Tuesday October 3, 2017
I recently had an interesting conversation with some of my fellow writers who were struggling with social media addiction.
They wanted to focus on creating content, but they felt compelled to continuously check their notifications on their favorite social channels.
As a result, they were struggling to actually produce content, because they were spending so much time online.
But as I pointed out, social media addiction isn't 100% a bad thing. As a creative, introverted copywriter, I have the opposite problem: if left to my natural tendencies, I'll sink into content creation mode and forget to check my social media for weeks.
If it isn't in my calendar, it probably just isn't happening! I have to schedule dedicated social media times several times a week, to make sure that my messages and replies don't end up sitting neglected.
Creating content is obviously vital, especially if your profession is highly information-centric. If you're a coach who wants to increase your income and impact potential by creating a group program, you can't do that by posting on Facebook all day and never actually designing the program!
But if you don't put your work out there and engage with your audience, then all that content creation is nothing more than a secret hobby.
How can writing hermits and social media addicts find balance and grow their business?
Obviously, this isn't a question with a one-size-fits-all answer. Different businesses have different needs, different audiences hang out in different places and want different levels of engagement, and different entrepreneurs have different strengths and styles.
In this section, I'm going to give you some guidelines you can use to create a social media management schedule that works for you.
1. First, get clear on your goals and needs.
All the planning in the world won't do you any good unless you know what result you want that plan to create.
That being the case, your first step is to get clear on what you want to accomplish through your online interactions.
Do you want to build a highly engaged Facebook group that eagerly snaps up each new offering you put out, and that readily shares your content with their friends?
Attract new clients or referral partners?
Give people a way to contact you and to stay informed of your latest deals, products and services, without you having to spend too much time on it?
Learn about your industry?
Just have fun?
Once you're clear on what you want to accomplish, you can work from there to create a plan to accomplish it.
2. Determine what you're good at and what your business needs.
As noted above, different entrepreneurs have different strengths and styles, and different businesses have different needs.
So in this step, you need to look at what your business needs, and what you're equipped to provide.
If your business is highly personal in nature - for example, if you're a relationship coach - then your potential clients will probably want to have a connection with you before they're ready to sign up with you.
In those instances, being a social media addict can work in your favor, as long as you focus mostly on interacting with potential clients and referral partners.
If that's your situation, you might be better off writing an outline of your content and then hiring a ghostwriter to handle the bulk of the creation process, so you can focus on what you do best: being the highly sociable face of your business.
If you're more of a hermit by nature, but you work in a highly personal field where you work closely with your clients - like me, for instance - then you should probably still spend some time on social media, but you may need to deliberately set aside time for it.
Put it in your calendar to check your social media channels every day or two, answer any messages or replies you have, and post helpful comments and questions in groups that are relevant to your industry.
If, on the other hand, your business is bigger and less personal, you might be better off hiring a social media manager to post content, field questions, and generally be the face of your business, while you focus on running, planning and building your company.
But what if your business doesn't need that level of social media interaction, it DOES need you to spend more time on other important tasks, and yet you still can't pull away from the siren song of your notification icons?
3. Set boundaries.
If your social media addiction has reached the point where it's preventing you from performing other vital functions in your business, and it isn't logistically or economically reasonable to outsource those functions, here are some ways to bring the temptation down to a dull roar:
If you can't have your social media page open without constantly checking it, then log out, close the tab, and mute any notifications that can reach you even when you're logged out, if that's what it takes.
You don't necessarily have to do this all day, especially if you're in an industry where responding to clients quickly is important.
But if you have a task that you need to concentrate on in order to get it done, set aside a chunk of time and commit to working on that project until that time is over.
How long this time increment is will depend on your attention span. If you can work for an hour straight, awesome! If not, try scheduling four different chunks of fifteen minutes into your day.
One method I use is to find an hour-long song compilation or a fifteen-minute song extension on YouTube, set it going, and keep working until the music stops.
This makes working on the project more enjoyable, and it's a constant audio reminder to stay focused. It also gives me a clear indication of when the assigned time increment is over, without the threat of a jarring, startling alarm hanging over my head and tugging at the edges of my concentration.
But what if closing your social media windows feels like too big a commitment, and your reluctance to finish your social session and close the tabs actually makes you spend MORE time on the sites?
In that case, I recommend putting all your social media tabs in one window and minimizing that window, so you aren't constantly seeing the tempting tabs while you're trying to look at your other tasks.
4. Use scheduling software to avoid temptation.
If part of your social media strategy involves posting on your page or profile once a day, and you can't do that without getting sucked into the inexorable whirlpool of your notifications or timeline feed, it's best to find a way to post content without even seeing that temptation.
If this is an ongoing challenge for you, a social media scheduler that can post content to your channels without you actually logging in to those channels can be invaluable.
Personally, I use Hootsuite, but there are other options available if you don't like that one.
Need to get your content creation off your hands, so you can spend more time interacting with your clients?
If you're a social butterfly who would rather spend your time talking with your tribe than secluding yourself for hours to write your ebooks, blog posts, coaching courses, email newsletters, and other educational marketing content, it's probably time to get a writing hermit to help you out.
Check out my copywriting services to see how I can save you hours of writing!
Want to get your networking done for you, so you can spend more time creating content?
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