I originally intended to write this post on the World Cup social media results demonstrating the power of hashtags, fan pages, and the pundits.

In a nutshell: There were millions of interactions.

On second thought, I think the world has already moved on, so I’ll spare you the repetition.

I find myself writing this blog post the day before I fly to Naples, and my holiday preparation has been pushed to the side. Once I land, I fully intend to relax as this is certainly not a business trip. Usually when I travel internationally, I put my iPhone on flight mode, and to check a single e-mail is a sin. I want to be unreachable.

In the last two years, this behaviour has changed dramatically. It is not that I can’t switch off from technology these days, but the way I choose to relax and have fun has changed.

By checking and posting to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook when lazing by the pool or on the go, I feel entertained and connected, not just to home but to other tourists in the same area through check-ins and hashtags.

This adds much value to any trip, as I can see what others are doing in the same place (i.e. what is trending and any recommendations that the travel guide may have missed!).

In normal day-to-day life, checking my social networks is part of my hourly (if I’m being honest) routine, so it would take much more than willpower to switch off from it. This makes me think that, for most people, their social media “addiction” is more likely just a serious hobby, and for me it is a hobby that I’m now blogging about!

Everything we create and post online should be social. In addition to the thousands of news and gossip articles published every day, we have even more content to engage with than ever, as there are several responses left by users and followers, which can be controversial and amusing.

Ordinary people and those who are more prominent don’t seem to hold back. For me, comments left on an article can provide as much, if not more, entertainment than the original article itself. 

If you think about it, it is the subjective nature of news content that sparks discussions either on the publication’s own Web site or off the back of their social media posts. This is where a user’s activity will be seen by followers — people who are more likely to respond to someone they are connected with and further engage in the discussion.

Newspaper and magazine editors are “content editors.” They ensure that everything they publish is easy to find, has embedded links, is shareable, and looks great across multiple platforms and devices.

This means that a wider skill set is needed for success, which has called for new talent within organisations, regardless of the size.

After all, with the print medium declining year after year, there is a need to safeguard businesses by reaching new audiences and having a strategy to get eyeballs on the content and, over time, increasing the number of followers and interactions with content.

You can probably gather from this post that, while social media can extend audience reach and interaction from personal and business points of view, it can be very time-consuming and tricky to stay front-of-mind and relevant. This is true whether you are running a national newspaper or a cafe in the East End of London.

To make this easier, here are five hassle-free social media tips that will save you time:

  1. Use RSS feeds that connect to Twitter and Facebook so that each time you post on your blog or Web site, the content appears on your social networks straight away.

  2. Set up Facebook and Instagram links and statuses so they are automatically tweeted.

  3. Upload your Instagram photos to an album on Facebook so your fans and friends can see what you’re up to.

  4. Welcome new members and followers. This is especially good for small groups.

  5. Finally, ensure you activate all social networks by syncing them to different devices.