Daily Social Media Routine – Do You Have One?

by Melanie Edwards on April 14, 2010 · 23 comments

in social media,Wahm,Working Mothers

Busy Life

Photo by Suzanne Edge

Facebook. Twitter. MySpace. Plurk. Identi.ca? With so many social media tools and networks out there, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed. How do you choose which to use? How do you keep up with them all? How much time will it take out of your already busy life?

Through trial and error, I’ve developed a daily routine to keep up with the various social media accounts I use. When I was working full-time outside the home, I had to really use my time wisely since I could not be engaged in social medial all day, but still wanted to maintain a social media presence. As you know, it’s not enough to just have an account, you have to actually use it and be “present” for your social media efforts to work.

Let me share a sample schedule of how I used social media when I was working full-time. In the mornings, I had the benefit of an empty home after my husband left for work and dropped off my daughter at day-care. Since I started work a little later than him, this meant that I had about an hour each morning to do my social media/blog work before I had to get myself ready. In this hour, I created the following social media routine and would do most (and sometimes all) of the following.

Social Media Tools

Image from webtreats on Flickr

Sample Social Media Routine

  • Open up my browser and open a tab for each of these sites: ping.fm, myspace, facebook, plurk, twitter, gmail, google reader, and delicious. As I completed my tasks for each site, I would close the tab and move on to the next.
  • Post a status update using ping.fm.
  • MySpace: Even then, MySpace was slowly being phased out of my social media routine, but since I (still) have some real-life friends and family that use it, I would check in every morning. It was a very quick check of messages, comments, and friends’ status updates.
  • Facebook: I would login and respond to any comments or messages sent to me. I would post a “Happy Birthday!” message for those with birthdays that day and possibly leave a comment or two on others’ profiles. If I had something to promote – a contest or my latest post – I would do so via my fan page and/or group. Of course, I’d also take care of any requests that were waiting for action – friend requests, even invites, page suggestions, etc.
  • Plurk: Though not a common microblogging platform, it’s one I was exploring at the time and continue to participate in since I’ve made some connections that are not elsewhere. Again, I would quickly check in on any replies to my updates and try to comment on one or two people’s updates.
  • Twitter: Similar to the rest, I would login to Twitter and be sure to respond to any @ replies or DMs I received overnight. I would also review new followers and follow-back appropriately (or not). I would then leave this tab open since I would often interact with various other folks that were up early like me.
  • E-mail: I use gmail for my e-mail, which has the ability to star items you need to come back to and label your messages for finding later. Simple Mom has a nice system she uses for managing her inbox that I try to follow. I would definitely take about 10 minutes each morning to check urgent items and clear out the “junk” so that it didn’t clutter up my inbox.
  • Google Reader: I didn’t always have time to get to reading some blog posts – it just depended on how much time I spent on the other tabs. But, some days, I’d be able to read a few posts from those blogs you “must” read each day.
  • Delicious: Since I have the delicious plugin installed on Firefox, I’d only need to open this up if I saw there was new activity in my network or if anyone had sent me a link. But, in browsing resources bookmarked by those in my network, I’d often find a great article or tip or even a blog post idea.
Morning Routine

Photo by Jen R

Each morning I’d go through my routine and get a great head start on my day – social media wise, anyway. Then, during the day while I was at work, I would monitor twitter, facebook, and e-mail using my smart phone. Of course, I wasn’t always on it. But if I took a quick break from my desk and especially during lunch time, I’d be able to update my status (again using ping.fm) and check in on comments.

In the evenings, after dinner and the nightly bed-time/bath routine for baby girl, I’d take another hour (sometimes two depending on how busy the husband was) to go through the same routine. However, I would focus less on checking comments/messages and more so on clearing out e-mail and writing a blog post.

Wondering what I do now that I’m not working full-time? The same. Though I don’t always have the house to myself in the mornings anymore, I still take a half-hour to an hour each morning and use the same social media routine. The days that baby girl goes to preschool, I do this routine after I’ve dropped her off. The days she’s home with me, I use the time when she’s eating breakfast and watching her morning cartoons. If I’m lucky and she’s overslept, I go through my routine before she wakes up.

Through the rest of the day, I periodically check in on social media and e-mail. As I mentioned in a previous post, I tend to login again mid-day and in the evening. I try to follow my social media routine each time, but depending on other projects/tasks I have to get done, I may cut my routine in half during those times.

Seem like a lot to-do? Keep in mind that you don’t have to have accounts for all the sites that I do. You will find those that serve your needs the best. Truthfully, though, once you get into a routine, it will become habit and not be so overwhelming.

Additional tips:

  • Always answer @ replies, DMs, comments, etc. for the various networks you belong to. It’s so frustrating when you’re trying to talk to someone and they ignore you, isn’t it? Don’t ignore.
  • Catch what you can while logged on. You won’t be able to read every single status update for every single network you belong to.
  • Retweet interesting statuses, share good information, and useful links/resources. Your readers will appreciate it and will come to know that you have valuable information.

Have you already created your social media routine?

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan Payton April 14, 2010 at 9:33 am

I try to do my social media work for Egg and our clients in the morning. I use just Facebook, Twitter and occasionally LinkedIn so I do my work, like you, then move on. I check in on Twitter during the day when waiting for a page to load (I am an impatient person).

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2 modernmami April 14, 2010 at 10:18 am

I tend to open twitter a few times during the day as well when waiting for something else to open/process. How ADD of us, right? ;)

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3 Natalie April 14, 2010 at 11:32 am

That's a great system. Pretty much what I do too. A balance of staying on top of it and not becoming obsessed! I would add that I try to comment on blog posts and such too.

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4 modernmami April 16, 2010 at 11:16 am

Good point. That's something I really need to incorporate into my routine. I tend to comment here and there as I come across posts, but don't have a specific system for it.

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5 Kristi Hines April 14, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Thanks for sharing your routine. It's always nice to see how others use social media. It also reminded me about plurk… I haven't been there in ages.

I noticed you do all of your social networking directly on the site (from your description). Have you thought about using tools? I just wrote a post on HootSuite for bloggers – might be something to consider to help manage the Twitter aspect. It also lets you connect to Ping.fm to send updates, or individually to each of your accounts on Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter (of course).

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6 modernmami April 16, 2010 at 11:18 am

I just saw your post about Hootsuite. I didn't realize it had so much potential. I've only played with it a couple of times, but it seems I need to learn how to use it much more if it can do all that. I'm going to read over your post thoroughly as it seems it could be really useful.

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7 Debbie Lattuga April 14, 2010 at 5:33 pm

I use Twitter, Facebook, and many bookmarking sites. I do the same as you, but I also have the Stumbleupon toolbar and a bit.ly account. I use them together to push great content to twitter.

Just a way to thank my tweeps for following

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8 modernmami April 16, 2010 at 11:19 am

I also use my stumbleupon toolbar quite often. I've yet to try pushing links out to twitter from it, though.

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9 Cherrie Bautista April 14, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Great routine/schedule you have there! It's good to know that despite the fact that you try to maintain your social media presence as much as you can, you don't let it control you and your day. Sometimes these things can really take up your time and you end up not accomplishing anything at all. Great tips!

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10 modernmami April 16, 2010 at 11:21 am

That's so true. I used to be on twitter a lot more. But, then found that I could decrease my time and/or more effectively schedule my time and still have a good social media presence.

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11 PJ Mullen April 15, 2010 at 10:38 pm

I check on Facebook and my two client's Facebook fan pages twice a day. I try to write all my blog posts and my weekly ghost written article for a client on the weekends. Then I write all the blog posts for my other client at night. I try to only peek into Twitter a few times a day otherwise I can get wrapped up in conversation. I just started using Co-Tweet to manage my Twitter accounts and it seems to be working well so far.

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12 modernmami April 16, 2010 at 11:22 am

I haven't heard of co-tweet; will have to look into that. I used to try and write my blog posts over the weekend, but some weekends are so full of family activities that I don't always get to that.

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13 Marcela April 16, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Such great info! Thanks for sharing! So organized and so much you do! I work full time and truly need to get a better social media routine started.

I find writing a blog post takes a lot of my time, and I am big on my must read blogs and leaving comments.

My biggest problem is time management, I usually take too much time on each site, whether it be google, twitter, my blog, reading other blogs, leaving comments, etc.

I have found that the best thing for me is to set a timer for each.

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14 modernmami April 17, 2010 at 8:06 am

I had to get organized so that I could try to fit it all in. I used to work full time too, so it definitely helped me then and continues to be good.

I too find that writing a blog post takes a long time – plus time for finding pictures, etc.

Using a timer is a great idea to limit your time on each site!

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15 Angelica @ Modern Familia July 16, 2010 at 9:41 am

This is great info here. I was actually looking for a social media routine — this type of step-by-step outline. Thanks Melanie! I'll definitely incorporate your routine into my mornings!

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16 modernmami July 16, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Glad this is useful for you!

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17 modernmami July 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Glad this is useful for you!

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18 Margaretsouth February 9, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Great post. It makes it so much easier when you have a routine. Twice a day I do Facebook, Email, Twitter. Three times a week I blog. Also, it’s easy when you enjoy it.

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19 modernmami February 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Sounds like you’ve found a routine that works for you. How wonderful!

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20 Chantilly Patiño February 13, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Great post! Any tips for beginners who are just learning what social media is all about and want to promote their blog or website? I’m all ears! ;)

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21 modernmami February 15, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I’d say to choose 2-3 social media platforms that you really want to work on
and focus on them. Give it time, be patient, don’t be shy, and most of all,
be sure to engage with others!

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