A couple tips for managing social media
As people get more involved in social media, one of the inevitable obstacles that comes up is a feeling of being overwhelmed by the amount of information that’s available. I’ve called this information anxiety, because it can be more information than we are really prepared to handle. When we get too much information we aren’t sure what to do with it, we get frustrated, and eventually quit.
One of the challenges with social media is learning to manage multiple streams of information. If you are on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter you are dealing with three different sites and on each site multiple streams of information coming from all the people in your network. Additionally each site has different features and learning those features can take some time.
So how to deal with that challenge? There are several ways to do it.
First: Develop an individual strategy for how you use each social media site. How much time will you spend on each site? What do you absolutely need to do to make that site effective? Can you create a routine that enables you to do what you need to do, and then move on?
Each site will need a different strategy, because no two social media sites are alike. Different design functionality as well as audience types can and does dictate what you do on a given site, so keep that in mind.
Second: Pick out an application that allows you to monitor multiple social media streams of information and use it regularly. I like using Tweetdeck to monitor my Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, and Myspace accounts. Other people use Seesmic or Digsby or Flock. The ability to monitor multiple social media accounts from one application can be useful and also cut down on the feeling of being overwhelmed by information.
If you’re on a social media site outside of the major ones consider using friendfeed or yahoo pipes to centralize your management of the site. You can also use them for the major sites. They can be useful for helping you keep track of your sites and manage your responses on them.
Social media doesn’t need to be overwhelming. It’s just a question of managing your time and the interfaces you use to keep track of what is happening. Figure out a strategy for using a site and stick to it, unless you can improve it.
How do you manage your social media sites? What else would you add to this?