Social media can be an effective tool for connecting with other Internet users and to promote yourself and your business online. If you don't put some strict limits in place, you can find yourself spending far too much time on sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. To get the benefits of these sites and continue taking care of business, you need to effectively manage your social media time.
1. Set up a schedule (and stick to it).
Once you start checking out tweets and status updates online, it's very easy to lose track of how long you have been on these sites. By all means respond to comments on your pages promptly, but you may find it helpful to set aside a particular time of day for these activities and to limit the time you spend doing it.
2. Decide what you want to accomplish and make a plan.
You won't be able to reap the benefits of using social media sites if you don't have a clear idea of why you are using them. Make a list of sites that you would like to use and determine exactly what results you want to generate from each one. Make sure that you are setting measurable goals for your social media efforts so that you can track how well this strategy is working for you.
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3. Set up a checklist to keep you on track.
Once you know what you want to accomplish with your social media time, make a list of exactly
what you will be doing each day on the various sites sites. Your list could specify that you are going to tweet a certain number of interesting news stories or links, update your status on Facebook or LinkedIn or whatever is important to you. Once the checklist is in place, use it to keep your social media efforts on track.
4. Use tools to be more efficient.
Rather than taking the time to log into each one of your social network accounts individually, consider a solution which will allow you to manage all of them in one place. Hootsuite offers a dashboard which allows you to monitor your accounts and schedule your social media posts quickly and easily. It also makes it easy for you you to track your results so that you can tweak your efforts as necessary.
5. Outsource your social media efforts.
At a certain point, you will need to stop trying to wear all the hats in your business. Finding a responsible person who can handle your social networking needs frees up more time for you to concentrate on other things to keep your enterprise running efficiently. The person you hire can follow your social media checklist to stay on track and cover all the bases for you.
Taking appropriate steps to manage your social media time will help you to use these tools effectively while giving you the time to focus on other necessary business activities.
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