7 Tips to Networking on the Social Web Plus Apps & Plugins (Part 2)

7 Tips to Networking on the Social Web Plus Apps & Plugins (Part 2) by Frances Caballo

Last week I shared my 7 tips to networking on the social web. In case you missed those tips you can see them here again, in brief.

  1. Don’t engage with people who send you negative messages.
  2. If you don’t want to accept or receive invitations to play Farmville, Scrabble, and other online games, block them in your security settings on Facebook.
  3. Don’t join every social media network at once. Sign up for one, master it, and then move on to another one.
  4. Learn to manage your time on social media by using an online timer.
  5. Don’t use your book jacket as your avatar (profile picture).
  6. Set your Facebook notifications to receive an e-mail whenever you are mentioned or you are tagged in a photo. On Twitter, you’ll want to know when you have a new follower.
  7. If you use SocialOomph, sign up for alerts notifying you of when you were retweeted or mentioned and when your hashtag was used.

This week I’m going to share with you a number of applications that are designed to encourage social sharing while reducing the amount of time you spend on social media.

Streams of incoming messages accumulating in your news fees are some of the biggest hindrances to being social. If you use TweetDeck, it can be mesmerizing to see endless influx of tweets pouring in. When you’re new to Twitter, for example, your news feed can be fertile ground for finding content to share. But if you have 1,000 or more Twitter followers, it can be difficult to cut through the slush and find the gems that you’ll find worth retweeting.

Four Apps for Twitter Chats

One way you can cut through the plethora of messages is to find and join Twitter chats that focus on specific areas of interest. Nothing can replace the feeling of immediacy that interacting with a wide number of people on Twitter will provide. They are interesting, fun, and, depending on the topic, very entertaining. Use these applications to find a Twitter chat that you might enjoy.

TweetGrid

With this application, you can keep track of multiple keywords, including multiple Twitter chats. You can even join more than one chat, and the website will create grids with live updates within each. In essence, it creates real-time chat rooms based on the Twitter hashtags in use.

Wiki Page

Go to this wiki page to find lists of chats organized by the day of the week. There are chats on book marketing (#bookmarket), writing (#writechat), blogging (#blogchat), screenwriting (#scriptchat), social media (#socialchat), connecting readers to writers (#litchat), ebook discussions (#epubchat), and more. The list is exhaustive.

InkyGirl

Inky Girl lists Twitter chats just for writers. Check out this wiki page and find chats for your genre or areas of interest.

Twubs Once you sign up with Twubs, you can join chats, and the application will automatically add the hashtag to your tweets as long as you remain on Twubs’ website. It’s convenient and fast, and the app will keep you updated about the latest addition to the conversation.

Applications to Help You Find Newsy Nuggets

People post about everything on social media. They show pictures of gluten-free lasagna, a son’s graduation, and trending videos on YouTube. If you would like to view and comment on these posts, then do so. But if you want to find the real news, join conversations with more substance, and create content that others will want to share, there are a variety of applications that can help you.

Nutshell Mail

Once you sign up for Nutshell Mail you can determine whether you want to receive an update once or twice daily and at what time. When an e-mail arrives, it will keep track of Likes, posts, comments, and Facebook’s analytics (Insights) on your Facebook page. On your profile, it will update you about birthdays, friend requests, wall posts, event and group invites, and messages. On Twitter, it will keep track of new follows and unfollows. You can even tweet, reply, retweet, and send a direct message without leaving your in-box. On LinkedIn, you can keep up on social profile updates and even monitor your discussion groups.

Newsle Newsle will send you e-mail alerts when people you follow are mentioned in articles online. It’s always a friendly gesture to send the person an e-mail or tweet congratulating them on the mention or a great post they wrote. According to the application’s creators, “Newsle tracks real news. Every story in your Newsle news feed is a real news article from a newspaper, news website, or blog that mentions or quotes your friend.” To set it up, simply connect to Twitter, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn. Review the settings to select how often you want to receive an e-mail notification.

CommunitCommun.it

This app will analyze your relationships and help you to engage with them better. The basic service is free and keeps track of your followers and interactions. With a single glance, you’ll know which users you should follow and which of your Tweeps you need to thank or send a reply to. This application allows users to manage their Twitter lists.

Cloze

Cloze is a free application that combines your social media and e- mail in one place. It promises to reduce the clutter by learning which people are important to you and moving those individuals to the top of your in-box. You can see your friends’ activity, respond to them, retweet their posts, or move on to the next item. The creators say this about it: “Cloze analyzes your e-mail and social history to learn who matters to you, giving everyone a Cloze Score. With the Cloze Score as our guide, we sort your mail and social messages into different lists, organized by importance.”

When you check your LinkedIn page, the application can show you the influencers within your skill set, and it will indicate how you are connected to them. If they are a first-degree connection, you can contact them directly. Note: You’ll need to ask for introductions to second- and third-degree connections. This is a productive way to connect with your current connections and make new ones.

If you are using the skills feature on LinkedIn—and after all, why wouldn’t you?—LinkedIn will show you users who share similar skills and note their names, pictures, and titles. If they are considered first-degree connections, you can send them a message and ask to be connected. While you’re on LinkedIn, take a few minutes to endorse the skills of some of your contacts, request recommendations, and send recommendations to your colleagues. You can also check in on one or two of your groups and determine whether you have information to add to the conversation.

Facebook Messenger

This nifty tool will help you to keep in touch with friends who are messaging you. You can use it on your PC, iPhone, or Android—and it’s free.

WordPress Plugins to Help You Build Your Community

These plugins won’t help you find blog posts to share, but they will help you to nurture your readership. By adding one or more of the WordPress plugins below, you will be able to promote community and build engagement. Here are a few:

Gravity Forms

For $39, you can purchase this plugin and enjoy an unlimited amount of forms, auto-responders, spam protection, updates, and support. This plugin integrates with iContact and aWeber e-mail newsletter programs.

Digg Digg

Have you noticed the ribbon of social media icons that appear alongside the blogs you read? You can install this plugin to encourage social sharing right from your website. Social sharing buttons include Twitter, Buffer, Facebook Share, Facebook Like, Digg, LinkedIn, Google+1, and many more.

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 6.25.13 PM

Social Stickers

If the floating ribbon of Digg Digg seems too assertive, you can try this plugin, which will also point your readers to a variety of social networks.

Facebook Like Box

No website is complete without a Facebook Like box. Use this app to encourage more Likes on your Facebook page.

Follow on Twitter button

You’ll find a number of different formats for your Twitter button, including “tweet” and “follow on Twitter.” Select the button you pre- fer, and copy the html code onto your website.

Yoast for SEO Optimization

Are you confused about search engine optimization? This plugin breaks down the elements and makes it easy for your blog post to rise higher in Google’s rankings so that your future readers will be able to find and connect with you.

Facebook subscribe plugin Including the Follow button on your website enables people to follow your profile without sending you a friend request. In turn, they are able to see all your public posts.

LinkWithin

This is another plug-in that needs to be on your must-have list. The widget will automatically appear at the end of each new post and refer your readers to previous posts that are similarly relevant.

Final Comment

Don’t forget to schedule fifteen minutes every day to socialize with your virtual connections. Like some posts, leave a few comments, retweet interesting blog posts, find new people to follow, and endorse the skills of your connections on LinkedIn. Check in on your LinkedIn groups and join the conversation. Read a blog post by someone you admire and leave a comment. This is the best part of social media, so have fun with it.

This post is an excerpt from my new book Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write.

Also See:

10 Twitter Tips for Nonfiction Writers 

7 Tips to Networking on the Social Web (Part 1)

 

Social Media Time Suck Final for WritersAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

7 Tips to Networking on the Social Web (Part 1)

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Don’t you get tired of broadcast media? I unplugged my Comcast cable four years ago, and I’ve never regretted it. Television programming would interrupt my favorite shows with annoying commercials and cancel the few programs I really liked. The worst part is that I had to conform my schedule to my favorite program’s schedule. In comparison, social media is perfect. There are no interruptions, and I can visit the networks whenever I have time. And it allows me to interact with colleagues and friends across the country and around the world. Most importantly, social media enables me to nurture relationships with readers and friends. Petty cool, huh? Four-Step Cure to Social Media Time Suck Just as a reminder, setting aside time to be social is the third step in my four-step cure to social media suck. Here are the four steps:

  1. Curate information in your niche every morning.
  2. Select an application and schedule your tweets, posts and updates.
  3. Make time to be social every day.
  4. Check your analytics to determine which messaging works best with your audience.

Make Time to be Social Social media is all about nurturing relationships. Did someone retweet one of your messages? Find a tweet they wrote that you like and return the favor. While you’re at it, consider sending a note of thanks to everyone who retweeted you.  Do you have new followers? Spend some time getting acquainted with them by reviewing their profiles or visiting their websites. (It only takes a second or two.) Is there an agent or editor on LinkedIn with whom you’d like to connect, but can’t because they are a third degree connection? Ask a friend to introduce you. Did a col- league just publish a new book? Help her promote it by informing your friends and connections about it. Socializing on social media involves these three steps: meet, connect, and repeat. You are constantly meeting new people, connecting with them, and then repeating the process with someone new. Remember to be positive and open-minded and stick to neutral topics. If you have an iPad, iPhone, Android, or another device, you can socialize online whenever you have some idle time. (If you don’t have idle time, then it’s important to schedule some in.) For example, you can use your mobile device while watching a movie at home, waiting at your doctor’s office, letting the color set on your hair at your stylist’s salon, waiting for a friend to arrive at a coffee shop, or while standing in line at Costco. If you’re someone who needs to schedule virtual socialization into your day, then set an alarm to sound at four or four thirty in the afternoon and do it then. Force yourself to take a break from your regular work, go online, and interact with your readers and colleagues. In other words, keep the social in social media. 7 Dos and Don’ts to Being Social Here you’ll find my 7 tips to networking on the social web.

  1. Don’t engage with people who send you negative messages. Take a deep breath, move on to another task, and forget about them.
  2. You will inevitably receive invitations to play Farmville, Scrabble, and other online games. Unless you find these games relaxing, you may not want to use these diversions because they tend to consume time that you could instead use connecting with your Facebook friends or writing your next book.
  3. Do you feel pressured to use every social media network available to you? Don’t fall for that trap. If you don’t have the time to manage LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and RebelMouse, determine which platforms best enable you to connect with your audience and best fit your audience and marketing style and goals.
  4. In order not to become lost in the vortex of social media time suck, you will need to learn how to manage your time. For example, perhaps you need to use LinkedIn for only five minutes three times a week. That’s okay. Maybe you don’t have the time to schedule more than four tweets daily. Don’t worry. You don’t need to maximize your efforts on every social media network. Use the ones that most appeal to you, are helping you to build relationships, and in turn are connecting you with your readership.
  5. Don’t use your book jacket as your avatar (profile picture). People want to see the face behind the book, so put on some blush or go to the barber, brush your hair, and smile for the camera.
  6. Set your Facebook notifications to receive an e-mail whenever you are mentioned or you are tagged in a photo. On Twitter, you’ll want to know when you have a new follower.
  7.  If you use SocialOomph, sign up for alerts notifying you of when you were retweeted or mentioned and when your hashtag was used.

How do you make time to be social? This post is an excerpt from my new book Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write. photo credit: shareski via photopin cc About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.