader and imports your RSS subscriptions into a magazine-style layout. When you open Feedly (available for mobile devices or as a browser extension) you can see all of the most relevant posts at a glance.

Stay on top of the latest news by subscribing to influential blogs in your industry, and comment on these blogs as they publish new posts. Being an active commenter can create dialogue and engagement with the writer of the blog, and it's a great way to open doors to further discussions. (How to Use Someone Else's Blog to Build Your Brand.)

PROTIP: Make Feedly a manageable part of your day by allocating a certain time to open it up, browse for relevant articles, and post a few comments to engage the bloggers and their audience.

TIME SAVER: Setting up your RSS subscriptions may take you an afternoon or two, but the rewards in saved time are enormous.

4. IFTTT

IFTTT
IFTTT

If This, Then That is one of the silent backbones of the social media universe.

You can link all of your social accounts (which should be easily accessible from your About.me page, right?) and set rules for how they interact with each other.

There's plenty of other ways to aggregate your social media posting, but setting up a blog-to-social-media notification is one of the biggest time savers there is.

Every time you publish a blog post, IFTTT can automatically send a post title, link, and image to all of your social profiles. At least, all of the social platforms that have an API - Google+ and Pinterest being the two notable exceptions from IFTTT's large roster of integrated services.

PRO TIP: You can also set your profiles to automatically update from any RSS feed on the web. For instance, you can set your Tumblr blog to automatically repost any post by any user that you follow on Tumblr. Be careful, though; you can easily overdo it here, and create a 'bot' that mindlessly regurgitates whatever garbage it can. That's an easy way to alert search engines that your brand is a spammer, so wield this power wisely.

TIMESAVER: Set a reminder on your calendar at least twice a month to review the rules you use with IFTTT. This will give you a triggered time to make sure everything is current with your posting rules.

Have you used any of these tools in the past? Do you have any clever tricks you'd like to share? Leave us a comment below.

The Top 3 Social Media Auto-Posting Tools Compared

buffervs

It's 2:00 AM. On your way to the fridge for a late-night snack, your best tweet ever pops into your mind! What should you do? Post it right then and there when the world is sleeping (and risk almost no one seeing your brilliance), or wait until the morning when you're busy getting ready for work (and possibly forget to post it at all)?

No need to worry about this ever again! When you use an auto-poster like Hootsuite, TweetDeck, or the new kid on the block, Buffer, you can engage social media followers and customers around the clock. Schedule messages and campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn at the perfect time.

These aggregator apps help you use your time more efficiently (and schedule those amazing late-night tweets for the next day). You can sit down, write a week's worth of tweets, and load them up. You won't need to log in again all week. Your social media accounts will remain active without your presence. (You'll still need to comment and interact as needed, but that's the fun part!)

Let's take a look at THE BIG 3 apps:

Hootsuite

Hootsuite-for-sales-professionals
Hootsuite-for-sales-professionals

Arguably, this is the most popular social media posting application. Hootsuite has integrations for most major social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook Profiles and Pages, LinkedIn Profiles and Groups, and Google +).

What makes Hootsuite the Cadillac of autoposting programs is the social analytics. There are a whole slew of reports you can use to track your shareability and success.

Hootsuite does have a Bulk Uploading tool, but it's clunky. Unless you want to brave the difficulties of CSV exporting, you'll need to schedule your posts one by one.

If you upgrade to a paid plan ($5.99/month), you can add a team member to handle your social media management. You can monitor their upcoming posts, and approve or discard them in advance.

TweetDeck

Tweetdeck-for-self-marketers
Tweetdeck-for-self-marketers

Like Hootsuite, the TweetDeck application lets you view feeds from multiple social media accounts on one dashboard. You can post to different accounts on different platforms with just a click.

Unlike Hootsuite, which is a browser-based application, TweetDeck can be downloaded onto your computer. If you want the ability to compose and schedule tweets while you are offline, and upload your work later, TweetDeck is the way to go.

I suggest creating a column for your competitors, so you can monitor their activity. Create another column for power Twitter users that also speak to your type of audience. You can use this feed as a ‘swipe file’ to get ideas for your own posts.

Buffer

Buffer-for-small-businesses
Buffer-for-small-businesses

The newest addition to the social posting arena is Buffer. You can only add the three major social media platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook - including brand pages) but what Buffer lacks in integration, it makes up for in ease of use.

Select an account in Buffer, and write post, after post, after post. Share all of your links. The application will automatically ‘buffer’ them to be separated according to a default time spacing (for example, posting every 4 hours), or you can adjust the ‘buffers’ as you like. You can also reorder your upcoming posts with a drag and drop interface.

You can Buffer any cool article you find into your feed with a single click by using a browser extension. As you surf the web, you can update your weekly social media activity with almost no effort.

What’s your favorite social media tool? Let us know in the comments below.

Kick Up Your Sales With a Three Shot Morning Latte!

Morning Productivity Coffee Shot
What do you do over your morning coffee? Scan the news? Gab with the water cooler champs? Some people make more sales by eight o'clock than others accomplish all day...or all week.

Try this!

Every morning, commit to sending three Sales Makers:
  • one thank you,
  • one note to an old customer, and
  •  one referral.
It doesn't matter if it's an Email Greeting, Greeting Card, or Postcard. Using Ace of Sales, it should take you less than five minutes.
Do this for a couple months, and when your pipeline is bursting at the seams, hire someone to send 100 for you every morning!