One of the top ten questions (maybe top five questions) I get from entrepreneurs is “How do I make time for social media?” You’re busy running your business–making your widgets, preparing for your next class, or creating a new menu. How the heck do you have time for social media on top of everything else? I’m not going to say it’s magic, because it’s certainly work, but there are some ways to minimize the work and maximize your efforts. After all, you want to keep some balance in your daily life, right?
Create a Daily Strategy
Before you ever open Twitter, set foot on Pinterest, or enter the halls of Facebook, make sure you know what you’re going to do. One thing I do as a daily strategy is spend fourteen minutes planning each day. Writing everything down with an old-school pen or pencil on paper is the most helpful for me. After the brain dump, I go back and prioritize everything. Do this before everything else, and I promise your day will be much smoother.
Decide Which Platform Will Be Your Starting Point
For me, I usually start on Twitter, but your starting point might be different. Click on notifications, and see who’s mentioned, retweeted, or tagged you. Then I go to Facebook, post something, engage with people for a bit, then head over to Pinterest. Of course, your social media posts and engagement have to fit in between all your other work.
See How Much Time You Have
If you only have an hour, total, for social media, divide that hour up accordingly. So maybe 20 minutes for each of three platforms for the day. Use a timer–I like an old-school egg timer because the ticking sound keeps me on track, but you could use the timer on your smart phone, too. If you don’t like the one you have, here’s a good article from the New York Times about timers. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you know you only have 15 or 20 minutes.
Engage, but Don’t Dive Down Any Rabbit Holes
By this, I mean, don’t get distracted by “Top Ten Best Mojito Recipes for a Rainy Day” or that DIY article on how to turn a pallet into an actual working car that you see on Pinterest. Because the road to social media hell is definitely paved with pallets and mason jars. Be especially vigilant of “friendly fire.” That is, friends posting pretty videos of cats being rescued by dogs. A little personal stuff is fine, but don’t spend hours watching those videos. You know the drill.
When You’re Done, Get Out!
Here’s the important part. When the clock rings or beeps, get out. You don’t have to respond in depth to everyone who writes to you. Sometimes a one-word answer is fine. Thank people who retweeted you, say something quickly, and then move on. That clock is still ticking! Leave some time in your day so you can take a hike or go for a walk.
Is Your Social Media Overwhelming?
Hire somebody to help! You might want to read about the top ten questions to ask a Social Media Manager. And of course (ahem!) I know someone who might be able to help you.