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A social media fast–scheduling makes it easy

Some of you know that I take each August off from social media and I will mostly do that again this year. I might decide to write a blog post or two, but I have such a strong group of contributors to Biznology that you might not notice my absence. But people have told me that you just can’t take off from social media. And they are starting to convince me. But I still want to clear my head and I think that’s valuable, too, so I want to have another social media fast this year. What to do?

Enter the magic of scheduling.

In the past year, I’ve enjoyed the use of WordPress, which lets me schedule posts in a way that I never mastered with Movable Type. So, I can write a few evergreen posts and schedule them for later in the month.

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Photo credit: tonx

And the same thing works on Twitter. While I do retweet colleagues that have interesting things to say, and I also comment on events, I do a lot of tweeting on so-called best practices–just things that are good ideas that people ought to do. I find that I can queue up a bunch of those tweets and have them roll out during the month. CoTweet was the first scheduling attempt, but when it started to charge for usage, Gremlin became the next tool of choice, and now Seesmic is the latest experiment. No matter which tool you use, you can find a way to do it.

And everything that is tweeted gets mirrored to Facebook and LinkedIn, so I am not dark on those networks either. (Still waiting for an API so I can do the same thing for Google+–are you listening, Big G?)

And I will also have other people monitoring what is being said so that at least people get a thank you or a response without me having to be there.

All of this takes a little up-front work, and it isn’t easy, but it lets me kick back without going dark, so I think it is worth the effort. Now, it isn’t as good as doing everything live because when something happens, I won’t be able to comment. (I probably won’t even know it happened right away.)

But that’s OK with me.  I know that it won’t be the same as if I am doing everything live, but I think it is better than being out of sight completely. So, it’s a compromise. I still get the mind break from my social media fast but whatever value I get from social media doesn’t go to zero.

I’ll be interested in what others think of the approach. Do any of you go dark on social? How do you clear your heads from the always-on culture? Tell me in the comments.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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