Ever logged onto Facebook “for five minutes”, then looked at the clock only to discover two hours have passed?
Social media’s fun. It’s a great place to waste time. And there’s always more to see.
But if you don’t get a handle on it, you can find your life disappearing in a stream of Twitter updates and YouTube videos. Here’s how to solve that.
1. Know What You’re About
Do you know your social media goals? Have you set down why you use social media, and what you’re hoping to get out of it?
I don’t mean to sound like a kill joy. In your personal life, you can just use social media in a meandering, no-real-direction way, just to stay in touch with people and find out more about the things you like.
But in business, time is money. If you’re wasting time, you’re wasting money. And if you don’t know why you’re using social media, then you’re wasting time.
Know where you’re headed, and you’re much more likely to get there.
2. Curate As-You-Go
Rather than getting to the end of the day, then freaking out about what content you’re going to share on Twitter and Facebook tomorrow, get ahead of yourself.
I call this curate as you go.
Whenever you’re online, and you see something relevant to your audience, bookmark it to add to your social media feed.
Even better, schedule it right away using Buffer App.
That said, when you find a great article, avoid the temptation to click and click and click from one article to another. Click-a-thons can waste just as much time as social media.
Curiosity is a fantastic trait, but it also killed the cat. (I know you’re not a cat, but your curiosity could be killing your time.)
3. Limit Your Social Media Time
Back in the days of print, everything had to be perfect. You prepared a whole manuscript (or article) before submitting it to a publisher. You had proofreaders and editors for everything.
That’s because in print, mistakes were expensive.
Online, in the digital world, you don’t have to be perfect.
In fact, you can never reach perfection, because every social media update you share evolves your identity.
Because you can never be perfect, you don’t need to spend hours honing your social media accounts.
Set a time limit. I recommended 15 minutes per network per day. Do what you can in that time. What doesn’t get done gets dropped, or gets done tomorrow.
4. Schedule Updates
For me, scheduling updates is the biggest social medial time saver.
Instead of logging into to Twitter or Facebook everytime I have something to share, I simply add it to my Buffer App queue. (Hootsuite and Tweetdeck also offer scheduling functions.
Not only does scheduling save you time. It also gives you a bigger presence on social networks, and allows you to more effectively track your social media metrics.
That’s what I call win-win-win.
5. Keep Your Personal Accounts Personal
Whenever I’m logged into my professional Facebook Page account, I feel tempted to just take a peek at my personal account.
Likewise on Twitter.
When I give in to the temptation, that’s when my social media productivity nosedives.
Check your personal accounts in your personal time. Social media marketing is strictly business.
How About You?
What do you do to stay productive on social media? Share your tips in the comments.
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