One of the problems and frustrations I find with social media, is that there are now many different website’s and each of them require managing contacts in different ways.
So, for example, you’ll often end up with a completely different set of contacts on each site – when in many cases it would make far more sense if you were just connected to the same people on Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare etc.
Because each of these sites have their own friend/follow system, it’s pretty much impossible to keep track of everyone you’re connected to. This means that if you sign-up for a new social media website, like I did recently on FourSquare, you have to start all over again by adding contacts from scratch.
It is possible to import friends on many of the sites by importing your Twitter or Facebook contacts – but that doesn’t always allow for everyone you’re connected with elsewhere. Recently, I’ve tried to manage this in a more central location, using the following steps:
- Go export crazy! The first step is to get an email list of contacts from Facebook, LinkedIn and any other social media sites with contact list exporting available. Sometimes you have to dig around for export options, but it’s normally available – even if they do try to insult you through not so subtle captchas!
- Collect all contacts into GMail or FlowTown - This helps you to organise all of your contacts into a single location. Personally I find FlowTown to be very useful – especially for analysing demographics – but GMail does the job here too and is free (FlowTown charges per import).
- Group contacts - Filter those who you’d like to connect with on all sites and if you want to be more selective over who you connect with, then it’s useful to separate professional contacts with friends and family.
- Import connections – most social networking sites have the option to import contacts via CSV or GMail – so once you’ve collected and organised all of your contacts into a central location you can look to import these into each of the social media website’s you use.
I tried this out a few weeks ago on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, StumbleUpon and Foursquare – instantly finding new contacts who I’m already connected to on other sites. So from my point of view, it’s been a far more efficient way of managing and merging social contacts – has anyone found a good way of managing contacts across social media networks?