These days most of us will have some sort of social media account. Most often it is Facebook, followed closely by LinkedIn and Twitter. Instagram is becoming ever more popular as is Pinterest and Foursquare. If you have accounts set up on every social media channel (as I do) it can be a little overwhelming dealing with all of the stuff coming at you. I am constantly trying to figure out the best way to organise my social media so that I don’t miss out on that interesting article, great picture or funny update. I probably spend more time organising my social media than I do actually engaging in it but I am an assistant after all! Here are my top ten tips for managing your social media – these are all tried and tested!
1. LinkedIn Groups: I would recommend joining around 10 LinkedIn Groups relevant to the assistant industry. Once you have joined a few groups you will notice that you receive a lot of new content notifications. The default setting sends out notifications whenever new content is published. In your group settings you should change this to the once a week round up notification. I then set a rule on my emails so that all LinkedIn group notifications are sent to a separate folder in my inbox for me to review later.
2. Twitter Lists: If you follow a lot of people on Twitter using lists will really help you organise your Twitter feed. I have quite a few lists but the two I use the most are ‘PAs’ and ‘PA resources’. Lists on Twitter work in a similar way to filtering on Excel. You will only see the results you request. So in my case, when I click on the PA list I only see tweets from other assistant. Setting up lists are really simple but really effective. Just remember to add any new followers so that the list stays relevant. You can also subscribe to someone else’s list if you don’t want to build a list yourself.
3. LinkedIn Contacts: The search function on the LinkedIn Contact page is pretty useless. The best way to organise your contacts is by adding a tag to each contact. I use tags like ‘client’, ‘great resources’, ‘other assistants’, ‘colleague’ etc. When it comes to searching for that person you meet 3 years ago at a conference, the tag you gave them will help save you a little time.
4. Twitter content: So someone has tweeted a link to a really great article but you don’t have the time to read it now – what do you do? There are two methods I employ here. If I am in a particular rush I will favourite the tweet or retweet it so that it appears in my tweets / favourites. If I have a little more time I will email the tweet to myself so that I can click on the link later.
5. Following inactive people on Twitter: If you have reached that pesky limit on Twitter that doesn’t let you follow any more people until your followers have increased I suggest you try Tweepi. This website will list all of your followers and list them in terms of their activities. You can easily bulk unfollow anyone that hasn’t used Twitter for a long period of time.
6. Facebook ‘like’ pages: A great away of organising the pages you like on Facebook is through the ‘interest lists’ feature. The first step is to set up an interest list, this will then be added to your interest section on the left hand side of your Facebook feed (where you can find your own profile link). When you like a page you can add this to one of your interest lists . I have a ‘PA pages’ list set up so I can see all of the assistant related content on one feed.
7. Blog content: As you can imagine I follow a lot of blogs. I always find it is best to sign up to the blog RSS via email. I have a rule set up on Outlook to move every blog post to a different folder for me to read later. Signing up to the RSS means that I don’t have to check for new content every day – it comes straight to my inbox and I can read it in my own time. If I like the content I will hit the ‘retweet’ or ‘like on Facebook’ buttons straightaway.
8. Organising multiple social media platforms: I use Hootsuite to organise my social media platforms. I have used the website for a few years now and I think it is great. Hootsuite allows me to schedule social media updates in advance and in bulk, I can view all of my social media streams from one website and I can analyse the impact of my social media activities.
9. Who do I follow? It can be tricky to work out who to actually follow on social media. There are obviously loads of resources for assistants but there are also only so many hours in the day (thank you for choosing Practically Perfect PA by the way!) Hashtags are a great way of finding new resources on Twitter, I like using #PAPower #PAnetworking #PAEAVA and for events related stuff the hashtag is #eventprofs. Every Thursday Executive Secretary magazine hosts #Adminchat, which is free training for assistants. Facebook has a good search function for finding assistant pages and I would start with Groups for all content on LinkedIn. I wrote a blog a few years ago on Twitter resources.
10. Where do I find the time? This is the hardest part of managing your social media. You can either spend hours on social media (we’ve all done it) or you can simply neglect the whole thing and miss out on lots of fantastic content. I received a fantastic piece of information last year from a top US blogger who said he spends 40 minutes each morning setting up his tweets for that day, mostly retweeting other people along with his own stuff.I try to follow that advice now – although I must say I need to keep working on it! I also set aside an hour every evening to sort through my content file on Outlook and make notes on any relevant information I can pass on to my readers. Setting time aside each week really is the only method I’ve found that works for me and I have to be really strict with it otherwise I simply don’t find the time. I’m sure every assistant can relate to that one!