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.
- Don’t engage with people who send you negative messages.
- 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.
- Don’t join every social media network at once. Sign up for one, master it, and then move on to another one.
- Learn to manage your time on social media by using an online timer.
- Don’t use your book jacket as your avatar (profile picture).
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
No website is complete without a Facebook Like box. Use this app to encourage more Likes on your Facebook page.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.