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Managing Your Social Sites

September 26, 2011

Do you ever sit puzzling over how your Facebook account got to know about your latest blog post? Or why some of your tweets feed through to LinkedIn but not all of them?

It is, of course, because you set it up like that, but by the time you’ve set up a dozen or more links and feeds between your blogs and other social sites, and then have done it for several different niches, if you’re anything like me you’ve lost the thread of what you told to go where.

This is where flowcharting comes in. On the wall behind my desk I have flowcharts showing how, for the most important of my niches, my social sites are interconnected. These solve my memory problem and also help me plan further. Having this in front of me also serves as a reminder that I must from time to time go onto each of the sites individually and not simply fill them with duplicate content.

This is a partial, and now dated, representation of the flow between sites and services for one of my niches. Apart from the two main blogs themselves (in the darker green) Hootsuite and Posterous are currently my main input tools, the former for tweet-length inputs and the latter for somewhat longer items to go to those sites that can take them.

In another niche I have a greater cross-over between the two and use ping.fm quite extensively. I’m just now reviewing the possibility of switching from Posterous to tumblr as the primary tool for inputs longer than tweets. The relative capabilities of these services are constantly changing. Hootsuite, for example, now can feed a wider range of sites, and also does very well at distributing RSS feeds from my main blogs.

However, the point of this particular post is not to discuss the details of the flow but to illustrate the value, indeed the importance, of flowcharting. In case I’m asked what software I use for the charts I’ll get ahead of the question and say, Chartist Professional Edition from Novagraph, which I’ve used for many years and found to be excellent for a wide variety of charting purposes – indeed not only charting; I often use it to prepare training slides.

(Oh, by the way, that is not an affiliate link; I’m recommending it simply because it’s an excellent product which has served me well over many years).

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