By Marion Rhodes
English~German translator

Social media platforms are a translator’s best friend when it comes to networking and word-of-mouth marketing. Over the last year or so, I’ve experienced first-hand that spending time on creating a well-rounded social media presence is a worthwhile investment.

But I’m not going to lie. Social media marketing is time consuming. You could easily spend your entire day posting, replying, sharing and re-tweeting on your social networks. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about: In addition to my own social media channels, I also manage LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for the Colorado Translators Association as well as the International Association of Press Photographers and the United States Press Agency, who are both translation clients of mine. (The latter two also throw Google+ in the mix.)

Needless to say, all of this social media action takes up quite a chunk of my work week. I have to research useful information to share, promote the organizations, engage with followers and answer questions. I have to be careful not to get too wrapped up into all of these networks, or I might as well quit translating altogether. So over time, I’ve amassed a few tricks and tools to help minimize my time investment and maximize my output.

Let me start by sharing this infographic I found the other day on How to Rock Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day.

Rock Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day [INFOGRAPHIC] - An Infographic from Pardot

Embedded from Pardot

While I personally don’t think 30 minutes a day would be enough to do all that is listed here, I agree with the basic premises: identify key networks you want to focus on, create a strategy, and set yourself time limits. Here are a few tools that help me be as efficient as possible:

1. Google Alerts

Setting up Google alerts related to the keywords that are relevant for your social media networks makes researching information to post and share a lot easier. I have configured my alerts to send me an email once a day, and usually, I find at least one or two articles or blog posts in there that are worth sharing.

2. Hootsuite

Of all the social media management tools I have tried (and there’s been quite a few), Hootsuite is by far the best. It allows me to integrate all of the social media accounts I have access to into one dashboard, so that I can manage them from the same interface. Hootsuite also allows me to shorten links with a single click, and to schedule posts in advance. I usually spend a half hour or hour at a time scheduling posts for the next few days, which is a very efficient way to keep your social media profiles updated regularly. I also have the Hootsuite app on my iPhone, and although it is limited compared to the desktop version, it allows me to share interesting articles on the go.

Hootsuite comes as a free and as a paid version. I used to use the free version, but after taking on social media responsibilities for my journalistic clients, I decided to upgrade to Hootsuite Pro, which allows me to integrate up to 50 social profiles (rather than 5 with the free version). It’s only $9.99 a month and has been well worth the investment.

3. Hootlet Extension

Another great feature of Hootsuite is the Hootlet link share extension for Chrome and Firefox. Downloading this extension adds a little owl button to your browser’s toolbar, which you can then click to share whatever page you’re on. No more copying and pasting links, no more clicking the “Tweet” button and copying that info into all of your social profiles – Hootlet allows you to share on all your networks with one click.

4. Selective connections

If you use social media for work related or marketing purposes, you want to be able to keep track of your network connections. This can be hard if your news feed is cluttered with posts about your mom’s latest gardening project or your friends’ perfect little angels. I recommend keeping a separate social profile for work-related connections only. That way, you’ll only receive updates from people or groups who matter to your professional life. It’s a lot easier to keep track of everyone that way, and if you’ve got OCD tendencies like me, it will also be a major time saver whenever you strive to scroll down to the very last post you read.

5. Email filters

Most social networks automatically send you an email whenever something happens – a friend request, a re-tweet, a new connection. These messages can be disabled within the platform itself, usually under settings. But if you want to get the notifications without blowing up your email account, I recommend setting up a filter to skip the inbox and collect those messages in a separate folder for social media notifications. Then, just take a look when you have time and see if anything requires follow-up action on your part.

About the author - Marion Rhodes


  • translationsdecoder

    March 19, 2014 at 1:09 am

    Marion, when are you going to do this as a presentation for CTA? 🙂 Great topic!

  • germanxl8or

    March 19, 2014 at 1:48 am

    How about when my husband is home for good so I don’t run any risk of not making it to the conference? 😉

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