…Or, How Not To Let Twitter Steal Your Day.

We’ve all done it, right? Arrived in the office with great intentions to power through the “to do” list, but done just a quick check of our social media accounts before getting started. Three hours later, we’ve lost the best part of the day, and most of what we did after the first hour was getting sidetracked into all kinds of fascinating diversions…mostly irrelevant.

Whether you’re just starting out or have been developing a social media presence for a while, keeping control of the time you invest is crucial. Why? Because otherwise, you are crippling your ROI chances from the start.

If you end up spending half of every day tinkering with social network sites, then you’re setting a pretty high bar in terms of the results you need, and the timescale you need them in. And while ROI metrics take many forms, if you’re spending long hours working ineffectively, you’re unlikely to hit any of them.

Efficient social media marketing

It IS possible to be effective on social media even with limited time available, and it IS possible to limit the time you spend! So, here are our top 10 tips for making the time you spend on social media as efficient as possible.

1. Have clear objectives

Sorry to start with something that isn’t in any way a “quick win”. But ultimately if you’re not clear on what success looks like for you on Twitter or LinkedIn or Pinterest – and they’ll probably all be different – then you’d be very lucky indeed to end up doing the right work to make that success happen. Setting out clear objectives is the absolute foundation for everything you do on social media.

2. Have a routine

For each site you’re working with, prioritise the activities that need to be done while you’re there, and make that your regular routine.

For example on Twitter, you might start by checking for @mentions and replying, then check on your outbound content for that day, review new followers and greet them where appropriate, and then read up on Tweets from your key contacts.

3. Use a timer

This can work miracles for keeping you focused, and at worst at least limiting the time you spend getting distracted! Set a physical timer on your desk for the time you’ve allotted, and when that runs out, stop.

4. Check in little and often

If you’ve followed the tips above, then your most important tasks will be done when you’re most focused. Keeping the time periods you allocate to social media short is generally a good idea.

You’ll stay more focused in two half-hour sessions than in a single hour, because it reduces the temptation to start checking out amusing Vine clips or checking in at a LinkedIn group about your hobby.

5. Use a scheduling tool

Note: this is not the same as “automating your account”!. There’s always going to be content which you know will need to go out on certain days or at specific times – announcements in the buildup to an event for example, or a daily interesting article which you’ve curated for your followers.

Prescheduling this content is not a problem, provided you check in regularly to deal with any replies, and frees up your daily social media focus time for more in the way of engagement with others. If you can manage it, setting up all your key content for the next week last thing on Friday can be surprisingly liberating.


Have any of these worked for you? What key tips would you add for keeping social media under control?