10 Habits of Highly Efficient Social Media Power Users

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Many people view social media as a waste of time while others expect them to be some kind of promised land for self promotion. Both groups will never use social media to their fullest potential. The truth lies of course somewhere in between.

While it is easy to waste your time on addictive social media sites like StumbleUpon, Mixx or Sphinn you can use them responsibly and happily to both the benefit of yourself as well as the respective communities.

While I’m not entirely free of addiction and have to fight time wasting tendencies myself, I have, by now and after years of participation, found out several key factors of using social media in the best possible way.

I’m not zaibatsu or Muhammad Saleem but I’m a very active user at the 3 above mentioned communities:

  • As onreact-com on StumbleUpon
  • As onreact.com on Mixx
  • As onreact on Sphinn

Moreover I am actively participating at

  • Pownce as Tadeusz S.
  • Blogcatalog as onreact

Last but not least I’m an established power user in Germany at

  • YiGG (social news) as onreact.com, top user #5 currently (January 08)
  • SEOigg as onreact.com as well, top user #2

While I am not trying “to leverage traffic” directly from these communities most of the time I benefit from these is several ways:

  • Industry acceptance as a social media expert
  • Direct contact to clients, some approach me, others look me up
  • Entertainment, I feel better afterwards when I take a break to stumble or mixx
  • Information, I’m the first one to know what’s going on in my fields of interest
  • I’m famous, this is no joke, people from all over the world know me

To make sense social media need to work both ways.

If you spend hours daily as a user generating content for free you are basically working like a slave.

So there must be a mutual benefit so that you do not get exploited. If only 2 or less of the above points apply to you and none other positive outcomes come to your mind you should rethink the way you use as the social media companies use and abuse you as a free workforce.

The best way to make social media work for the mutual benefit of you and not only the venture capitalists behind them is setting up a blog. Remember that social media otherwise own all of you:

  • your social relations
  • your contents
  • your time

Having a blog means remaining your own master.

As a blogger you can use social media to drive traffic to your blog or not, but at least nobody can take away your contents, make you pay for contacting your friends, or reselling your and making money off your work while you earn nothing for it.

Your blog is your focal point of your social media journeys.

So implying that you already have a blog you should try to stick to the following 10 habits of highly efficient social media power users:

  1. Use social media in the morning, during breaks or at the evening. When you’re not able to work yet or already social media will allow you to spend the time somewhat productively and actively anyways. Of course do not spend all your free time doing that.
  2. Do not read daily newspapers or direct news sources, let the social media users filter the important stuff for you, this way you spare time in fact. Check only websites you really can’t live without directly.
  3. Use a RSS Reader like Netvibes and only read the headlines relevant in a given moment. For instance on Netvibes I have a tab for SEO blogs and another for green blogs. I only read the green blogs when I’m done with my work.
  4. Socialize with your friends on several platforms. This way no company can take away your social capital or sell it back to you once they leave beta, their share plummets or the company is swallowed by another less scrupulous one.
  5. Never actively search for content you could submit to social media, submit stuff that you read and like anyways.
  6. Submit stuff that is popular on one platform to another if you think it might be suitable for this audience as well.
  7. Concentrate on only a few of your favorite social media sites. Use not the most popular ones but those which have the most benefit to you personally either by suiting your interests best or having a positive impact on your online presence not necessarily via traffic only. For instance Sphinn is less important for direct traffic but very good for my reputation. Also Mixx is not for traffic but I established my own SEO 2.0 sub-community (group) there with my peers.
  8. If you want to get traffic via social media use them like Domino: For instance I just need to submit a story to Sphinn in oder to get stumbled and then mixxed and back again.
  9. Do not submit your own stories at social media communities unless they really condone it and you are a well known and/or respected community member there.
  10. Do submit stuff of your favorite bloggers and peers. Link them in your blog posts and befriend them where it does make sense. For instance befriending people on SU does only make sense if you want their reviews served on your SU page and it might cost you the traffic if after a while only your friends stumble you. Sphinn has only a rudimentary friends feature. While at Mixx, at Pownce and at BlogCatalog befriending people has only a few drawbacks it has major benefits and is really one of the main pillars of each of the sites.

So if you develop these 10 habits you will get quite popular on social media just after using them for a while.

Participation is key and if you do not expect instant gratification via loads of traffic you will succeed in the middle or long term also as a blogger. Eventually you will get loads of traffic anyways.

Social media participation is not a one night stand, it’s a stable relationship.

Once you understand that, you’re on your way to become a power user.

You don’t have to be a top user to be a power user. It’s not about numbers. It’s about how you participate not solely how much.