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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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                Last Updated on April 11, 2019

                How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

                I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

                I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

                Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                How Communication Skills Help Your Success

                Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

                Create a Positive Experience

                Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

                When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

                What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

                Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

                As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

                Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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                Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

                Help Leadership Skills

                It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

                Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

                As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

                Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

                If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

                Build Better Teams

                Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

                In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

                If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

                When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

                Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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                How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

                Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

                1. Listen

                Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

                Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

                People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

                Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

                Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

                2. Know Your Audience

                Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

                Here is a good way to think about it:

                Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

                You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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                3. Minimize

                I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

                He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

                Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

                State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

                The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

                4. Over Communicate

                So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

                What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

                Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

                Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

                Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

                There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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                5. Body Language

                The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

                When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

                In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

                When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

                Conclusion

                Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

                Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

                There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                Now go communicate your way to success.

                More Resources About Effective Communication

                Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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