Friday, March 26, 2010

EB Friday Hotlist: How to Stay Sane, Promote, and Still Have Time for Crafting - Part 1

The question of balancing time between promoting and crafting comes up all the time.  How do people Facebook, blog, Twitter, promote on forums, participate in teams/guilds, photograph and list, and still have time for crafting?  We're not superhumans so there are only so many hours in the day.  I have a full time job in addition to this business, so I'll explain how I do it and you can implement the things you think would help you in your life situation.

The first post in this series is all about the tools you can use to maximize your time and promote quickly and sometimes even automatically:

1. TwitterFeed: Contrary to the way the name sounds, this feature can help you regardless of whether or not you Twitter.

TwitterFeed is an application I use to take my RSS feeds and promote them on Twitter and Facebook.  For example, I have RSS feeds associated with my blog, Etsy, and ArtFire.  I enter them in TwitterFeed and tell TF where to post new information from the feeds.  Now when I post a new blog entry or list a new item on Etsy or ArtFire, it automatically posts to my Facebook Fan Page and also sends a tweet to my followers.  A one time set up allows me to promote without any extra effort on my part.  If you are not using TwitterFeed, I highly recommend it as it will save you time and energy.

2. MyTweeple: This is a Twitter application that allows you to see who is following you, who you are following, and whether or not the following is mutual.

I use MyTweeple to manage my Twitter followers.  If someone has followed me and they either seem interesting based on their profile, have a link to a handmade shop in their description, or tweet about an issue I care about, I can follow them back with a click of a button.  Conversely, if I've followed someone during the week, say based on Follow Friday recommendations or chat room link postings, and they have decided not to follow me back, I can unfollow them with a click of a button.  The ability to unfollow is important to me.  I believe things should be as mutual as possible on Twitter because they are that way on any other social networking site where you add friends.  If you are interested in what I have to say and I am interested in what you have to say, we'll have the chance to network and learn from each other.  If we're not going to interact (and you're not someone famous or exceedingly interesting) and you're just abusing the follow back etiquette to get more followers, there's no point in me continuing to follow you.  If you use MyTweeple weekly, the time it takes to manage your following/follower lists is minimal.

3. HootSuite: This is the best Twitter application I've ever discovered because it's online-based so I can use it whether I'm at home, at work, or on someone else's computer. No downloads required.

You do not need to be chained to your computer 24/7 in order to Twitter effectively!  Seriously!  HootSuite allows you to schedule your tweets in advance and send them pretty much any time of day you'd like.  You can set up your self-promotion for the week about your latest blog post or the newest thing you've added to your website and you can have it sent for you when you're not at your desk.  The columns also allow you to see who has @ mentioned you so you never miss another one, what DMs you've received, what you're sent and pending tweets are, and so much more all on the same page.  You can also retweet the old fashioned way (using RT) without copying and pasting.  Get on this app while it's still in Beta and is still free.

4. TweetMeme:  Let other people promote for you!

TweetMeme buttons can be added to your blog entries so that if people like them, they click the button and easily tweet the article to their followers.  It's an easy way to get people to promote the entries of yours they like.  Check the top of this post to see what I'm talking about - it's right next to the Digg button and serves the same purpose for Twitter.  Read this information to find out how you can get this button yourself or Google "add TweetMeme to Blogger."

Use these tools to help maximize your promoting and stay on top of your game without going crazy.  Be sure to follow my blog via Blogger Follow, Google Friend Connect, or RSS in order to catch the next post in this series - an explanation from me on how I manage my promotion with these tools and more.

Until next time,


jane p said...

Thank you. I'm learning so much from this post. I've seen your tweets before and I'd imagined you sitting down typing away. I'll definitely use the shortcuts you've mentioned.

Elle said...

I'm glad you learned a few tricks! I love when I can tweet in real time because I get to read other's tweets and interact with them - but with these tools I get to do that on *my* schedule without my promoting suffering.

the doggy's mom! said...

These are great tips! Thank you! I've marked this page for reference and have already implemented a few. Thank you for sharing!

Elle said...

You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for reading!