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Social media – getting organised

How do you make the most of social media? Ben Black has three tips

Social media can be a chaotic and untidy place. There are so many things being posted on different sites you have to try and be organised to get the most out them.

If you use Twitter and follow thousands of people you probably worry that you may miss the most important links that are being shared.

Thankfully there are some things you can do to slow down the pace of social media and make it much more manageable.

1. Pocket- getpocket.com

Pocket is my favourite app as it synchronises across my Android phone, iPad and desktop computer and means I always have something interesting to read. It is simply a place to save website links. When I scroll through Twitter and spot a link that catches my eye I may not have time to read it at that moment so I save it to Pocket.

It works with any link you open on your devices. So you may spot something on YouTube or get an email with a link.

If the link was saved on my phone it will be available to read on my iPad when it synchronises. The best thing is most links can then be read without an internet connection (you need one for YouTube videos) as Pocket saves the page text to your device. This means you can catch-up on reading at a time to suit you.

You can also tag links and archive them. So if you spot any useful YouTube videos or presentations you can simply tag them to easily find later. If you don’t want them to be saved you just delete them after reading.

2. IFTTT- If This Then That- ifttt.com

The slogan for this service is Put the Internet to work for you. You can set up triggers that make things happen automatically. It features loads of timesavers that can link up your difference social media accounts with other apps and even your email account. The best way to explain this is with some examples:

a If I ‘favourite’ a tweet the link gets automatically saved to my Pocket. This means I don’t have to open the link and then choose share to Pocket and save. This saves me a lot of time so I don’t have to open a link and then save it to Pocket.

b Do you follow lots of businesses on LinkedIn? You can set up a trigger so that if one of them posts a new job vacancy you get an automatic email to let you know.

c I blog about my hometown Cwmbran. If someone posts a photo on Instagram and tags it #cwmbran the photo is automatically saved to my Pocket. You could do the same with a hashtag for your organisation or any other topic you are interested in.

Set up a free user account with IFTTT and then you can download the app to use on your tablet and mobile phone. I found it very addictive and ended up setting up loads of ‘recipes’- that’s the name for each one you set up – in the first few weeks but have now cut them back to just a few. Google “IFTTT recipes” and you will find lots of ideas to use this clever site.

3. Twitter lists

Lists are a brilliant way to segment the people you follow especially if you use your Twitter for work and personal use. You can set up lists that are private to you and the people you put on them won’t be notified. It simply means that you can you read relevant information at a time that suits you.

Here are some examples of list that you could set up:

a ‘People who share great links’- Add the people who share links that always read and this list will make it easier to quickly see what they’ve been sharing.

b ‘People who make me smile’ – If you use Twitter for work and personal this is a nice way to group people who put you in a good mood.

c ‘Housing chief executives’ – This list means you can quickly read the latest tweets from chief executives that you follow.

Ben Black is communications and marketing manager at Bron Afon Community Housing @benblack 




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