Social media has the tendency to make time disappear. How many times have you decided to glance at Facebook only to look up and *poof* 2 hours have gone by? It happens to all of us but as a business owner you don’t have the luxury of losing that much time in your day.
So how do you use social media for business and control the length of time it takes you to be productive? Here are some common time wasters to avoid.
Don’t Overthink It
When I was introducing Facebook to my mom she was continually frustrated. I found out she felt she needed to comment on every post she saw on her timeline. Coming from an era where you communicated directly with people either face-to-face or over the phone she felt each post was a personal conversation to her in which she needed to respond.
I see business owners doing the same thing. Trying to comment on every post on your page or in groups you have joined can be overwhelming. It also is a huge time waste especially for someone who is not a writer. Thinking about what to say and making sure each post is perfect is not a good use of your time.
Now I’m not saying that you should never comment. Interaction on social media is extremely important. However, give yourself permission to set aside a short amount of time to skim the posts and respond to ones that will enhance your presence and connection with your Facebook community. If someone posts an inspirational graphic you don’t need to respond by telling them how much that graphic touched you. However, if someone posts a question or reacts to a post you made with great insight, commenting back is perfect.
Creating Long Content
Long and involved content wastes time. First, it takes you a long time to create it. Most of what we share can be paired down making it more readable and interesting.
The other problem with long-form content is that it typically doesn’t perform as well on social media. Especially now, individuals prefer small, “bite-sized” content. They want things fast and to the point.
One way to avoid getting sucked into long content is to have one clear goal or piece of information you want to share. We have so much information we want to share we often tend to cover many topics and in too much detail. Think of only one problem/issue and one solution.
You can also set a specific guideline for maximum length, and then evaluate each piece of content you might share, deleting the additional text that is not needed.
Many business owners simply share things they find interesting or amusing to them. Filling up your page with funny cat pictures might be fine for your personal page but not for business. Something here and there is okay but done very rarely. Always have your audience in mind. Start by asking yourself, “How can my audience use this?”
Looking at your social media a few times during the day is good if you have an interactive group. However, what you need to be careful of is not spending too much time. You want to be more focused. After all, you want to get things done and the more efficiently the better.
This is why it’s best to create specific social media times throughout your day. Set aside this time and create a routine for what you do during this time to make the most of it. When you’re checking social media throughout the day, here’s a tip: you can save things to share later or save ideas that you like to use for a later date. Think of your time as a quick check-in and not your creative time where you generate your content. That should be scheduled at a different time.
Keep Business Separate
Finally, you could be wasting a great deal of time by either using the same profile for personal and business or checking both instead of leaving personal to later.
A good way to discover your own personal time wasters is to log your social media time. Write down:
the begin and end time
what social media you are on (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
what you’re doing during those times
By tracking, you will easily see where you’re wasting time. You will begin to be more efficient and most likely more effective!
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