Do you sit down to spend 30 minutes checking your social networks, and then look up 3 hours later? Do you get sucked into Mr. Computer, like Sheila Scarborough says? Barry Moltz asked how to manage social media time at the Small Business, Big Impact panel at BlogWorld Expo. Here’s the best answer I came up with.
Use a checklist.
Once you have created your simplified marketing plan, you will have a list of the services and networks you plan to use and how you plan to use them. With that information, make up a simple checklist of the networks you need to check, and any daily goals you have set.
Daily goals could include updating your Facebook and LinkedIn status, responding to all comments on your blog, tweeting five interesting links (not counting any links to your own stuff) on Twitter, and engaging a few friends in conversation. I made that list up, and you should customize your own list. Chris Brogan has his own list of social media tasks you could do daily.
Run off several copies of your checklist. Then when you sit down to do your daily networking, use it.
I hope this will help you feel more focused in your efforts, and give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of your work session.
How would you improve this idea?
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Jay Ehret says
I don’t that the list can be improved, but another suggestion is to budget, and schedule, specific time for social media. For example, one-half hour in the morning betweet 8-9a and one-half hour in the afternoon between 4-5.
Great job on the panel, Becky. Thanks for giving small business a voice at BlogWorld.
Becky McCray says
Great addition, Jay. And thanks for the kind words.
Natalie MacNeil says
I start my day off with 20 minutes of drinking coffee and social networking. I use Hootsuite to schedule schedule tweets and monitor my twitter account which saves me a ton of time compared to my life pre-Hootsuite.
In the late evening I respond to blog comments, use StumbleUpon to find interesting posts and schedule tweets for the next day. It took me awhile to get into this routine and place limits on the amount of time I spend but it’s totally worth it and I approach social networking the way I approach my business now. I set goals, reach them, and always keep ROI in the foreground.
Becky McCray says
Natalie, sounds like you’ve set a great routine that works for you.
Tim Bursch says
Thanks for sharing the ideas. I think for some small businesses it helps to track what you’re posting (announcements, promotions, etc) just using a spreadsheet. It helps to keep the message consistent across tools/networks.
Becky McCray says
Tim, that is a terrific addition. Thanks!