It is no secret that social media is an important part of a business’ success these days, but as many of us also know it can become a giant vortex that sucks you in and blows away all that time you thought you had.
Done correctly, social media allows businesses to be more visible in places where thousands (in some cases, millions) of their prospects are spending time.
But the reality is that social media can be extremely distracting as well.
Well-meaning friends ping you for a chat, someone posts an amazing article you just have to read or you find yourself drawn to the inspiration video that everyone is raving about. Before you know it, an hour of precious time has slipped away. And all you have to show for it is the knowledge that you gained from the four great articles you read and the discovery of the perfect new app.
We all know that time is a finite resource. And as entrepreneurs and business owners, that precious commodity is already stretched thin.
So this time I thought I would share 7 methods that help to save me time on Social Media.
Timers can be your productivity friend in two main ways. They can act as a baseline for how long a daily task can take, and they can also act as an accountability measure for those of us who find themselves getting sucked into the social media “whirlpool”. Consider using third-party time management tools like Focus Boosterto keep your social media efforts from getting derailed by tempting articles and videos of Facebook or pretty pictures on Pinterest.
Focus Booster is a unique app that can be used to increase productivity and is designed to help users improve their focus and concentration. This tool has been created based on the principles of the Pomodoro technique. This technique uses a timer to break down periods of work into 25-minute intervals (referred to as “Pomodoro’s”) separated by breaks.
Segment Your Time:
Good, old fashioned time blocking still works. Once you determine how much time it takes to complete certain tasks on social media, that baseline becomes a handy tool in segmenting your work day. Segmenting means to divide into parts; in this case, the parts are hours or minutes. We already segment our time by adding meetings and consultations to our calendars, but segmenting is also a great tool for keeping our social media efforts in line and on track.
Just like a client appointment, a savvy professional can estimate the time needed to get some visibility and exposure on their chosen social media sites and schedule that into their day. Blocking off thirty minutes to cultivate and navigate social media is effective in getting the task done without getting sucked into a “where did the time go?” situation.
Outsourcing is the ninja trick of many successful business pros. Outsourcing is the act of hiring an independent contractor like a virtual assistant or a social media manager to manage your social media activity. When you own a business, one of the most important things to remember is how much your time is really worth. When you think about all of the repetitive tasks that you are doing, I am sure you’ll find this work is not worth your hourly value to the business.
When you outsource social media, you pay someone else to take care of those responsibilities, while you give attention to the more important, revenue generating projects. You can find reputable service providers like a virtual assistant on sites like IVAA.organd Upwork.com.
Use Helper Tools:
Social media can often feel like a needy child, but there are work-arounds. The online world is filled with what I call “helper tools” developed to give business owners visibility and reach on social media without them actually having to be present online 24/7.
Tools like Hootsuiteand Buffer are described as “a user interface that takes the form of a dashboard and supports social network integrations.” In simple terms, both are platforms that help to schedule Tweets, updates, and links on social media in the future, giving you a social media presence even when you are not physically logged into your account.
Facebook also makes things easier with their scheduling feature. Simply create a Facebook update as usual, and then click the tiny clock symbol on the lower left of the update box. Pick your year, month, date and time and schedule updates as much as six months into the future.
Close the Browser:
If, like me, you sometimes find the lure of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn too much, even when you have deadlines looming, do the smart thing; close those browsers completely.
If this sounds too daunting, this may help shift your mindset. The minutes of your day are very much like money in the bank. The big difference is every minute that passes is like a tiny withdrawal and at the end of the day your bank account is completely emptied. There are no “do-overs” or reset buttons. Once the minutes and hours of your day are gone, they can’t be retrieved.
Resist the urge to be visible and active on all social media channels. It used to be that social was the Big Three that consisted of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Today’s social media world consists of dozens of effective places to get your business’ information seen including sites like Instagram, You Tube, Pinterest and many more. Instead of trying to be everything to everyone, pare your focus down to only 2-3 social media channels and work them to the best of your ability. In fact, I have found that it can be more beneficial to you and your business to only use one channel at first. Learn it well and use it well before worrying about venturing onto a second channel.
Streamline your Efforts:
As with many things in business, work-arounds are huge time savers and creative ways to temper the stress of repetitive tasks like posting to social media. Some ways to streamline your online efforts include marrying tasks.
When you create a new blog post, pick a WordPress plugin that will automatically publish that post and link to social media. Have your Twitter account connected to your Facebook account so when tweets are shared, they will automatically populate to Facebook as well. When you publish on LinkedIn turn on the setting that allows it to be posted on Twitter at the same time.
I hope one, or all, of these can help you save a little more time when managing your social media.
Which of these do use? Do you have a method that works well for you? Please share it.
Until next time.
Please do something for yourself with the time you are now going to save.
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