How do you know if you’re using social media effectively?
Are there days where your social media accounts feel like a waste of your time? Do you worry your updates and messages are getting lost amid a sea of noise?
Let’s find a way to get the most out of your social media time so you can focus on running your business again!
Why social media seems like a time suck
We’ve all been guilty of “just checking our feeds” and then realizing we’ve wasted an hour looking at unrelated posts and cat pictures.
Social media has taken this idea of having a conversation with your closest 300 friends and has turned us into mass consumers of information. We morph into people who do nothing but check lists of tweets, posts and images.
This interaction that social media promised us never shows up because we’re always hungry to consume the next 10 – 20 tweets or the next 10 posts. The desire to see what your customer Jane commented on your post becomes more important than how helpful the post was.
When you sit down with the intention of checking your feeds and being productive on social media – the time you spend consuming easts up any productivity you could have had.
Stop consuming and start creating
The biggest thing we need to do is switch our focus from consumers to creators.
Consumers sit there and passively ingest massive amounts of information. They’re the people in the corner of the room who listen quietly to everyone else talking.
Creators show up for a few minutes to actively display what they’ve made or their idea or an interesting item they want to share – and then they leave to continue creating.
Creators don’t have time to sit there and mindlessly read feeds. To share, they need to create and to create they need time.
So how do you make sure you spend your time on social media acting like a creator and not a consumer?
3 rules for taking back your social media time
1. Think like a Creator
What do you have to share? The biggest shift about being a creator is having a list of items you want to share ahead of time.
You have your list and you share what’s on your list, no more no less. When you’ve finished sharing, you then retreat to go make more things.
You need to focus on the doing, not the showing up portion of your social media activities. Your customers will notice when you consistently share and talk about your own ideas or products, rather than retweeting interesting articles from outside sources.
2. Limit your time
You need to be good at scheduling your activities. It’s an important rule for any small business owner to limit the amount of time they spend on any one area of their business each day.
This is especially true with social media – you need to limit yourself to no longer than is necessary to be seen by your customers. If you need to invest in a kitchen timer to do that – by all means.
I spend no more than 30 minutes on social media in a day – 15 minutes, twice a day. I can check in, share what I want to share and do a small exchange with a few followers, make a few comments and then head out to keep creating.
This keep me focused on the 4-5 social media tasks I’ve assigned myself while making sure I do them in a reasonable time period each day.
3. Make use of tracking to visually see your results
Analytics are super important to any business. Be it info on your sales or your production – we use statistics to make sure we’re staying on track.
Social media is no different and by tracking it we’re making sure we’re getting the most out of our efforts.
How do you know if that campaign is doing well? Do your 8am tweets do better than your 10am ones? How do we get better if we don’t have any info or a benchmark?
Read this amazing article on getting analytics set up for your social media and invest in a tool you can use to make it easier to bake in your tracking codes like Buffer or Hootsuite.
If you can see what’s working and what isn’t right away – you can keep doing what works and stop doing what doesn’t. It seems pretty simple but many businesses just don’t realize the small initial investment will pay off in both time and effort.
This is the super secret, extra tip of this post. No one is going to remember you if you show up for three hours, once a week.
They remember accounts and profiles that are consistent in showing up every day.
This doesn’t mean you have to spend three hours each day on social media but it does mean you have to put in small amounts of effort every day.
This is the key to getting the most from your social media accounts and is by far the one tip which will get you more traction, more views, more clicks and a better return on your time.
Sit down today and write out a simple social media plan for your business. Set a time to do it in, how many things you’ll share and where, how many comments and responses you’ll make and when you’ll know it’s time to stop.
Stick to this basic plan for at least 3 months and in this time you’ll start seeing positive returns on your efforts – I guarantee it!