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Mapping Your Social Networks for Maximum Productivity Online

Public relations and social media expert, Brian Solis, was recently recognized as a finalist in the SEMMY social media award for his post on the Conversations Prism. Brian is a prolific blogger for PR 2.0 and where he shares social media best practices & standards and promotes the industry as a whole. Brian’s Conversations Prism highlights the various categories and companies that together make up the evolving social media market.

In the following post on PR 2.0, Brian shows how he uses MindManager to map out his own online experience, tracking where relevant discussions are taking place as well as the communities that he promotes and participates in. With this 50,000′ view of his social activities, Brian can quickly focus his time and attention in communities that are relevant to his work and life.

For my own work at Mindjet, I’ve created a similar map to help me track and participate in online conversations about Mindjet, mind mapping, visual thinking and productivity. It’s a great way to get perspective over the various communities and strategically focus online activities. As you’ve probably already experienced, it’s easy to get lost or waste a lot of time online. Here are a few additions that I’ve implemented in my Social Media map to optimize and increase my online effectiveness:

  • Goals: What are the goals or objectives for participating in any of your online communities? Add this context into your map using either topic notes or by creating additional subtopics for each community. This extra context helps keep your participation focused on achieving your goals and minimizing the chances of getting distracted online.
  • Themes: Group or tag your participation by theme. For instance, if I want to promote a blog about mind mapping and David Allen’s GTD, I apply a MindManager filter to quickly view all the communities where I’m participating in conversations about GTD. This helps me contribute relevant content to appropriate communities (e.g. I’ll go to David Allen’s forums, NING groups, LinkedIn groups, etc…)
  • Relationships: Do one or more communities have relationships with each other? If you ‘tweet’ on twitter, did you set it up to also appear in Facebook? Highlight these connections between communities with MindManager’s relationship lines.
  • Hyperlinks: Include hyperlinks to each site. You can then view them in MindManager 8’s browser or open them in external browsers.
  • Tools: Add any secondary tools that you use to monitor conversations within communities. For instance, do you track conversations about your company or brand in Twitter using Search Twitter? Do you want to run a blog search on Google? Add all these tools onto your map for easy access.
  • Passwords: I use a Password manager to log into all the communities that I participate in. Prior to that, I tracked the important user names and passwords in my social media dashboard map.
  • Teams: Use Mindjet Connect or MindManager Web to collaborate on social media maps with others (e.g. all of marketing & PR) to coordinate social media activities across teams.

How have you mapped your online experience? Share your story below or send me an email (michael dot deutch at Mindjet dot com) or tweet with examples. I’d like to continue to write about this topic and would love to share your feedback and examples on the blog.

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