Manic Depressive or Social Media Maniac?

Clinically speaking, a manic depressive disorder is defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated mood. Some manic episodes include increased energy, activity, with rapid talking & thinking, followed by sustained periods of unusual, even bazaar behavior. That would describe some social media personalities.

No One Home

They don’t post to their blog or text to their friends or colleagues for weeks at a time. They don’t reply to messages sent to them nor do they participate in the community groups they joined with such enthusiasm. The company site looks like they have gone out of business. Then … without any warning … they’re back … alive … and conversing. Was the organization’s social media person out of the country? Suffered a grave illness? Nope, just distracted, disorganized, sidetracked or overworked. There’s no method to the company’s madness in being a social media participant. They’re on the social media fringe. Not committed. No strategy. Their influence will never be felt. Sadly, the competition will soon fill the void.

Good Technology Gone Bad

Whether the company is a one-person business or a large organization the commitment to social media must be consistent, compelling and informative. The social media community is a fragile, collaborative ecosystem. People will follow a trail of dependable, exciting, instructive news; but once the trail goes cold they’re gone likely never to return.

Perhaps being a social media maniac is not the right persona either. You know who we’re talking about. You know who you are. Their Blackberries set to vibrate they bounce across the conference table as the meeting drones on. These people can answer emails on their laptops with one hand while texting to friends or colleagues on their iPhones with the other. They can’t be looked in the eye when talking to them because their heads are always looking down at some screen. This behavior may be seen as good technology gone bad.

Strike a Balance…and a Pose

How about if we strike a balance somewhere in the middle avoiding becoming a manic depressive or a social media maniac? What if we develop a social media schedule that does not run our lives; but does keep us accountable? Here’s a sample social media agenda that can be used as a springboard in designing one that suits your busy schedule and the community channels you’re involved with:

Twice Daily – Morning/Afternoon

  • Check Twitter via HootSuite.com – respond when necessary, follow the @replies that make sense.
  • Check LinkedIn.com; reply to emails and comments when appropriate.
  • Scan Twitter followers for relevant conversations to join.
  • Scan Google Alerts for your name and brand – respond as appropriate.

Ongoing

  • Mondays schedule Tweets on new book through HootSuite to go out three times per day at 8-hour intervals.
  • Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays join one hot trend conversation on Twitter if appropriate.
  • Tuesdays & Thursdays – respond to blog comments.
  • Fridays check traffic at your blog.

Weekly / Weekend

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  • Build Twitter Lists to better organize ongoing discussions and special interest groups.
  • Scan LinkedIn questions from my network and respond when appropriate.
  • Catch up on LinkedIn group discussions – and to discussion when appropriate.
  • Check MrTweet.com and Twellow.com for new twitter follow recommendations.
  • Send LinkedIn invitations to connect with clients when beginning a new assignment.
  • Ask for LinkedIn recommendation after successfully completing a project or engagement.
  • Scan LinkedIn for new connections and send invitations when appropriate.
  • Think of ways repurpose this content and energy to reach a larger audience with the social media gospel.
  • Keep an eye open for new social media venues, tools and functionality that will make the social media experience more enjoyable and easier to traverse.
  • Identify new social media influencers and build relationships where appropriate.

Obviously, your daily social media to-do list will be much different based on the available time and commitment to the social media channels you are involved with. Make the schedule something livable.

If it’s not working then change it and keep making modifications until it works.

Be Strategic:

  • Be consistent … stay the course for at least six months
  • Start out small and grow into your social media persona

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