I consider myself a fairly tech savvy person and according to my recently taken DISC assessment, I’m also extremely social. So much so that I was actually cautioned to not take too long of lunches in order to stay focused and not become distracted at work (but that story is for another post).
Technology mixed with social- these two traits combined should create the perfect marriage for me to manage social media, right? Well- I used to think so, but lately I have been feeling a bit, well……consumed by it all. Everywhere I turn I’m bombarded by social media terms and technology and the VOLUME is overwhelming. Tweets and posts and blogs and pokes and circles and pins and …….how does anyone have time to work?! I subscribe to many different blogs and sites and newsletters – all with updates and new technologies in the social world. So much information that my head is spinning! Sound familiar?
According to a recent Mashable report, Americans spend about a quarter of their online time on social media. How do we decipher it all? Can you be focused in the world of social media which occupies so much of our time? It may not be perfect, but I have compiled a list that I vow to stick with in these confusing social times.
- Prioritize your goals and purpose: what top goals am I trying to accomplish? Who is my audience and how do I want to measure my efforts? Once your purpose and goals have been identified it can be much easier to work backwards, to research the tools needed to accomplish these tasks.
- Moderation and schedule: Just as with anything in life, it’s all about moderation. Ask yourself how much time you can dedicate each day to your tasks and then schedule time in the day to work on your efforts. It can depend on your goal, but be careful not to waste all day in the pursuit, because it’s easy to get sucked in –especially with the world of smart devices. I do this by blocking off times on my calendar for certain tasks and make every effort to stick to that schedule!
- Avoid Distractions: Once you have set your schedule- stick to it! Don’t allow yourself to multi-task because you WILL get distracted. Close your email and turn the phone to silent and shut your door or whatever else is takes to stay focused!
- Follow the Leader: Being the “first” to do something can be fun (especially if you are competitive like me), but this may be one of those areas where waiting it out can help in the end. If you attempted to be first to utilize every new medium, you would go crazy! Sit back, listen, observe and see what tools gain traction and generate buzz before taking the plunge.
- Use Organizational and Time-Saving Tools: There are plenty of tools that can be used to help organize and schedule your social media efforts. Find something that will work for your specific needs, but I guarantee you can find at least one and probably multiple tools to help you stay organized. Check out this list from Social Media Examiner to get started.
I know, I know— all of this is easier said than done. Trust me, I need to practice what I preach considering in the course of writing this blog, I got distracted more than 10 times and ignored the flashing Outlook calendar reminders attempting to keep me on track. I promise I’ll do it right… starting tomorrow!