While the case for getting engaged in social media is growing more compelling each day, significant barriers remain.
Chiefly among those barriers are the following two:
- Knowledge – How does it work? What am I supposed to write about? How do I promote myself? (And if you’re a regulated professional, you might be wondering: What am I allowed to say, do, and write?)
- Time – Even if I know what to do, WHEN am I supposed to find time to do it?
This post is about overcoming the second barrier to social media engagement: time.
Unlike other marketing and business development activities, social media is not entirely outsourcable. You need to invest your time in gaining some knowledge and literacy so that YOU can engage and interact online. It’s not about hiring an agency or staff to do everything for you. YOU need to learn how to use the tools and learn how to express your personal brand online. You need to learn enough so that you know what you don’t know and can hire out for those skills you don’t have and truly don’t have time for.
Here are six tips for how you can make more time for social media in your day-to-day business life:
1. Get up an hour earlier in the morning and read some blogs, then comment on some posts. Getting active early in the day has lots of advantages.
2. Skip reading the newspaper and follow your primary news sources via Twitter. Read the feed while you’re eating breakfast or working out in the morning.
3. Download popular social media mobile apps and use them on the fly – when you’re commuting, when you’re waiting in line, when you’re getting a mid-morning coffee. If you’re discrete you can even use these apps when you’re standing on the sidelines watching your kid play soccer in the early evening. (When your kid is on the sidelines resting, of course.)
4. Re-evaluate your commitment to golf. Unless you’re doing it entirely on personal time, the 6-8 hours of time you spend on each round represents a considerable investment of time. Be honest with yourself: is that relationship really worth that investment of time – or do you just LOVE playing golf?
5. While you’re at it, let’s look at some of your other networking activities: business lunches and breakfasts, conferences, etc. I’m not suggesting you drop everything, but that you continuously evaluate the return you are getting from each of those time investments.
6. Get your support team doing your social media legwork. For instance, have them find and suggest articles you should be reading and sharing. Encourage your staff to be your eyes and ears online. Work on blog articles together – you draft something and they finish it, or vice versa.
So, now that the time barrier is gone, the bigger question remains: How should YOU be using social media in your business?