One of the questions I am asked most frequently is: How often should I be on social media? There’s a fine line between using social media too much, and therefore spamming your followers, and not using it enough and missing opportunities to connect.
So where is the happy medium? The answer lies in creating and implementing an effective social media strategy—one that will ensure a more efficient work day while still connecting with your audience.
My first recommendation is to close your social media windows and turn off notifications. As you grow your readership on social media platforms, an increase in interaction follows. There’s nothing worse for productivity than going to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn every time you have a new notification. If you’re thinking, yeah, but it’s only for a few minutes—consider this: a few minutes here and there adds up at the end of the week.
The best way to manage your time is to choose set times during the day to interact and update, such as first thing in the morning, lunchtime, and at the end of the day. Consider your audience’s social media behavior and when they’re online, and tailor your schedule around it.
While social media is real-time conversation, you can also automate posts and updates to increase your productivity using scheduling tools such as TweetDeck, HootSuite, and Ping.fm. I’m not advocating you let automation replace real-time conversations. Doing so causes disconnection between you and your social network and causes overall inefficiency—why bother connecting on social media if you are going to just automate everything?
Schedule your posts with caution. Since social media is about connection and personalization, scheduling most of your posts can in turn disconnect you from your audience. Schedule items such as blog posts, but make sure you’re monitoring social media on a daily basis for questions and comments from followers.
Many third-party tools, including HootSuite and Ping.fm, also allow you to post to multiple platforms at once so that you don’t have to go to each of your social media and blogging sites to share information. Ping.fm lets you post to 30+ different social media and blogging sites.
Similarly to scheduling posts, I recommend using this with caution, especially if you’re posting to platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. The last thing you want to do is to spam your network of followers. Ping.fm is best to use when you have something you want to publish to all of your networks, such as a blog post.
Lastly, keep in mind things such as peak times and the geographical location of your audience. If most of your readers are on the west coast, but you’re located on the east coast, then you don’t want to publish a Facebook post at 7 a.m.
Peak times for Twitter are typically during the day, Monday through Friday, while peak times on Facebook are evenings and weekends. However, when using social media, begin by posting at various times during the week, as the impact of posts can vary significantly.
Did you find these tips helpful? We’d love to hear from you in our comments section.