Last week I shared my 7 tips to networking on the social web. In case you missed those tips you can see them here again, in brief.
- Don’t engage with people who send you negative messages.
- If you don’t want to accept or receive invitations to play Farmville, Scrabble, and other online games, block them in your security settings on Facebook.
- Don’t join every social media network at once. Sign up for one, master it, and then move on to another one.
- Learn to manage your time on social media by using an online timer.
- Don’t use your book jacket as your avatar (profile picture).
- Set your Facebook notifications to receive an e-mail whenever you are mentioned or you are tagged in a photo. On Twitter, you’ll want to know when you have a new follower.
- If you use SocialOomph, sign up for alerts notifying you of when you were retweeted or mentioned and when your hashtag was used.
This week I’m going to share with you a number of applications that are designed to encourage social sharing while reducing the amount of time you spend on social media.
Streams of incoming messages accumulating in your news fees are some of the biggest hindrances to being social.
If you use TweetDeck, it can be maddening to see an endless influx of tweets pouring in one after the other.
When you’re new to Twitter, for example, your news feed can be fertile ground for finding content to share. But if you have 1,000 or more Twitter followers, it can be difficult to cut through the slush and find the gems that you’ll find worth retweeting.
Apps for Twitter Chats
One way you can cut through the plethora of messages is to find and join Twitter chats that focus on specific areas of interest.
Nothing can replace the feeling of immediacy that interacting with a wide number of people on Twitter will provide. They are interesting, fun, and, depending on the topic, very entertaining.
Use these applications to find a Twitter chat that you might enjoy.
Once you sign up with Twubs, you can join chats, and the application will automatically add the hashtag to your tweets as long as you remain on Twubs’ website. It’s convenient and fast, and the app will keep you updated about the latest addition to the conversation.
To make things run smoothly, you can filter a Twitter chat conversation by hashtag. To be able to Tweet directly from TweetChat, you will need to authenticate Twitter. Once you’ve done that, TweetChat will automatically add the hashtag at the end of all your tweets, so you won’t have to.
I think Twitterfall is clunky but it is free to use.
Yes, good ol’ Hootsuite can be used to monitor Twitter chats. Cool, eh? Simply add a stream, search for the hashtag you want to track and join the conversation.
I really like this application. It works like a browser. Just type in your search term with a hashtag and soon you’ll see tweets lining up. An added benefit of this app is that you can use it for curation — finding newsy nuggets to retweet.
Similar to Tchat.io, Hashtags.org also includes a graph showing you how frequently your hashtag is being used and its ups and downs of usage. It also indicates prolific users, the definition of hashtags, recent tweets, and lists related hashtags. Pretty cool!
To use TweetGrid you need to create a login. Once you have one, you can enter the hashtag you want to follow and watch your tweets line up.
Applications to Help You Find Newsy Nuggets
People post about everything on social media. They show pictures of gluten-free lasagna, a son’s graduation, and trending videos on YouTube.
If you would like to view and comment on these posts, then do so. But if you want to find the real news, join conversations with more substance, and create content that others will want to share, there are a variety of applications that can help you.
This app will analyze your relationships and help you to engage with them better. The basic service is free and keeps track of your followers and interactions. With a single glance, you’ll know which users you should follow and which of your Tweeps you need to thank or send a reply to. This application allows users to manage their Twitter lists.
Cloze is an that combines your social media and email in one place. It promises to reduce the clutter by learning which people are important to you and moving those individuals to the top of your inbox. You can see your friends’ activity, respond to them, share their posts, or move on to the next item. The creators say this about it:
You can try it out for free.
Pocket won’t find information for you but it will help you to save items you find on the web to share later.
I used to rely on Scoop.it for my content curation but no longer do. That doesn’t mean that it’s not still a great app for you. The way it works is that you determine your search terms and Scoop.it finds the nuggets it thinks you will like. Then say “nay” or “scoop it” into your online magazine. You can also share your magazine with others. A very cool app!
Used Feedly as your RSS feed if you don’t want blog posts tumbling into your inbox.
Subscribe to newsletters by your favorite bloggers to keep up with what they are writing about and to find news to share with your following.
Does the Twitter Home tab overwhelm you? Create lists in different categories of experts and influencers you admire and collect and share their information.
WordPress Plugins to Help You Build Your Community
These plugins won’t help you find blog posts to share, but they will help you to nurture your readership. By adding one or more of the WordPress plugins below, you will be able to promote community and build engagement. Here are a few:
For $39, you can purchase this plugin and enjoy an unlimited amount of forms, auto-responders, spam protection, updates, and support. This plugin integrates with iContact, MailChimp, and aWeber email newsletter programs.
Have you noticed the ribbon of social media icons that appear alongside the blogs you read? You can install this plugin to encourage social sharing right from your website. Social sharing buttons include Twitter, Buffer, Facebook Share, Facebook Like, Digg, LinkedIn, Google+1, and many more.
If the floating ribbon of Digg Digg seems too assertive, you can try this plugin, which will also point your readers to a variety of social networks.
No website is complete without a Facebook Like box. Use this app to encourage more Likes on your Facebook page.
You’ll find a number of different formats for your Twitter button, including “tweet” and “follow on Twitter.” Select the button you pre- fer, and copy the html code onto your website.
Are you confused about search engine optimization? This plugin breaks down the elements and makes it easy for your blog post to rise higher in Google’s rankings so that your future readers will be able to find and connect with you.
Including the Follow button on your website enables people to follow your profile without sending you a friend request. In turn, they are able to see all your public posts.
Social Warfare is a plugin that I use. You can see it at the top of my blog posts where you can share this post you’re reading on Twitter, Facebook, and a variety of other social media platforms.
Don’t forget to schedule fifteen minutes every day to socialize with your virtual connections. Like some posts, leave a few comments, retweet interesting blog posts, find new people to follow, and endorse the skills of your connections on LinkedIn. Check in on your LinkedIn groups and join the conversation. Read a blog post by someone you admire and leave a comment. This is the best part of social media, so have fun with it.
Brand new Instagram ebook for authors. Learn how to set up your account, and create hashtags and Instagram stories.
Frances Caballo is an author and social media consultant. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online and building their platform. She also provides content writing and email marketing services. Learn more about her.