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A common refrain from businesses about the social media is that it eats up time. They fear that once their employees get on the sites, they will no longer have time to do their jobs. I remember hearing a similar complaint a decade ago about allowing employees access to the internet. There’s no question that internet access and email correspondence eat up much of our day. Does it waste time? There’s also no question that access to the social media will eat up your time. The real question is – Will it waste time?

Today, no business can function without the internet. It is a no-brainer, that as we speak, no business will soon be able to perform without the social media. But, how can we incorporate it into our day and save time? Here are the five commandments!

  1. Create a social media strategy. Think about what you want to accomplish by using the social media. Do not join Facebook or Twitter just because someone asks you. Decide why you want to participate and then set some clear goals for doing so. Think about how participating on these sites will help move you closer to your customer.
  2. Limit your time on the social media. Allow yourself no more than an hour a day to update, explore and contribute to the sites. Block off the time as if it were an appointment.
  3. Look for ways to network on the social sites without having to go to networking events. Networking events consume a lot of time. They require you to get in your car and go someplace. Use the social sites to network with others as you would at a networking event. Here are some ways:
  • Find a niche you want to network with. It could be sales managers, human resource managers, recruiters, etc.
  • Share information that you think would be helpful to someone as you might face-to-face at an event. LinkedIn gives you lots of opportunities to do this in the Discussion section of their groups. Look over the discussions. Can you add anything that might answer someone’s question?
  • Sign up on other people’s sites. This is like asking for someone’s business card.
  • Comment on other people’s blogs.
  1. Use the social sites to find potential leads. In other words, use the social sites to prospect. You can use the search function on LinkedIn or Twitter to locate businesses that fit your niche.
  2. With all the time you’ve saved by not going to networking events, and by eliminating cold calling, you can add another hour or 30 minutes to your social media daily schedule. But, never allow yourself to exceed two hours daily on the social sites. If you do, your friends will accuse you of a new addiction!

Eyecatchers – advertising that sells, offers even more suggestions to help you use the social media and save time. As with anything new, it takes time to learn what to do. In the beginning you’ll spend more time learning. After a few weeks, your learning curve will diminish and you’ll spend less time on the sites. You’ll create your own system for connecting with people. You’ll learn the best ways to leverage the social media to accomplish your goals. Don’t take our word for it, give it a try!

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