If you are spending way too much time on social media it is time to make some changes.
There are two main reasons that social media takes over our lives. Do these sound familiar?
- We spend too long reading our news feeds
- We take too long working out what we want to post each day
Until you overcome these two problems, social media is going to dominate your day. So, what can you do about it?
Let’s tackle problem 1 and bring your newsfeed back into control
The reason your newsfeed is running hot day and night is that you are following a lot of people and pages. That’s part of being in business; you need to stay up to date with industry news, industry leaders, your client base and your target market. What you don’t need is to be bombarded by it. Let’s start by dividing it into key segments.
Facebook, Google+ and Twitter each allow you to create lists which make it easier to follow specific people and interests, yet the lists feature is not being used to good effect. How much easier would it be to find the latest info on your special area of interest if you only have to scroll through a short list of experts rather than travel through your entire newsfeed?
Create a list for each of your areas of interest. For example, one may have coaching clients, one may have relevant news magazines and another might be for monitoring other coaches.
Having lists means you can follow those you want and ignore the rest but it also means you can create a specific message for any of your lists, too, and send it just to them.
Now take a look at your friends. How many of these do you really know? How many do you currently interact with? How many are your friends for no apparent reason? Hit that delete button. At least 4 times each year you should go through your “friends” and prune the deadwood.
It’s nice to be notified when someone important posts but the more notifications you receive the less you actually see. Turn them off on unimportant pages (if you really want to keep up with them, add them to a list.) Keep only those notifications which are really necessary.
So now that you have your newsfeed sorted out, let’s take a look at the time you waste working out what to post each day. There is a better way…
1. Curate your content
Don’t go searching for ideas; let them come to you. Curate your content into one stream of handy, relevant information. Try something like ContentGemsor Feedly. Not only will curated content help you stay current with what’s happening in your industry, it will also give you some ideas for blog and social media posts.
2. Create your content
You won’t believe it until you try it but in creating a content calendar you save yourself a LOT of time each week. Invest some time at the beginning of each week to work through your curated content and put some posts together. No longer will you waste hours each week, scratching your head and looking for something interesting to post about – and being distracted while you do it. If you need photos to illustrate your posts, check Compfight for free creative commons images. (It even has a plugin for your WordPress website.)
3. Schedule your content delivery
I like to use Buffer or Hootsuite to manage my social media updates. Just set and forget. They will post for you to your chosen platform at your preferred time. Buffer has a great interface for uploading your posts and Hootsuite is an excellent listening tool, helping you monitor social conversations. Both are very reliable so choose the one you feel most comfortable with.
Now you have a streamlined system for following people and not being overloaded with content. You also have a ready supply of information to help you format your posts and have them delivered for you without fuss.
Social media is a great tool for your business as long as you keep it tied up within your preferred boundaries. A little discipline and some clever tools will free up time that you can then use where it is really needed.