I use social media quite a lot and people are always asking me how I manage to be so prolific – and find time to work too!  The secret is to have a system, use the tools that are available and set time aside to manage your posts.

I’m not going to review all the tools that are available – there are many – but these are the ones that work for me.

The one I use the most is Hootsuite (a similar tool is Tweetdeck, but I think Hootsuite does more).  With this I can:

  • Keep an eye on my Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and Google+ accounts in one place so I can see what people are posting.
  • Keep up with my Twitter lists so I can see what groups of people are saying.
  • Schedule tips and PR a week at a time so I have visibility even when I’m busy doing other things.
  • Respond and thank people who mention me, RT my posts, etc.

I spend a few minutes after doing my email morning and evening being proactive on Twitter (via Hootsuite) and about 20-30 minutes a week uploading information of value to other people.

Facebook can be monitored via Hootsuite, but to manage your account and Page you’ll need to go to Facebook.com.  I spend about 5 minutes a day (usually in the evening) taking a look at my personal account and 10 minutes a couple of times a week responding to comments, likes, etc on my Facebook page.

Linked In is a valuable tool if you’re a business-to-business supplier.  I don’t use Linked In proactively, I tend to fairly reactive, however, I do look at profiles of people who want to connect with me and I have optimised my profile (download How to optimise your Linked In profile from the Treasure Chest) so I show up in searches.  A further 15 minutes twice a week contributing to group forums and answering questions in the Answers section would improve my profile there (note to self – get on with it!).

I don’t pretend to be perfect, but I do have a consistent profile on social media and it definitely works for me as I get referrals and recommendations often.  It’s not just the people I don’t know who find me through my social media posts – it’s also the people who I have met, but might have forgotten about me if I wasn’t right under their nose all the time.  I know I’ve been asked to do work for contacts I’ve had a long time, simply because they see me sharing my knowledge on Twitter and Facebook quite a lot.

In 20-30 minutes a day you’ll be surprised what you can achieve to market your business online.