Shiny Toys Make Social Media Better

Social Media always seemed like an elusive game… one that I did not know how to play.  I didn't have the time or inclination to learn, either.  Then something changed.  As I shared yesterday, I started thinking about it different, and social media no longer sucked.

I talked purely about mindset stuff yesterday.  That's most of the equation, but getting some efficient workflow tools in place really helped a lot too.  So today, I'll share the joy of the toys.

Yes, a few shiny toys have made life easier for me.  These come, of course, outside of yesterday's revelations.  They really on serve as tools to enhance, though.  You can use these if you want to make social media smoother, but I think that pairing them with what I shared above will make it a lot more fun 🙂

Buffer

I resisted Buffer for awhile because I already used Hootsuite and I didn't really want to get into using two different services.

But the boys over at Buffer have done a good job making sure you see their name everywhere, so I finally decided to give in and give it a try.  I was hooked right away.

It's so easy to set up posts for Twitter using Buffer — I just click the Buffer bookmark, personalize my tweet, and it gets dumped into the queue at the times I've already set.  Nice!

I shared above that I feel now that social media is about learning, staying current, sharing, and listening.  It is.  But I'm still a mom of 5!  Homeschooling mom of 5 at that!  I also have to write a lot for my sites, so I can't be online constantly reading RSS feeds or following Twitter.  I can check in a few times throughout the day, then really relax and look things over in the evening.  Buffer keeps my tweets going out, even while I'm busy mothering and writing.

Hootsuite

I still use my Hootsuite dashboard to keep up with Twitter and my lists.  It's good since I have separate Twitter accounts as my websites are in a couple of different niches.

I also use Hootsuite to send out on-the-fly tweets.  Pun intended 🙂

Instapaper

I use Instapaper — a lot.  In fact, I flip through RSS feeds really quickly, marking those I want to tweet, share, or just read later to go to Instapaper.

I have my Instapaper set up with folders.  There are two folders for each website: one for Twitter and one for Facebook.  Then I have a business folder and a personal folder.

I quickly move everything from my Instapaper front page into the appropriate folder.  Personal articles go into personal, business articles of interest to me go into business.  Articles for each niche go into that niche's Twitter folder.

From the Twitter folder I visit the articles and use Buffer to schedule them.  Then I move those I want to share on Facebook to the Facebook folder.  I remove the others from Instapaper.  This keeps those folders lean and clean.

I'm still manually posting stories to my Facebook pages… I do that here and there when I have a minute throughout the day.  After I post to Facebook, I delete the story from Instapaper.  Again, lean, clean folders.

My iPad

How could I resist talking about the shiniest toy of all?  You can read more about each app that I use and how I use it within my workflow in my post:

7 Ways the iPad Instantly Increased My Productivity

But suffice it to say that the iPad has really, really made social media a lot easier for me.  I can get through RSS feeds especially quickly, and more importantly, I can get stories into Instapaper so I can read them more closely, comment on them, and share them more easily.

I also really like the Hootsuite app and how it lets me stay connected with the Twitterverse.  I will admit that I use Safari to visit my Facebook pages — the native Facebook app is just a little too limited for my tastes in keeping current with my Facebook fans.  It works fine in Safari, though.

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I want to mention that though my iPad makes this really easy and portable, which is great for my life as wife and mama, this workflow can be done on a netbook, notebook, or desktop pretty easily 🙂

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I also love how easily I learn on my iPad… books, books, books, and more books!  I can keep up-to-date, learn more about my niches and marketing, and even keep an eye on my competitor's products (and potential affiliate products).  I love that.

Of course, I'm writing this article out on my iPad right now… and I love it for that.  It's just me, white background, and text that flows oh-so-smoothly from my fingers.

I can discover, learn, read, write, share, and listen on the things that I'm passionate about.  Like I said yesterday… suddenly this social media thing rocks 🙂

[box type=”shadow”]Photo by theritters[/box]
Kristen
 

I'm a wife and mother who loves working online. This is my little home on the web. I run Milk and Mud to share what I'm discovering as I run my own business and explore personal development.