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6 Ways to Make Your Daily Social Media Activities More Productive with Buffer

6 Ways to Make Your Daily Social Media Activities More Productive with Buffer

    There were some stunning facts released recently from both Twitter and Facebook:

    Twitter is on track to hit 500 million accounts by February. At the same time, Facebook is looking at hitting 1 billion users in August.

    On top of this, it seems as if every day there are plenty of success stories of how people found a job through Twitter, how they found new clients or speaking gigs via Facebook, or connected to new people to expand their network. So the benefits from using social networks professionally are extremely powerful. Yet building up your personal brand through Twitter and Facebook is often a hard and time consuming task.

    So here are 6 tips on helping you build a stronger personal brand on Twitter and Facebook by saving time on posting and growing your network.

    1. Post Tweets at a better time – from any website with Buffer

    The key app I am using to make my day to day social media activities more painless is Buffer. It is a new way to tweet and post to Facebook at better times. You simply add tweets to your queue and they are “automagically” scheduled to be posted spaced out over the course of the day.

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      You can add updates from any website with the handy browser extensions (Chrome, Safari or Firefox). All you do is click the Buffer icon whenever you want to share an article, and click “add to Buffer”. In a recent study, Buffer has shown to improve clicks on your Tweets by 200% and get you (on average) double the number of retweets. All simply by filling up your Buffer and letting it do its work.

      2. Use ifttt & Buffer to put Twitter to work for you

      Another app that has facilitated my life greatly is called ifttt (“if this then that”). It allows you to connect any two web services together and combine their powers. Here are a few examples on what ifttt allows you to do:

      • You star something in Google Reader –> It is added as a Tweet to your Buffer
      • You take a picture with Instagram –> it is added to your Dropbox
      • Save a bookmark to Delicious –> Add as a Facebook post to Buffer

         

        Overall I found that ifttt just streamlines the process of using Twitter and social media in an incredible way. The best part? There are absolutely no boundaries of which types of “recipes” you can create. Be sure to check it out.

        3. Add to Buffer right from Twitter.com

        Another powerful way to make keeping in touch with your followers is to use Buffer’s functionality to schedule retweets right from Twitter.com. By installing the browser extension for Chrome, Firefox or Chrome, you will get a new little Buffer icon right inside Twitter.com

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          What I like to do then is browse my Twitter stream and whenever a Tweet is worthy of a retweet, I can hit the Buffer icon. That way I can spend a few minutes on Twitter and add 5 or so retweets to my Buffer, without ever flooding my stream.

          4. Post Tweets at optimal times with SocialBro

          This next tip involves the use of an awesome app I started to use a few weeks back called SocialBro. Amongst lots of great analytics insights, the app looks at your followers and finds out the best time to tweet for you.

            Once you receive your report for best tweeting times, you can click the “configure in Buffer” button. It will set your top tweeting times as a schedule inside Buffer. From now on, all you have to do is add tweets to your Buffer and they are posted for you at these optimal times.

            5. Add to Buffer form Flipboard, Zite and Pulse

            The one feature I couldn’t live without when reading on Flipboard or Zite is the ability to email in Tweets and Facebook posts right from the articles you are reading. On your iPad, just tap the “email link” as shown below. You can then type in your secret Buffer email and send it off.

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              Once you find your secret Buffer email you just hit the email link whenever you find an interesting post. Buffer will automatically recognize which email address your updates are coming from. It will put the subject line as the title of the tweet. At the same time, it also grabs the link from the body of the email and shortens it for you.

              So all you have to do is hit “send” and a new tweet lands in your Buffer. Handy right?

              There are also mobile apps available for your Buffer account. It means you can add Facebook updates or tweet to your Buffer while on the go easily.

              Both the Android app and iPhone app have the functionality of adding articles right from the browser to your Buffer. Whenever you are reading a post, just click the “share” menu in Android and you can add the tweet to your Buffer.

              I have a 15 minute train ride every morning. That’s a fantastic chance to browse the latest articles and add everything I like to my Buffer. It keeps my stream steady and my followers posted with the latest stuff I have found helpful. And best of all — it never overwhelms them with too much content in too little time.

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              6. Track your clicks, retweets and reach of Tweets

              One saying that I always bear in my mind is a quote I first heard from Tim Ferriss:

              “You can’t improve what you can’t measure.”

              So tracking how well you are performing on Twitter and Facebook is the only way to also get better with your tactics. Buffer comes with a handy analytics feature. Every tweet you send with the sharing platform will be tracked for you.

              You will know how many clicks, retweets and reach you have received and — most importantly — who has retweeted, “favorited” and replied to your tweets. You can follow new folks that have retweeted you right from there or thank them for it.

                With just one glance at your tweets you can see which ones are getting the most clicks. I have found this to be a great way to focus on improving your tweet copywriting, as you are constantly reminded what your followers are most interested in.

                The Power of Growing Your Social Media Accounts.

                Having a solid following on both Twitter and Facebook has proven to be extremely helpful for me. Whenever there is an issue that arises or help I might need, I can just send out a quick tweet or post to Facebook and there will be a ton of replies. Over the past 10 months, I have grown my audience on Twitter to around 5000 people, purely by providing interesting content through Buffer.

                Do you think some of the above tips can help to make you more productive using Twitter and Facebook? What other methods are you using to grow your audience?

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                6 Ways to Make Your Daily Social Media Activities More Productive with Buffer

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                Last Updated on August 12, 2020

                When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

                When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

                Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

                In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

                How to Listen to Your Gut

                The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

                Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

                1. Tune Into Your Body

                Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

                However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

                Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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                Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

                In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

                2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

                Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

                There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

                3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

                Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

                As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

                This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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                4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

                As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

                Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

                5. Challenge Your Assumptions

                When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

                In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

                A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

                6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

                Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

                There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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                Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

                Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

                Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

                We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

                The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

                We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

                7. Trust Yourself

                It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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                Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

                If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

                The Bottom Line

                The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

                Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

                More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

                Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

                Reference

                [1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
                [2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
                [3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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