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08 2010

10 Secrets To Avoiding Social Media Time Suck

Posted in Social Media | 5 comments

Are you worried how you are going to possibly squeeze social media into your already impossibly busy days?

Are you thinking maybe you should just not start social media at all because you don’t have the time?

Stop for 2 seconds. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Social media will offer you conversations and networking opportunities which will propel your business forward. Don’t forego this because you are worried you will get caught in a time drain. In other words, the risk of missed opportunities is far more important than the risk of lost time.

Having said that, time organization is an essential component to an effective, successful social media program.

I just ran across an article written by Rich Brooks of flyte new media on how to best manage your time when you are implementing social media.

I would like to repeat some of Rich’s pieces of advice and add a few suggestions of my own.

1. Figure out why you are using social media
a. Research
b. Networking
c. Sales and marketing
d. Some combination of the above

2. Depending on what you want to do, use certain social media vehicles and avoid others:
a. To research, subscribe to RSS feeds in order to track key experts, blogs and podcasts efficiently
b. To network, go to the sites where your consumers are talking. This could be the ‘big’sites like Facebook and Linkedin or smaller, vertical social networking sites
c. To do sales an marketing, create videos and blog. Repurpose your blogs throughout key social networking sites (Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter) to increase your profile.

3. Create a calendar of content
a. Identify the subjects for your blog posts at least 1 month in advance
b. Understand what content you want to integrate on your Facebook Fan Page at least 1 month in advance

4. Create a daily schedule of activities: when to tweet, when to use social networking sites, when to blog, etc.

5. Focus your activities where they have the most impact; go where your customers are. (So, if your customers are on Flickr, post photographs on Flickr). Don’t waste your time talking to people who are not your customers or prospects

6. Don’t worry about the numbers. The quality of your community is much more important than the size of your community. Resist the urge to befriend, follow and link to every person.

7. Be disciplined. Don’t get distracted. Work with a purpose and restrain yourself to looking at every single link or YouTube video that crosses your screen.

8. Use Ping.fm which lets you update your status across dozens of sites; i.e. you can post your blog post simultaneously in several sites

9. Use TubeMogul.com which does the same thing as Ping.fm but for video.

10. Try HootSuite which can help you keep track of several difference social media sites at the same time and allows you to post your tweets in advance.

  1. Hi Susan,

    These are good ideas. At the moment I’m confining myself to two 30 minute blocks beginning and end of day & keeping my activities targeted. I’m leaning more and more on advice about social media monitoring tools. Did you see this excellent post “eight easy twitter monitoring ideas”?. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/8-easy-twitter-monitoring-ideas/ I love its time-saving advice from blogger Ching Ya on where new twitter users can begin in order to focus their activities.

    To date I have not been teasing my blogs on Linked in, but that’s how I found you today, so I’ll try that. Thanks!

    Sheila Averbuch — ENN

  2. Lisa Lomas says:

    Thankyou for sharing this on linkedin, I think its so timely as so many new and the next best things are being promoted to market place yet some good old ones like hootsuite offer more flexibility. I really appreciated you sharing this value, thank you.

  3. Great info source, particularly for folks not certain what their social media presence should be. #3, creating a content calendar has proven very helpful in keeping me organized.

  4. Susan,

    Some of these tips can it seems help avoid wasting time (like using sites such as Hootsuite) some others seem very generic – “don’t worry about the numbers” – true but how is this helping avoid it being a time-suck?

    A daily schedule works for some but many people I’ve spoken with find the best time to tap social is during otehrwise down-time, e.g. sitting in a taxi, on a train, on a plane, waiting for a meeting to start. This approach makes productive use of what would otherwise have been dead time.

    A calendar of posts one month in advance is a sure way to guarantee your posts are not timely or relevant. If your aim is simply to use a blog as a PR vehicle just as if you were printing content in an ad campaign it seems to me your content will fail to excite audiences. Many of the most popular posts are those that address very timely topical content. If you have something worth saying today, why wait a month or more to say it?

    If people take such a process-oriented view of using social media it’s hard to see how they will be successful in engaging in conversations with your audience – and as you know conversations are one of the keys to success in building community.

    It’s a shame you did not include a working hyperlink to the article you copied (but it seems from the HTML you did underline the text as if were a link?). I would have like to see what was your vs Rich’s thoughts too – hopefully you can fix the link.

  5. Mari-Lyn says:

    Thanks for the tips – this seems to be a hot topic especially for solo-entrepreneurs and small business owners. but then, if they know what they ought to do Social Media, maybe they won’t complain so much.

    Mari-Lyn