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4 Ways to Maximize Your Social Media Time
Who could resist blog headlines like “Puppies Trapped in Tupperware?” You? Okay, even I resisted that one — the photo alone exceeded my cuteness quota — but chances are many headlines, Facebook updates, and Tweets this week did suck you in. Posts targeted to your proclivities pull you away from your mission: your own social media development.
By the way, that sucking sound you hear is not a Tupperware lid going down but your time and energy.
When we sit down to develop our own content, often cruising social media becomes part of that — an addictive ritual. We go on autopilot, looping through our virtual neighborhoods when we’re bored, tired, need to escape, or looking inspiration to carry on. It can be a blessing, when you pick up a great idea or start a conversation with a prospect or partner. But there’s a line between effective surfing and drowning in distraction.
Here are 4 strategies to tame the time-suck and maximize your time on social media:
1. Back up your marketing plan with a specific action strategy. Do you plan each day how you’ll use social media and how you’ll get the job done? I’ve talked about the importance of having a social media marketing plan, but it’s useless if you don’t execute. Find a strategy for meeting goals that works for you. Here’s one I like: Don’t Break the Chain. Get a plan and get it going.
2. Automate your social media. How great is it to post an update and have it instantly cross-post on all of your SM networks? If you don’t know the feeling, now’s the time. Save hours every week once you get set up. New tools are released all the time, some free. Hootsuite, Buffer, IFTTT, and TwitterFeed are just a few.
3. Schedule and separate business from personal. Creative people like photographers often hate schedules. The reality is this: if you have a schedule for your social media you’ll be more successful. As part of that, your Facebook pages, your Twitter, and your personal life should be separate from business. It’s okay to play games on Facebook on your off-time on your personal account, but if you find yourself playing with your virtual farm for hours when you were supposed to be creating a Facebook contest, you’re in the time-suck. Schedule personal use for after hours.
4. Get personal every day. Automation is great but your personal voice in social media conversations within your niche is essential. Spend a little time each day responding to comments, paying compliments or starting conversations with other bloggers, and establishing your expertise on social media feeds you follow. Answer questions on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and in forums, freely giving information without going for the sale. You’ll be surprised at the response.
Social media, used correctly, is an invaluable source of business, but it can be a time waster if you don’t know how to avoid the habits that suck the time out of your day. At first, expect to feel a bit uncomfortable as you create a new workday pattern. I predict you’ll soon find that being focused and productive snowballs into an empowering experience that will help you grow your business.
After all, your clients are on social media. Be more present for them, and you’ll soon find you’ve got plenty of pleasant “distractions” finding you — new clients, productive work, social media success!
Guest post by Georgia McCabe – As an author, speaker, trainer and social media and photography evangelist, her perspectives on social media appear in print in her newest book entitled “SocialMorphosis – Transforming Your Business through Social Media”. Georgia is also a co-author of the book “The Relationship Age”, with social media guru Mari Smith. Georgia is a frequent guest blogger for our professional photography lab.
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