Keeping up with social media–in 30 minutes a day (you heard me!)

Does this scenario sound familiar? You’re stuck in meetings all day. You have absolutely no time. Yet your boss is asking you to stay on top of all things social media-related. And, you need more information to do your job more effectively–and efficiently. And you want to stay smarter about industry trends.

Did I get that about right?

Yeah, I know I got it right. Because that’s the reality for me. And, if it’s a reality for me, I’m guessing it’s a reality for lots of you out there.

This is the topic I presented on at the Southern Public Relations Federation Conference in Destin, Fla., yesterday to a group of PR professionals from Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.

In my presentation (see the full Prezi below), I lay out 8 strategies for staying up-to-date on all the changes, new products/tools and trends in the digital world. Let’s get to it!

Strategy #1: Read 100 blogs in 15 minutes a day

I start most days by scanning my Feedly page. For the uninitiated, Feedly is a blog reader tool (much like Google Reader). I use Feedly because I like the way it’s laid out, but most folks use Google Reader. You can use either. The point is, get organized about your blog reading system. I organize my blogs by geography (MN blogs), discipline (PR, social media, mobile), clients (industry blogs) and other miscellaneous categories (fun, business blogs, etc.). With Feedly, I can scan headlines of these blogs in about 15 minutes a day (I give myself a hard stop). I look for posts that would be relevant to clients–and interesting to me. I bookmark those I think meet those criteria, maybe share them on Twitter/Facebook and move on. 100 blogs in 15 minutes. Believe it.

Strategy #2: Scan and Save

This is where a social bookmarking tool called Diigo does some serious heavy lifting for me. I use Diigo to not only archive posts (by tags/topics), but also to share them using the handy little Diigo bookmarklet on Diigo (see below).

My Diigo archive is a goldmine of articles and blog posts I’ve saved over the last 5-6 years. I use these articles and posts in presentations, client decks, blog posts and for reference in client meetings from time to time. It’s invaluable information–and it’s all at my fingertips because of this “scan and save” process I’ve developed (not all that groundbreaking, keep in mind). Other folks use tools like Instapaper and Delicious–which is fine. Everyone has tools like prefer. The point is develop a process where you can scan and save a lot of posts/articles on the Web quickly and efficiently.

Strategy #3: Maximize downtime

You know that time you waste each day standing in line for coffee, on the bus commuting or (gulp) in the bathroom (don’t lie, you know you do it)? You need to start using that time to your advantage. Use tools like Flipboard, Reeder (iPhone app) and Cadmus (great tool for catching up with what you missed on Twitter since you last signed in–see below) to keep on top of industry trends and business news. You have to maximize your downtime.

Strategy #4: Make Twitter lists your new BFF

A colleague and I lamented this point a couple months ago: Why don’t more people take advantage of Twitter lists? They give you a great way to make Twitter smaller. Consider the opportunities. Twitter lists to follow industry thought leaders. Twitter lists to follow bloggers you want to get to know better. You can even create private Twitter lists to follow competitors, industry influencers and other folks you don’t want your competitors or others seeing. What’s more, you can steal OTHER PEOPLE’S Twitter lists for you own. That’s right–why do all the work when someone else may have already done it. For example, I follow a list Lee Odden created called “MinneTweeple.” It’s a great list of interactive marketers and PR folks in the Twin Cities. Use Twitter lists to your advantage to make Twitter smaller–and more manageable–on a daily basis.

Strategy #5: Turn on the radio

Obviously I’m not talking about THE radio. That went out of style about 15 years ago, right? :) I’m talking about podcasts. Again, think about your downtime. Specifically, think about the time you’re captive, where you have nothing to do but the task at hand. For me, it’s moving the lawn. I throw in the ear buds and spend 45 minutes mowing the lawn AND listening to my favorite podcast (and thus, getting smarter about my craft). My favorite? The long-running For Immediate Release, Marketing Over Coffee and Jay Baer’s new podcast, Social Pros where he interviews front-line social media folks doing REAL work. Very useful.

Strategy #6: Keep tabs on news in your industry

You know, there’s an easy way to do this. It’s called Google Alerts. Set them up for journalists, keywords, even competitors in your industry. But, I also discovered a new tool called Newsle recently (thanks Heather Whaling!) that serves you up alerts (emails) each time one of your LinkedIn, Facebook or email database contacts is featured in a news story. Might not seem like much, but this gives you a great way to keep tabs on journalists you’re trying to develop relationships with, colleagues in the industry, business partners and other influencers. All of which you want to stay connected to. Here’s an example of an email I received on a news story friend and local agency leader Blois Olson was featured in recently.

Strategy #7: Read blogs/sources that curate content weekly

One thing I learned a while ago when it comes to curating content. If someone else is doing it better than you, steal from them ;) I shamelessly do this with my friend Heather Whaling’s blog, which curates the best posts from the previous week on her blog, PRTini. Why should I reinvent the wheel? Heather already has all the spokes in place. Or, what about Social Media Examiner’s weekly roundup? Or, what about Sarah Evans’ daily Commentz enewsletter? One of the few enewsletter I read on a regular basis. Don’t do all the work yourself–seek out those sources that already exist and use that information to your advantage.

Strategy #8: Curate your own content

Curating your own content can be just as powerful as reviewing others that have done it for you. Especially when there are tools that can do the curating for you. Like Paper.li. Many folks use Paper.li as a tool to curate content and then share that content on Twitter. I, however, use Paper.li to curate content and consume it myself. Why? Because Paper.li does all the heavy lifting–and serves me up a daily/weekly digest of posts from people Paper.li thinks I find influential/interesting. Pretty handy, right? See below for an example.

 

Anything you’d add? Oh, and here’s the full Prezi below:

46 comments
ReZamp
ReZamp

Wow, nice post,there are many person searching about that now they will find enough resources by your post.Thank you for sharing to us.Please one more post about that..

https://twitter.com/re_zamp 

organic skincare
organic skincare

Thank a lot for the tips of becoming a more unique business! Yes, I think that it’s really important now days to provide readers with original and practical content, new website design and so on… If you have some high-quality ideas to write, you will always get companies to your posts!

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student travel deals

I was about to say something on this topic. But now i can see that everything on this topic is very amazing and mind blowing, so i have nothing to say here. I am just going through all the topics and being appreciated. Thanks for sharing

Sheffield
Sheffield

An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics.

Footy Preview
Footy Preview

Wow! That's great post! It's really wonderful. Thanks for sharing this.

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trip protection

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Michael Stelzner
Michael Stelzner

Nice article and thanks for mentioning Social Media Examiner :)

mender
mender

Thanks for sharing nice post. I really happy with your post............

maggiefmcginnis
maggiefmcginnis

@HeatherDeSantis @prtini great tips for keeping your social media accounts organized, professional and up to date #pr20chat

halleybec
halleybec

@HeatherDeSantis That's really interesting! I've never used Feedly, but I just might now! Thanks for the share! #earlybirdPR #PR20Chat

SmallRivers
SmallRivers

@jen_thorson You're not alone, Jennifer! :) A lot of great pointers in that post. Have a good week and let us know how it goes!

Mathew Lowry
Mathew Lowry

I do something similar (didn't know about Cadmus, tho, definitely checking this out), but I faced a problem as I couldn't get diigo on my mobile browser, and I discover most of the stuff I want to save for future use via social media on my phone. Got around it by saving interesting pages to Pocket, and then treating Pocket's 'untagged' menu as one of my daily Inboxes. I'll then empty this the next day as part of my morning GTD routine, generally tagging the page in diigo.

Sportcareers
Sportcareers

@SpikeyBXL paper.li man, that does the trick for me

erinmkelly
erinmkelly

@jczamora thanks for sharing this tweet!

ValPal4
ValPal4

There are some really good tips in here. The ironic thing is I just had to "mark unread" on my Google Reader so I can go back and implement some of these ideas when I have more time. *sigh*

ladysportsman
ladysportsman

I'm totally using Feedly now. And I LOVE PREZI!! I'm the only use who uses it in my little circle of co-workers and my presentations by far blow PPT out of the water. I don't understand why more don't use it.

Another tip is don't be afraid to unfollow blogs. I "clean" my blogs every 6 mos. Some people just don't live up to their original premise, which is fine. Or maybe I grow bored of some of their topics. I've followed and unfollowed Chris Brogan like 10 times.

blainecross
blainecross

Arik: Thanks for this article: I'd just shout "YES" to your first couple points. Feedly has been my primary method to blast through 100+ feeds daily. Feedly lets me skim everywhere. I use it on both iPad and my Android phone -- it seamlessly keeps my lists up-to-date.

Then I use Evernote to archive and collate ideas, quotes, screenshots, tips, and so forth. Again, my reason is that it integrates everywhere.

Instapaper I use primarily for long form stories that I find, like but don't have time for during the day. I get to those in down times. I also use Twitter lists. And -- and -- and -- OK -- so you wrote the article already. Your method is much of what I've been practicing, which is gratifying. And you inspired me to try a couple of new ideas. So thanks again.

Plus, I've just added your feed to my Feedly "Top" category. I haven't done that in a while.

KDHungerford
KDHungerford

Arik, great power-packed post!

 

Thanks for including Paper.li. I agree, it's a great time saver and quick and easy way to keep on top of what's happening.  Love the Cadmus tip. I'm checking that one out now.

HughAnderson
HughAnderson

Wow, I admire your efficiency. It's still going to take me longer than 30 minutes, but thanks for the advice and some of the other new tool tips. I might just hook into 1 or 2 of those twitter lists too.

Santel
Santel

Thank for this very useful post about social media tools. There are some tools I know already such as Feedly, Flipboard etc but there are some that I am going to try out right now.

 

I hope they will help me to spend more time with my family! God bless you for this!

Laura_Waage
Laura_Waage

@lisaharrisandco love it Lisa!! Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to finally meeting you this week! :)

susanmcp1
susanmcp1

@ElzbthMllr love the new pic!

Domainate
Domainate

Keeping up with social media--in 30 minutes a day (great tips from @arikhanson) via @jaybaer

JayBaer
JayBaer

Thanks for the shout out. Outstanding post, and some new stuff for me here that I hadn't heard of previously. 

prtini
prtini

@spavol I'm a big fan of Twitter lists, too. I have lists for media, clients/partners, friends of @GebenComm, IRL friends, etc. BIG help!

TangoTabToronto
TangoTabToronto

@elissapr @arikhanson take a look at @bundlepost from @fondalo great tool also

SpikeyBXL
SpikeyBXL

@Sportcareers must look into that at some point

ElzbthMllr
ElzbthMllr

@susanmcp1 Thanks Susan - all the credit goes to @MariaJesusV...

spavol
spavol

@prtini definitely! Good tips.

fondalo
fondalo

@tangotabtoronto thank you!

Sportcareers
Sportcareers

@spikeybxl haha :) full auto. Als het verschijnt stuur ik bij waar nodig (maar als je je alles goed instelt moet je bijna niets bijsturen)

SpikeyBXL
SpikeyBXL

@Sportcareers waaay ahead of you, full auto na het instellen of approve je nog?

Sportcareers
Sportcareers

@spikeybxl Ah, min wekelijkse is blijkbaar ook net verschenen! check timeline

SpikeyBXL
SpikeyBXL

@Sportcareers strak plan, nooit zo bekeken

Sportcareers
Sportcareers

@spikeybxl Nope. Ik heb één 'krant' die 1 keer per week verschijnt, de andere nooit (is voor mij intern)

SpikeyBXL
SpikeyBXL

@Sportcareers en je MOET niet publiceren, mag ik hopen?