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Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part One

Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part One

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Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part One

The QuickSprout Blog posted an infographic back in May 2015, titled "How to Be More Productive on Social Media".

The infographic was created to help the reader cut back on the number of hours they spend on social sites, and teach them how to be more productive on the social web.

Cutting back the number of hours I spend on social sites is something I want to do, and becoming more productive on the social web is something I want to learn.

I thought it would be a great personal exercise to follow the suggestions in the infographic, and see what result, if any, it had on our iASP Central social media profiles.

It is also knowledge I felt would benefit our regular blog readers, so I thought it would share with you - my journey to becoming more productive on social media.

Before I start, I'll briefly share our current social media strategy so far: iASP Central has a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and a Google+ page.

We regularly post our blog articles, and a regular #FridayFunny post, along with shout-outs of new websites that we publish for our clients, and occasionally we share links to articles that we consider to be important or valuable to our client base.

We also have a Klout score of 45 (at the time of writing), because I read about Klout when first starting as our social media manager and thought it would be cool to test it out.

Now before heading off on my journey, I will first work out what I am going to be doing.

The infographic splits the daily tasks of a social media manager into 3 groups: Content, Community Management and Growth.

Content consists of the tasks of curating, crafting, posting and scheduling content for social media.
Community Management consists of the tasks of responding, listening, engaging and helping.
Growth consists of the tasks of measuring, analyzing(sic), planning and experimenting.

For the first leg of this journey, I will be going through the Content group suggestions.

The infographic lists some tools and 5 steps I can take to help me with the daily content tasks.

The Tools:

  • Content Sources: Nuzzel / Digg Deeper / Swayy
  • Gathering Tools: Feedly
  • Streamline Tools: Pocket / IFTTT
  • Scheduling Tools: Buffer / Hootsuite

The Steps:

  1. Feedly to gather content.
  2. Setup Pocket's automatic intergration with Feedly to add articles to your list with 1 click.
  3. Setup IFTTT (If This Then That), so when you "Favorite"(sic) an article in Pocket, it will automatically be sent to Buffer queue.
  4. Collect stories, you can grab anything and everything that catches your eye or seems like it might be helpful for your audience to read.
  5. Comb through the curated content and remove anything that doesn't apply.

Reading through these steps, I notice some familiar names of tools that I have heard of from other sources. Many I haven't heard of before though.

And now, to head of on the first leg of the journey.
Let's see how I go.

Step One - Set up Feedly.

Before I get to Feedly, I notice that the infographic has listed a few websites as content sources, so let's have a look to see what they are.

Nuzzel - Nuzzel is a website that allows you to collect all of the articles shared by your social media friends/followers in one easy source. This sounds pretty handy, so lets sign up.

I link Nuzzel to our Facebook and Twitter accounts, and almost instantly I am given a list of articles, ordered by share popularity (shared by friends / people we follow).

If anything, it looks like Nuzzel will be a good way to see what topics our peers are sharing and discussing. I can also configure Nuzzel to send me an e-Mail once a day with a list of the most shared articles for the previous day.

Digg Deeper - Digg Deeper "now shows you the most-shared stories from your Twitter friends". Just like Nuzzel, I connect Digg Deeper to our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts and it gives me a list of articles being shared on our Twitter feed.

At first glance, to be honest, I'm left feeling confused. The interface is difficult to navigate. The posts listed as being the most shared aren't going to be useful for our audience.

Either I haven't set it up properly, or we aren't the right type of user. In either case, I'm going to keep an eye on it to see if it turns into more after time.

Swayy - Swayy "helps you discover the most engaging content to share with your audience on social media based on their interests and engagement".

After signing up, like the two before, I get a dashboard of articles that are suggestions for me to share. Rather than being a list of the articles being shared by friends however, Swayy appears to provide a list of articles from unselected sources that relate to us.

Compared to the first two, Swayy looks swish. It will provide me with analytics of the articles that I share through the website. It provides a list of topics matched for our audience, based on our profile (after connecting our Swayy account to our Facebook and Twitter accounts). Swayy also has a browser plug-in to make it easier to share articles that I find while surfing the web.

So after all of that, I'm left feeling like I have at least two good sources for content to share that I know is going to be relevant and valuable for our social media audience.

Now let's have a look at Feedly.

The first thing I read upon loading the Feedly website is "All your blogs, organized, and easy to read.".

It looks like I'm going to gather all of the blogs and websites that I regularly check for articles into one list. There is no need to sign up, I simply log in using our Twitter account.

Then I search for all of the blogs and websites that I read and use as content sources. Feedly recommends a minimum of 3. I pass that target without any effort.

Feedly has a free account, which you can use to share to Facebook and Twitter. But to share to other websites such as Buffer, Hootsuite or IFTTT (which were mentioned above), you need to upgrade to the Pro account. This will be interesting then.

Step Two - Set up pocket.

Pocket is a website/browser plug-in combination that allows me to mark a webpage / article I am reading for future reference.

After signing up to the Pocket website, and installing the plugin, I test it out by visiting the QuickSprout article, and clicking the plugin button. Success! I saved my first item to Pocket.

Viewing the article in my Pocket List, I can share it on Facebook/Twitter/Buffer, and I can assign tags.

Pocket seems pretty easy to use. I can see it replacing the folder of bookmarks I maintain for Good Articles to Share. Now I just add them to Pocket.

Step Three - Set up IFTTT to automatically schedule Pocket favourites into Buffer.

I've heard about IFTTT before, though I heard it referred to as If This Then That.

It allows you to write scripts (or recipes, as they call them) to automate things you do every day. For example, you can set up IFTTT to automatically tweet a photo on your Twitter when you upload a photo to your Instagram. It sounds pretty amazing.

After signing up, I'm given a list of recommended recipes, and I have to say, it looks promising. I can do things like automatically update our twitter profile picture if our Facebook profile picture changes, or send myself an e-Mail when the President signs a new law (wait, what?).

Getting back on task however, I want to create a recipe to automatically add an article that I favourite in Pocket into our Buffer queue. So the first thing I will need to do is create a Buffer account.

Setting up a Buffer account is relatively straight forward, and after connecting our 3 social media accounts to it, I'm now ready to set up a recipe to link Pocket to Buffer.

There is probably already a recipe to do this, but I want to learn for myself, so I create a new recipe. It's surprisingly easy.

First I select Pocket for the IF part of the recipe, and select which of the available recipe ingredients I want to use.

Next I search for Buffer for the THEN part of the recipe, and again select from the options.

Then I put it in the oven at 180 degrees for 45 minutes... no, I click Create, and it's done. Now to test it out, which takes me to...

Step Four - Collect stories.

Going back to Feedly, I search through the many, many lists of articles from the blogs I added before, and pick three.

Using the Pocket browser plug-in, I save the articles to my list. Then I view the list on the Pocket website, and click the star alongside each to Favourite them.

Now, I'll check our Buffer account, and lo and behold, the three articles are sitting there, scheduled to be posted to Facebook.
It's all working.
So now there is one final step for the first part of this journey.

Step Five - Comb through the curated content.

And looking at the Buffer schedule, I definitely want to do this.

Because of the limitations of the IFTTT recipe, the scheduled posts only have the title of the article, along with the tags I set in Pocket when adding the article to my list.

This is a bit too simplistic for me, so I manually edit each, and add a little more to the posts.
Save, and they're ready to go.

Phew! I made it!

So at the end of the first leg on my journey to becoming more productive on social media, I have:

  • Found two new sources for content (which also highlights content that our peers are posting).
  • Gathered all of our content sources into a single source.
  • Set up a post schedule and streamlined the collection and review of our shared posts.

Of course, I have lots of tinkering to do with all of the new accounts and services that I've just signed up for.

I need to test Buffer to make sure it is posting messages correctly, and in a format that suits our needs.
I need to check that everything is linked together properly and communicating properly.
And I want to play with IFTTT a little more to see what else I can automate.

But once all the kinks and creases have been ironed out, the whole set up should hum along nicely.
Now I just need to train our other staff to use it too!

Next week, I head of on the second leg of my journey to becoming more productive on social media - community management tasks.
Stay tuned!

If you have any questions or comments about my journey so far, hit me up on our iASP Central Facebook Page, or Get in Touch.

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