Do you usually find yourself in a difficult to handle social media marketing mess?
It’s true that other marketers would envy us (the social media marketers) because we get to play with the cool toys (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest…etc), but I’m not sure they will stand a day in the life of a social media marketer.
Because social media is evolving like no other thing before, staying up to date with all the updates that happen in this industry seems almost impossible. You try to organize your time as much as you can, but there will be always too much stuff for you to handle.
I believe that organization is the only way to staying focused and not being overwhelmed by all the tasks that social media marketing requires. It’s true that today’s technology will save you lots of time and effort, but if it’s not associated with strategic organizational thinking, it won’t really make any difference.
So let us dig into how we can optimize our social media marketing efforts so we can get the most done in the least time possible:
1- Fueling up
Unlike other marketing strategies, social media marketing requires consistent fueling. It’s true that you may skip the updates that doesn’t affect your work directly (there are thousands of them every day), but even the ones that do, will require some time.
I don’t want this to seem as a hard task, because it is not, especially for passionate social media marketers. In a matter of fact, this task is probably my favorite one because:
• I simply love to fuel up.
• It doesn’t require too much creative thinking as doing the actual work.
For me personally, this activity is the least effort consuming and most enjoyable one in my day.
I like to dedicate at least one hour per day reading industry related articles (not checking funny Youtube videos!), listening to podcasts (this is mainly for inspiration), watching video tutorials…etc. I mainly use Google reader + Google alerts to stay in touch with the industry in a more organized and less time-consuming way.
So from now on, you better set a specific time to fueling up instead of checking out updates each time you stumble on them across social media. If you come across an interesting update via twitter or Facebook, don’t instantly read it. Instead, bookmark the page so you can read it in the time when you’re fueling up.
Many people would argue of the best time to fuel up. Many of them say that reading industry related updates first thing in the morning is better because that’s the time when you’re most focused. Others prefer to invest that time in a more creative thinking (doing the work and experimenting with new things). However, for me personally, it depends on what I have. I didn’t choose to work online to have a fixed time for everything (although sometimes that can be very productive). Sometimes when I don’t have a lot of work (especially on weekends), I check up updates first thing in the morning (and I might take more than one hour). Other times, I like to finish my work first, especially if it’s time sensitive and later I check updates. No matter what your approach to fueling up is, don’t you ever miss or ignore this step because it’s what will keep you ahead of the social media marketing game!
Many social media marketers choose to ignore this step because they think they should spend the time spent in it doing actual work and getting paid for it.
For me, I love the brainstorming sessions I do with myself, because that’s where all my good ideas come from.
It’s true that I don’t do this every day, but I try to dedicate at least 2 hours a week brainstorming for new ideas that might be potential future projects. If you don’t step back for a while from your work and visualize how you can plan for your next projects, you’ll never be able to evolve, and soon enough you’ll be outdated.
To make these brainstorming sessions even more effective, I usually take notes during my fueling up session. These notes will act as a cornerstone to the new ideas I come up with. The reason I encourage many social media marketers to fueling up consistently is that you don’t really know when your “Life-Changing” idea comes. Sometimes, when I’m reading industry related books, new ideas (not necessarily related to what I was reading) come to me out of nowhere. I believe that the brain mixes stuff together and brings you something that seems unrelated to any of those mixed stuff (at least that’s what I think!). I might check with Steven Pinker to confirm that!
Anyway, try to sit with yourself and think about your career for a while. What you can do to improve it. If you’re building an audience, then think of what you can do to provide them with more value. Think about new projects and start them…etc.
3- Doing the work
This is what should be taking most of your time, because it’s the same and only thing that will move your business/career forward and take you to higher levels.
I spend most of my time working on my clients’ social media marketing along with working on this blog (mainly writing articles).
If you have several clients, then you might dedicate a specific amount of time to each one of them. Let’s say that you have 3 clients who are paying you a full-time income together. Subtract your fueling time + brainstorming time from your working day hours, and allocate the rest of your hours to working on your clients social media (according to what each one of them is paying you).
When you’re doing the work, don’t let anything get between you and your services. If you find an interesting thing, bookmark it to read it later. You should only focus on providing value to your clients and helping them achieve their goals (so they can help you achieve yours). Your clients’ time should be sacred and not an opportunity for you to occasionally jump on checking funny stuff!
Social media marketing is a messy world, and organizing my time to effectively fit those 3 tasks seems to make things easier and more rewarding for me. What about you?
Image Credit: GrooverFW