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How to Create Manageable Social Media Profiles

Ask any big time internet entrepreneur what their biggest pet peeve is and it’s likely they’ll respond with the same answer: social media takes up too much of their time. With Facebook, Digg, Delicious and Twitter - not to mention the hundreds of other popular online services - competing for our time and attention, it is easy to see how many ultra-popular online presences end up investing every waking moment of their time in their online profiles and audiences. From 10,000 email days to constant Facebook barrages, being an online star is not at all easy.

So how do you create a social media presence that is both profitable and worthwhile, while remaining manageable and stress-free? With major Twitter profiles topping a million followers, it is easy to see how some people simply cannot use them for real conversation. If you dedicate yourself to following a lot of people yourself, you will find that time input multiply even further, pushing you farther away from achieving what you want while you are online. Top 100 blogger Robert Scoble reportedly receives over 1000 emails per day, and that is not even counting the huge amount of tweets, direct messages and status updates that must bug him.

Our goal is to ignore that measure completely. Focus on what you can get out of social media, rather than what it can get out of you. The first step to achieving this is to be absolutely minimal with your social media presences. Provide as much information as you can, but minimise the time inputs, create passive informational services such as information pages and FAQs, and insulate yourself from being required to answer questions and provide information every second.

The second step is to extend this minimalism to your profiles altogether. If you are splitting your time between Facebook, Twitter and hundreds of other services, cut it out altogether. There is no need to play on every field -- instead, find the 20% of your social media presences that result in 80% of the output, and invest heavily in them. Limit your Facebook page to people that are truly important, and use another outlet for mass marketing and all-purpose information. A good way to do this is to partner your blog with a Twitter account, and use your Twitter account to provide micro-updates while the blog provides the majority of your insights and information.

Finally, you need to allow yourself to distance completely from social media. Famous productivity expert and star blogger Tim Ferriss regularly deserts his blog and social media presences for weeks at a time, all the while exploring new countries and keeping himself entertained. While this can be a disastrous strategy long-term, when used sporadically it can increase your influence, make people pay more attention to you, and create scarcity that builds anticipation and interest.

Invest in these steps and you will find that your input will decrease dramatically across social media, all the while your profile will increase. Scarcity can work in your favour, so be sure to experiment with it.

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