Lesson 3: Get Organized
One of the first steps to managing your social media is to get organized. It’s nearly impossible to be efficient with your social media profile when your contacts are lumped into one big crowd. Organizing contacts puts you in control of sharing, updating, following others’ updates, making announcements, offering deals, and so on.
You can separate your contacts list into customers, clients, associates, and friends, or even segment each of those categories into specific lists like customers of a certain age or friends from a certain time of your life. If you don’t organize your list, you’re likely to end up sending messages to contacts that they find irrelevant, and they’ll begin tuning you out.
Each social media site has its own way to keep your contacts organized. We’ll just cover the major ones here.
Twitter lets you organize your contacts using lists and hashtags. Your account comes with up to 1,000 lists and you can choose a theme for each one. You can have up to 5,000 users per list at the time of writing this report. However, you shouldn’t need even close to that many lists and it’s a bad idea to go list-crazy. The key to effective organizing is to use as few as possible so you can keep them all straight.
You can make your lists Public or Private. With public lists, anyone can find them, follow them, and read the tweets from people in those lists. With private lists, no one know about them except yourself. This is great for following competitors or customers.
Hashtags are words or phrases that start with the hash symbol, #. An example of a hashtag would be #TwitterTips. When you put specific hashtags on your updates, you create a category of posts that your contacts can subscribe to and follow. Also, you can easily search for those hashtags to see who else is talking about that subject.
You can create groups in Facebook but you have to create the group and then invite people to join. You’ll find the menu item for creating groups on the left-hand sidebar under ‘Groups’.
Google + has the easiest system for organizing contacts and that’s one of its main advantages over other social media sites. Your contact lists are called ‘circles’ and whenever you add a new contact, you have to place them in a circle. Just drag and drop their profile icon.
You can organize and add circles by clicking on the down-arrow under the Google+ logo (at time of writing this course). Click on ‘People’ and explore the options and suggestions Google offers. If you click on the top menu item that says ‘Your Circles’, you’ll get a visual representation of your circles and you can add or remove people. Click on the circle with the ‘+’ sign is one quick way to create a new circle.
You can also create Google+ Communities, which are similar to Facebook Groups. All you have to do is click on the down-arrow in your right-hand menu and click on Communities. Then click on ‘Create community’ and follow the directions to start.
LinkedIn doesn’t have lists, but it has tags. You can tag each contact using your own chosen keywords by going to Connections (top menu). When you hover over a person’s name, you’ll have the option to ‘Tag’ them.
You can also Tag someone by going to their Profile page. There will be an option in the top section under their basic information and in the information about your Relationship. Just click on ‘Tag’.
When you want to view your tagged contacts, simply search for the keyword tag you used. This is an even better way to segment your contacts because you can add multiple tags for each keyword that applies to them. In other words, you can put one contact into any number of categories.
LinkedIn also has groups, but their primary purpose is for networking with like-minded people. By joining groups that focus on topics you’re interested in, you can find contacts who have the same interests and then send a request to connect with them. You can also form your own groups and invite people to join.
How to Segment Your Contacts
The best way to segment your contacts is to start with goals and objectives. What do you want to accomplish with each group? For example, one group may be new prospects you want to turn into customers. Another might be mentors who you want to follow and network with. Create your lists, groups, pages and communities with these goals in mind.
Aside from the networks I mentioned here, there are plenty of others that you might be using and want to organize. For example, in Pinterest you can set up ‘boards’ based on different themes. People will then follow individual boards, vs. following all of yours. You can do the same by following only specific boards of other people.
For YouTube, you can set up ‘playlists’ of videos on a specific topic. Your followers will then be able to subscribe to either your channel or specific playlists, or both.
Explore the organization features of each of the main social networks you use. These networks are always changing and new features are added regularly.
- Twitter Lists