Roderick Low is a social media coach and trainer at Expeditus Media. He helps small and medium businesses make sense of the social web and equip them with the skills, tools and strategies necessary to reach out and connect to their target audience.
If you think social media marketing is completely free, you are dead wrong.
Yes, it can definitely be low cost, but it is not no cost, considering the amount of time spent on it.
That may be the reason why small businesses aren’t getting any results from their social web endeavor. They simply did not invest their time wisely.
I am not afraid to admit that being on Twitter, Facebook (especially Facebook) and blogs can potentially bring your productivity on a downward spiral.
But it doesn’t have to be this way, especially if you know that you are the one controlling the clock.
Here are 3 tips that I have thought of to help you manage your “social media” time.
1. Set Goals and Be Disciplined
Let the question “why” be your guiding light and set your goals before engaging in your social media activities. Ask yourself: “Why am I on Facebook?” “Why am I Tweeting?” “Why am I reading blogs?”
Once you have all these answers, you are able to prioritize your daily activities and get them done. For example, if I am blogging, I will focus on just that and let nothing else distract me. Be disciplined to be rewarded.
2. Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin
Don’t try to be everywhere on the social web. One of the biggest mistakes marketers tend to make is trying to put a foot into everything. The best advice I was given when I started out was to build my presence deep, not wide.
That means, selecting the few channels (3 – 4 are more than enough) that most of your target audience are using. Many shiny new tools are being introduced everyday.
Don’t hesitate to try them out but remember to stick to the best channels. I only interact with my readers on 3 different channels – Facebook, Twitter and my website. That frees up my time to focus on interacting with people and building trust.
3. Use Tools to Boost Productivity
There are several tools that can help boost your productivity on the social web. Make the effort to source tools you are comfortable with. Some recommendations are Tweetdeck, Seesmic and HootSuite. They allow you to streamline your Twitter use and sync updates with your Facebook Page.
For those who are thinking of starting a business blog, I suggest WordPress. It has tons of plugins that you can use to boost your productivity. Simple features like the scheduling function can help you get the most basic but time consuming job done.
Lastly, Google reader and Google Alert are also very good tools for solo entrepreneurs who want to track the buzz around their industry, competitors and even their own reputation.
Try to create a system and automate as much as possible. But there is one thing you should spend time on – interaction. Please do not make the mistake of automating your engagement because humans want to deal with humans, not robots or logos.
Like everything else you do at work, you should start creating a process, implement it and improve constantly. Always be on the look out for ways to achieve the same results at minimum costs ( including time spent).
Technology is moving fast and so should you.
Now that you know a little about time management, how do you actually say ‘enough is enough’? How do you prioritize your activities and set realistic goals? I would love to know how you do it.
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