Let’s face it, not all of us can spend hours each day in front of the computer to keep up with the news on the internet or what’s trending on Twitter.
You can’t ignore it, social media is becoming an integral part of the support, communication and marketing for many businesses. Your business Facebook page may be managed by your staff, but you can’t disregard the fact that digital media is the new media – and if you’re not personally engaging with the people in your social network, someone else will.
Here are practical tips and strategies that some of the busiest entrepreneurs use to tackle the challenge:
1. MAKE A LIST
We all have colleagues that we can turn to for productive conversation and they usually share great content and insight on the industry we do business in. We may want to tune in to our competitors, potential investors and clients. Creating a list of contacts saves time and keeps you up to date with current happenings in your niche. Filter out some of the important business contacts you have and make a list for your specific network. Twitter has Twitter List which enables you to create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the accounts on that list. See sample Twitter list of contacts from our colleagues at Mindshop.
Facebook has Facebook Lists – a great way to organise your friends and the things that you’re interested in, so that you can sort your News Feed and reach (or exclude) specific people when you share things on Facebook. Your lists are unique to you. With lists you can see what’s going on with all of your preferred contacts and save time browsing through your news feeds.
Now grab a pen and paper and create categories for your list – colleagues, networking group, competitors, clients – or even personal categories such as family, college, hobbies, etc. Run through your contacts and start adding them to the list you’ve created.
2. SET A TIME LIMIT
Social media allows us to connect with people we may not otherwise have time to communicate with. It is a great way to conveniently share updates with our contacts. However, it is also taking more hours out of our day than we may realise. Plan your time by setting a schedule to engage with the people in your social media lists. When do you intend to do it – once or twice a day, a few times a week? Morning, afternoon or evening? Is 20 minutes enough time to get the updates from your network? It may take a lot of self-discipline to stick to the time limit so stay focused and don’t get distracted.
3. THE RIGHT TIME FOR THE RIGHT NETWORK
When you’re busy you want to make sure that the messages you’re posting make a big impact, since we don’t get time to engage in social media throughout the day. You can consider posting to meet these times. For instance, if Google+ gets the highest engagement around 9 to 11 a.m., maybe you can connect with a colleague during this time. If your Facebook friends come online at lunch time, then perhaps you can spare some time with one or two Facebook contacts during your lunch break.
It’s fine if you can’t get online for a few days. You have a life and so does your network. If you are going to be offline for a longer period of time, like a business trip or a family vacation, just let them know through a Facebook or Twitter post. People also love to see behind the scenes in your life (not just in your business). Take a break and enjoy it!
Do you have any other practical tips not mentioned above? Share with us through the comments below.