To me, social media is a personal connection exoskeleton. I can only spend so much time connecting with people, I use my socials to connect when I can’t. Additionally, I’m physically far away from a lot of things that are important to me. Social media lets me project myself into the minds of the people I want to remember me.
Avoiding the cesspool
The way that I participate on social media at the very least should not derail what I’m trying to do in real life, and in fact should support it. At the same time, I want to avoid the “cesspool” parts of life online as much as possible, while keeping the maintenance time at a minimum.
Taking an intentional approach
To make sure I’m participating the way I want to, I’ve found it helpful to approach it with a mantra. It looks like this:
“I want to be seen as a leader in the X space with Y audience. This leadership will allow me to Z”
By being intentional about what part of myself I’m trying to reflect, to whom, and to what end, I find that my participation is more targeted and less likely to get me into trouble.
Two tools to keep the machine humming
With that In mind, I use 2 tools to keep the machine humming.
Feedly lets me subscribe to the websites that are publishing content that is relevant to the topics I want to associate with. You can hook it up to blogs, publications, newsletters, sub-Reddits, and more. Instead of finding things to share that reinforce how you want to show up, the content comes to you.
Once I’ve got a bunch of content loaded up in my Feedly feed, I want to push it out to my profiles in a controlled way slowly over time. Using the Buffer browser plugin, I select a passage from the content that is particularly arresting or relevant, and put it into the Buffer queue. I can batch up a week’s worth of Tweets and LinkedIn posts, and then let Buffer push it out at the right time. I respond to comments or other engagements, and otherwise go on my life.
With Feedly, Buffer, and a clear idea about why I’m participating in social media in the first place, I reap the benefits on ongoing connections (especially professional ones) and the attendant mindshare. I also (more or less) get to stay out of the various dumpster fires, only warming up on them when I want to.
Do you have any social media hacks that I could add to the mix?