It’s easy to dive into social media and get lost. Many small business owners, when they first discover the usefulness of social media, forgot what they’re really there for and spend hours just playing around. A post on Facebook from So-and-So that leads to an interesting article about an important topic related to your business leads to another interesting article about a similar-but-unrelated topic. The next thing you know, you’re reading about Caitlyn Jenner and her views on golf swings.
The truth is, social media can suck you in and hold you hostage–if you let it. Your job is to not let it.
Maintaining Social Media Discipline
Remember what you are on social media for. You are there to promote your business and network with like-minded individuals who could become customers or business associates. If you keep your focus on that, you’ll do a lot to stave off the temptation to turn social media into a craze for useless trivia.
First, ask yourself, Am I on the right social network?
This is very important. Facebook may be the most popular social networking site, but if that’s not where your target audience is, then you shouldn’t be there either. I’m not saying to cancel your account. You might want to keep it so that you can keep up with your family. But don’t spend time on Facebook when you should be networking on LinkedIn.
After you’ve ensured that you are on the right social networks, make a point to spend no more than 15-30 minutes a day on each one. You should also limit yourself to three networks.
Now, the question is, How do you spend that hour-and-a-half of your time?
What’s Most Important on Social Media?
If you set yourself a routine, you’ll do a lot more to keep yourself focused on the important tasks than you’ll ever do trying to wing it. Here’s a suggested protocol:
- Spend 5 minutes responding to friend requests.
- Take another five to search for potential connections and make a few requests.
- Check your messages, but only respond to the most important ones.
- Check into 2 or 3 groups. Keep yourself limited so you don’t spend too much time on frivolous activities. Respond to questions and comments that are directly related to your business niche. Don’t allow yourself to get off topic.
- If you have anything to share, share it and move on.
You can, of course, devise your own routine. This is simply a suggestion. The key is, don’t spend any more time than you have to on each social network, and make sure it’s strictly business.