Maintaining your online presence for business is not difficult but it does require some effort on a regular basis, including time management. There are ways to simplify your approach so that your efforts will be optimized.
I love this image of the astronomical clock of Prague in the Czech Republic. Installed in 1410, it is the only astronomical clock in the world that is still working. It is a fascinating combination of astronomy, astrology and a daily monitor of the passage of the sun, shifting with the seasons to adapt to the change in the time of sunrise. To me, it is a wonderful reminder of the larger picture of time and of how there is neither “too little” nor “too much” of it, but that it is just a mark of the movement of the sun and stars.
With that said, I know that many of you feel that there just isn’t enough time to do everything, especially when it comes to social media and maintaining your online presence. In an effort to make that all more manageable, I have come up with ten simple tasks that each take about ten minutes to complete. The first five are social media maintenance that should be done regularly. The second five are network building and online branding tasks that will help you optimize your online presence. By scheduling these short, ten-minute tasks and having this list ready when you find an extra ten minutes to spare, the sometimes overwhelming job will become more manageable.
Social Media Maintenance Tasks
To be done on a regular basis, ideally at least once a week.
- Visit your LinkedIn account and check your LinkedIn updates – comment, “Like” and/or share at least one or two. If you are not finding at least one or two updates that are worth sharing, please focus on building your network to include people who ARE sharing information of value.
- Check your LinkedIn messages and invitations – while these should be forwarded to your email, you should still double check that there are none that need attention and archive (file) or delete all old ones.
- Visit your Twitter Timeline and reply and/or retweet at least one or two tweets. Again, if you are not finding at least one or two comments worth sharing, please work on following some new people who ARE sharing information of value.
- Check your Twitter @mentions – see if anyone has mentioned you and reply and/or retweet as appropriate.
- Visit and comment on some of the Facebook pages that you have “Liked” in the past (remember to change modes to visit as a “Page”). To see the pages you have “Liked,” go to your own Page and they will appear in the left column, under your own number of “Likes.” Click “see all” to see more than the top five shown.
NetworkBuilding and Online Branding Tasks
To be done when you can find 10 minutes to spare, ideally at least once a month.
- Check the “Who to Follow” suggestions on Twitter – found in the right-hand column of the Twitter.com interface, the algorithm used to make these suggestions get “smarter” the more you use it.
- Check the “People You May Know” suggestions on LinkedIn – click on the “Contacts,” “Add Contacts” and then “People You May Know” link (last in the secondary navigation options at the top of page). Like the Twitter algorithm used above; this too gets “smarter” the more you use it. See my tutorial on how to include a personalized note when using this feature.
- Answer a question on LinkedIn – switch the search bar drop down to “Answers” and insert a keyword into the search bar. You can use this to do research and to learn more about your own field as well!
- Create and/or update your listings – you should do this on any of the free online directories.
- Google yourself – your name and company. Try multiple spellings (and misspellings) Try Yahoo and Bing as well. See what you find. If you are on LinkedIn, Twitter and/or Facebook, these should come up. If not, make sure that you have your name spelled the same across all platforms and sites. If you do not find much, make an effort to broaden your online presence by creating accounts on LinkedIn, making sure you have a Google profile and by participating online via commenting on blogs and posting your own content.
If you tend to get sucked into networking sites, losing track of time, set a timer before you go in and stop when the alarm goes off. Scheduling these ten- minute tasks, a few times a week, can help you stay on top of this so you do not feel overwhelmed. It may leave you some time to contemplate the movement of the sun and stars.