Managing social media time wasters so that you get results can not only save you time, but money too. There are so many distractions that whittle away precious minutes on activities that produce zero results.
Here is a short list of the biggest social media time wasters and how you can avoid them.
Incredibly Long Content
Long and involved social content can get some results, depending on your audience and SEO intentions but don’t just use it for sake of that. Long content on social media can waste your time for two reasons.
First, it takes you a long time to read or watch it. Just think of that two hour long video you were asked to watch and how it made you feel. You were probably thinking “I have so many other things I could be doing”… that is, if you even finished it.
But the other problem with long-form content these days is that it doesn’t always perform well on social media — generally speaking. Because of our diminishing attention spans, people now prefer smaller, “bite-sized” content they can consume and move on.
One way to avoid getting sucked into long content is to set a specific guideline for maximum length, and then evaluate each piece of content you might share.
This goes for blog posts, special reports and articles too. There are easy ways to see when you’ve reached your set maximum length. For instance, Google Docs has a Word Count feature you can use.
The other day, I had my vision exam. I have seriously bad astigmatism and there’s this one test where your eyes look at this really fuzzy image. After a few minutes, it gets clearer and you can make out lines. Then finally, you can see that the image is a hot air balloon with orange and yellow stripes.
Consider the same thing happening with your content. The difference is though that most people will not stick around to wait and see that clearer image. They’ll just go find something else to look at!
For each piece of content you create or share, ask yourself what relevance it has for your audience. Many businesses simply share things they find interesting or amusing, and this is fine as long as your audience thinks so too. But a better approach is to start by asking yourself, “How can my audience use this?”
Many of us check our social media profiles throughout the day when we have down time. This is fine for personal use, but you want your business social media time to be more focused.
Those minutes here and there add up. Instead of wasting time in scattered scans, you want to get things done and the more efficiently the better.
This is why it’s best to create specific social media times throughout your day. Set aside this time and create a routine for what you do during this time to make the most of it.
If you do check social media throughout the day, however, you can save posts and images to share later or save ideas that you like using tools like GetPocket.com.
Failing to Use Shortcuts
Finally, you could be wasting a great deal of time by failing to use the features that social media platforms offer for controlling your feed. If you’re using the same profile for personal and business, you’ll be seeing posts from old high school friends alongside the content of influencers in your niche. Try segmenting your news feed into business-related and personal. Create lists so that it’s easy for you to scan by topics.
How will you know you’re wasting time? Start to log your social media time. Write down the times and what you’re doing during those times. By tracking, even if only for a week or so, it’s easier to see where you need corrections.
Instead of tracking manually, you can also try using a tool called RescueTime. This service is an extension you add to your browser and it automatically tracks the websites you’re spending time on.
The only challenge is that since most of us spend more time on mobile with social media, it’s not going to capture your mobile activity.
If you’re going to include social media marketing as part of your business strategy, it’s important to make wise decisions about your time. The majority of what you do on social should involve engagement with your audience and prospective clients.
Find ways to stay productive without getting sucked in and you will get much better results!