Solutions To The Social Media Time Suck: How to Get In, Get Out, and Get On With Your Day!

Social media is one of the most important business communication developments in a long time, but it can be a big distraction if it’s not approached properly.

If you want to leverage the great benefits of social media (e.g. increased exposure for your brand at a minimal cost)  without killing your productivity, you’ve got to learn how to  stay focused while using social media.

Here are my top tips to help keep you focused:

Finish Other Tasks First
On a daily basis, work on your core business tasks first. Try saving social networking for later in the day. That way, you can ensure everything that needs to get done, does get done. 

Remind Yourself That  You’re Getting On Social Media For Your Business
Sites like Facebook pull us in because the newsfeed appeals to our personal interests. (Here’s a tip that will help you avoid the Facebook newsfeed completely!) Before you get on any Social Media site, set the intention that you are going on for business only. Remember that you can enjoy social media on a personal level after business hours.

Know Your Goals
Before you jump on social media, take a breath and remember your long term goals.  Do you want to:

  • Build Brand Awareness
  • Grow Your Following
  • Increase Your Engagement
  • Connect with Influencers
  • Something else?

Your long term goals should be clearly defined and written on paper.  These goals will shape the daily actions that you should take, so review them regularly and make sure that they are in the forefront of your mind when starting to use social media for your business.  

 Know Your Primary Action For The Day
Before you log into a social network, make sure you have a very clear idea of your strategic actions for the day. Know exactly which part of the three step formula you want to accomplish. (Learn the details of my three-step formula for being successful on any social media site here.

Are you going to:

  • Post your own content? 
  • Share good content that you found? 
  • Spend your time “mingling”?  
  • Something else?

I always say, “Clarity is the one thing you can never have enough of” — and that goes double for social media! It’s just too easy to get distracted. Making sure you have your tasks outlined helps you stay on track — instead of following that link to a YouTube video of an amazing 5 year old opera singer. 

Limit the Networks You’re Involved In
Too many business owners try to be everywhere at once. It’s a recipe for burnout and it isn’t likely going to grow your business.   It’s important to select only a handful of key social networks. If you’re just getting started with social networking, simply stick with one until you’ve mastered it, and move on from there. 

Of course, finding out which social media site works best for your business will take some experimentation. Just don’t rush to do everything at once because you need to dedicate the appropriate time and effort to seeing what produces the most benefit. 

  

Set A Timer
It sounds “old school”, but “old school” still works. Decide how much time you are going to spend on social media that day and set a timer to ding 5 minutes before the end time, to give yourself time to “wrap up.” You’ll be grateful when you hear that “ding” and remember to move on to other stuff. (I love using The Action Machine to time all of my tasks) 

Have a Notification Strategy
There is nothing more detrimental to productivity than being interrupted all day long with emails telling you about new retweets, likes and comments. You can limit these interruptions in a few ways:

  • Turn notifications off completely. Rarely, is there a social media emergency and if you’re already checking in regularly, you don’t really need to get an email notification for everything.
  • Some networks, like Pinterest, allow you to get a daily digest of notifications, instead of receiving an individual notification of each update. 
  • Don’t send the notifications to your main email address. Choose an address you check less frequently, so you arenít constantly distracted by the new updates. 

Use Tools
There are plenty of tools like Hootsuite.com and BufferApp.com that can help you schedule updates, allow you to view your various network streams in one place, compile analytics for you and more. These are very useful tools to ensure you keep tabs on your interactions, allow you to participate more efficiently and can help you rework your strategy for maximum effectiveness. 

So those are some strategies to help you manage your social media in a minimum amount of time. What are your favorite tips? Please share in the comments! 

 

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