Editor’s Note: Courtney Seiter has a new gig — she wrote this article in her last days as Raven’s community manager. Also, Raven is hiring!
Let’s face it: Social media can be a giant time suck.
Here are some strategies I’ve developed to manage my time on social media and make sure I’m controlling it — instead of the other way around. Of course, using Raven’s social media tools helps!
1. Know why you’re there
It all starts here. If you’re not on social media with some goals in mind and a general strategy to execute them, all your time is wasted time.
- Know what you want to accomplish in the social realm so you can spend your time doing the right things.
- Know where your audience is so you can be active on the right networks.
- Know how you’ll define success so you can see whether your strategy is working.
2. Guard your time
Try to keep your social media to a certain, fixed amount of time per day. Set a timer if you have to. (P.S. Did you know that if you type “timer 20 minutes” into the Google search box, it’ll create and set a timer for you right from search results? Handy!)
It might seem overly drastic, but being mindful of time spent really does help to keep you from aimlessly wandering back to Twitter and zoning out there when you really need to be doing something else.
3. Get rid of the noise
Control what comes in, and make sure it’s all signal and no noise.
Subscribe only to the blogs and newsletters that provide the best info, and only as many as you can reasonably keep up with. Let the rest go. If it’s great, you’ll probably see it on social media eventually anyway.
Be judicious about who you follow on Twitter or like on Facebook, and/or use Twitter lists and Facebook Interest Lists to focus just on the communities that matter most to you.
Set aside some time to try all the shiny new social media tools and platforms when you hear about them, but only bring them into your daily routine if they truly bring value.
4. Set aside time to engage
When you’re using your precious social media time, make it count. Be persistently helpful, likable and conversational with the people you’ve selected as the most interesting, influential or important people to you and your brand. Be interested in others — in helping them make new connections and solve problems. Build genuine relationships.
5. Live, dammit!
Make social media a series of moments instead of a constant drone. Take real breaks, away from your computer. Eat lunch somewhere other than your desk from time to time — and don’t look at your phone. Meditate.
You’ll free your brain up to have more ideas — and you just might experience a little more joy and a little less fear.
For more specific strategies and tools to be more efficient with your time in social media, check out these slides from a recent Marketing Flight School session.