One of the topics people ask me frequently about is social media – and specifically they ask me for how to make the best use of their time. Anyone who has dived into social media knows that it is not “free” – it takes time and a thoughtful effort to make it work your time.

If you are like me, and seem to be “always connected” – whether it’s Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc  – it’s a great reminder that you need to be smart with your time. If you’re not careful, social media can be a time suck!

george-nelson-ball-clock

So how can you be more smart with your time?

Plan social media into your schedule for 1 hour a day: 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes late in the day.

The key here is multi-task, move fast, don’t get distracted.

If I was a real estate agent – this is how I would do it:

AM: 1st thing after or before you check your email

1. Turn on your computer. Open 7 windows: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your web site, your blog, your favorite news website (i.e. Inman News :)), and your favorite ‘drip marketing’ social media site (my fave is Hootsuite). Move fast, don’t get distracted.

2. Facebook: Scroll through the page – make 3 comments on other people’s posts. Post what you are up to that day. Respond to anyone who has commented on your or left you a message. Move fast, don’t get distracted.

3. Twitter. Click your @ button (i.e. – @katielance). Anyone who has mentioned you – thank them publicly. Respond to DM’s. Scroll through your home page and re-tweet 3 things of interest. Move fast, don’t get distracted.

4. LinkedIn: Post your status update – have it feed to Twitter (check the ‘Twitter’ box to do so – so easy!) Respond to any messages in your inbox. Check your groups. Not in a group? Join a group and comment on 1 discussion a day. Move fast, don’t get distracted.

5. Close these 3 windows: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Keep Hootsuite.com open and your web site, blog, and your favorite news site. Pick 6-8 links to share that day in Twitter. One can be a listing. The rest must be good content or newsworthy. Pick 3 links to share for Facebook. Twitter moves faster than Facebook which is why you need to post more often. Plug your posts and links into Hootsuite. Space them 1-2 hours apart. If something is a hot topic you can schedule it to go out more than once. Move fast, don’t get distracted.

PM: Repeat!

Next day: Repeat!

Do this everyday 5-6 days a week. If you follow this schedule it will become a habit. Also don’t underestimate the power of commenting and interacting – this is probably MORE important than posting your own content and links. Social media is just that – social!

BONUS TIP: Plan into your schedule an additional 2-3 hours a week if you are a blogger. Also plan one time a week to search for new friends, fans, and followers.

Looking for more info?  Stay tuned… I have something exciting in the works that will be revealed in a few weeks.

I would love to hear how you formulate a schedule for social media – what works and doesn’t work for you. Please leave me your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!

Written by: Katie Lance, Marketing Manager, Inman News

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