Is Social Media Sucking Up Your Time?

Have you been sucked into the social media vortex?

Have you been sucked into the social media vortex?

Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay.

It’s the easiest, fastest way to keep in touch with your connections—whether they’re local, national or international—without having to leave the comfort of your home.

So what’s the problem?

Social media can easily consume—and replace—your social life, and if you don’t have a strategic plan in place, it can easily become your biggest time waster.

It’s like quicksand.

Be honest.

  • How many times have you gone on Facebook—for just a second—to post something related to your business and wound up wasting two precious hours browsing profiles of old schoolmates or former coworkers?
  • How many courses are you in that come with private Facebook groups that you can’t keep up with?
  • How many times have you felt so overwhelmed by your Twitter feed and everything associated with staying in the loop that you’ve declared it’s time to go on a social media sabbatical?

Don’t feel bad. I’ve been there too!

What kept me sane is the system that I created for myself and which I’m about to share with you.

SYSTEMS CHICK’S SOCIAL MEDIA CHECKLIST

1.    Pick 1 or 2 platforms

Keeping up your presence on numerous social media platforms is a recipe for disaster, as you cannot effectively keep up with all of them.

If you really know who you’re serving and where they’re hanging out online, you don’t actually need to be everywhere.

Choose one or two platforms and commit to interacting on them regularly.

2.    Establish your social media business goals

Are you on social media to increase your revenue?  Do you use it to meet specific types of people (potential partners, connectors, the media)?  Is your main goal to increase your brand’s visibility or build your list?

Clarity about your goals creates a strong focus, which crushes overwhelm by determining what actions you need to take and what types of content you need to share on your social media platforms.

For instance, if one of your goals is to establish relationships with specific businesses and individuals, create a list with their names on it so that when you’re making your social media rounds, you check up on them, respond to them, and share their content.

Sharing people’s content and participating in conversations they start is an incredibly powerful icebreaker.

3.  Create value

Social media is a channel for communication and building trust.

It’s not a platform where sales happen, but it’s crucial for cultivating the connections that prepare people to click “buy.”

You’ve got to show your personality and demonstrate your values through your non-promotional conversations and messages.  Sharing interesting and insightful information makes you look generous, informed and helpful.

I love to devote some time every other day to going through new posts on the sites I follow.  They get collected in my RSS Reader account, Feedly, to be exact.

From there I share some of the articles right away and schedule the rest in my Buffer account.  Buffer and Feedly work beautifully with one another.

Overall, it takes me 15 minutes a day to look through the new posts and share the good ones.

4. Strike your strategic balance

Keep your plan of action effective and manageable by dividing your efforts into two categories:  preplanned and live.

Combining preplanned content with spontaneous interactions is essential.  The Internet never sleeps, but you cannot be online 24/7 making sure you add value in real time.

You don’t need to. You can as effectively share something valuable with your audience using preplanned content. Just don’t overdo it. You’re not a robot and you don’t want to look like one.

Commenting on people’s updates, replying to those who’ve mentioned you, reaching out, checking in, and sharing—all these things cultivate authentic, meaningful connections. . .the kind of connections you need in order to succeed.

The good news?

You only need to set aside 10-15 minutes a day to maintain this very important live element of social media interaction.

5. Automation is a great thing!

Your preplanned content can and SHOULD be automated.

Come up with a list of updates and conversation starters, pop them into a spreadsheet like this one, schedule them in bulk using Hootsuite or Buffer and reuse them every two to three months.

Variety is important.

To organize your preplanned content, create a schedule. It might look like this one:

  • Monday—one of the benefits your services provide and a link to your services page
  • Tuesday—your blog post
  • Wednesday—random question
  • Thursday—inspirational quote
  • Friday—cool tip

Of course, for visual platforms like Pinterest and Facebook (where it’s best to use Facebook’s inbuilt scheduling tool rather than an external scheduler), you’ll make different choices, but you get the idea.

Yes, this will require some prep work, but once you’ve established your strategy, all you need to do is spend:

  • 1-2 hours every month to update your social media spreadsheet
  • 30-45 minutes to schedule your updates (delegate it to your assistant, if you have one).

Do the math

Using this system, I can take care of all of my social media responsibilities in just 30 minutes a day.

It’s not so time consuming after all!

In the end

Approaching social media in a proactive, intentional way is what makes the ultimate difference.

You’ll still get drawn into the social element, but my system allows you to manage your time on social media platforms more effectively.

The time you save can be spent on what you love most and do best—making your clients happy—or even taking a well-deserved break.

What about you?

I’d love to hear what part of this structure you can apply this week.  After thatm would you care to come back and share how much time it has saved you?  Chat then.

  • Abbas Baba

    I really enjoyed this post. Recently I have been trying to create a presence on various social media. I joined a number of challenges via Facebook groups which were great for learning and interacting. However i began to find that I was spending far too much time on social media, taking me away from other important aspects of my business. I love the way you create a system and use automation. It sounds much more do-able that way. I’m going to give it a try and feel very encouraged. Thank you.
    All the best
    Abbas

    • http://www.systemsrock.com/ Natasha Vorompiova

      Happy to hear that you’ve found the post valuable, Abbas! And you are absolutely right, it’s so easy to get carried away on social media. We do need to make sure we don’t neglect revenue-generating activities. Creating a systems that works for you is essential. :)

  • Fourtopper

    I agree with picking 1-2 platforms. There are so many out there!