On time management and your investment in social media

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Social media marketing is time-consuming, and most definitely not free – especially in the early phase when you are researching and doing all of the groundwork. Setting up your accounts, finding or creating content, and learning the ropes will be a lot of work, and it’s setting the stage for your success.

As you get accustomed to your networks, you’ll find you spend less time working behind the scenes and more time engaging with people. Be patient here, cut yourself a little slack as you learn. It’s not going to happen overnight.

Within a few months, you should settle into a rhythm that works, and see the amount of time spent struggling with new tools and creating or sourcing great content significantly reduced.

Time for an audit
Now is a great time to revisit how you are managing your time on social networks.  The keys to not wasting time on social media are: staying focused on your reasons for being there in the first place, having the training you need to execute your social strategy, and showing

The keys to not wasting time on social media are:

  • Be mindful of your reasons for being there in the first place
  • Having the training you need to execute your social strategy
  • Rationing the amount of time you spend surfing social networks
  • Use of content calendars and scheduling to streamline your time spent
  • Showing strength of character by not chasing every shiny new toy that passes by. (That’s a hard one for me!)

Social media can be insanely distracting. If you are on your business Facebook page and you see a notification from your college roommate – keep your focus on business. Do what you need to do and get off, so you can get the rest of your work done. Don’t watch that cat video until you get home.

In Peter Bregman’s 18 Minutes- Find Your Focus, Master Distraction and Get the Right Things Done, Peter talks about the trap of momentum – how you can be running so fast in one direction that you simply can’t put on the brakes.

You know how that is? It happens all the time in social media. You get rolling sharing news, then you see a post you just have to comment on. You share with a friend or co-worker and, before you know it, you’ve killed an hour. Or maybe a day!

Peter offers a lot of great ideas in his book for managing your time and getting more done. It’s a great read and I recommend you take the time to read or listen to it.

My advice is: wherever you find yourself, step back and take a 10,000 foot look at where you are right now. Do you really need to be doing what you’re doing? Are you locked into moving forward on this network just for the sake of doing something? Do you feel like you’re spinning your wheels? Forgetting what brought you to the social network you’re using?

Take a breath. Get up and go for a walk. Get a cup of tea. Break the flow for a moment.

Then, decide if you really need to be doing what you’re doing, or if it’s a procrastination tactic to keep from doing something else you DO need to be doing.

If you have a hard time managing the time you work on social media (or anything else, for that matter), I’ve found the Pomodoro technique to be effective. Blocking out a few times a day to monitor your accounts should be sufficient in most cases. You do not need to have your accounts open 24/7, unless you are using them for customer service, are in crisis mode or have critical projects you are monitoring.

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Have you read my book yet? “Social Media Success! – Practical advice and real-world examples for social media” is available on Amazon

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