Anyone in business knows that time equals money. In other words, the more time you spend performing actions that don’t directly bring in more income or revenue, the less time you have to spend on the ones that do. One of the worst time offenders is social media.
According to one piece of research, Americans check their social media accounts on their phones almost twenty times a day, consuming 4.7 hours of time in a 24-hour period. Even if you’re not as involved in your social media as the average person, there’s no denying that staying current with your business accounts can really suck up some time.
This creates quite a conundrum because you want to communicate with your customer base, but you can’t spend your entire day answering comments or posts on Facebook, Twitter, and all of the other platforms or you’ll never get anything else done. What can you do to keep in touch without being online for hours on end?
Check Your Social Media at Certain Times of the Day
Instead of keeping your social media accounts open on your computer, enabling you to respond the minute someone posts on your business pages, set aside certain times of the day to go on your various platforms and communicate with your followers. Personally, I get on my social media accounts at the beginning and the end of my work day as this provides a great transition into and out of work.
Plus, by not getting on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and all of the others mid-day, I’m not put in a position where, before I know it, an hour or two of my time is gone and I’m behind in work. I’ve never received a complaint from people by following this sort of schedule, and if I feel like my time response is longer than I’d like, I always apologize and explain that I was busy making my business better for them in the future!
Set a Time Limit
Because it’s easy to lose track of time on social media, setting a predetermined limit can help you tend to your business pages without letting the rest of your obligations suffer. One option that New York-based entrepreneur, writer, and coach Chris Winfield uses regularly throughout all of his daily activities is the Pomodoro Technique.
The Pomodoro Technique involves setting a timer for 25 minutes and focusing on one task and one task only. At the end of that 25 minutes, you then take a 5 minute break before following this pattern again. Depending on how many followers you have and the number of platforms you’re on, one or two sessions per day should do it. This will help keep you on track when dealing with your social media accounts without sacrificing too much of your day.
Limit Your Social Media Platforms
Every time a new form of social media is released, as business owners, we often feel like we need to get on it in case it’s the next best thing. However, trying to learn and stay active on a lot of different platforms is not only time consuming, but it’s also exhausting. That’s why you may want to consider limiting your social media platforms to only the ones that make the most sense for you. For example, since I’m a writer, picture-based platforms like Instagram probably aren’t going to do me much good.
And if you want to try new platforms, then do it. But if you find that you’re not getting the results you want, at some point, you may have to decide to let them go. Or, there is another alternative that can help you keep all of your social media pages without losing too much time…
Hire a Social Media Manager
If you’re struggling to stay up to date on your social media pages, but want to get as much from them as you can, then you can always hire a social media manager to take care of these platforms for you. This enables you to do what you do best—run your business—while tasking growing your online presence to someone who knows exactly how to get those types of results for you.
To help you find the best social media manager for you, Kruse Control, a company specializing in social media growth and engagement, suggests that you ask these types questions:
- Which platforms are best for my business and why? This shows how much the person knows about your business and/or field, enhancing their ability to help your company grow online.
- Which metrics will you monitor? Their answer should include “engagement” and “leads” as these are the two most important social marketing metrics that determine how effective your campaign is.
- Have you ever dealt with a crisis on social media? This gives you an idea as to how the person or company would handle sticky situations with your social media pages should they arise.
- What strategies will you use to generate leads? This gives you an idea as to exactly what actions the social media manager will take to get you your return on investment.
- Do you have social media accounts? They should, and you’ll want to check the out to make sure they’re posting regularly. If they’re not handling their own accounts the way they should, they probably won’t handle yours as you’d like either.
How do you save time on social media? Feel free to share below so other small business owners can use those same techniques too!
I’m always interested in learning other small business owners’ thoughts on relevant topics and issues, so if you have a comment or unique article idea, feel free to contact me at [email protected] (put “Businessing Magazine” in the subject line, please). If I use it, it’s a free link to your website!