With the news that Facebook may be worth as much as $1.5 billion having just received a $500 million investment from Goldman Sachs and Twitter attracting a $200 million investment over the holiday period there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that social media is the hot place to be on the Internet.

It doesn’t stop with Facebook and Twitter though; there is a raft of other sites including of course LinkedIn that you should be promoting your business on. That’s a lot of work to manage your reputation, to keep up to date with fresh content and to post replies to all your followers.

The solution is to use automation as much as possible. That doesn’t mean you should automate all of your feeds but use automation in conjunction with live postings. So long as content is fed to the sites and so long as you don’t then ignore them then your followers, whichever social site they use, will be kept up to date with your business.

The first and simplest way to start automating your content is to add a blog to your ecommerce site. Your blog can be updated at a time convenient to you, but however often (or infrequent) that is the important thing is to be regular. Posting once a day may be too much of a demand on your time so set a reasonable goal such as once or twice a week and then stick to it. Always post on a regular day at a regular time and your readers will become accustomed to how often they should visit your blog to see fresh content.

“Once your blog is running on a regular basis you can then start feeding that content to your social network sites. Which tools you use will depend on the blogging platform that you use”

Once your blog is running on a regular basis you can then start feeding that content to your social network sites. Which tools you use will depend on the blogging platform that you use, but great examples for WordPress blogs are Wordbook for Facebook  or simply using the WordPress notes function to import directly from your blog RSS feed. For Twitter again there is a selection of tools available to automatically post your blog feed such as twitterfeed, TweetSuite and Twitter Tools. There are similar tools for LinkedIn and most of the other common social media sites and a quick Google search will find you the tools that you need.

You can also connect your eBay listings to your social media networks. There are a number of basic tools such as the Facebook eBay Marketplace tool and of course if you’re a Frooition subscriber you can also have your eBay store and/or your website featured on Facebook with the ability for customers to purchase directly from you through Facebook. There are also third party products such as Fflap which will allow you to publish the details of what you’re selling on eBay to all the social networking sites you’re on.

Now that you have a certain amount of automation set up your job of managing your social networks will be much simpler. All you need to do now is to add in some personal tweets and posts to your Twitter account, and of course you can also use tools to push all your Tweets from Twitter to your other networks.

If you have a smart phone you’ll be able to download a twitter app for it, or you can simple visit the mobile twitter site which is fast to load and easy to tweet from. There are also desktop Twitter applications such as TweetDeck, Twitterrific and Twirl which can save you constantly opening your browser everytime you have an interesting thought to share.

Finally don’t do all the work yourself – there’s nothing better than a third party recommendation, so use tools such as to enable your blog readers to add your articles to their own social networking sites. For instance you’ll see at the top of this article a Tweet button and at the bottom of the article another button to enable you easily share this article on Facebook -If you’ve not already clicked the buttons do feel free to try them out to let your friends and followers know what you’re reading.

If you can get those that are already interested in your products and services to do the job of spreading the word for you then you’re starting to win in the battle for visibility on social media.

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