How do we stay on top of it all?
When you consider all that there is to keep up with - blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the thousands of other social communities - there is seemingly not enough time in the day to keep up. Here's how I keep up with it all and still run three separate businesses:
1. Get a Google Reader account, and organize all the blog posts, news items and alerts in separate folders. I have folder for the following things:
(a) "learning" - this is where I put the blog subscriptions of people I want to learn from but don't intend to build a relationship with.
(b) "relationships" - this is where I put the blog subcriptions of people I learn from AND want to build a relationship with. I don't necessarily read ever post from these bloggers, but I make a point of adding a relevant comment to each person's blog at least once a week.
(c) "alerts" - this is where I put any search terms I'm following closely and want to respond to.
2. Get organized on Twitter with Tweetdeck (or something similar). Having the insane amount of chatter organized into neat columns that pull in only what I want is HUGE. I have columns for the following:
(a) Groups of people I want to build relationships with. Having the tweets of 20 or so people in one column is a lot more manageable than 2,000.
(b) Search terms of issues relevant to my interests. I'm very passionate about connecting to people who read a lot of books - so I set up searches for the books I'm reading at the moment and strike up conversations with people who do the same. I've met a ton of amazing people this way.
(c) Search terms that are relevant to my business. I know when anybody around the world mentions something that is relevant to my business - very powerful.
3. Get the word out through different networks. Getting the word out about a webinar we are hosting, or a blog post I really like starts with Twitter. I then post it to the different LinkedIn Groups I'm a part of, and put it as my status in Facebook. The trick is this - you can afford to be self-promotional as long as you get out other helpful content by a factor of about 10.
As far as finding the time? That's a tough one. There is so much opportunity in using social networks to grow your business or your Foundation. The only truthful answer to "how do you find the time" is that you make the time. Sometimes that means working later into the evening, or even waking up a bit earlier in the morning. But for those willing to put in the time, the benefits are plentiful.
I hope this helps.