8 tasks that define a social media workflow

In 2010 I spoke about the social media workflow to handle and optimise the time and effort you dedicate to social web activity. I updated this in 2012 with a new version that included a graph designed by Luis Calabuig.

While adapting this for a new project, I quite recently realised that this workflow could be further completed by describing its steps and adapting them to the current times.

Which 8 tasks define a “social” workflow?

The following tasks will optimise the time and effort you dedicate to your social web workflow.

1. Reputation – Active listening.

Monitor and follow up on key words regarding what people say about the brand from one day to the next. Analyse and classify mentions according to their nature (positive, negative or neutral.) A new tool has recently appeared to help you with this: SocialVane. It has an interesting ‘artificial intelligence’ feature: the more you use it to filter words out, the more it can classify mentions according to their nature, offering better search and filtering results. There are other tools on the market that can do this, such as Pirendo or Mention. The latter is quite complete, boasting a more comprehensive search feature that searches not only across social platforms but in other channels too.

Once you’ve gathered and analysed this information, select the results that are of greater interest to your organisation. Present a daily report or document with active links to each news item, mention or post.

2. Updating and interacting.

First of all you will need to define your social objects according to a content plan (a day early or even previously for the entire week or month; see below.) Now you need to create this content and disseminate it using the different channels available, not only social platforms. Interaction is another significant moment in your workflow: respond to comments, offer and get feedback, provide information and connect with the brand’s community through bilateral interaction on any of your ecosystem’s platforms.

3. Content marketing – Distribution

Draw up a content plan for the next day (or for the next week or month) and decide how to promote and circulate your content through different platforms and channels. Decide also what pieces you will create: press releases, videos, audio, newsletter, pictures, etc. You must also take into account the call to action linked to every piece of content you publish and how you will measure its result: what action are you expecting once the content reaches your community? Make sure that the result is in line with your objectives: subscriptions, visiting the online store, download of ebook or podcast, contact form requesting more information or a request for a quote.

4. Blogging

If you have a blog or offer news on your website, you should previously define what this section will be like as part of your content marketing strategy. At this stage you simply have to write, optimise and publish your post, news item, event or whatever it is you will be publishing. If you’re writing a post that is meant for the following day, leave it ready to be posted by scheduling it. Consider sharing it on platforms or using tools such as Buffer, Twylah or ScoopIt.

5. Planning and brainstorming

It may be interesting, even advisable, to spend up to one hour every day thinking about creative actions, contests, promotions, campaigns and other tactics that are in line with your objectives. They must add value to your community and your brand. By doing this on a daily basis you will be able to run a tight operation that works constantly.

6. Community engagement

Identify the conversations held by your community and take part in them. Share content that is valuable to them, engage with them by putting them in contact with resources, allies or people that meet their needs and interests. Do this by being one more in the conversation, not the one dominating the conversation or the flow of content.

7. Search and analysis

Monitor how your organisation performs in online conversations. In this case, intervene in the case of both negative or positive comments (acting to put a positive spin on things or, in the latter case, to reinforce such comments). Remember to watch your tone in doing so!

8. Eventualities

The chances are you’re not only in charge of the “social” side of things. You therefore need to combine all of the above with any other duties you have outside this area. Don’t worry if you can’t always follow this workflow strictly; there will always be other distractions: emails, phone calls, unexpected meetings, you co-worker’s love life, etc.

Find your own formula

The best thing about this is you don’t need to follow the precise order of tasks and responsibilities I set above. Distribute them across your day however they work best with your strategy and time. You can repeat more than one task within a day; some may take two hours, others 15 minutes. This will depend on your objectives, the time you can dedicate to online tasks or how relevant all of this is to your organisation.

Everything boils down to what you require. The idea is for you to define and structure what tasks need to be carried out. Don’t approach them all at the same time and dedicate time to each one separately. Online activity is increasingly integrated into the day-to-day running of companies, so perhaps they’re part of customer services and you need to integrate the social media workflow into your own workflow mix.

What is your workflow like? Are there any other tasks you think I left out?

Photo credit: woodlyewonderworks.

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Improve your results using the social web

improving your results using the social webWhat goes on out there when we use the social web to communicate our product, improve our organisation’s marketing or connect with our potential target? After a year spent observing, analysing and measuring actions and cross-referencing behaviours, this is the pattern that I’ve seen repeated the most by brands, companies and even people and professionals.

Current strategy

  • Four tweets regarding business purposes.
  • Two or three updates of the company’s Facebook page; photos and videos mainly.
  • Spending about $400-600 per month on Facebook Ads campaigns to increase the official page’s fan base.
  • A couple of images in Instagram and Pinterest.
  • One or two links shared on LinkedIn and perhaps another in the group that is closest to our industry and has the most members.
  • Perhaps posting a news item on Google+; you know, for SEO purposes and stuff.
  • Very occasionally, carrying out a promotional video about our company or about what we do, basing it on a current reference that we liked.
  • If we’re lucky, our SME, business or personal brand has a blog. Perhaps we might publish something once a week or every two weeks; more often than not, on a monthly basis. Then we massively (sometimes, intrusively) promote our post (and blog).
  • Sending a commercial newsletter to every contact that has ever given us a visiting card, whoever we exchange emails with, whoever subscribes to our blog or whoever’s in our database through subscriptions.

I’ve also seen lots being said about content marketing and strategy. Although there are some large brands using content marketing (very well in some cases), there are still many smaller companies and organisations, personal brands and self-employed workers out there. I’ve read about 40 posts that talk about content marketing as the trend for 2014. Wasn’t it the trend for 2013? Of course, content marketing is very different from filtering and publishing links that are coherent and that build towards a common goal. This is what I’m talking about.

So, it’s hard to measure change. However, I know that when you’ve done the work that matters, your social media efforts will decrease and be more focused. The more people turning their heads to take a look at you, the more things you should be creating.

The deal here isn’t the content but, rather, the results you get. Create processes that help you achieve your goals. The following ideas may help you improve your results using the social web.

What else can be done?

  • Instead of (aimlessly) publishing on Twitter, try to link with your potential audience more and pay greater attention to your customers. Look for conversations, analyse and measure them and then take action in them.
  • Set up your fan page as a place to get test samples, special offers, peripheral services that are only carried out on this platform (for instance: a form for free samples). Publish blurbs from your customers or show different ways your product can be implemented.
  • Focus your Facebook Ads budget on achieving leads to your end point of sale on your website or online store.
  • Carry out visual contests through Instagram with attractive incentives. Use Pinterest as a catalogue for your products, experiences or featured services. In the case of products, include the price so they can appear in lists of “gifts”.
  • Try to connect through LinkedIn with the contacts that can strengthen your organisation. A sales agent in the UK, a legal adviser in Colombia, etc.
  • Create a community in Google+ with the people who have things in common with what you do and share with them. Use your Google+ page to tell funny, surprising and attractive stories that resonate with your industry.
  • Create a video every month or two explaining the craft involved in the work your organisation carries out (for instance, how you prepare your rye bread or how you prepare fruit milkshakes)
  • Publish the most important thing you’ve worked on at least once a week, explaining what you’ve learnt from it and whatever may serve as a recommendation for your potential target.
  • Work on content marketing based on your strategy, defining the actions you carry out and, most of all, measuring what happens with each piece of content. It should help you.

Was this useful? Did it help your ideas? How do you use your social web to get results?

Photo credit: ntr23

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13 ways to add human understanding to the Internet

If the Internet is made up of people, I don’t understand why brands use the Internet to communicate and market their products in a way that keeps them at a distance from human relations. If human relations are the essence of the social media, I don’t understand why no one is connecting and humanising instead of just sending out the same message 100 times, aiming to have an impact or simply wanting us to click on an ad in Facebook, LinkedIn or during a YouTube video.

add understanding to the internet

How to add the human touch and understanding to the Internet

Thinking about this, I hope some of the things included here may help us to understand the term “humanise” in regard to the Internet and social media.

1. Establish the foundations for listening: spend your time processing everything that’s being said about you or your organisation and do something with this. For instance, you can offer an answer to your audience. You may not know this but they’re the new “killer App”.

2. Respond to LinkedIn invites in a personal way, reviewing the other person’s profile, taking care in how to word your message to connect with the other party. Offer individual personalised answers and don’t use templates. It works for me. The same goes for emails.

3. Start or finish any comment, message, tweet, recommendation, review or shared content by naming the person you’re addressing.

4. Always answer any comment made and try to do what you’d like people to do with you: leave a comment, RT, “like”, “recommend”, “vote” or mention.

5. Speak positively, deal with situations with optimism, even when faced with harsh criticism or comments. Don’t lose your nerve and let humour reign. Researchers from Georgia Tech found that staying positive, useful and resonating is a tactic that leads to the trust and credibility needed for people to purchase at our store.

6. Look for ways to be innovative, staying true to yourself. For instance, use a word or catchphrase that is close to you, even one you make up. For instance, “rock on”. It may seem daft but try it out and see.

7. Look for conversations that are close to your interests. For instance, the contact made between a designer and a programmer to create a new blog, or contacts made between food lovers and the cooking blog you’ve discovered. So, make that introduction, connect!

8. Take an interest on subjects that may also be of interest to your audience and offer them information. For instance, if you’re a hotel, recommend tour routes. If you’re a dinner restaurant, talk about places where you can go for a drink later or recommend clubs. If you’re a club, recommend a good after-party.

9. Filter information that may be useful to your community and transform it into actionable points you can work with. For instance, if you provide a guide on how to install plug-ins in WordPress, explain exactly what plug-ins you need to install and summarise the steps you need to take in a direct way. Otherwise, you’re not really contributing anything new.

10. Perhaps through your experience and knowledge, even through your failures, you may extract conclusions, reflections or moments –transferred into content- that may connect with your audience and which betters them. This would be equipping them. Try talking about when you lost your nerve with a client, when you launched a campaign with the wrong target or when you paid your Facebook “Ads” with the wrong credit card.

11. Look for conversations regarding your brand on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+ (hint: look for hashtags and keywords). When you find them, engage in them, contribute your point of view, share, recommend, provide information or clarify doubts.

12. Every time you want to read something interesting, spend 5 minutes looking for it among the content posted by your audience / followers / fans. You’re sure to find something worthwhile, something you can share and recommend. We’ll be grateful!

13. Ask your community what they want from you, don’t be afraid! Then, work towards making it possible if you can’t offer it right away. For instance, if people complained that there weren’t enough women in your last event, work to fix this in time for the next event.

Obvious?

I honestly think I’m not really discovering uncharted territory here. Neither is it a cure for all. Similarly, discovering humanity on the Internet or in social media is a greatly complex task. A paradox perhaps? What do you think?

Photo credit: al shep.

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Strategic Human Media Integration Model

How can we work in social media if we show no interest for people, if we don’t consider their relevance? How can we be professionals in the field and, at the same time, ignore what happens afterwards? Can we learn to accept change without doing the work, simply expecting applause and a standing ovation? What changes can we implement in the digital world to connect with and change our own audience?

I created the first theoretical social media integration model in December 2009. What I find fascinating is how it has evolved over the years, until now, with 2014 just round the corner.

How has strategic integration evolved?

New skills in an interconnected environment, the adaptation to social platforms, the different approaches to new online tools, the change in strategies and tactics towards further interaction, engagement and the consolidation of relationships, perception and understanding of ecosystems in the social web, and the digital revolution, of course. All of this has made social media integration become a more direct, human and connected model, creating a more powerful social and human web. The start of Human Media.

I have been working for a while towards understanding and figuring out how the new environment works and how a new conception of all the above changes social media integration in the business environment.

Human-media-integration-theory-model

The meaning of this

Users generally prefer connections over sales, sharing over creating, resonance over influence and relationships over promotions. This is further amplified by the sheer number of elements that take part in the integration of online platforms and tools in any communication or marketing model today. Platforms that humanise, filter and select contents (content curating) improve the chances of a social object being shared by a larger number of kindred spirits.

Connectivity between platforms results from the users’ “shareability” ratio: the more relevant, emotional and segmented the content you share, the greater connectivity you create with kindred spirits (you can call them potential clients or community). This will inevitably lead to positive visibility and will make it easier for your brand to interact with the people in the community to which you have gained access. This generates a continuous feedback flow resulting from the high level of input generated from visibility to a potential audience, connectivity with these persons and the resulting interaction. However, such inputs are meaningless without perception, understanding, assessment, implementation and reaction to the feedback channelled from social networks and from actively listening to these platforms.

It’s convergence, it’s connection, it’s human

Integration converges with an ecosystem that focuses more on connecting with users than on bombarding them with promotions. A good handling and use of the feedback provided will inevitably generate more traffic and trust, as does sharing what you’re interested in with your audience (usually as a result of feedback), only that it will also afford you credibility and exposure, and a certain authority resulting from having something of value to offer. Authority is a good thing, something you wish to have. Something which is helped daily by microblogging services, geolocation services and online publication services.

A factor to be taken into account is how, as a result of the emotional, human and relational impact of this economy, platforms remain on the outside of such integration; even in the case of a vital element such as a blog: the effects and properties that favour the people remain on the inside and build a crucial system, a resonance between brands and people.

Is there a happy ending to all this?

Of course! The agents that truly strengthen, influence and act as a lever in this setting and all its different channels, aren’t the social platforms or tools. These are only the means towards strategic integration.

How do you think that the social web converges, collides and integrates with this increasingly human and interconnected economy?

Appeared first on Social Media Today.

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What to do with your online influence

online influenceAre you influential on the Internet and the Social Web or any other field influenced by this connected economy? Tip 1: all fields have been affected. Tip 2: we’re all influential to some extent or other. However, what do you do with this influence? Anything at all? Have you ever thought about doing something that benefits not only you but helps those who probably provide you with such influence?

To save you some time racking your brain, here are some tried and tested ideas that may help you return some of that influence to those who created it and deserve it –your audience, community, fans, followers, supporters, you name it. Clue: Lady Gaga, Calvin Harris, Avicii, Brtiney Spears, Ashton Kutcher, Pete Cashmore, Robert Downey Jr. or Sergio Ramos aren’t really considered to be part of your community.

Things you can do with your influence

So, here are some ideas that will help you know what to do with your influence so that you can contribute to helping the people who make you influential.

  • What about dedicating a section in your personal or professional blog to talk about the people around you who’re doing a great job? This can be local businesses, your own team members, stories from people you don’t know but who inspire you, stories that may also help your community and readers. You could do this on a set day of the week (Fridays for instance?) or every other week.  You can give it a special name to identify this series of posts.
  • Create a local event making the most of your reach, influence and network so that people with great ideas and best practices can take part, people who may not have 10,000 followers on Twitter or a fan page on Facebook. They may not even have a blog, so no one needs to freak out and start running. You may encourage them more than anyone else and, more importantly, make them known to people in your network who would benefit from meeting them. There are several options: seminars, round-table conferences, workshops or even online events.
  • Prepare a monthly video recommendation about the person who has contributed, helped, impacted, encouraged or influenced you and your people the most. This doesn’t necessarily mean the person who has done the most for you. Sometimes, someone will simply arrive and do something that no one else has done for us. It could be the polite way someone greets you or treats you at a restaurant or hotel, or a good morning smile when you’re going to breakfast or a sincere apology that was truly unnecessary.
  • Make the most of your YouTube channel to interview young entrepreneurs who know what they want. Let the businesspeople in your neighbourhood/town/city tell the story of how they started a business that is now the leader in online sales, ahead of their competition.
  • Talks and meetings with young people who’re off to university or university students who’re about to finish their studies. These two groups are often lost in this system. Your influence may become a beacon to them.
  • Share interesting businesses in your area or neighbourhood in your Twitter or LinkedIn accounts. I’m not talking about multinationals, but rather local businesses.
  • Use Foursquare or Yelp to leave tips or reviews about these businesses and share them with your community so that people know about them. Checking-in and sharing on Twitter will also help. Tip: it doesn’t take an invitation on their behalf for you to recommend them or post a picture on Instagram. You may offer before getting anything from them; it’s a great way of helping.
  • You can use a hashtag on Instagram to upload pictures of places, people or businesses you love and that you believe others should know about and visit.
  • Go all-out and gather stories, experiences, thoughts and practices from ordinary extraordinary people who wish to inspire and equip other people through such personal and professional narratives.
  • #FF people who’ve helped you in your work during the week or more anonymous people who’ve made you change the way you interact significantly, or simply people who’ve had a special consideration towards you, someone from your team or professionals who’re doing their job well. I’d love to see more #FF for “ordinary/extraordinary” people and not so many rock stars!
  • When you want to help by sharing, don’t just RT or ‘share’; this requires a special gesture. Explain why you’re sharing, offer a personal reason why others should pay attention to it. This is the fun part, you can’t do this truthfully if you don’t read or pay attention to what you share. This is what leaves many “influencers” out of the game.
  • Use LinkedIn to recommend those service providers, workers, employees or entrepreneurs with whom you’ve had a satisfactory professional transaction or interaction.
  • Create an eBook about the people who help you in your day, month and year; publish it as a blog, on Twitter or other places. And please, keep it free of charge; getting to know these people should be a right, not a privilege.

Self-absorbed or change?

One more thing before we finish: there’s a good number of ideas to make the most of your influence to favour others in a positive way.

So, as you can see, there are myriad ways to do it. What we’re sometimes lacking is intention and purpose in using influence as a way to funnel change and not as a resource for personal gain, becoming increasingly self-absorbed. Being that kind of influencer is clearly overrated.

I’d love you to share with us any ideas that come to mind to make the most of online influence, helping to make a difference in other people. Thank you.

Photo credit: Stuart Foster.

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Other metrics you may want to consider to measure the social web

Besides the well-known metrics, old and new that exist for social networks, why not use the following measurements to better define your activity:

  • Related comments: who’s talking about your brand beyond your own community?
  • Actions: actions you’ve carried out. How many, how well did they fare, how long did they last, what were their results and their qualitative and quantitative impact.
  • Statistics of the impact of your content in real time: what happened before, while and after you uploaded content at an event, meeting, presentation, gig, etc. What has changed and how?
  • Percentage growth increase: compare natural growth in other years and estimate how much you should be growing this term, comparing whether you’re above, below or at the same level as your natural growth.
  • Compare yourself with your competition: use tools like hyperalerts to do this job. Measure engagement, reach, popularity and rank in Alexa and Google.
  • Conversions: using URL builder and Analytics you can know how many people visit your website from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Youtube and go where you want them to go.
  • Reach, feeling, passion: use social mention to understand the qualitative state of your brand in social media.
  • Social assistance: how many interactions do you carry out with your community every day? What happens in these interactions, both positive and negative? How many are related to questions regarding your services and products? How many are related to direct or indirect sales? How many lead to future purchase? Which are the most frequent questions or doubts? What are the complaints about exactly? Then, do something with all this information.
  • Other tasks you have carried out: measure what else you’ve done besides the above. Work with other departments, collaborations in other campaigns, mediation with clients and suppliers. The fact that these tasks are less flashy or not directly related with your job doesn’t mean they don’t count!

We can always search for something simple instead of something complicated.

What other metrics would you consider in this list?

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How to make (anything) viral

how to make anything viralI find it interesting to listen to agencies, professionals, marketing directors or advertising specialists talk about virality. It surprises me when they decide to sit down and write something that will supposedly go viral. This turns into hilarity when they demand the video you launch goes viral, and it’s Utopian for them to think that the work they do will go viral. Improbability arises when we expect an idea/virus to go beyond our own world perspective. That’s why we constantly fail in our attempts to reach virality.

Virality belongs to the people

It isn’t brands, Facebook, Adwords, Twitter or YouTube that cause virality. Virality comes from your ability to create something unexpected; something that has an impact and catches your audience unawares. Virality belongs to the people outside your circle of influence.

You will never go viral while you expect to conquer the meaning of the term ‘viral’, working on it endlessly.

Amazing beyond amazement

Matinée’s latest video, Ibizious, has gone viral; everyone’s talking about it. When they thought about it, they didn’t think about doing a viral video; they thought about making a video that someone would like, which would then replicate to many. The true value was in creating a video that had an impact, something out of the ordinary that would draw someone’s attention, anyone outside the people involved in the project: managing to amaze someone beyond our understanding of amazement. The video created change. What no one gets to see is the entire year that the people behind the video worked on it.

Consider a single person as viral

Seek making an impact on people who see the world in a different way than you do. Have such an impact on them that they cannot get to sleep unless they choose to make it happen: sharing your message with others. Start with one person. Then you’ll start to become viral.

Next time you think virally, think about how not to let one person rest until they share your message. And by this, I don’t mean spamming it to death.

Unfortunately, our perception of what’s viral isn’t the perception that the world has about the meaning of viral. Luckily, we can’t control virality.

Viral isn’t a thing; it just happens.

Photo credit: esalesdata.

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Why you shouldn’t buy followers on Twitter

 

 

twitter fake followers

1. Twitter monitors inactive or suspicious accounts and eliminates them in the mid-term (3 or 4 months). This means that more than 70% of what you buy will be invalidated at some point. This also means that your number of followers will decrease drastically. This will raise suspicion and, in many cases, have a negative effect.

2. People looking into your followers will see that they’re not coherent: usually located in Latin America, biographies that make no sense, preset profile images and interests and objectives that aren’t in line with your target audience.

3. It will damage your brand’s credibility and your professional credibility. Unless, of course, you come out first and clearly explain your reasons for buying them. Here’s a tip: such motives should be convincing.

4. Their effect on your reach or engagement will amount to nothing.

5. Such accounts are usually inactive (though not spam).

6. In theory, it doesn’t look like you’re buying followers. ‘Smarter’ managers call them campaigns. However, in practice, you’re buying followers.

What other reasons can you come up with to defend why you shouldn’t buy followers on Twitter?

Photo credit: Jamie Pham.

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Thoughts and ideas on contents that leave a mark

I often think about how what I do has an impact on people, not only personally but professionally also. In this regard, I believe that creating content is of crucial importance, as is what happens before, during and after the creation, launch and impact processes.

content marketing

Random thoughts and ideas on content creation

I will share with you some random thoughts and ideas regarding the creation of contents that leave a mark:

  • What is your content-creation strategy? – I don’t know what content-creation strategy you follow, if any, but there’s always something you can do to improve the quality of your content so that it is more in line with your community and more useful to your audience. Idea: You could perhaps focus on one type of content and not post with regard to different topics. I’m talking about information that is more in line with your public.
  • How do you know whether your actions are connecting and having an impact? Do they really change? – The actions you carry out have an impact on people (the community) and the way you impact and connect will determine the success or failure of your strategy and the coherence of your brand. In any case, if what you do takes you exactly where you want to go, then that’s OK. Otherwise, you’ll have to ask yourself, “What are we not doing so well? How can we improve?” Idea: start by connecting; then connect repeatedly until you manage to grab the attention needed to earn your audience’s trust; a trust that will turn your audience into clients.
  • Strategy: try something different – My favourite strategy isn’t being visible. But as I said, if it works for you, that’s OK. There’s always time to change anyway. The key lies in trying to be different. The idea of diversifying contents is excellent. However, perhaps it will work better if your contents are more in line with the audience you’re targeting. To this end, choose a mission for yourself, rather than a plan; the mission is always there where plans or strategies fail. Idea: start by being there always, providing contents that make a contribution, help and are useful to others. Remain “everywhere”: create ways of being present always, adding value. Position yourself where your audience’s radar is looking.
  • What comes after content? – The next step after content is interaction. Anything positive that you do will be a great move. – Idea: Answering and clarifying is key. Constant, continued, progressive and human communication with your community is an essential element that works towards the solidity and consolidation of your brand.
  • Objective: being extremely useful  - Your content should first of all focus on how useful it is to the receiver: you should try for ‘actionable usefulness in a single idea’, whenever possible; such an idea should be able to move your audience, from reading to doing. Make the most of your knowledge and experience on how you do what you do: tips that make a difference. We must be extremely useful, that’s the aim. Inspiration will then come of its own accord. Idea: look at what you do best, something that only a few do as well as you do. That is what you must share as useful content. That is what will change your audience.

Photo credit: ctwmarketing.

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How to save time on the Internet and make something happen

save time on the social webGiven the increasing number of emails that our inbox receives each day, the hundreds of tweets we write or receive each day, toxic meetings and tons of information running to our door every day, there’s only one thing we can do: set boundaries separating work that really makes a difference from work that is merely good or completely mediocre and useless.

I’ve discovered a few boundaries on the Internet that help me save the time needed to make things happen and to get the work that matters going.

Meetings and events

Forget about meetings in person unless they’re indispensable, they have a purpose, a limited time frame and all attendees have a role appointed. Instead, you can set meetings on Skype or Hangout. My estimates are that a daily meeting with your work team shouldn’t be longer than 30 minutes; a meeting with a supplier, 15 minutes; and any important case, never longer than an hour. When you meet through Skype or Hangout it is always easier to get out of the meeting at the right moment.

Isolate yourself from networking events, conferences, workshops, seminars, presentations, webinars or blogtrips. That’s when you should be working. The best time to switch on is when everyone else switches off.

Social Media

  • Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn won’t make it happen. These are only platforms that will strengthen what you create and maximise your reach. Keep them open, it’s great if they pay you not to lose track of any conversations, keep track of people who mention you or answer messages or friend requests right away.
  • Use your tablet PC or smartphone as a recreational tool when you’re outside your workplace, on the tube, on the plane, train, on your way home for lunch, at home on the sofa, etc. It is then that you can check to see what’s going on in social media. Try to produce work when you’re sitting at your computer or standing in front of an empty blackboard and make the most of the time when you’re answering simple emails (those you answer to with an ‘ok’. ‘wow’, ‘great’…) to check Twitter, to Check-In, upload photos to Instragram or Pinterest or to record a video.
  • If you practice sport, consider making the most of your time by doing all irrelevant work then – checking on Twitter that a meteorite hasn’t fallen to earth.
  • Programme the post you want to publish in your blog the night before, and also what you’ll be tweeting about it. Answer any comments at the end of the day you launch. You’re not going to generate further change or earn more money by answering straight away.
  • Believe that the world doesn’t revolve around you. Give your community time to digest the information you publish. Distribute it according to a logical timeline.
  • When you join a LinkedIn group, ask for the “weekly digest” rather than a daily summary.
  • Sharing one extremely useful item of content a day is much more worthwhile than sharing 20 things that are run-of-the-mill.
  • Deal with any requests you receive from people with precise, straightforward questions. The aim is to have a more precise, well-defined and direct way to help them.

Mobile

  • Don’t use WhatsApp with your professional contacts, followers, suppliers or clients unless you want to be bombarded frequently. WhatsApp makes sense for 3 messages to the point; after that, you’re better off calling.
  • Ignore phone calls from unknown or hidden numbers. If something is important, they will leave a voice mail or they’ll let you know who they are and what they want.

Email

  • When you’re on the 5th message in the same email chain, make a phone call and get it sorted, you’re already wasting too much time.
  • Use different email accounts for each client/project. This may seem crazy, but it’s a great way to classify, optimise and centralise topics and such volume of information. I currently handle 20 email accounts.
  • The less words you use in your communications, the more time you’ll be saving. You’ll also realise that you can say as much in 200 characters as you were going to in almost 1,000. Simple is beautiful.
  • Unsubscribe from all newsletters you don’t wish to receive. And make a claim if you continue receiving them.

Processes

  • Keep a copy of everything you do in Evernote: emails, projects, proposals, ideas, reflections, etc. You never know where an idea can come from or, maybe, where you can use it again in a similar context.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts. If you work with a Mac, the spacebar works a treat!
  • Write down your ideas as items or doodles. It’s simpler, faster, easier to understand and more direct.

What other shortcuts do you take to save time on the Internet so that things can happen more frequently?

Photo credit: mgribby.

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