How do you stay productive on social media sites?

As a social media manager, it’s my job to monitor and track conversations related to “linkedin” as well as engage with the community when appropriate. This, in addition to more strategic global social media strategy, editing and managing content creation for the LinkedIn blog and select marketing projects at LinkedIn.

So, very quickly you learn that there’s only one way to prevent you from drowning in the chaos that’s coordinating multiple social media accounts (in my case, editing the linkedin blog, managing our twitter accounts – @mariosundar, curating @linkedin, and @linkedinnews) – with a lil help from TweetDeck and a simple ritual which I described earlier in How can I increase my productivity? – @singletasking.

Here’s how you stay productive while managing or dabbling in multiple social media accounts or social networking sites:

1. Be clear on your goals:

Why do you use Facebook or Twitter. In my case, LinkedIn and Twitter are sorta job requirements, and with Twitter – as you can imagine potentially distracting.

So, I outlined what my 3 key goals with Twitter were:

  • Identify breaking news on LinkedIn as it happens and engage with our users should they have questions / I have a partner in crime, from our customer service team – Derek Homann, who does a terrific job supporting the customer service goal.
  • Be the source of LinkedIn related news through the LinkedIn blog and use that as a means of engaging with our community of users on product news
  • Amplify the conversations coming from within LinkedIn (for e.g. sharing tweets from folks who work at LinkedIn, when its relevant to the  conversation)

Now, all I needed was a tool that lets me monitor Twitter real-time, slice and dice that information as fast as I could, respond to high-priority items and get outta there. Enter TweetDeck.

2. Find the right tool to help accomplish those goals:

I think Seesmic may be a credible alternative, but I found Tweetdeck as a young Twitter user and there’s no turning back. Here’s how Tweetdeck helps me stay productive in line with my key goals mentioned above.

  • Track Smart: I have a column on “linkedin” related tweets as they come in real-time (I love the ability to filter tweets by specific keywords – so show me all “linkedin” tweets except for the ones that say “Jobs” for e.g.) This way, every time I check in, there’s a manageable amount of tweets that I can sort through after cutting through the spam.
  • Schedule tweets: Given that Twitter works best real-time, I automate relevant tweets every time we publish a new LinkedIn blog post. In addition, I schedule separate tweets including the name of the post author a couple more times – each time adding some value to the reader and surfacing the people behind the organization who are communicating with the end user.
  • RT Smart: I also use the column on my linkedin colleagues (see below) to find appropriate tweets to RT through the @linkedin Twitter channel.

Adding 3 – 4 noiseless columns helps me focus on what matters. Currently, my Tweetdeck has 4 relevant columns: the “linkedin” column, and three twitter lists – folks in social media whose blogs and work I admire, my favorite LinkedIn peeps, and a high-quality stream of relevant breaking tech news (a Twitter list I curate –…).

I do not check my own Twitter feed @mariosundar since it’s too noisy.

3. Check it only at certain times of the day:

Once you pick your signal streams, as Singletasking suggests, open TweetDeck only 3 times a day. Yes, I’m guilty of checking it more times, but I’m trying to bring it down to 3. And, therein lies the key to being productive on social media sites.

Know why you’re doing it, plan accordingly, and stick to the plan. Done.

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