Social media at times can seem like you are building a sand castle too close to the edge of the ocean. Wait a while and you just don’t see where all the fruits of your efforts are and then you have to keep re-building and making additions as the waves take it away. So you do it all over again never stopping, always back filling. Hopefully if you have some time into the social media game you have found a few tools that make the repair and replace game a little easier. It’s all about using as little time to produce the most benefit.
I have one tool in particular that I use regularly to help me keep up with what is going on in the social media world. It is an invaluable time saver and allows me to keep up with what everyone is doing or talking about in my industry, affiliated industries and with social media. I thought I would share my “diamond” with you.
Google Reader– is a tool for gathering, reading, and sharing all the interesting blogs and websites you read on the web that are relevant to your business. It congregates the information from all your experts and resources into one location in an easy to read format that you can skim through easily once per day. It is a FREE, yes FREE, tool and is quite easy to set up. One of the best things that I find about Google Reader is that you can categorize the feeds that you are subscribed to and file them.
Google has made subscribing quite easy as well. There is one subscribe button that allows you to either type in a search category or the name of the blog / RSS feed you would like to subscribe to and then allows you to add to any existing folder that you have created or a new folder that you create.
Google also makes recommendations on feeds you might like to follow based on your profile to which you are not yet subscribed and allows you to rank them in order of importance and will continually learn your preferences based on the way you rank things.
Another nice feature of Google Reader is that when you open a feed, Google Reader gives you some options. Once you open a feed you can see how many other people have given the post a Google +1 rating. You can +1 as well. You can also email the article to yourself or to a friend or client. You can send it to Facebook, Twitter or your own Blog Feed. If you find that it is an article that you don’t care for, you can click “Not Interested” and Google will do it’s best to eliminate similar feeds / articles from being gathered into your Reader feed thus saving you time you can best use for other things.
I spend a few hours each week combing through my own Google Reader and can usually fill up my postings for the week in a very short amount of time. This tool is invaluable to me and allows me to make my company and those I manage social media for to look fabulous and well versed in our specific areas of expertise. Don’t wait to try this one out!
To help get you started, here are two resource videos that you can view to help you understand how you too can use Google Reader to refine and improve your daily social media process.