How to be More Productive on Social Media
There is nothing more frustrating than wasting time you don’t have on random social media marketing tasks, especially if you aren’t sure which of those tasks are actually providing results.
I can’t stand wasting time on pointless tasks.
I have only a small amount of time each day to spend on social media, so I need to make sure I am making the most of that time. Chances are you are in a similar situation.
Because my time is valuable, I have spent the last decade figuring out which social media tasks produce the best results as well as the most efficient way to do them.
Before I show you how you can be more productive on social media, I want to share the three largest enemies of productivity you must overcome first.
Many business owners, professional service providers and even marketers are confused about how to use social media in a most effective and efficient way.
Confusion is the enemy of productivity. When something is too confusing, the brain shuts down, killing your productivity on social media and anywhere else in your life.
That’s why before you begin your social media activities, you need to establish three things: your goals for those activities, the simplest way you will accomplish those goals and how you will measure your success (metrics or key performance indicators).
Social media is no different than any other business or marketing tool. Before you begin using it, you need to know what you want to accomplish with it.
You do this by outlining what you want to achieve by using social media.
Social media may help you: increase brand awareness; establish your authority on your topic; build a loyal community; attract more leads and prospects; build relationships with new customers; maintain and improve relationships with existing customers; improve customer service; increase revenue.
If you are just starting out, choose one or two goals to start with.
Distractions kill productivity.
According to a 2018 survey by Udemy, more than 70% of workers report feeling distracted on the job, with 16% saying they almost always feel unfocused.
This is a major problem as distractions lead to productivity loss, which leads to a longer workday as well as frustration and stress.
By its very nature, social media is distracting, whether you use it for personal or professional reasons.
Social media, in fact, was listed as a close fourth main distraction found at work according to Atlassian. And if your work is to perform social media tasks, those distractions will be plentiful.
To avoid the perils of social media, create a list of the exact daily or weekly tasks for each social media platform to accomplish to achieve your social media goals.
Social media distractions or confusion about your social media tasks can stress and overwhelm you.
Stress, at work and otherwise, may trigger a fight-or-flight response, which leads to shallow breathing. This results in less oxygen available to the brain, causing you to become even more stressed and lose clarity of thinking.
The more stressed and overwhelmed you are, the less productive you will be on social media, which will only increase those feelings.
In fact, The American Institute of Stress reports that stress can lead to serious drops in productivity and end up costing a huge amount of money – an estimated $300 billion annually for US industries.
To minimize the stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed that can come with the use of social media, create a daily checklist or action plan of your social media activities. Base it on your social media goals and the accompanying list of social media tasks you need to perform each day or week.
Tips to Improve Productivity
Choose the right platforms:
The key to productivity is to not waste time doing unnecessary things.
One of the easiest ways to reduce time wastage on social media is to use only the platforms your ideal clients use.
Why waste time on Snapchat if you are targeting executives, or on Twitter if your ideal clients are on C-Suite?
Your ideal clients prefer a particular platform or two. Figure out what they are. If you are just starting out or have limited time and resources, start by picking just one social media platform and do it well.
For example, if you are trying to reach executives or members of the C-Suite, you will have the best success reaching them through the LinkedIn platform. If you are trying to reach fashion-obsessed millennials, Instagram would be an ideal platform.
Construct the right message:
There is a popular, but incorrect, notion on social media that more is better – that if you inundate your social media following with your posts, they are bound to see something.
And while that practice may have worked in the past, it absolutely does not work anymore.
Why? Because your ideal clients are drowned all day, every day, by pointless noise on social media.
If you are posting anything and everything in hopes they may see and pay attention to some of it, you are wasting your time while lowering your productivity and inevitably decreasing your reach and results.
If you want to stop wasting your time and have your ideal clients pay attention to your message, you need to research them, find out what’s important to them, understand their challenges, and speak to them in their language.
Only then will you stand a chance of getting and keeping the attention of your target market on social media. Additionally, you will save yourself a ton of time.
Think quality over quantity. It’s better to post one meaningful social media post a week than bombard your network with multiple meaningless posts a day.
Curate the right content: Often, to provide your ideal clients with the information they need to solve their challenges, you share useful content with them.
Creating original and high-quality content on a regular basis is a challenge for everyone. Smart marketers know curating and sharing the content of other experts has many benefits. One of the main benefits of curating and sharing others’ content is the time you save. But there is a caveat.
Both your own content and any content you curate must be professional and directly address a key challenge of your ideal clients.
You can be more efficient with your content curation by making lists of content producers you trust. You can then check those content producers for new content on a daily or weekly basis.
Engage the right way: If you only broadcast your marketing messages and never engage with your followers on social media, you are wasting your time and killing your social media productivity.
Your social media followers want to be part of a conversation. A conversation requires listening and responding in a meaningful way.
Most social media platforms make it easy for you to quickly see who has engaged with your posts in the notification areas. From there, you can go to the post that got engagement and reply (or in some cases simply like or react to) to the comments.
You may want to use social media tools to make your social listening more efficient. These tools can also help you catch online conversations about you or your brand.
These social listening tools range from simple and free, such as Google Alerts, to powerful and paid such as AgoraPulse.
By the way, AgoraPulse is one of my favorite tools, and they’ve offered my community a free two-month trial. Get the details here.
It is vital that you take the time to respond appropriately to all comments, especially any negative comments. Dealing with these in a timely and appropriate manner will make you more productive in the long run. And it will also save you time and prevent your brand reputation from being damaged.
Use the right tools: Perhaps one of the most effective ways to improve your social media productivity is to use the right tools for the job.
Social media tools can save you time and make you more productive, or they can drain your bank account.
The secret is in choosing the right tools for the tasks you need to perform.
A number of tools are available to you. They can help you: schedule social media posts in advance; improve your social listening and responding; track the social media metrics you outlined when choosing your goals; analyze the results of your social media metrics to further improve your social media productivity and results.
A word of caution. Don’t let yourself be dazzled by every new shiny tool that comes along. Do your research, read the reviews, use the free trials and find the tools that work best for you, your goals and your process.
The tools that work best for me might not work best for you, but they can be a good place to start. Here is a list of five time-saving social media tools I recommend.
The key to improving your social media productivity is to create a daily checklist of the social media tasks you need to accomplish each day of the week and then actually use it, checking off each task as you go.
If you are tracking and analyzing the metrics you outlined to measure your success reaching your goals, you will be able to further improve your list of tasks, creating a more effective, efficient checklist.
By becoming more productive on social media, you achieve a greater return on the time, energy and money you invest in your social media efforts.
Don’t let social media control you. Don’t believe people who tell you that you must be everywhere. And don’t buy into the myth that you need to post more and more. Being strategic with social media takes less time, produces much better results and frees you up to do the thing you love doing most.
Melonie Dodaro is a preeminent authority on social selling on LinkedIn and the author of the #1 bestselling book LinkedIn Unlocked. She is also the CEO of Top Dog Social Media, a company specializing in B2B social selling on LinkedIn. Melonie’s superpower is creating strategies that turn cold connections into clients. To learn more visit TopDogSocialMedia.com.