As any entrepreneur knows, time is a precious commodity. So, can the time-bandit known as social media be tamed? I say, yes. It's simply a matter of embracing the proper technologies. Here are three must-have tools to execute a successful social-media strategy in just 15 minutes a day.
1. Make Your Time Count: Flowtown
If you had just five minutes to devote to social media, who would you reach out to? How would you share your message? Enter: Flowtown. This power-packed tool digs through the data in your network and hand-delivers a goldmine.
Enter your e-mail contact list and Flowtown aggregates social-media profile information from your e-mail subscriber list, identifies which members of your audience are considered influencers by their reach and level of engagement, and then allows you to engage those influencers by sending targeted invitations to join you on social networks. Instead of wasting time chasing all 20,000 of your friends, followers and connections, you can now spend those precious five minutes engaging powerful trendsetters in your network who have already expressed interest in your brand.2. Keep It Simple Silly (KISS): Postling
While I could go on for hours highlighting tools for each network, it does little more than point out the obvious flaw with social media -- it's cumbersome and time consuming. Follow the KISS philosophy and add Postling to your arsenal. This posting dynamo allows you to update your status on Facebook, Facebook Pages, LinkedIn, Twitter and Flickr -- all at once. You can also add blog entries from the same user-friendly dashboard. Even more impressive is Postling's cross-posting capabilities. Track RSS feeds, Yelp reviews and CitySearch reviews, then easily update your Facebook page and other social-media streams. Send and schedule updates, monitor your streams and track keywords all from one simple dashboard in just 10 minutes a day.
3. Let Your Audience Do the Work: Wibiya
Wibiya is a free customizable social-media toolbar that helps solve two common problems with social media: First, which online platform serves as your home base for addressing your online audience? Your home (blog), the weekend BBQ (Facebook) or happy hour (Twitter)? Secondly, how do you stay active in social media without being glued to the web? Wibiya answers those questions by creating a simple toolbar that can be used on any blog platform. The toolbar allows visitors to your website to retweet your tweets, "like" your Facebook page, watch your YouTube videos, Digg your content, chat with other visitors and even donate money to a PayPal account - all without ever leaving your page. New applications are being added regularly, making it a powerful time-saving tool.
Trust these social-media tools and you'll soon realize that 15 minutes of working smarter beats hours of working harder every time.
Guest blogger Heather Schuck is the founder and chief executive officer of Glamajama, a trendy baby-clothes company based in Austin, Texas. Connect with her: firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook, and Twitter.