Whether to check in with friends, get updated on the latest news or to reply to your page fans, chances are you use social media for business, pleasure or both at some point throughout the day. And, if you’re logging in, chances are you’re spending more time than necessary. Am I right? The fact is, managing social media for your small business so that you get results takes a great deal of time. Plus, there can be many distractions to whittle away your precious time on activities that produce zero results. Let’s talk about your biggest time wasters, and how you can avoid them, so you can be efficient in your workday.

Time Spent Social Media

Time Waste #1: Long Content

Long and involved content wastes your time for two reasons. First, it takes you a long time to read or watch it. Just think of an hour-long documentary you’re thinking of sharing with your audience. Not a great use of your time. But the other problem with long-form content is that it doesn’t perform as well on social media generally speaking. On social media, people prefer small, “bite-sized” content instead. Long content has a place, but not in day-to-day interactions.

TIP: Avoid getting sucked into long content is to set a specific guideline for maximum length, and then evaluate each piece of content you might share.

Time Waste #2: Unfocused Content

For each piece of content you create or share, ask yourself what particular use it is for your audience. Many businesses simply share things they find interesting or amusing, and this is fine as long as your audience thinks so too. But a better approach is to start by asking yourself, “How can my audience use this?” When you think about ways in which you can solve problems, bring joy or otherwise provide value, you’ll find a clearer focus that will more closely align with your business goals, and ultimately give you more bang for your “time spent” buck.

Tip: Create buyer personas so you can better understand who your customers are and what they be find value in.

Time Waste #3: Checking Randomly

Many of us check our social media profiles throughout the day when we have down time. This is fine for personal use, but you want your business social media time to be more focused. After all, you want to get things done and be more efficient. It’s best to create specific social media times at various points throughout the day, such as first thing in the morning, during lunch or after dinner. Set aside this time and create a routine for what you do during this time to make the most of it.

Tip: Set aside a larger bulk of time once a week to pre-schedule important posts. A social media dashboard, such as Hootsuite, allows you to schedule posts to multiple accounts. Then, use your daily time to respond to fans or comment on posts.

Time Waste #4: Managing Too Many Networks

It’s easy to get sucked up into being everything to everyone, and it seems like every other day there is a new social media network to sign up for and figure out. Keep in mind that while some social media channels are a great place to stay connected with customers, others are not. Get to know your customers and find the most likely places where they engage, then focus the majority of your attention there. Not to say you shouldn’t grab your brand URL for new channels, because you should, but as far as focusing your time and energy, stick with one or two outlets.

Honing in on your social media efforts will free up time for growth tactics. Don’t get sucked in to things that may not work to help you hit your revenue goals.

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