How do you *use* your social networks? Are you at play on Facebook, or workin it like a professional?
In this drawn infographic, I’m attempting to capture my Input and Output process and cadence for social networking. Sure, I do this for a living, but you can learn from my process even if you’re just sharing pictures of your nephew’s birthday cake. (Okay, maybe not your nephew’s birthday cake, if that’s you, carry on, you’re doing great.)
So information comes in from a ton of sources. Primarily I use social sites (facebook, twitter, linkedin), RSS feeds, email from very specific sources (everyone else is getting regular *unsubscribe* responses from me — hey my inbox is for me), search (google), and browsing news and tech sites.
Next, I *try* and keep this consumptive process to several small windows of time. Otherwise, social networks will suck the hours out of your day and the life out of your social life. I say, *try* because I am still working on cordoning off the influx of information overload. Today, for example, I have made a conscious effort not to check facebook for anything since my 6 am updates.
So at those scheduled times:
6 am – breakfast, first thing in the morning readers;
11 am – getting everything in place for the lunch crowd readers;
2 pm my afternoon coffee break, and I need a bit of a brain break as well;
6 pm business day wrap-up.
Honestly I’d have to add the later night browsing and sharing say 8 pm to midnight, but that is primarily personal and not business related. So let’s stick to the business of social in this infographic. I do social rather than TV for my evening entertainment. Perhaps I can grab back a few of these hours as well.
So all of this information streams in via my laptop and my iPhone. And in a random array of clicks and tweets I sort and share the information in three distinct ways.
Twitter (open sharing): frequent, chatty updates: some fun stuff, some random stuff, a lot of social media and online marketing stuff.
Facebook (high-privacy setting: friends only): frequent (to the complaint of some friends) updates on marketing, small business stuff, and politics (yes, I rant on facebook)
Delicious: my retrievable links, my book marks and tags of information I need to organize, sort, and retrieve.
Blog: my considered thoughts gathered into posts, lessons, ah-ha updates about social media. (This past summer, 2011, I made uber.la “social business” only.)
BOTTOMLINE: Be aware of how and what you share. Learn how much time you spend reading, surfing, and playing games, and see if that’s agreeable with your plans. And then make a plan that fits with your social networking goals and your daily cadence.
It’s been shown that social media gives us a rush of dopamine everytime we’re responded to, or win something, or connect with someone online. So of course we’re searching for that high. Like an addiction. But we’ve got to get it under control and put the information to use in the crafting of our evil plan(tm).