While I was writing my newest book (Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write), I told people the book would teach writers how to manage social media in thirty minutes a day. The response I frequently received was a guffaw and the comment, “That’s impossible?”
I know you can spend less time on social media without sacrificing results because the system I describe in my book is one that I use and that I’ll be discussing in an upcoming teleseminar. To economize your time on social media all you need is determination and the right tools.
For example, would you rather search through the continual waterfall of information that comprises your Twitter news feed or would you prefer to use tools to find the newsy nuggets that are most pertinent to your niche?
Would you rather sit at your computer all day, periodically sending tweets or would you like to find a scheduling application that will automatically publish your tweets throughout the day and the rest of the week?
Do you want to review your entire list of followers to determine which ones you might want to unfollow or would you like to use an application that will categorize your followers and help you to make a selection?
We all want to save time in our days so that we can do what we love: write. Managing our time on social media starts with using the right curation tools.
Content Curation Tools for Writers
This application will analyze the tweets in your timeline and create a daily “The Tweeted Times” newspaper for you. You can subscribe to your daily newspaper and receive it via RSS.
Scoop.it is both a content curation tool and publishing application. Tell Scoop.it what your keywords are, and it will provide 100 suggestions of content within your niche. You can then customize a web page with your scooped items and tweet the link to your updated online magazine. Does it sound like magic? You can start an account for free and see for yourself.
Automation Isn’t a Nasty Word
Too much automation, such as the automated direct messages that Twitter used to allow, destroys the beauty of social media. However, it’s not practical for you to be at your computer throughout the day timing the publication of your tweets and Facebook posts. This is why scheduling applications are necessary if your want to economize your time.
The free version of Hootsuite makes scheduling easy. You can use this app to schedule your tweets, LinkedIn updates, and Google+ posts. For Facebook, use the scheduling feature within the status update box; don’t use Hootsuite. The paid versions of Hootsuite will provide you with analytics, integration with Facebook’s Insights, and other features, depending on the option you select.
This application is a scheduler on steroids. Use it to schedule your tweets and LinkedIn updates. It will also track keywords for you; email a daily digest of your retweets, mentions, and direct messages; track your click-through rates; and help you find new followers.
Twitter purchased this application several years ago and it remains a favorite among many Twitter aficionados. Use it to schedule your tweets and keep track of mentions and retweets.
Know When to Tweet
It’s important to know when your Tweeps are on Twitter so that as many users as possible will see your messages. Use one of these applications to discover your optimal tweeting times.
This application digs deeper into the profiles of your followers. You can use it to identify demographic information about your Twitter followers including nationality, gender, and relevant holidays for any Twitter user. It will also tell you which users aren’t following you back and which are creating more spam than real messages. The free version will analyze and monitor up to 100 active users every 10 seconds. In addition, SocialBro will analyze your following and tell you on a daily basis what your optimum tweeting times are.
HubSpot has created some cool Twitter apps. TweetWhen is one of them. All you have to do is enter your username, and this app will analyze your last 1000 tweets and display the best time and day for you to tweet.
This is another tool that will analyze your and your followers’ tweets to provide the optimal tweeting hours.
Clean Up Your Twitter Following
How well do you know your followers? Use these applications to learn more about the readers and writers behind the avatars streaming into your timeline and help you decide which ones are fakes and which ones are real.
Use can use the free version of ManageFlitter to clean up your Twitter account by finding inactive people whom you follow, users who aren’t following you back, and fake accounts on Twitter. You can also use ManageFlitter to send a PowerPost, the app’s assessment of the best time for you to tweet.
Tweepi will determine which users aren’t worth following, who’s not reciprocating by following you back, and which of your followers aren’t tweeting much, if at all. It’s analogous to a broom and dustpan to sweep the cobwebs out of your account. It will also enable you to search by category to find new users to follow.
Whenever you find yourself spending too much time on social media, review this list and decide which applications can help you reduce the amount of time you spend on Twitter.
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. Currently, 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+.