5 Strategies to Manage Your Small Business Digital Life

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If you have been working with me, you now have an online social web presence. (If you haven’t, now is a good time to contact me for help.) Congrats! You are on your way to serving your clientele better and finding some very cost effective methods of marketing your business. Your customers can now interact, message, or contact you 24/7.

Wait.

24/7?

Uhm…. I don’t think I want them following me home at night. Really. So how do I keep that from happening?

Good question! Since I provide services to a number of small businesses, I am personally “on deck” for multiple social platforms across multiple clients. In order to manage that digital load, I implement some basic strategies to partition my business life from my daily life. Pick one or more and start simplifying your life today!

5 Strategies to Manage Your Small Business Digital Life:

  1. Give each device a purpose. For example, I use my iPad to read, play, FaceTime, scan, etc. I turn off Messages and Mail. I delete the Facebook app. I now read in peace. I use my phone and computer for calls, messages, personal Facebook, and business social media quick check-ins. My computer is for writing, correspondence, and all design work. Be purposeful in how you want to use each device, and make it serve you.
  2. Filter your business email. Use a rule or filter to route your business email into a specific folder. If you are not using your phone for business purposes, remove your business email account so you are not bothered with those when out to dinner with the family. You can usually turn them back on with a quick flick of a tab, so you have access in a business crisis.
  3. Add Users in Google Chrome. Create one for your personal life, one for your business life. When it’s time to work, use your business user profile. When it’s time for fun, use your personal user profile.
  4. Use Facebook as your Page while working. Instead of using your personal profile, click “Use Facebook as” in settings and select your page. Bookmark this in your business Chrome user profile. Don’t even log-in to your personal profile during the day unless you need a planned break.
  5. Schedule your Facebook page checks.– I prefer morning and end of business day for small businesses. Unlike large corporations, you do not need constant monitoring in order to serve your clients well.  (I actually do this for my clients as a courtesy so I can alert them to any messages or posts that need immediate attention.)

The ultimate goal of small business social media is to make life easier for you and your clients…. not to overwhelm you. If you are finding yourself frustrated, please give me a call. I can help you manage your devices or take on some of the daily monitoring so  you can focus on what you do best.

Networking Collision

My Facebook is personal.  My Twitter is professional. My LinkedIn is uber-professional.  In recent months, those neat little social networking boxes are overflowing and mixing with each other. I’ve had a network collision.  Granted, I’m the one who created those boxes in the first place, so any fault is my own. Initially, separating those spaces made sense and worked quite well, but recent projects and friendships are teaching me not to box myself in.  As I mentioned in my SBPS essay, many of my PLN members have moved from distant mentors to trusted friends.  Yet I continue to use Twitter to interact with them regularly- it’s an organic growth of a relationship in the ground in which it sprouted and grew.  Rather like a little plant, uprooting our online relationships can be traumatic.  So, most of us leave them…. and grow into new spaces with our friends as well.

I’ve recently started working with Monika Hardy @monk51295 and the Innovation Lab she facilitates in our District.  Those students network best through Facebook, and so she has gone where the teens are… and has brought the rest of us along with her! And more recently, Shelly Terrell @shellterrell announced that The 30 Goals project #30goals would have a Facebook page.  More collisions.

Since I want to participate in these things, I’m packing away the boxes.  I’m going to reconsider linking my blog posts back to Facebook via FacePress so that I share there as well as on Twitter.

Are your online networks blending like mine?  How are you handling the introduction of your PLN to spaces like Facebook?  Will it change how you use the tool in the future?

Photo from Flickr by scotproof