Create a Hub for Your Social Media Channels – Guest Post by Tim Haran

From Jennifer: I’m on vacation this week, and have promised my kids I won’t touch a computer *gasp*.  However I have great friends in the industry who have willingly stepped up to the plate this week to provide you with some great content in my absence.

Today’s post is from one of our regular columnists, Tim Haran, Manager of Social Media Content at USANA Health Sciences, and one of the writers of my favorite What’s Up USANA? blog.  Tim offers some great advice today on how to manage your social media presence.

Create a Hub for Your Social Media Channels
by Tim Haran

Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information emanating from the socialsphere — Facebook, Twitter, et al. And social media is my (mostly) full-time job. So for direct sellers it must be daunting to not only keep up with but also to digest all this information as you try to focus on your first priority, your home-based business.

But social media is too valuable for our industry to ignore. So how do we balance it with other responsibilities?

Jen’s provided excellent advice on how to participate in social media while always remembering that social media is not your business. Devote as much time to it as you can so long as it doesn’t take away from your other business-building endeavors. But since social media is my business and I strive to provide as much information as possible to assist our distributors in their businesses, streamlining content is essential.

Create a Social Media Hub

If you share information across multiple channels such as Facebook and Twitter, and you blog, I’ve found it helpful to create a social media hub. That is, a site designed to house original content you’d like to easily distribute elsewhere.

The What’s Up, USANA? blog is our hub, but yours could be Facebook or whatever social media site you use frequently. For us, each blog post is automatically shared on Facebook via NetworkedBlogs and on Twitter through Twitterfeed. Once a post is published our e-mail subscribers receive it as well.

We aim to make reading our content convenient for our audiences. But this system helps us out as well. By simply clicking “publish” the information is sent to several different sites. I’ll usually repost the blog 2-3 times throughout the day in various places. But if for some reason I get busy, I know all bases were covered initially.

Of course not every bit of information we share originates on our blog. We also do individual Facebook posts and tweets. But by and large the bulk of our serious social media communication is first released on What’s Up, USANA?

Here’s Why

I see a few advantages to this publishing system:

  1. Creates a database of information: Each time you write something it is archived on your blogging platform and is searchable. If you come across a topic on Facebook or see a tweet relating to a previous post you could instantly add value to the conversation by directing readers to your blog post for more information. This requires very little new work.
  2. Establishes you as an expert: At USANA we talk a lot about finding a niche and writing about it. Once you start blogging regularly about a subject you’ll gain a deeper understanding of that topic and others will start considering you an expert on it. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even be asked to write a guest post somewhere. It could lead to an entirely new audience for you.
  3. Frees up some time: The last thing you want to do is put your social media on autopilot. But if you are producing engaging content on one platform, it’s acceptable to automatically share it on your other networks — especially if it allows you to step away from your computer for a while.

A Final Note

I’m still on the fence about connecting Facebook and Twitter accounts to automatically publish every tweet to a Facebook profile. I see advantages to doing so but I usually advise people to read their last 10-15 tweets and see how many they would want to show up on their Facebook feed. Often tweets are more casual and off-point and are not entirely suited for a site that likely includes more professional connections. What do you think? (From Jen…my thoughts here…I don’t recommend linking these two sites as an independent direct seller. I think the audiences you build in each place are too different.  Take the extra second and post relevant posts in both places if you need to.)

Thanks again to Jen for allowing me to share my thoughts on creating a social media hub. I’d love to hear how you streamline your social media efforts to help make the most of your time online.

Tim Haran is the Manager of Social Media Content at USANA Health Sciences, a manufacturer of high-quality nutritional supplements in Salt Lake City, Utah. A former journalist, Tim started as an all-purpose writer at USANA in 2007 before moving to the newly created social media/public relations department in late 2008. Since then, he’s overseen the company’s day-to-day social media initiatives and is the primary contributor to the award-winning What’s Up, USANA? blog.

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