Do you struggle to find enough time in your day to manage social media? Does the thought of juggling your social media tasks make you break out in a cold sweat?
Let's face it, business professionals are busier than ever. Between email, phone calls, projects and team meetings, adding social media to the mix is a recipe for overwhelm.
With so much coming at you, it's easy to see why managing social media can feel like a burden, instead of a joy.
If you're ready to take back your day and do away with time-wasting tasks, then read the simple tips below. Each one will help you adjust your tactics and better manage your time on social media.
1. Get strategic
Have you ever hopped on the Internet, perused Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus only to find you'd wasted an hour? It's easy to do, especially if a hit-or-miss strategy is your sole plan.
To succeed in today's hectic online world, you need a social media strategy that offers focus each time you get online. Not only does a strategy allow you to act on purpose, it forces you to steer clear of time-wasting activities.
Not that there's anything wrong with saying hello to your friends or family, but there is a time and a place for that.
Want to save yourself time and countless wasted hours on social media?
Answer a few questions:
- How does social media work in harmony with your offline efforts?
- What does social media success within your business look like?
- Which social channels support your business growth?
- Where are your customers hanging out?
- What are they talking about and how can you become a valuable resource?
Be thoughtful when answering. You need to understand why you're using social media and how it fits into your marketing plan. A report by ITSMA confirms the importance of fitting social media into your big picture.
Marketers can’t afford to let social media channels become silos within their organizations. Research shows that social media is not as effective when used in isolation. B2B marketers have the most success when using social media to support and enhance more traditional relationship-based marketing tactics.
You need to get integrated. Determine how social media works in tandem with all of your other marketing efforts. Once you're clear about its purpose, your next step is to put your plan in place. Keep in mind, this should not be an overwhelming process. It's as simple as opening a Word or Excel file and breaking down what content you will share and what actions you will take to grow your reach, engagement and bottom line.
For example, the spreadsheet below explains the:
- What - what action are you taking?
- Where - where is this action taking place?
- When - when are you performing the action?
- How - what tool are you using to track, measure and engage?
2. Track your activities
Have you ever wondered where you're actually spending your time each day and how much time each task takes? For some reason, tracking daily activities in the offline world is a best practice for managing your day. From phone calls to email, having a firm grasp on where you're spending your time just makes sense.
But that practice never fully transitioned into the online world. When trying to wrangle your time, you must track how long it takes to manage your social media to-do's.
Tools like E.ggtimer and Rescue Time will help you stop wondering where your time has gone. I use E.ggTimer to limit my time on certain tasks. It's simple to use and allows you to set your time like an old-school egg timer.
For example, only have 30 minutes to spend writing your tweets for the week? Schedule your egg timer, start writing and call it quits as soon as it goes off. I find this helps me stay focused and distraction-free.
Rescue times is also an invaluable tool in its ability to eliminate interruptions. This includes the option to block certain websites while working on specific tasks.
If you want to stop wasting time falling down a Facebook rabbit hole and instead accomplish important tasks, this tool is for you!
3. Be a password master
Do you find yourself scouring sticky note after sticky note for elusive passwords? Have you searched only to find that the sticky no longer exists?
I feel your pain. Managing the passwords to your social networks (and each site you visit on a daily basis) can feel like an arduous task.
That's where Roboform swoops in and saves the day. It's been my go-to secure password management system for almost a decade. Not familiar with it?
How Roboform Works
Visit a website, log in and Roboform will securely save your login information. The best part? The next time you visit that website, you're automatically logged in.
Plus, you can access your Roboform logins from any computer with Roboform Everywhere. I don't know about you, but for me, this saves too much time, energy, and brain cells to even count.
4. Use automation in moderation
Automation can be a huge time saver. It can automate repetitive or mundane tasks, increasing efficiency. And if you're using social media to market your business, time is money.
However, automation should never replace the conversation. You never want to push so much out through automation that you take the "social" out of social media.
What you can do with automation is, schedule upcoming content to maintain a consistent posting schedule. Tools like the Hootsuite Autoscheduler can help you view your scheduled messages for the day, week, or month to make sure you fill the gaps between posts.
Whatever tool you decide on, let it assist you in building relationships and creating meaningful conversations. It should help, not hurt your daily efforts.
From apps to widgets, automation tools can expand your presence while allowing you to stay engaged and involved in your growing community.
A few of my favorite automation options:
5. Set Boundaries
Nothing can suck up your day like social media when it's not managed. In order to do away with time-sucking activities, you must set boundaries.
Determine how often you'll check each social network and then track your time using free tools like FocusBooster.
FocusBooster is an app based on the Pomodoro Technique, a time management system designed to instantly improve productivity.
How it works with social media:
- Choose the social networks you will visit.
- Determine what your goals are for each network and have content ready to share.
- Set the timer for 25 minutes.
- Focus on your task (s) for 25 minutes and then shut your social networks down.
- Give yourself a 5-minute break.
- Move on to your next money-making activity.
As you work to refine your social media workflow, realize that Rome was not built in a day. Managing your social media activity is fluid, and determining where your time is best spent will change.
Get laser-focused on what matters most today. Laser-like focus on the task at hand is a deadly weapon that will help you accomplish more social media tasks in less time.
If you want to get off the treadmill and truly take control of your day, you need to pay attention to how and where you're spending your time.
About Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice, co-founder of BRIL.LA, has traded narcissism for purpose. When not driving growth, you'll find her tricking family into thinking she's Emeril Lagasse - likely covered in marinara. The spotlight was fun, but impact is better. These days she's using 20+ years of brand brilliance for good.