Everyone’s looking for ways to squeeze more miles per gallon (i.e., value, $$, etc.) out of their social media activity. But it’s easy to have that activity become a time sink that eventually consumes your waking hours. Here’s what I do to avoid that from happening (your mileage may vary…if so, let me know what you do):
- Use a social media engagement management tool. It’s fairly common knowledge that most social media posts don’t get read at the first exposure; those posts need to be refreshed from time to time to capture more eyeballs. Some tools let you control the schedule when those posts should be refreshed. Some like HootSuite; others prefer MeetEdgar (I just started using MeetEdgar). Check out a comparison of the two tools. You’ll get some of your time back into your schedule.
- Work your social media activities at the same time every day. I write my blog and posts to social media early in the morning. That’s my most productive time of day – before noon. Figure out what time of day is best for your efforts, but research the best time of day and days of the week to post on your social media platforms. I write 5 or 6 daily items for Twitter for 5 days at one sitting and I plan out new blog and LinkedIn posts for the week on Monday mornings. Then I schedule those activities in MeetEdgar.
- Get involved in other writing-related and speaking activities. It’s another way to get your content and brand into other channels. I’m always working on one or two drafts of upcoming books, keynote speeches, ebooks, columns for professional association journals, and Powerpoint presentations. These activities are usually scheduled for after lunch for a couple hours.
- Get involved with other creative pursuits. Activities that involve other areas of the brain (and body) often lead to creative breakthroughs. I play classical guitar and have my own recording studio. I perform mostly on Sunday mornings at churches around central Texas (I have a Bach repertoire and a few old hymn arrangements) or with my flute partner for public and private performances in evenings during the week or weekends on a regular basis. The idea for my book about classical guitar (Instrumental Influencess – another 2012 IBA Winner) came about while practicing one evening in my studio. I’ve also just re-immersed myself into painting seascapes and landscapes, following my father’s footsteps as a painting hobbyist.
- Make time for your family with activities outside of social media. Be sure you support the people at home with your time and attention who are supporting you. While my wife and I schedule fun things to do on the weekend, we also have downtime to do whatever (for me, that may include some classical guitar practice or working on book drafts), but it usually doesn’t involves adding content to social media platforms.
My schedule is a busy one, but it’s a well-rounded one that includes my family life, interests, and goals. If you’re involved in many different creative pursuits because you have to be…I completely understand!
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Former Fortune 500 hiring manager Donn LeVie Jr. is the author of Strategic Career Engagement (September 2015), and the book that reset the rules for successful job and career strategies: Confessions of a Hiring Manager Rev. 2.0 (June 2012, Winner of the 2012 Global eBook Award and Winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Jobs/Careers). He leads career strategy seminars at conferences, business/trade schools, colleges and universities, and U.S. military veterans organizations.
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