Social Media & Using Your Calendar

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Sample of Content Calendar. As you can see, when you plot out your calendar based on the content you already have, it is easier to maintain your presence with great content!

This does not seem to be the most revolutionary of advice as most people have a calendar to plan out their projects, tasks, events both in their personal and professional life.   Did you know you can use the same tool to manage your Social Media Presence?  Who Knew!? There are a couple of important pieces of information that you need to know about your content to get a sense of what you want to share to your audience.  Here are the 4 things you should consider when creating the content you will post:

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Increase your Fan Base with 5:1 Ratio

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Simple Ratio to Help You Build Your Following!

Before I go into this particular strategy, I must give credit where credit is due.  I was reminded of this concept a couple of weeks back during a presentation that one of my clients, the William Paterson University Small Business Development Center hosted, called Social Media in Business (Click here for next date).   The forum was hosted by Sean Carroll-who is enthusiastic entrepreneur who is passionate about helping others achieve fulfillment in life through his coaching and public speaking. The topic of Social Media in one class is difficult as most folks who come in with little understanding of it will want to talk about it philosophically, culturally, etc.   Sean Carroll did a great job in carrying the conversation as such but also did a great job in introducing the strategy.   So for relationships building ideas, check out Sean Carroll and his work.

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Facebook vs. the Social Media World: Are we peasants caught between dictators?

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Facebook is not too comfortable in their high class status with the fickle loyalty of their users in our instant gratification prone society.  Most people enjoy using Facebook for a variety of reasons, some even making a living in teaching others how to use it.  Though I enjoy some of the recent upgrades, I am beginning to feel like a peasant torn between two dictators.  I personally do not use Google + as all my clients find their target base on Facebook. However, the recent upgrades in Friend Lists, privacy settings and the reborn subscribe feature in Facebook seeks to keep their users from defecting.

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Find Solace in Social Media During Natural Disasters

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A portion of my work is done at home.  At the specific time of the Earthquake this past week, I felt a minor shake, thinking it was my upstairs neighbors moving stuff around.   I thought nothing of it until I went on Twitter and Facebook and noticed that EVERYONE on my list was commenting about it.  Most expressed where they were during the shake while some shared they did not feel a thing (Frankly I think some of those folks were a little bitter about it since the comments generally came with some sarcastic response to those who did feel it).

To give you an idea of how twitter played a part in keeping us informed:

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Dont be a Slacktivist! Engage with the Causes you liked!

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I'll get to that....tomorrow. Image found on http://taezar.wordpress.com/

In the heydays of print, radio and television advertising,  it was all about the message conveyed to the consumer that they should use your product instead of the competition.  Catchphrases, jingles, funny characters and images were used to get you to engage with them at their store.  It is similar with politics. A candidate would use the forms of advertising to urge you to vote their way come election day.   All this cost money!  So if a non-profit wants to convey the importance to support your local public school, or cancer awareness, they would have to seek cost-effective alternatives to raise awareness of their cause.  Often times, the alternatives are over shadowed by big business and political machinery.  However, Social Media has narrowed the gap between these forces to help local causes spread their message.

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Warren Buffett and Social Media: Can the London Riots be our future?

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Picture on Left is Warren Buffet. Picture on Riot is from Irish Examiner.

In an opinion piece by one of the most successful investors in the world, Warren Buffett in the New York Times suggested that Congress stop “Coddling the Super-Rich”, saying that in the 80s and 90s there were more job creation with high tax rates over the last decade where the tax rates decreased and so did jobs.    Regardless of your politics, one aspect of this story that will no doubt cause a stir in the blogosphere, opinion news, tweets and Facebook sharing (and Google Plus) outlets is this:

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Meet Hootsuite: It will make your Social Media Life Easier

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Hootsuite is a social media dashboard.  Social media dashboards allow you to manage multiple social media websites at a glance.  Hootsuite is one of those tools that you can have your Facebook profile, Fan Pages, twitter accounts, LinkedIn,  Foursquare, Ping.fm, even MySpace!

Hootsuite will organize these pages in different tabs that you can jump to and see activity from your fans and followers without having to jump through different websites to do this.  You can post status updates and have them appear in multiple pages or you can schedule posts in advance like weekly reminders of an upcoming event.   You do not have to have an account on all the social networking sites, you can simply have one or two pages and manage them on Hootsuite.

Here are all the social networking sites you can manage on Hootsuite.

Your social media strategy should focus on where your audience is and what kind of content you post. Having a Facebook profile and Fan page is often enough to serve your goals productively and successfully.

Hootsuite has two profile settings, Basic and Pro (Pro having a monthly charge and include different levels of service).    The free version is enough if you are a one person show and manage 1-5 different social networking pages.   If you manage more, like I do, you will have to pay $5 a month to manage unlimited social networking pages along with one team member. It is an extra $10 for every team member you add.

Do a search for “social media dashboards” and you can find other tools like Hootsuite with different functionality.  However, I find Hootsuite is the simplest and most cost-effective tool. Please keep in mind that this can change as new tools are developed daily.

Just go to Hootsuite.com, and sign up for a basic account to try it out. You don’t have to use your real name but you do need a valid email address.  Once you confirm your email address, you will receive an email where they offer you extra details on how to get started.  Also when you sign in for the first time, it will ask you to add a social network.

Check out some more screenshots to give you a little more guidance on how to navigate your new social media dashboard. Give it a try, I am sure you will be glad you did.

The horizontal box at the top you can click on it and you will be able to post your message and schedule it accordingly. The vertical box you can access a variety of options to take full advantage of Hootsuite.

Above is where you can post your message, shrink a link so that it takes up less characters, schedule when you want the message to post and which profile you want to post if under. As you can see, I have many profiles I manage.

You can access all the tools Hootsuite has to offer from adding different streams of information within each tab, see what is scheduled and which profile is posting the message, all in one list. And much more!

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