How often are you on social media on a given day? How often are you productive on social media? Although these sound like two similar questions, they are completely different. The amount of time we spend on social media and the amount of time we are productive on social media are two different things. It is possible to be on social media for three hours every day but only be productive in five of those minutes. That’s a lot of time wasted, even if you were on one of the most powerful places on the entire web.
Too many people are getting caught in the web of procrastination, and for many of these people, social media is the root cause. Social media is a benefactor that positively change lives. Social media has brought rebellions against oppression into the center stage of the world’s attention, and some people are successful primarily because of social media. Social media is also a malefactor where very disturbing things occur and our precious time gets devoured.
Success on social media involves using the platforms we are presented with in the most efficient way possible. Part of using social media efficiently is boosting our productivity on those social networks. Instead of being on social media for three hours and only being productive on it for five minutes, you can be on social media for 30 minutes and be productive on it for 25 of those minutes. These seven tips will help you increase your social media productivity.
#1: Mindful Browsing
Mindful Browsing is a great tool to control what your web browser can and cannot access. When I find myself on a social media site for too long, I click on the Mindful Browsing icon, and then that social media site is automatically blocked from my browser. If I want to regain access to that social media site (or any site I block with Mindful Browsing), I have to wait for 10 seconds and then I can unblock the social media site.
Once I block a website, I am really good at keeping that website blocked for a long period of time. In a busy world where our attention spans are less than the attention span of a goldfish, 10 seconds of waiting seems like an eternity. Instead of waiting, I prefer to take action, and that action typically means writing blog posts or creating products. In some cases, I would not be doing any of those two actions if it weren’t for Mindful Browsing. Mindful Browsing allows you to go from, “I’ll x out the social media site, open a new window, and hope I don’t end up on the social media site,” to, “I will make it as hard as possible for me to access that social media site so other actions such as writing blog posts and creating products are now the easier options.”
#2: Limit Yourself To A Few Social Networks
One of the most common mistakes I see people do is create as many social media accounts as they can and grow them all at the same time. Maybe you are trying to get more Twitter followers, Pinterest followers, likes for your Facebook Page, Google+ followers, YouTube subscribers, and Tumblr followers at the same time. That’s the equivalent of trying to learn Chinese, Russian, Spanish, French, German, and Italian all at the same time. You may learn some words from every language, but becoming fluent in any one of those languages would be very different due to the slight differences in words and their pronunciations.
Success on each social network is slightly different from other social networks. Valuable content and effective promotion typically make up a successful social media strategy. However, there are tools for certain social networks and small differences on each social network’s structure that slightly changes what it means to be successful on each social network.
No matter where you are, you need to specifically focus your time on 1-2 social networks. When you know how to grow your audience on a social network (you have over 10,000 followers/subscribers/likes and gain over 100 of them every day), then integrate another social network into your social media strategy. This will save you oodles of time because you’ll read how-to articles for 1-2 social networks instead of trying to learn about six different social networks at the same time. Moreover, you will have less outlets to lose time on. If you only go on Twitter and YouTube, then Facebook gets eliminated from your places to go. Currently, I spend most of my time on Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube which means I spend practically no time on most of the other social networks.
#3: Bulk Schedule Content
HootSuite makes it possible to schedule bulk content for your Twitter account, Facebook account, Google+ Page, and a few other social networks as well. The bulk schedule option can literally save you hours of time every day. Take for instance, the 100 or so tweets I send every day. If I had to manually schedule and send those tweets to my followers, it would take me hours of my time to do so. That wouldn’t leave enough room for product creation and writing blog posts. The solution was HootSuite Pro and the bulk scheduler. The bulk scheduler allows me to schedule over 100 of my prewritten tweets in just six clicks. These tweets are prewritten in a CSV file, and they are either motivational quotes or my own blog posts.
[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@MarcGuberti” url=”http://bit.ly/1NHbUrl”]The best way to schedule tweets is with #HootSuite’s Bulk Scheduler.[/tweetthis]
Some people may wonder why I would be tweeting repeat content. The answer is that most of your followers see your content the first time. The typical tweet is seen by a small fraction of your followers, and that goes for most of the other social networks too. The same blog posts that I was tweeting about in 2014 still get retweets, favorites, and starts conversations to this day.
#4: Watch Your Time
I want you to have a habit of looking at the clock and counting the amount of minutes to spend on social media. More time spells trouble even if this time is being used to grow your social media audience. If you spend too much time on social media regardless of the reason, you will have less time to write blog posts and create products. Social media is the best tool on the web to promote your content and products, but if you have no products and a few blog posts, then you don’t have much to promote on social media.
You need to spend more of your time creating products and writing blog posts than you actually spend on social media. If you spend two hours of your time on social media growing your audience every day, then when it comes to writing blog posts and creating products, you need to match or exceed that amount of time. When I am on social media for two hours in a given day, I make it a point to write blog posts and create products for at least three hours on those days.
#5: Have Big Projects
In order to exit out of a social media site, you need to have a reason to do so. The reason I log out of a social network is because I am always in the middle of creating, finalizing, and/or publishing a product (yes, I commonly do all three of those things at the same time). You must have something more important to do than be on your social networks because this important thing will be on your mind. As you look through tweets or YouTube videos, you may suddenly think about your big project which may range from finishing a YouTube video, finalizing the videos for a training course, or writing a book.
#6: Strategic Interaction
You don’t have to interact with your followers right when they mention or respond to you. The more time we spend interacting, the less time we spend creating products and writing blog posts. At the same time, interacting with your audience is necessary for building relationships, making good friends, and getting testimonials.
I only interact with my followers when I don’t have my computer with me (but I do have my iPhone) or I am too tired to write a blog post or create a product. I almost never interact with my followers in the morning because that is my peak level of productivity. I’ll still say hi and provide valuable advice within a day, in the evening, when my willpower to work on a product or write a blog post wanes.
#7: Don’t Click On Trending Topics
Trending topics are so tempting to click, and I’ve clicked on them a few times. Trending topics allow us to see the news in real time. We want to know what is happening, who is saying what, and which meme has dominated the internet now. Clicking on the trending topics is one of the easiest ways to procrastinate on social media. I encourage you to not click on the trending topics, but I know my encouragement won’t be enough. Just ask yourself this question each time you look at the trending topics: Would you rather read the news or be in the news for being an excellent leader in your niche? Ask yourself this question, and you’ll look at your trending topics less often.
Social media is a valuable tool for making connections, promoting your content, and growing your audience. However, many people, with the mix of growing their social media audiences and procrastinating, lose too much time that could have been used to create products or write blog posts. The key to social media productivity is to find ways to do the same things more effectively but in a shorter amount of time.
What are your thoughts on these methods? Do you have any other tips for boosting productivity on social media? Please share your thoughts and advice below.