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Ask the Entrepreneurs: 13 Ways to Make Sense of Your Social Media Feeds Each Day

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 13 Ways to Make Sense of Your Social Media Feeds Each Day


    Ask The Entrepreneurs
    is a regular series where members of those involved in the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

    Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

    How do you, as a busy entrepreneur, find the time each day to keep up with social media?

    1. Newsflash: I’m Engaged!

    Laura Roeder

      Writing 140-character tweets or replying to a Facebook comment takes minutes — entrepreneurs waste hours on social media when they’re reading, not engaging. Twitter and Facebook were designed to suck you in to click on photo albums, read blog posts, and watch videos, but none of these activities grow your business! Make sure you’re spending your time engaging with, not consuming, social media.

      Laura Roeder, LKR

      2. Take It Personally

        When I’m pressed for time I look for more tasks that I can give to my virtual team that free up space to connect on social media. It’s not about “keeping up” with every post and link but really listening to, sharing with the community to build relationships. That’s not something that can be outsourced, so I’ll hand off other tasks to find the time.

        Kelly AzevedoShe’s Got Systems

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        3. Timebox Your Tweets

        Lea Woodward

          Interacting on social media in batches of time helps timebox it and keeps you focused. During that time, using web tools enables you to schedule useful resources to share, and also allows you to space out your interactions and responses so you’re not interacting in one overwhelming stream of activity during that period.

          Lea Woodward, Startup Training School

          4. Check Your Pulse Daily

            Set up time daily to share original content and other articles through news aggregates such as Pulse. Review what your followers are saying so you can connect and look for ways to be of service more effectively.

            Michael BrunyAmbassador Bruny.Com


            5. No Smartphone Necessary

              I connect Twitter to my cell phone — I get text notifications when someone mentions me, and sending a Tweet as a text message is much easier then doing it from the computer or even a phone app. Sending the Tweet via text message is as simple as sending a text to anyone else. It flows easier into my day this way, since I don’t get distracted by my feed.

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              Raoul Davis, Ascendant Group

              6. Stick to Your Discipline

                It can be easy to get swept up in social media and, as a result, work less efficiently. Instead of always being on, put aside a couple hours each day to answer emails, tweet things out, respond to @replies, etc. The rest of the time? Close those tabs! You don’t want the temptation. Believe me.

                Steph AuteriWord Nerd Pro


                7. It’s Just Another Part of Communication

                  I need to send out emails, return phone calls and even stick a letter in the mail today. I keep track of all of those things on one list and I keep social media tasks on the same list. Twitter and all the rest are just additional communication tools, and I treat them as such.

                  Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting


                  8. Set a Social Media Schedule

                    When using social networks, it’s important to set aside time to keep active and be consistent in your posting. Make sure you can use them live in real-time too. Occasionally, some accounts schedule their updates to go out later through TweetDeck on a specific date or time.

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                    Lane Sutton, Social Media from a Teen


                    9. Can’t Beat Buffer

                      Personal and business branding require maintaining active social media profiles, but it is tough to find the time for posting new content as a busy entrepreneur in this 24/7 news cycle. I am indebted to Buffer App; it’s the tool that helps me maintain an active Twitter presence without the headache of babysitting my feed. Use the bookmarklet to add updates to a queue, and let Buffer do the rest!

                      Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

                      10. Let’s Hear It for HootSuite!

                        I use HootSuite to manage all of my networks easily and schedule updates. In just a few clicks, I can send messages across all of my networks, which saves me tons of time.

                        Ben Lang, EpicLaunch



                        11. Integrate, Don’t Interrupt

                          I see social media not as an interruption or something to be scheduled throughout my day, but rather as part of my everyday activities. My setup in the TalentEgg office has a full computer screen devoted to HootSuite so that I can casually stay up-to-date with what’s happening throughout the company’s social media channels.

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                          Lauren Friese, TalentEgg Inc.

                          12. Consistency Is Key

                          Nick Friedman

                            It’s best to delegate that job if possible, so you can be consistent with your postings. If delegation isn’t an option, set aside 10-15 minutes each day (broken up into two or three separate, 5-minute periods) where you focus on posting, tweeting, and responding to social media.

                            Nick Friedman, College Hunks Hauling Junk


                            13. Download Those Mobile Apps

                            John Hall

                              Make it as easy as you possibly can. This means make sure that you have all of the mobile apps. Have these apps be the first ones you see when you touch your phone. Most people look at their phone quite frequently when they have down time. The more you are reminded to post, the more time you will make.

                              John Hall, Digital Talent Agents

                              How do you make sense of your social media feeds each day? Let us know in the comments below!

                              (Photo credit: Social Media Button on a Keyboard via Shutterstock)

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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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