Friday, October 26, 2012

Social Media Time Management

Hey there,

So this post is about managing your time with social media. I write this as I wonder how the past couple of weeks got away from me. I mean, it happens, right? We have busy times, we have slow times, especially in the arts.

Mind you, I am not talking necessarily about the best times to be on social media, or to share your content. That's a topic for another post. I will say that via SocialBro, I learned that no more than 20% of my Twitter followers were ever online at the same time.

But I digress.

With this, the tasks that I'm thinking about when it comes to time management...well, they're the generative kind, the listening kind, the scheduling time. That's the great part with an app like Buffer, you can schedule content to go out when you're not necessarily on, plus you have the added bonus of it automatically scheduling it.

This is all really dependent on what your social media load and tasks are, so I guess let me just step back and throw two things out there.

The first is routine and habit. And I'm sure we've all heard various numbers about how long it takes to form a routine. This article puts out 66 days as the average, explaining that depending on the simplicity or complexity of the task, it could take as few as 18 or as many as 254.

What do you find you do routine in your own life? How do you switch up routine? What's your social media routine in your personal life?

That last question probably won't surprise you but if you're like me and manage your own or your organization's social media channels, switching from personal use to professional use when you're anywhere but in the office can be tricky.

The second thing I want to mention is that your free time isn't free, it's an opportunity. I personally twitch a little bit, seeing myself type this, because sometimes when I have free time, even after a not-so-crazy day in the office, I just want to do nothing and savor it. But your free time is the best time to build that foundation and reinforce your routine, especially if you find yourself catching up with your friends and followers on social media.

So here's one of my first suggestions whenever friends of mine who manage their own social media channels for their work say they don't have enough time. I tell them, just take 15 minutes a day: 5 in the morning, 5 at lunch, and 5 in the evening, to check in and interact with content, even if you're not generating your own.

Just listening, engaging, and responding to others is sometimes all it takes to stay present on social media, and that's probably the most important reason for developing and maintaining a routine. And don't get me wrong, I definitely spend hours a day handling social media for some of the orgs I work with.

But this gets back to capacity and time. If it's just you, I suggest 15 minutes as the MINIMUM. This will be constant that you make a habit out of, that way you can never say you don't have enough time to do it as an excuse not to. Obviously for those with dedicated staff and line-items, this advice probably will not apply, as you have a routine that's explicitly stated and supported on an administrative and organizational level.

Regardless, I definitely recommending Google'ing "social media routine" for many other tips, some more specific and at the 201 level, for further ideas on social media time management. This was more of a philosophical approach, speaking to your mindset of what is routine, but also using the opportunity of free time to buffer for the challenge of busy time.

Any other thoughts or ideas, let me know. Will be back to blogging more regularly as I settle back in to my own routine, now,



  1. Great post! I'm terrible with time management myself, so I have to force myself to do things by setting the timer.Thanks for great read.
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