My name is Donna and I am a list-o-holic. My problem however, is finding lists or tools that allow me to track and act on projects productively, and not just have me starting at an ever increasing “to do” trail that goes on for infinity. Here are 3 “lists” that work for me.
Check them out and start implementing them today to better manage social media in your business and free you up for the fun stuff in life.
LIST 1: TWITTER LISTS
This one is an easy one, and one that is often overlooked. If you are ovewhelmed by the idea of Twitter, then perhaps you have not yet discovered Twitter “Lists”. A Twitter List is simply a way of categorizing people you “follow” on Twitter into specific streams of information, making it easier to find tweets from those people or companies that are important, and checking on information in a streamlined way. Twitter lists allow you to:
- Follow what is happening in a particular niche. For example, I have a Twitter List for Social Media, Video Marketing and local Sunshine Coast Businesses.
- Organise your lists into “Public” or “Private” – for example, I have a Private list of all of my clients, so that I can quickly find them in one place. Most of my lists are Public, however. See no 3.
- Give credit or a “hat tip” to businesses or influencers that you want to connect with. For example, I have lists called “Companies I love”, “Social Media Innovators” and “Video Marketing Allstars” as well as “Savvy Marketing” and “Tools that Rock”. Notice how each of the titles gives some sort of compliment to the person, product or service being added to the list. When a list is public, it is not only the users of the list that can see who is on it, but those that are added to it also can see which lists they are being added to. Why not make them feel good about it?
- Check in on information or content that you need to check in on – rather than wading through the Twitter feed. Twitter lists help you to keep focused and on task!
- Check out other people or businesses on Twitter and the lists that they follow. You can follow their lists too!
My recommendations: Start to get into the habit of adding everyone you follow into a List. As soon as you follow them, click the drop down button just to the right of the Follow button (click “Add to or Remove from Lists”) and add them. Write down (up to 20) categories that you want to keep track of and start generating your Lists from those 20. Try to make your categories both as broad and and as drilled-down-specific as necessary, so that you can cover pretty much everyone that you Follow in one List or another. Remember that you can also add people to multiple lists. Look at the Lists of others in your niche, especially Influencers and follow those that take your interest. And don’t forget to check out what lists YOU or YOUR BRAND are on from time to time. It pays to see how you are being perceived and where people are “placing” you in their Twitter Categories.
LIST 2: FACEBOOK “INTEREST LISTS”
These are the new kids on the block – just released and causing a buzz! In a lot of ways, Facebook Interest Lists are the Twitter Lists of Facebook. The concept is really not all that “new” if you already use Twitter Lists to manage your social media strategy. However, I think they do have a lot of potential for organising information, networking and reaching out to influencers in your industry via Facebook. Many of the functions of Facebook Interest Lists are similar to Twitter – here are a few:
- You can put people or pages into Interest Lists. If it is a person (or personal profile) that you are adding, you must be their “friend” or a “subscriber” to their public feed to be able to add them.
- You can subscribe to the Interest Lists of other Facebook Users.
- You can “share” your Interest Lists with Friends, Business Pages or Groups – a feature that I really like. A great way to do this is to set up an Interest List and then share it with the people that you have added to it. A friend and fellow social media consultant, Lisa Harrison from Secrets to Social Media Mastery set up two lists that I was added to – “Sunshine Coast Business” and “Queensland Bloggers”. Lisa had already set up the Facebook Page for Sunshine Coast Business, and she immediately took the initiative to add our members to an Interest List. Sharing it with the members was a great way to spread the word – an example of the curation of content while providing a tool that we can all use to network! There are countless other ways that Interest Lists can help to generate brand awareness – think of the potential when others share lists that you are listed on. Time will tell how far the reach will be.
- At the moment, it does not seem that there is any notification if your page or name has been added to a list, which I think would be a nice feature (as per Twitter).
- An important thing to note: In Facebook’s own words: You don’t have to like a Page or subscribe to a person to add them to your list. Adding things to a list and subscribing to a list are independent from liking or subscribing to the Pages and people featured in the list. Adding a page to your Interest Lists (whether you like them or not) is as easy as hovering the mouse over the Like Button and hitting “Add to Interest List”. This adds more weight to the “content over likes” debate – Facebook is becoming more and more about the content you create as they pull back more and more on whether you need to “like” a page first before using any of its features.
So far I like Interest Lists. But don’t take my word for it. I couldn’t possibly go through all the features here – and besides, Amy Porterfield has already put together an awesome video highlighting all the best bits. Please check out Amy’s great summary of Facebook Interest Lists:
And here are some that I prepared earlier:
And here is how the NewsFeed looks on an Interest List:
My recommendations: Now more then ever is the time to “engage” with your fans, as yet again, Facebook has introduced another way for fans to engage with your page without actually “liking” the page first. This means that a facebook user can access your newsfeed posts by subscribing to an Interest list, even if they have not liked your page. With fans able to comment on and like your wall posts as well as access your content via Interest Lists, everything is now about content and not about page likes. Keep this in mind when using Facebook for Business. So, where to start? Take some time to set up some Interest Lists that are of “interest” to your niche, your fans, as well as influencers in your field. Start sharing them and posting about them. Facebook Interest Lists are a great way to build brand awareness while curating the content of others.
LIST 3: RSS FEED LISTS
Recently I had a meltdown over my ever increasing email inbox and decided to do something about it. I am still mid-way doing “something” about it, and I will tell you more about that soon in another post, but I want to tell you about one strategy that has been GOLD to me in eliminating email clutter. It is a strategy that involves 3 things: RSS Feeds, Google Reader and the FeeddlerPro App. Let me explain.
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Click RSS Feeds link above to find out more (much easier than for me to explain) – but basically it allows me to pull together all the blogs that I want to follow in one place, and it allows me to choose a number of formats for accessing that information (as an alternative to email).
For me it has been really simple. Firstly I identified that (a) I was not keeping up with all of the blog posts that I was following via email and (b) they were cluttering up my inbox making me feel like I was overwhelmed with information I was not getting to. Even with folders set up it was becoming too messy. So the solution was this:
- Set up a Google Reader account.
- Go to my favourite subscriptions and blogs and find the RSS feed on each using the RSS button (you know, the orange symbol that looks like a radio wave as pictured above). This will take a little time but tooooooootally worth it.
- Go to my Smartphone and download an App that Syncs with Google Reader – I recommend FeeddlerPro but there are plenty of “Reader” Apps available. Link it to Google Reader.
- Ensure that my favourite blog post feeds were coming through on my Google Reader Program and my chosen smartphone app.
- (This is the best part!) – I was free to unsubscribe from blog updates and now just use my RSS Feed! I read my RSS Blogs when I have a spare minute during the day – all from my phone or ipad. I use the “star” function to highlight blogs that I want to keep and action later, perhaps saving into Evernote or Dropbox. The portability of the Reader on my phone, I just LOVE! (Note: Thanks to Nikki Parkinson from Styling You, for showing me this great way to access blogs using Feeddler Pro).
My Recommendations: Personally, I was happy just to be able to use Google Reader and my trusty iphone app and feel all techno and savvy. But I recently took the joy one step further. I was able to import my RSS Feed into my Social Media Manager Program (I use Sprout Social but this is also available on Hootsuite). It is flippin’ awesome. Now I can immediately share great blog posts to my Twitter Followers straight from my RSS Feed. No more “finding” that great content or blog post – they come straight to me every day right in the place that they need to be, ready to be shared with the world. If I can make one more recommendation, it would be to include an RSS button on your website. That way, those of us that like using RSS can easily follow your blog….which means we can more easily comment and share your content. Just sayin’.
There they are. 3 Lists that Really Saved my Sanity. So….let’s share. Please list your favourite social media, marketing or business blog or your favourite Twitter List or Facebook Interest List below (including those that you have created), so that we can all check them out. Who knows, maybe I will be inspired to make a “list” of them, and blog about it!
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