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by Jennifer Lumba   | July 07, 2015
We all know Facebook and Twitter. And yet, for many us, engaging with friends, colleagues, and customers means embracing a wide array of social platforms. From Instagram and Periscope to Pinterest and Tumblr, there are quite literally dozens of ways to connect now using social media. 

How can you link them all and stay sane? Try these 10 tips:

1. Know your audience. Chances are that your audience is just as diversified in its use of social platforms as you are. Still, a little research helps. Finding out that your audience tends to use YouTube and Twitter may reveal an opportunity to use Periscope to connect.

2. Segment! Once you have a better understanding of where your audience tends to spend its time -- click data from URL shorteners such as bit.ly can tell you a lot -- it's time to think about how you might segment content. Break posts into digestible chunks. For example: a video short for YouTube, custom images for Instagram and Pinterest, and a short blog post uploaded as a Facebook update.

3. Watch for synergy. Some platforms are excellent at placing content on multiple places at once. Instagram is a good example. Make a visual post and you can share it not only on Twitter but also Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, and more.

4. Pick your top platform. Just be sure not to sacrifice engagement in your pursuit of efficiency. Pick a platform where your network is most active and spend most of your time there. Your aim isn't to spread the message wide; it's to spread it to the right people.

5. Repurpose often. Also, you can repurpose later. A Twitter chat with your most engaged connections could be captured for a blog post at Tumblr. You could also use choice comments as fodder for a follow-up discussion on Periscope. Spending the bulk of your time on one network shouldn't prevent you from strategic syndication.

6. Use tools. There's also plenty of software to help with sharing content from wherever it originates. From Buffer to HootSuite to Sprout Social and more, repurposing social media content is easier than ever.

7. Make your own content shareable. Even better is content that gets shared by others. Spend your time developing content that's so good that it must be passed around and you won't need to worry about linking your platforms for smart syndication.

8. Build cross-platform relationships. Keep your best connections close; connect on every platform you intend to use. Why? Content goes from "widely distributed" to "viral" when key influencers share to every platform they care about.

9. Be a curator. Adopting the process and mindset of a curator will force you to find synergy as you search for content worth sharing. The more you curate, the more efficient you'll become at sharing across platforms.

10. Show excessive gratitude. Of course, good strategy and process only goes so far. If you want to make the most of your various platforms, invest in the relationships those platforms help you to forge. Thank your digital friends for their content and contributions on a regular basis.

Jennifer Lumba is the chief marketing officer of Rideau Recognition Solutions. Built on state-of-the-art technology, Rideau's employee recognition and customer loyalty programs change the way companies recognize employee service and achievement, reward individual and team performance, strengthen customer relationships, and create brand loyalty. Lumba can be reached at jenniferlumba@rideau.com.