ID-10096108Have you ever said, “I’m just going to look up that recipe on Pinterest”….only to realize you haven’t moved for two hours?  You know they’re a huge time-waster, but somehow you just can’t pull yourself away from that Facebook game that has your attention, or the beautiful photos of yummy desserts you want to make. Even worse, when you make your living online, it’s far too easy to justify time spent on social media as being “work.”

After all, everyone says you have to market your business on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, right?

While it’s true that social marketing is a powerful technique that all online (and offline) business owners should explore, it’s also true that much of what we do on these sites is most definitely not work. But separating the two is tough.

If you need suggestions for social media timesavers, here are my 3 essential tips for mompreneurs:

Schedule Your Day

Not all social media is bad. It’s a great way to stay in touch with far-flung family and friends, and yes, it’s an important business-building tool as well. So rather than try to eliminate it all together, why not make it a regular, scheduled part of your day?

For example, catch up on your Facebook feed over coffee, then log out and get to work. Or browse Pinterest while you eat lunch. For actual work-related social media tasks, schedule a time during the work day to log in, update your status, respond to questions, and check up on your competitors. The key here is to actually schedule this as you would any other business-related task, and not to let this “work time” turn into a chat with Aunt Sally about Thanksgiving Day plans.  For added automation, consider scheduling your social media posts using a tool like Hoot Suite or Post Planner.

Segregate Your Tools

One way successful entrepreneurs separate work from play is by the tools they use. When on the computer in the office, they avoid Facebook and the like because they’re working. Instead, they limit their use of social media to off hours by only visiting the sites on their mobile phones or tablets.

By adopting this type of policy, you create a boundary in your own mind. After a few weeks of practice, you’d no more think of hopping on Facebook from the office computer than you would consider wearing your bathrobe to the grocery store. The two activities just don’t go together.

Let Someone Else Handle It

If you really can’t stay focused on work once you’ve logged into Pinterest or Facebook (they’re just so distracting!) consider letting someone else handle your social media accounts. You can create updates ahead of time, then simply turn them over to a virtual assistant to schedule. Then once a day or so (maybe from your iPad rather than your office) you can log in and respond to your followers.  You can find Virtual Assistants in a variety of places including our National Business Directory or check with your nearest local Business Among Moms Group.  Sites like Odesk or E-lance are a great resource too.

Finally, if you’re not using social media as a marketing tool, consider taking a sabbatical. Simply make a deal with yourself that you will not log in or check any social media site for a month or a week or even just for a day. You might just be surprised to see how much time you really do waste playing Candy Crush.

We’d love to hear how you utilize Social Media for your business AND maintain productivity – please post in the comments below.

 

 

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5 Comments

  1. Great tips! I use Social Oomph to schedule my updates. It’s a paid platform, but it allows me to recycle updates. So, for example, I run a free 30 Day AWE Challenge 4 times each year. The posts I use to promote this are the same each time. So, by being able to save these updates in a queue, I can turn the queue on before the challenge, and off as soon it is over. This save me (or my VA) from retyping everything. I also use Social Oomph to promote all my evergreen blog posts. I just add them to a queue – and forget them! This way, the time I spend on social media is only for connecting with other like minded individuals – not for creating new content. It cuts my time down tremendously!

  2. Excellent tips, Julie! I try to limit my time by scheduling short “breaks” of social media time at certain times in the day and then staying out as much as possible. I’m far from being perfect at managing it, but I’m happy with the results 🙂

  3. Really appreciate these tips… I usually schedule fb fanpage and the other social media tools, but I often find myself time wasting, so ” segreate your tools” will be very useful for me!

  4. Most of the time I schedule my post in social media platforms. Pinterest I love it, but once I go there I could spend hours there too, so I limit my time to 20 minutes 🙂 I think the best way is to dedicate 15 minutes per platform and interact with your followers.

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