If you want to engage with your customers on social media, you have to spend time on social media sites every day. The problem is that there’s content to read, real-time feeds, interesting comments, and constant activity going on. All of this can suck you in and drain your time. There’s a tidal wave of information and noise that you don’t need, so you’ll have to develop good habits to tune out the clutter.
When you hit the social sites each day, keep your goals in mind. What’s today’s goal? It could be to reply to comments, do a daily update, find new fans, etc. When you’re on social media, stay focused on that goal. Don’t do anything that doesn’t get you closer to that goal. If you see a funny video posted by a friend, don’t watch it unless you’re going to comment on it or share it. Set aside some time in the evening when the day’s work is done to engage in socializing that’s not relevant to your business.
Every time management expert will tell you that it helps to set specific limits. Decide exactly when you’re going to stop using social media so that you don’t end up getting lost in it. For example, tell yourself you’re going to write three posts or replies. You may choose instead to devote fifteen minutes a day to each platform. If you choose a time limit, don’t worry if you feel like you didn’t get anything done. You’ve got other things you need to do.
There are several easy ways to limit your social media time so that you don’t have to think about it.
The Kitchen Timer
You don’t need any fancy time management tools or gadgets to make your social media time more efficient. An ordinary kitchen timer will do. Decide how long you’re going to work on social media and set the timer. Forget about the time and it’ll let you know when it’s time to stop. When the alarm goes off, finish your sentence and log out immediately, no matter what you’re in the middle of doing.
Choose a certain time of day to be your ‘social time’ and don’t check social media sites during other times. For example, it might be after your first email check in the morning. It could also be a specific time of the day, like 11:30, if you’re that organized. Put it on your daily schedule and set alarms to make it easy for you.
Delegate and Automate
A great way to limit your social media time is to delegate someone at your business to take care of it for you. Decide which tasks can be delegated and give them those; for example, checking your sites and accepting new friend requests.
Take advantage of some of the tools available for automating certain tasks. They allow you to do things like schedule your posts so that you don’t have to do them manually each day. Dashboard programs also make it more time efficient by letting you see all social media activity across platforms at one time.
Monitor Your Results
The most important part of social media is monitoring your activity. Are you getting the results you want? Set long-term goals in addition to your short-term goals and see if you’re reaching them. If not, consider upping your social media time or changing what you do with it.
- Track how much time you spend on social sites over the course of one typical day.
- Review your current activity and set up a new schedule for when and how long you will spend each day on each site and each type of activity.
- Post that schedule on your wall or in your calendar.
- Follow that schedule every day for one week and then review the results in relation to your social media goals.