Question: “Hi Christine, I think I’m a Social Media addict. I’m checking my cell phone every 5 minutes and posting to Twitter about 20 times a day … which is making me stressed. I want to feel in control of my work week so I can relax and enjoy my personal life. What are easy Social Media Marketing time management tips? Many thanks!”
— Elaine F., Entrepreneur and Author, Boston, MA
Christine’s Answer: “Hi Elaine, you’re not alone in wanting to find a more effective way to manage and balance your Social Media Marketing time. Many of us have felt that way at some point.
By properly prioritizing, then enlisting a few surprisingly easy strategies, you can realign your time and carve out space for the things and people that are important to you — not the least of all yourself!
The most critical thing you can do to manage your Social Media Marketing is to block time for your high-value work (writing, marketing and sales calls, speaking, etc.) … as well as for Social Media Marketing.
First, devote a solid 1 – 4 hour window of time — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., for example — to doing higher-value work that gets you closer to your business goals … rather than constantly interrupting your thoughts with Twitter. Likewise, turn off all email alerts and ringers and let your phones go to voice mail during this time to prevent interruptions.
Then, schedule time for Social Media Marketing … a focused block of time in the morning and at the end of the day, for example. I suggest giving yourself an impossibly short time frame to really inspire your focused action.
Use tools like Tweriod.com and Buffer to post to Twitter when your audience is most active.
Concentrate on the highest-value interactions like @mentions, RT’s and DM’s, as well as focusing on your keywords.
This means instead of scanning newsfeeds, you’ll make the most of your energy and attention by using tools like Google Alerts, HootSuite, Twitter Lists and Search streams and Twilerts.
Set a timer for intervals that are productive for you: 15, 30, 60 minutes, etc., and take 5 – 20 minutes breaks every hour or two to keep your focus sharp (just like studying, remember?).
For example, rather than working while Tweeting and watching TV, you can sit at your desk for 1 – 4 hours in the morning and/or afternoon. You’ll be more productive … making notes for blog posts, speeches, newsletter ideas and your next book. And instead of checking news feeds while you’re waiting in line or for an appointment, you can make notes and brainstorm.
By scheduling blocks of productive work and Social Media Marketing time, you’ll feel more focused and less distracted since you’re not online all the time, which will also make it easier to resist the Social Media siren song.
It’s also smart to schedule 1 – 2 tech-free hours before bed, so you can wind down. (It helps to charge your phone in another room to avoid the urge to grab it.) Those are found hours of downtime each day to focus on your personal life.
Another option is to have your Social Media Marketing managed for you … and participate at the level you feel comfortable. For example, you post the more personal updates or you can collaborate on what is posted, as many of my clients do with me.
If you’re interested in Social Media Marketing coaching, I’d love to talk with you about what you need and want to achieve.
To your success,
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