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.
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.
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.
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.
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.