Don’t get me wrong here, not all time is wasted on social media.

However, there are MANY gaping holes that we (yes, me included) have fallen into with social media that have caused us to waste colossal amounts of time.

I’ll share with you the ones I see trapping companies, brands, and clients the most.

Social networking is where a lot of people are spending (and yeah, sometimes wasting) their time these days.

In fact, Americans aged 18-64 who use social networks say they spend an average of 3.2 hours per day liking, commenting, and being lurkers.

But, as a user, I should be allowed to waste my time.

As a marketer and consultant? I should NOT.

As a business, YOU should not.

time wasted on social media

Here’s where your business might be spending time wasted on social media:

Too Many Social Media Platforms

We’ve talked about Shiny Object Syndrome before.

And yes, it’s wise to test out new platforms like Snapchat and Ello.

But if you’re on 20 platforms, sharing the same, tired content, or barely showing up at all, you’re likely wasting time.

How to NOT waste time here:

  • Invest in the platforms where YOUR audience/customers are active
  • Stick to only 3-5 platforms (or 1 — whatever you can commit to being AWESOME SAUCE on)
  • Get rid of platforms where you don’t have a constant (read: DAILY) presence
  • Let the data tell you what to do (as we did with our G+ biz page)

Measuring The Wrong Metrics For Success

There are soft metrics and solid metrics to analyze with social media.

Then there are vanity metrics; things like number of followers or fans, likes, etc.

If you don’t have a solid strategy for measuring what matters – CONVERSIONS – you’re wasting precious time.

I can’t tell you what your goal(s) should be, but it should involve some sort of return on investment (ROI).

That might be new blog readers, newsletter subscribers, course buyers, or webinar attendees — but unless your fans and followers are doing those things, you’re doing it wrong (and wasting time)!

How NOT to waste time here:

  • Have a social media strategy
  • Tie that social media strategy to business outcomes and/or goals
  • Don’t let vanity metrics steal any of your focus

thumbs down

You Think Campaign, Instead Of Conversation

This one is really simple: If you don’t understand the value of engagement (or the social part of social media), you’re wasting GOBS of time.

Newsflash: If used correctly, conversations with your niche audience can actually SAVE you time on social media.

I can use some of my own good news for the New Year to make my point:

  • I connected with Mark Schaefer of Business {grow} after hearing him speak in October of 2013.
  • A year ago (January 2014) Mark and I were able to meet in person in NYC.
  • A few months later (April 2014) Mark asked me to write a post on Emotional Marketing for his world-renowned {grow} blog.
  • A few months after that I made his 70 Rising Social Media Stars list (June 2014).
  • I closed a new client in November 2014 because of making that list.
  • Mark and I met again in NYC in December 2014.
  • Later that month, Mark asked me to become a blogger for his {grow} blog (my first post goes out later this month!).

And it all started with a conversation on social media.

There’s power in that. And money! And clout! And paid writing gigs!

Catch my drift?

How NOT to waste time here:

  • Create and curate content that’s actionable, starts a conversation, or entices relationship building
  • Instead of creating quote memes in Canva (where you highlight someone else’s wisdom and words), start asking your own questions, or sharing your own helpful quotes
  • Ask SMART questions: Like ones that help you understand the pain points of your perspective buyers, or what social platforms they’re active on, or how they like to consume content (aka: market research)
  • Run ads as a supplement to your conversations, rather than a way to collect fans who aren’t really interested in a relationship with you

Using The “Post And Pray” Method

The whole “post and pray” method many businesses use can actually hurt your brand. [More on that here]

While your social media content should meet your goals (see “measuring metrics” above), you should also ensure you’re nurturing the buyer through the sales funnel.

Not that it should be boring.

You have to entertain audiences, too.

But we feel sharing only meme and quotes made in Canva content is not smart, strategic, or savvy!

Others agree … see this conversation about it from Facebook:


How NOT to waste time here:

Other Time You’ve Wasted On Social Media

There are plenty of ways to waste time with any activity, social included.

Of course I could go on and go, but instead I’ll leave you with a few more obvious time wasters:

  • Not using a social media dashboard or CRM (we use and love Sprout Social!)
  • OR, using too many tools to run your social media accounts
  • Not trusting in automation (as long as you use it the RIGHT way!)

Have I forgotten any super obvious ways businesses and brands have wasted time on social media? Chime in and let me know in the comments section below!

See you in the social sphere!

Read more: