Thursday, February 11, 2010

Spend Your Social Time Wisely

Okay, so if you haven't been over to Shelli Johannes-Wells' blog, you haven't lived. Srsly. Go. Follow. She's got some advice about querying today, and I've got some marketing advice from her.

Without further ado...


Spend your Social Time Wisely

Before you jump into a social media channel, ask yourself:
1. What do you want to get out of it?
2. What are the best 1 or 2 ways you can do this? What channel?
3. Will you participate and how often?
4. How much time do you want to spend?

Twitter
  • Use tweetdeck to organize tweets – You can also add in a column from Facebook News Feed!
  • Set up groups
  • Keep it open
  • Retweet posts
  • Respond to DMs
  • Auto feed to FB and Blog


Facebook
  • Glance through Newsfeed periodically
  • Check wall for comments
  • Respond to direct messages


Blog
  • Prepare posts in advance
  • Create short posts
  • Choose which days you will post – 3 days is good (Mon / Wed / Fri)
  • Respond to commenters
  • Schedule guests posts or a day for questions
  • Plan an allotted time to visit other blogs. Or you can set # of blogs I will visit and comment on 10 blogs a day)


Other tips
  • Set an alarm and do it all in an allotted time before you stop. Do this a few times a day.
  • Focus on one application a day – twitter Tuesdays, Facebook Fridays, etc
  • Tackle one at a time. Get established on one before you start another
  • Be creative
  • Establish a routine
  • Use your mobile devices to check in - while in line or waiting in carpool


Excellent advice, Shelli! These sound like simple things that anyone can do at any stage of their career. Thanks for stopping by!

So what do you guys think? Do you use all these social mediums? Which ones do you like best? Why?

And here's just me being nosy. Or inquiring. Or whatever. How much time do you think you spend in social networking each week? Just wondering...

58 comments:

Christina Lee said...

ughh the tweetdeck and groups is so on my list for Twitter stuff. I got the rest pretty well covered. phew!

Michelle McLean said...

Honestly, I pretty much ignore Twitter. I check FB a few times a day and see what everyone is up to. I spend most of my time with my two blogs. I need to schedule more time to comment on other blogs, though I do try to get to as many as I can. :)

Paul Greci said...

Thanks, Elana and Shelli.

I'm not sure how much time I spend on social networking but with these tips I think I'll be able to do more in less time.

Laura Pauling said...

I spend the most time on M,W,F commenting on blogs. I'm still trying to figure out Twitter. Right now, I feel like I landed on Neptune and I don't know the language.

I spend a little bit of time in the morning over a cup of coffee. Maybe at night, because more people comment in the evening, or past for that matter. And then I get started writing. I might take a break to check out a few more blogs. But, I'm in between projects right now, so I have extra time.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I prefer the whole blogging thing because I find them educational *waves at Elana*. I love to learn new things about writing, plus I often pick up books recommended on the blogs I follow. I have a Twitter and Facebook account but I don't check them out as often as I should.

lynnrush said...

I love Shelli's blog.

OH yeah, this is great advice. I love TweetDeck! Okay, yeah, I spend tons of time online with twitter/facebook/blogging every day. Just love staying connected with everyone.

Corey Schwartz said...

I haven't figured out Tweetdeck yet. Or the feed thing. Ughhh. I need a technical assistant.

WindyA said...

So what you're saying is if I'm on everything all the time, that's bad??

T. Anne said...

GREAT tips. With edits bogging me down, I value the escape of my social networking. It's such a release but I must use my sparse time wisely.

Kristi said...

Shelli's blog rocks! I do blogging and FB, but not Twitter. Overall, reading blogs/commenting/writing blog posts takes me less than an hour a day. I know people who are obsessed with FB, but I only check it once or twice/day. Revisions are killing me right now, so after a chunk of 20 pages, I'll 'treat' myself with internet time -- I know, I'm so lame! :)

Jonathon Arntson said...

I am so not wise...

One day, my friend. One day.

Heather Kelly said...

Good timing on this post. I cannot get into twitter. I think it could be a good tool, but for some reason, I just can't do it. Maybe it's that straw. I don't want it to break my social camel's back.

Scott said...

So, since I darn well know you visit (and comment on, bw) more than 10 blogs per day . . . how do you do it?? Yes, how?? : )

I don't tweet. Never got the hang of it. Maybe one day.

FB - check periodically throughout the day, might check in the evening.

Blogging - normally prewrite posts, three posts per week, and comment as I can on other posts.

I'd say not more than 90 minutes per day, if that much. Probably only an hour.

Lisa Nowak said...

Wow, great advice. Maybe a timer would help keep me on track.

Kayeleen said...

I start out my morning with my social networking stuff... mostly blogs and facebook. It gets me in the right mindset to work on my own projects. I probably spend too much time doing extraneous stuff, though. Depends on the day and how many blogs I end up reading.

I admit I'm still a bit of a lurker on most blogs. I'm soaking it all in, but don't always have anything to contribute.

j.m. neeb said...

The timing of this post is simply uncanny, as I'm currently wrestling with this issue (my last two "Ducks Out Of A Row" posts have kind of been about this...).

Thanks for the tips!!

Jody Hedlund said...

I like those tips, Elana! While I'm working on my WIP, I won't allow myself to check blogs during my scheduled writing time. So whatever blogs I get to have to be during my other free time, which is often limited. So I'm not able to visit blogs as frequently, but I'm trying to keep my writing the priority!

Carolyn V. said...

Excellent, excellent advice! I'm on twitter, facebook and blogger. I do use blogger the most. I've meet wonderful people and I still have time to write. =)

Erica said...

Great post! Really great advice.

I have all three vices ;o) I love twitter and if I had to pick one, that would be it. I've met my critique partners on there.

I would say I spend at least a couple hours a day on all three, mostly blogs/twitter!

Thanks for sharing ;o)

Crystal Clear Proofing said...

Excellent tips. Wish I knew how to do your suggestions for Twitter!

Elle Strauss said...

Thanks Elana and Shelli. I blog (I've go two going now) four days a week, taking Wednesdays and weekends off, but I will read and comment on other bloggers on those days if I have time.

Haven't tackled Twitter yet, as per your advice I'm doing one thing at a time.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

You are both brilliant and wonderful - thanks so much! :-)

Karen said...

too much as it is. :)

I haven't been able to get into twitter no matter how hard I try. Hmmm....maybe it's for the lack of tweetdeck.

Icy Roses said...

How much time? Way too much. But yeah, I limit the number of blogs I read. I don't think the problem is Blogger, though. I'm a complete FB addict. Every day, I contemplate deleting mine, knowing that I won't ever do it. :D

Great post!

Jamie D. said...

I do use them all (and a few more). While my first love will always be blogging (that's why I have several blogs), I really adore twitter, and get along with Facebook just fine.

As for how much time I spend...that's a poser. All inclusive (blog posting/reading/commenting, twitter, facebook, and other social networks), I'd say probably several hours per day. It's all interspersed with other things like my day job and TV addiction, and taken in short bursts (15-20 minutes at a time). I'm a fairly decent multi-tasker. ;-)

Chandler Craig said...

Very practical advice. I especially like the idea of setting an established amount of time, getting the social networking you need done in that allotted time and then moving on. I think being intentional with your social networking time is so important.

Kimberly Franklin said...

Far too much time! And Tweetdeck saved my life. : )

Christi Craig said...

Great post; great questions to consider!

I say no to FB, but yes to Twitter (for links to great resources like your site, if nothing else).

Does setting up groups on Twitter keep the reading time more manageable? And, Tweetdeck...phew. I open it up once in a while, but every time it overwhelms me.

Nisa said...

Umm... Way too much time. I'm usually checking blogs when I should be writing. Shelli's timer is such a good idea! The problem for me is when I start hitting a blog, I become friends with the people and I feel like I HAVE to keep reading for support and friendship's sake. I am not even going to say how many blogs I probably read a day... It's out of control. I'm working on that as of yesterday.

I have writer friends on Facebook, but 90% of the people on there are family and friends I've actually talked to face to face.

Twitter, eh... I check it maybe once a week. Maybe. I do like g-mail's new Buzz, though! So far it's not a time suck.

Tamika: said...

Blogging is definitely the social medium I'm using at this time. Until I advance in my writing and have a few novels under my belt, I want writing to be my focus.

Blogging teaches me to write sharp, engaging, and regular posts. All part of honing my craft.

Krispy said...

I use all of them, but FB and Twitter right now are more for my personal amusement than social networking, so to speak. I got on both of those because of my friends.

FB I mostly ignore unless I get messages or comments or if I'm playing games or uploading photos. Twitter I check daily. I just got Tweetdeck for my iPod Touch, and it's kind of amazing! Why didn't I get on this sooner?

Sara McClung ♥ said...

Setting up blog posts ahead of time is the most crucial thing to do! Sometimes I'll write four posts on a Sunday and schedule them to publish M-Th... It takes SUCH a load off for the rest of the week!

Kristi Faith said...

Great tips. Though I usually only do two or three blogs in advance, I write them at night after kiddos are in bed. I also use tweetdeck and since discovering it have spent much less time there. FB alerts me if I have comments, so I update the status once a few days or more if I have comments/emails. :0)

I do not have cool mobile devices..yet. :0)

Tiffany Neal said...

Great post...as usual!!

And, thanks to you, I have a MUCH better query letter in the works. Not finished, but definitely ten times better!!

Karen Lange said...

Great tips!

Natalie said...

Blogging is by far my favorite social media. I probably spend about an hour a day blogging and tweeting (more on weekdays, less on weekends). If it's any more than that I start to resent it stealing my writing time.

Suzette Saxton said...

Thanks for sharing this! It's great advice, I'm hanging on to this post.

Kelly said...

Both you and Shelli have informative, amazing blogs.
I spend too much time on Blogging and Facebook that does take time from my regular writing. I need to schedule it like Shelli suggested. Probably 1-2 hours a day, 5 days a week!

Bish Denham said...

Great advise. I think I'm spending too much time blogging/reading blogs...must do better about, cut back.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great advice. I spend about an hour a day, usually at night, reading & commenting on FB & blogs. I don't have time for tweeting, at least right now. I wasn't limiting the blogging & it was taking up even more time, so I have tried to enforce an hour limit. I do it at night because after a long day at work I'm too tired to write. I do that early am and weekends. If I do start with tweets, I may do a schedule like Shelli suggests.

Elana Johnson said...

First off, I can't believe you people only spend an hour on this stuff! I can't even put a dent in my blogs in an hour.

I'm not going to say how many hours I do this. It's embarrassing! :)

Jennie Englund said...

You seem really savvy at blogging and responding and reading blogs and books.

I'm super impressed -- and in awe-- of how you do it!

The problem is that there's so much good stuff out there! To read, to think about, to ask, to say...

Good tips for moderation, though!

Thanks!

Patti said...

Great marketing and querying advice. It's all about what you feel you can do well.

Tara McClendon said...

Great tips. I don't use all the social media networks. I don't have the time, and I'm a big believer that it's important to do something well not just do it. If I felt I could add Twitter without sacrificing something else, I'd jump on board, and maybe that's in the cards for some day.

Brandon said...

Good tips! I personally am not a fan of all these social media. It's too much work to keep up with everyone and everything that's going on. Blogging and email is about the only e-social stuff I do so far. We'll see about the rest someday...

Mistress of Fantasy said...

I check my FB daily as well as my blog. I don't write a blog enough and haven't even thought I was in the neighborhood of asking for guests.
I don't Twitter, I do MySpace (still...have lots of good contacts on there) despite the new layout. I also keep up on other blog posts and check things on my website. I spend a good 10 hours a week at the moment. Is that good or bad? :D

Jessica said...

This is awesome advice! I love blogging and reading blogs, so that's my main networking tool. I probably spend about an hour to two hours on blogs a day. But I like it, so it takes the place of tv in my life. Sometimes reading too.
Facebook is a five minute thing for me. On, off. No playing on there. LOL
I love these tips. If I ever do decide to join twitter, I'll definitely be using the tweetdeck.

L.T. Elliot said...

I spend more time on blogger than any of the others but that's simply because you guys are so awesome!

Thanks for the "awesome sauce" day with you, Elana. Seriously! You're so fun!

Jemi Fraser said...

I don't do Facebook at all. I drop in and out of Twitter. I spend the most time on blogging because I enjoy it the most. Probably an hour and a half a day????

Ryan said...

I am very disorganized when it comes to this, and I believe most of it stems from my dislike of the intrinsic need of social interaction. But, who knows. Lol.

Anyway, I try to spend less than one hour a day on blogs. And, I try to do less than that on FB. If I spend too much time on FB then Farmville takes over my life and I get nothing done.

Speaking of which, I need to check my crops.

Lisa and Laura said...

There are two of us and it can still get overwhelming! I do most of my social networking at night (along with everything else I have to get done). But whenever my eyes start to glaze over, it's off to bed. Sometimes it's definitely hard to manage. But it's a good kind of hard, if that makes any sense. *eyes beginning to glaze over*

G said...

I actually use Facebook for catching up with my friends from the RW and the chat rooms.

Blogging is something I've been doing since 2008.

The other stuff like Twitter simply isn't for me.

Dominique said...

I'm on facebook and blogger. The thought of trying to find time for Twitter in my schedule is just to crazy-making, so I'm letting that social network go.

I probably spend about 14 hours on blogger a week. I don't even have a clue about facebook, as that changes to much.

Christina Farley said...

Yeah, I could spend way too much time on your blog too! This was a very helpful post. Thanks girl.

Terresa said...

Social networking is fun, escapist connecting. And yes, platform building for some, too.

I enjoy it but realize it needs to be moderated, or else (the lazy sot that I am) I can easily spend more hours blogging than actually writing. And that is not good.

PJ Hoover said...

I ebb and flow on what I use, but overall blogging seems to be what I'm most consistent about. I shun MySpace except for a mere presence, but do like Facebook and even Twitter.
My main thing is I don't overdo time spent on any of them.

Kathy McIntosh said...

This is useful stuff, some of which I need to explore. (Tweetdeck?) It's hard to balance my time between work, writing and social networking, for sure.

Corra McFeydon said...

I'm on Twitter, Facebook, and Blogger. I spend the most time with blogs. About 30 mins a day commenting, 30 mins a day for Facebook and Twitter. Love Tweetdeck!!

I post about once a week, but I post daily about my writing progress on a side blog that's intended only for tracking my writing progress.

Great post!!

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