Chad Morris, staff writer interviewed Vice President of Digital Marketing, Samantha Morris, for her top social media tips in this 6-part series.

Time is your most valuable resource, which is why you should always log into social media with an action plan to maximize efficiency.  One of the most common pitfalls of social media is logging in without premeditation and getting caught up in the news feed.  It can feel as if you’re being productive when this happens, since you’re likely reading information about your industry, colleagues, and network.  Then, as you reflect on your day, you might feel unaccomplished or resentful of social media because you spent too much time on it.  Instead of falling into that trap, by properly planning and budgeting your time on social media, you can efficiently reap its benefits.

Create structure in your social media strategy by setting a schedule with specific time frames and tasks you want to accomplish during each session.  This can be done daily, or for the week or month ahead depending on your strategy.  For example, a session in the morning may be geared towards engaging with prospects, while one later in the afternoon could be focused on nurturing past relationships.  Set out an exact amount of time you want to spend on social media for a given window and set a reminder so that you’re notified when your time is up.  You create accountability when you’re this precise, which enables you to accomplish more in less time.

Maintaining an active presence on social media is often emphasized, yet it seems incompatible with being time-efficient.  After all, how can you be omnipresent on social media without being online at all hours of the day?  A well-constructed schedule enables you to create the impression of sustained activity without the enormous time investment.  That could mean designating a few minutes at each point of downtime in your schedule to engage on social media.  By setting your schedule so that you’re regularly engaging with the platform in short, calculated bursts, you’ll seem consistently present while only spending a short, predetermined amount of time online.

When designing your schedule, it helps to consider the time of day, as well as the day of the week, so that you’re engaging at the right moments.  Generally, the best time to engage is when your network is available and responsive.  Think about when you have downtime in your own life.  People with day jobs will naturally be more responsive in the morning before work, during their lunch break, and in the evening after work.  People tend to be more responsive towards the latter half of the workweek, on Saturday mornings, and Sunday afternoons.  By comparison, at the start of the workweek people are focusing inwards on productivity and what needs to be accomplished, so they have less attention to give to social media.  If you’re planning when to publish content in your schedule, you may want to keep this in mind to ensure you capture the greatest response.

There is no hard-set rule on how much time you should allocate per day on social media.  Be mindful, as posting too often can be detrimental and turn people off. It’s about finding that sweet spot where your frequency creates familiarity.

The most important takeaway is that you approach social media with a carefully designed schedule dictating specific objectives to accomplish in each session.  When given the necessary consideration, social media can be an effective tool for efficiently developing relationships and helping to build your personal brand.

 

 

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