I don't know about you, but I have a real love/hate relationship with Facebook. I love being able to catch up with family, friends, and other bloggers via Facebook. There are so many pretty pictures, interesting posts, and worthwhile discussions in my feed. If I'm not careful, I can spend a lot of time there.
We're talking hours!
That's time that is not necessarily used productively and certainly doesn't help my business thrive.
Yet, I can't give up Facebook completely. Besides connecting with other bloggers, I use Facebook for my blog and my business, as I'm sure you do, too.
When it comes to social media, the trick is to make sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, to name a few, work for you rather than vice versa. With a little discipline, you can still enjoy and utilize social media sites without letting them take all of your time.
I have implemented the following strategies to try to limit my time on social media while maximizing my results:
Set a Schedule
One of the best things you can do to gain back your time is to devote a particular time of day to social media. Perhaps you'll set aside 30 minutes at 8 a.m. and 30 minutes at 7 p.m. That gives you time to answer customers' comments and questions as well as connect with others, yet you're leaving plenty of time for the rest of your work during the day.
Use a Scheduling Site
A site like HootSuite or Tweetdeck can allow you to manage the majority of your social media accounts in one place. This in itself will save you time since you don't have to jump to different social media accounts, but you can also schedule your posts in advance through HootSuite or Tweetdeck. When you have a block of free time, schedule out posts for the week, which will give you more time for other work later.
(Editor's Note: Buffer is a very good resource for scheduling, as well!)
Determine How Frequently to Post
Some people like to post to Facebook two or three times a day, but is it necessary to post that frequently? Only you can answer this question, but many successful businesses only post once a day or even every other day.
Remember, more important than frequency is interaction. Do your best to schedule posts that garner interactions from your followers. The more interaction you get, the more people who will be able to see your next post.
Hire a Virtual Assistant
If you find that social media work is taking too much of your valuable time, consider hiring a virtual assistant to do some of the behind the scenes work such as writing your tweets and scheduling them. Then, you can limit your social media interaction to connecting with others and answering customers' questions and concerns.
Social media is a wonderful, free marketing tool. However, if social media takes too much of your time, it's not really free. Use some of these tips to manage your time on social media, leaving plenty of time for other money-making, career-growing opportunities.
How do you best control the amount of time you spend on social media?