How to find the time for social media
One of the biggest questions I am asked is “how to find the time for social media?”. Indeed I recently spoke at the law society event on social media answering that very question. In The Go-To Expert book, we share many tips on how to use social media to rapidly grow your reputation and profile. In fact in Chapter 5 of the book, we give you detailed processes, tips and steps you can take to make sure that you are sharing the right content in the right places.
Probably, the biggest way of finding the time for social media is to answer the question, ‘why am I using it?’.
Then look at your usage of every social media platform, and ask yourself that question again. For example, I use Twitter as a profile building tool, traffic building tool and a way of connecting with the right journalists. Whereas, my usage of LinkedIn is far more targeted, and more as a prospecting tool. When you can answer the question ‘why am I using it?’, then it becomes far easier to find the time to do it. Remember, if you can’t answer that question, then take some time out to challenge yourself on what you are trying to achieve with your social media usage. After all just ‘being there’ is not going to help you achieve anything significant.
How to avoid social media becoming a big distraction
Possibly, the challenge in how to find the time for social media, is the not the actual challenge. Even if you know what to do and when to do it, there is always the problem of getting distracted with social media. After all, when you go in, it can be so tempting to stay a little longer… Developing regular habits on Social Media, and a routine (that works for you) makes results lots easier. Jon my business partner, refined three simple rules over time:
- Do it before breakfast: Use a routine (see below) before leaving for the office daily. If for some reason I can’t do it, it doesn’t happen. If I run out of time, I stop. The state change (get up, leave desk, eat breakfast, go to the office) afterwards is important, as I’m less likely to “fritter on twitter”
- Limit it during the day: Between the hours of 9 and 5 Social time is strictly limited to 15 minutes. I can drop in, chat, reply, but not stay.
- Chat after work: After “working hours” I will try to drop in once or twice, for “fun” or “chat” (focussed on important people). After 9:00 I stop, full stop. Digital burnout is something that I’ve felt from time to time, so I’ve “rules” to stop it.
Use dead time
Similar to Jon, I am a big one for using social media early in the morning before I properly get up for the day. I find it the perfect time to buffer a few blog posts to put onto my LinkedIn status, and have a few chats on Twitter and Google+.