How to Deal with Social Media Every Week and Not to Get Lost at the Cyberspace

Every week that begins for me, I’m quite overwhelmed by emails coming, RSS reads, new followers plus Twitter mentions, Facebook emails/notifications, pending stumbles at StumbleUpon, Foodbuzz and more…
If I add to comment on other fellow blogs, write future posts and to promote your articles on your social networks, this can be so time-consuming (unfortunately they day has only 24 hours)

Do you have similar experiences often?

Social Media is becoming part of our lives. We need to deal with it, in the better and controlled way possible for an optimum use of our time. We need to do other off-line activities and not become out of fit and start with eating disorders or unhealthy crash diets for our daily sedentary lifestyle. Of course in the time line, work, family and friends must be included in the equation also.

Other extra social pearl to add to my calendar and that took time indeed! This weekend I went a further step with a pretty new Food Blog Forum (I’ve joined it, obviously as sweetsfoods). As I haven’t seen a group about Social Media & Social Networking, I opened one there. Since there were several doubts, I’ve opened also a Help Group at the Forum to channel suggestions or help wanted. As you see, the social possibilities are rising even more and also the time involved in them.

How to Deal with Social Media Every Week and Not to Get Lost at the Cyberspace

Credit image: Geek and Poke and Search Engine People Blog

To handle all these social media tasks, I want to share a brief of my own experience and hopefully you’ll share yours in comments πŸ˜‰

Email

Gmail is the principal email I used frequently, and I’ve the emails classified in color labels according to the importance of the same, in combination with filters.

– Priority responses, label in red color.
– Comments received or in moderation, in orange color.
– Important subjects, but not priorities, in yellow color.
– Pending label for subjects that I haven’t answered or received a reply yet, blue color
– Social networking sites that can be read or answered later, in soft colors like light blue and green.
– Sporadic communications, newsletters received and so on, without colors.
In all the cases, I’ve the superstars allowed, for better classifications.

RSS Reader

I use Google Reader for my subscriptions, classified in folders, depending of the frequency of the blog updating, theme, and the importance for me, of the blog.
Principally, my RSS reader has folders of:
– Food Blogs
– Social Media, Blogging and SEO Blogs
– Health & Fitness Blogs
– Google Connect
– Assorted themes
Once a week, I update the different blogs, making them, go up or down, changing folders according to the feedback received or other important events. Also, I add new subscriptions and delete other ones that I’m not reading, to have a clearer landscape.

Twitter

I use it several times per week, in peeks of 15-20 minutes or less. If I found something worth-sharing I break the former rule but I return to stand by status, of the Twitter stream. When it’s possible, I increase the activity a little for the #FollowFriday following, every Friday or after ended and published my last post.
Using Twitter in an appropriated way is important and certainly the Twitter applications count indeed.
Nowadays, I use HootSuite and TweetDeck.

HootSuite

* When I know I’m going to be busy or complicated to tweet, I schedule some tweets to not be absent for many days.
This option is useful, simple to do it and let me being more organized (Certainly, I need to make live tweets and replies, as usual, for not being like a robot)
* Show conversations, let you to catch up former tweet- conversations without losing the thread.
* I’ve columns for social media/blogging, foodies, mentions, sent tweets, direct messages, pending tweets and some more.
* I’ve a special column to monitor my id of twitter sweetsfoods misspelled as sweetfoods. In that way I can reply to the twitters accordingly.
I use HootSuite exclusively for Twitter, although it allows you to add Facebook, MySpace, Linkedln and many more.
HootSuite has stats incorporated, this bonus is done only with the ow.ly URL shortener.

TweetDeck

* I’ve the same columns like HootSuite more that here, I check briefly the Facebook stream also.
* If I need to reply to several @twitters, you can do it at once, instead of making one by one.
* I’ve minimized it, at the task bar most of the day and the notification-sounds are turned on for mentions and direct messages. (In that way, you don’t need to be checking the twitter status to see if you’ve had some feedback)
* For the tweet I’m writing, often I add the #hashtags recently used, just pressing a button β€œrecent hashtags”.

Facebook

Like Twitter, I take a glance several times per week through TweetDeck or directly at the Facebook page.
I avoid distracting applications, games and sort of, like Farmwille, Social City, Scratch and Win, etc, etc – I know lot of them are cool, but the time is finite.
I check new friends, suggestions and invitations once a day or when it’s available a tiny window on the day.

StumbleUpon

Checked on daily basis or when I need to stumble an article. It’s pretty annoying to see at the StumbleUpon toolbar, the “red emails” coming and increasing exponentially during the day so, in burst of minutes, I see if there is something worth an up. Having hundreds of subscribers at StumbleUpon can lead to have spammy members. When someone send me more than the habitual: my first reaction is a warning, and if I need a second one, unsubscribing from this stumbler.

Foodbuzz

Checked several times per week or when it’s an important event/article to visit.

Tip applicable when I’m writing an article, for you: turn off all social sites, emails, and notifications; only show your text editor and a tab for deeper researching purpose.

–> I’ll be increasing slowly and steadily my social media articles as w
ell as my health & fitness posts, among the foodie ones. If you like that I touch a specific theme, just let me know in comments or contact me.

Well now, it’s your turn where you’d express your experiences with your preferred social sites. How do you handle them?

 

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41 Responses to How to Deal with Social Media Every Week and Not to Get Lost at the Cyberspace

  1. Social media is great but like you said Gera, we need to deal with it in an organized fashion. I do email alerts with face book, this works well for me. I visit maybe twice a week, the least of all my social media sites. I always tweet something I'm impressed with, # as appropriate. I use gmail too, it is very easy and well organized. As for Google reader, I just started using folders, makes life much easier.The food and other communities, well I have yet to get my time structured there, but I do have it on the to do list. Great post, thanks for the insight.
    My recent post Sweet and Savory: Chocolate Obsession – link your chocolate favorites

  2. I really enjoy social media. If it gets a bit overwhelming, I step back, take a breath, get as far away as possible from the computer and do something else. When ready, I get back at it. Getting away from info overload helps clear jumbled thoughts. It also gives rise to new ideas and inspirations. It can be overwhelming but for some reason, us bloggers are all in so there is enjoyment. Now we need to find away to wipe out those spammers!
    My recent post A Box Of Oatmeal Cookies

  3. Gera,
    Saw this post through Twitter and had to come over. Social networking IS overwhelming isn't it? I didn't know you could have folders and columns in Google reader. That would save an extreme amount of time!
    My recent post Tuesday in Food

  4. I am hugely overwhelmed at times. I wake up in the morning and my fingers are keyboarding. With the coming spring, I have vowed to get outside and away from the computer more. For sanity. But the flip side is – it connects me to loved ones I do not see, helps me earn a living and sends me on new adventures. A double-edged sword.
    My recent post Happy Saint Patrick's Day

  5. I do not get time to do any of it.. except a couple of times a week in FB. Thanks for all the links and hints.

  6. Step by step Christine! With #hashtags you can organize the information on Twitter, letting people to find out for specific topics. The same are included in the tweet, generally at the end. e.g. #socialmedia (gather people interested in social media themes), #foodies #foodblogs speak for themselves πŸ˜‰

  7. Google reader folders let you organize the blog-information in a more visual and manageable structure. Bloglines and other readers, have this function that is helpful. There are new communities very often and it's difficult to focus in several ones! πŸ˜‰

  8. We are all still learning how to handle the overload of information received everyday! You aren’t alone πŸ˜‰

  9. Taking breaks far of computers is a good measure to recharge the brain, if not the experience can be crazy if we continue to the speed of the bits πŸ™‚

  10. It isn’t easy to have a balance but if you'll have sunny days, turn off the computer a bit…internet can wait a moment πŸ™‚

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