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5 Daily Social Media Builders In Less Than 10 Minutes (Total!)

sheep: "You been to your Facebook page lately?"

I am sick of social media. Social this. Social that. Everyone asks me whether I ‘do social media’, and it’s hard to resist the urge to caper around like a lunatic yelling “Am I being social? Am I?! Then quick, call the media!!!!”

I hate the phrase, the concept and the need for sound bites and catchphrases that spawned it. Sigh.

But it’s still important, so I’ve developed a routine that lets me steadily build my credibility in various social media outlets. Remember, social media is partly based on reputation. Build your reputation by contributing to the community, and you’ll get better results when promoting yourself, too.

Here’s what you need to do these 5 steps:

  • A Google account
  • A Yahoo! account
  • A Stumbleupon account and the toolbar
  • A Facebook account (c’mon, you don’t have one?!)
  • A Twitter account

These steps take a total of 10 minutes a day, because that’s all I can stand:

Bookmark/Review 2 Businesses on Google Maps

First, I toddle over to Google Maps, log into my Google account and review two businesses I know:

google maps review

If I can’t find two to review, then I add one or two to “my maps” instead. This activity (I suspect) makes me a more important reviewer in Google Maps. So, when I review a client business, it’ll get more weight, too.

Be honest! I am always honest with my reviews, even if my client doesn’t like my comment about their bathrooms. Remember, you’re contributing to a community. Add value.

Total time: 2 minutes.

Go Buzzing

Visit Yahoo! Buzz. Sign into your Yahoo! account. Buzz up or comment on at least 2 articles.

yahoo buzz home

I use Yahoo! Buzz instead of Digg now because Digg has become a toadying Jr. high school-style crap pile that makes Mt. Etna look like a minor belch.

Total time: 2 minutes.

Stumble Five Times

Then, I click the “stumble” button in my StumbleUpon Toolbar at least 5 times. Skim each site. Give it a thumbs up or thumbs down.

If something looks interesting, put it on your to-do list. You don’t have to read it right now.

Total time: 1 minute.

Comment on Your Favorite Blog

Take a piece of paper and write down your favorite 1 or 2 blogs. Every day, leave a useful comment on one of them.

conversation marketing commenting

This builds your relationship with the blogger, at worst, and gets you a few links, at best.

Total time: 2 minutes.

Follow Someone On Twitter

Go to Twitter. Log in. Look at one friend on your friends list. Follow 2 people they follow.

You just expanded your network.

Total time: 1 minute. Less if you can type faster than 20 WPM.

I just wrote about Twitter even though I swore I would not. I made it all the way to September 2008, OK? Close enough.

Update Your Facebook Page

I freely admit I am terrible about this. I’m never thrilled about dealing with the river of application requests, zombie bites, knighthoods, images of gifts I’d like (instead of the actual gift), weather trivia, quizzes and other utterly worthless junk that await me.
Nevertheless, go to Facebook and update your profile page. Update you’re status and add a link or comment, if nothing else.
You just ‘pinged’ every Facebook friend you have.
Total time: 2 minutes.

Be Smart

Don’t just go to all of these sites once a day, spam them, and then never return. The idea here is to set the minimum level of participation. After that, you should use these sites as designed: Stumble cool stuff. Twitter interesting thoughts. Buzz really great articles. And so on.

Other sites to consider in your routine:

  • Plurk is a nice Twitter competitor that I thoroughly enjoy.
  • Del.icio.us is a great bookmarking service.
  • Reddit is another social news site that”s not quite as annoying as Digg.

There are, of course, others. List them below as a comment if you think of any.

CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/in/ianlurie.

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Comments

  1. Ian, good advice on checking in, making a meaningful contribution without getting sucked in and losing track of time. Thanks for that!

  2. This is a great starting point for social networking. I think I’ll have to incorporate this as my starting 10-15 minutes of my day. Then maybe pick one weekday for each item to spend an extra allotment of time to focus on it (ie Mondays are my big facebook day, Tuesdays could be for lots of stumbling, etc)
    Thanks!

  3. Great advice! All the different social media sites is a great way to procrastinate on what really needs to be accomplished. They are so easy to get sucked into. By following your advice, you can do what needs to be done all round you.

  4. Any thoughts on participating in the Digg/Reddit/Etc scene (jr. high school, though you say) for the sake of weighting your account for when you really want to get something on there?

  5. @David It’s a good idea. Just realize you can’t make progress in 10 minutes a day on either of those sites. They’re too spammed, too busy and yah, too Jr. High School.

  6. @Janine I restrict my time to ten minutes maximum. I also have a system, so that if I see something interesting I can quickly add it to my ‘read’ list for later.

  7. Nice way of codifying what I’m trying to do every day. I can’t say that I’m actually achieving this, but you’ve put a stake in the ground for us all to aim for.
    Other services to consider: Yelp (for reviews), Google Reader Share and remember to twitter questions and answers, don’t just expand your network; engage it!

  8. Thanks for breaking down you’re routine, very helpful information here. I think getting started on the social media scene can be very overwhelming, causing some to stop before even trying.
    Your post shows how to stay involved without getting overwhelmed and exhausted. Thanks.

  9. hi Ian
    Thanx a ton. practical everyday use advice is far superior to some arcane article about SMM. keep it up. will try and give u feedback

  10. Seeing as so many of these social media tools plug into Facebook nicely, if you spend the time to setup these Facebook Applications, you can focus that much less time on updating Facebook as it will have a constant feed of information from these other sources.

  11. Thanks for the advice Ian, as I’ve used blogging and Digg extensively in past companies, but I’ve never thought about others like StumbleUpon. Digg can be frustrating, but we actually got more sign-ups/traffic from getting to the front page of Digg in my last company than we did from articles in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

  12. If you haven’t already, give Twine a shot. Still in beta and lacking some of the features I’ve grown used to in Delicious, but I’m really enjoying it.
    Cheers

  13. Love the candidness (that a word?) …
    i like the idea of having a plan of action or at least a framework for daily ‘social media’ interaction. that, to me, would really alleviate the stress or feeling of being overwhelmed that a lot of us can feel.
    Question … you use Buzz and Google maps … interesting choices? why did you chose them specifically? (i know you talked about digg – just wondering if there was any value you have seen in buzz vs digg?)
    thanks for putting your thoughts out there!

    http://twitter.com/franswaa

  14. @Frank it’s either candidness or candidity. Spelling checker went berserk on the latter but not the former.
    I go with Yahoo! Buzz because I see more possibility there than on Digg. Digg can send more traffic but it’s very, very hard to get a fair shake. Google Maps has a lot of control over Google Local rankings, so building up some credibility as a reviewer can be helpful.
    Cheers,
    Ian

  15. Rock and Roll, Ian. great advice and a great way to identify how to effectively spend 10 minutes each day!

  16. Excellent advice on time management. We all need it. I started a read list and try to put aside 20 minutes a day just for that list.

  17. Great advice.
    I find that I can never find the right amount of time to spend on social networks. It always too much then feel bad so have a couple of days off which then turns to weeks off and so the cycle continues.

  18. Hey Ian,
    Great article, I have a similar routine that I follow… go here, update this, tell everyone I wrote that, so on and so forth. It sounds like your running a business of some kind, consulting maybe, and there is a pretty sweet site I am sure you’ve heard of and may be of value to you: LinkedIN. It’s like if Facebook had a baby with… well a corporate exec or something. Anyway it’s a Facebook for professionals, and I’ve made a lot of great contacts on it. My strategy: Join a few groups or make a few comments in those groups every day. You make connections, get exposure, and can put the occasional plug in there for whatever you do without getting banned for spamming. Cheers!

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