Over 400 million Tweets are posted every day on Twitter. And close to 8 billion items are posted on Facebook. How can you make sure you are part of the mix every day? And most importantly how can the updates you throw in be of great value?

The answer is somewhat simple: Use the right tools with the right workflow. 

That way you can make sure that you will be at the edge of efficiency and also build a great following. Providing your friends and followers with amazing content from across the web, has proven to be one of the most important things to increase your social media following.

Dan Zarrella has shown so very impressively in his analysis:

 

Enter Pocket: Read anything you find later

Pocket is a very simple idea, very well executed. And I’m totally hooked. Throughout your day, there are tons of great articles I am finding. Yet, there is no way I read them all at this time. I’m busy at work and really would like to save it somewhere for later.

What I used to do, is email me the article, or put it into a word doc to then go back to it. No more, I can just put it in my Pocket.

From there, they will be saved and you can read them later on. The best part? It works on any device, including Android, iPhone, iPad and web. And it also works offline. This is how it looks on the iPad:

Adding new items to your Pocket is super simple, you can use either the browser extension, bookmarklet or email them into your Pocket. All it takes is one click, whenever you want to read some more later:

Here is a 3 step guide for you to start saving to pocket in no time:

 

  1. Install the Pocket browser extension or bookmarklet:
  2. Add any new article you find to your Pocket
  3. Read it later on your iPad, Android phone or any other device you prefer

3 Top Ways to find Great Content Online

Of course, in order to find amazing things that you can add to Pocket, we first need to know how to find all these amazing posts. Whilst browsing on the web works well, here are 4 top ways I am using to find amazing content every day, which I eventually add to Pocket and then add to Buffer:

– Setup Google Reader with Reeder or Mr.Reader

RSS is dead? Not at all for those of us, who want to share amazing content to our friends and followers. I found that creating a great RSS feed is one of the most powerful ways to stay on top of news, in an uncluttered way.

The way I do this is by creating a free Google Reader account. I then use 2 amazing apps, Mr.Reader on my iPad and Reeder on my iPhone to read posts. From there, you can again save things straight to Pocket with one click:

– Try using Zite or Flipboard

If setting up an RSS reader and adding feeds is too cumbersome for you, there are some fantastic solutions already out there that you can use instead. Zite, which is one of my favorite apps, integrates your Twitter or Facebook stream and turns it into a smart newspaper for you.

It will learn over time, what you like and what you don’t. Other similar apps you can use are Flipboard or Newsmix, which both have a beautiful interface for Android, iOS or the web.

Update: It looks like Zite is no longer around 🙁

 

– Create Twitter lists with the top people from your industry:

The first thing I do is to create a Twitter list. The best Twitter lists I have found for technology news for example is Robert Scoble. You can browse through his dozens of lists and will find some amazing goodies:

You can then add great articles right to Pocket from Twitter.com, as they integrate into Twitter with their browser extension:

 

All of these solutions allow you to directly add your best reads to Pocket. That way you can easily filter through the noise and prepare the best reads for “launch” to your social streams.

How to share your articles directly from Pocket to Buffer

Since Pocket relaunched a few weeks ago, formerly known as ReadItLater, it now has also got native Buffer integration. This means you can share any article that is saved in your Pocket via Buffer.

For me, this closes the last aspect of the loop: First I find amazing content via my Google Reader or Zite, then I add them to Pocket, from there I queue up the best reads via Buffer. 

Whenever you want to share an article from your Pocket, just tap the “share” button on the top right. Select Buffer, and it will already preformat a Tweet for you:

When you select Buffer, you will be able to add it to any of your connected Social Media profiles, including Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Here is how this selection screen looks like:

This of course also works seamlessly from your iPhone or Android device:

 

 

Completing the sharing loop – How well are you doing?

Of course, at the end of the day, you want to achieve something through your sharing. You do this to grow your network, start new conversations or provide more people with the great info you find. The only to know, whether your plan is working is of course if you measure it.

Any new update you put out via Buffer, will be tracked for you. You can check on how many clicks, retweets or reach it has goteen very easily:

Whatever it is you are trying to achieve online, I believe by simply providing great content for your audience you will go a very long way.

And seeing lots of conversations triggered off through your Tweets and Facebook postings is also a very fun thing to do.

 

How do you go about sharing smart on Social Media? Do you think any of these tools can help you to make your sharing smarter?

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Written by Leo Widrich

Co-founder at Buffer.