I don’t have time for social media

(Last Updated On: February 4, 2009)

We all have the same amount of time: 24 hours in a day; seven days in a week; and 365 days in a year. Yet, some people seem to get more done than others.

Quite often after I have given one of my talks about new and social media,  I’m asked by an enthusiastic listener: “How do I do it all?”

That is often followed by the declaration: “I don’t have time for social media.”

Truth is,  I don’t have time to clean my office. I didn’t get all of my accounting done yesterday.  I still have some photography processing to do. Each day people are faced with choices and we make our decisions based on our priorities. 

Photo by Rosh Sillars

My job is not to find more time in your day, but to convince you that social media is worth your time.

Honestly, social media doesn’t have to take much time. But, if you don’t have a plan, you can easily find your valuable hours melting away.

If you want to have a blog, make it part of your work flow. A photo blog can easily be updated within minutes along with your best photos and a nice paragraph about your image. Topical blogs require more time. How much time depends on your writing and editing skills. For me it takes 15 minutes to two hours depending on the depth of my topic. The good news is that shorter pieces are often more well-received than longer posts.

Be consistent. Build your blog posts around a realistic schedule. It doesn’t matter whether you post seven times a week or once a month. Consistency will keep your subscribers satisfied.

Larger projects such as video and pod casting can take more time. While they are a nice complement to writing, they are not necessary to be involved in social media.

If you’re not careful, Facebook, Linkedin, Flickr and Twitter all can take hours of your time.  They key is to avoid low- priority topics, issues and conversations — just as we should in our offline lives. Posting a few photos and making additional comments on Facebook and your favorite blogs should only take a few minutes. Answering every quiz, poll and chain letter or application sent to you will take hours.

Twitter offers the opportunity to present quality content and gain followers. The more relevant the information you share with your target audience, the greater your success will be. If you manage your time and tweets well, it should not take more than a few minutes a day.

I might spend a few hours a day on my Internet tasks. The best secret to keeping up with the wealth of valuable information on the Web is to subscribe to RSS feeds. Make it part of your social media plan. After your plan is in place,  good management shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to one hour a day.

Who has an hour in their busy day? Everyone. Again, it is all about your priorities. Do you take time to market your company, communicate with your clients, educate yourself and attend networking events? How much time do those activities take?

If you don’t find the above activities valuable because you are too busy, then maybe social networking is not for you. You probably already have plenty of business, continue to gain clients, and are not in fear of slowing down. Don’t waste your time.

But if you want to understand how to use the new tools of business, public relations, client communications, networking and marketing, this might be good time to get your feet wet.


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