Why are we all so eager to spend as little time as possible on our business' social media marketing efforts?
There is a seemingly never-ending flow of information, tips and tricks on how to spend less time executing a social media plan.
I'd be all for this if the primary focus of this information was on efficiency, but in many cases it's not. Frequently these pieces suggest automating what I consider to be human-critical tasks, taking shortcuts, sacrificing quality, and implementing unfocused and catchall tactics, all of which ultimately mitigate the opportunity to achieve real business results.
In my experience, there tends to be a strong correlation between the time, energy and effort put toward implementing a smartly crafted social media strategy, and expected results.
Rather than finding ways to spend less time on social media, we should be finding ways to spend more time executing our most effective tactics and continually optimizing our efforts.
The caveat to this - of course - is that if you don't have a smart and strategic plan in place that includes provision for optimization, and you're not achieving any real results through the social media tactics you are implementing on an ad hoc basis, then you may be better off cutting social media from your marketing plan altogether to find a more effective use of your time.
So, how is it that you can find more time to dedicate to your social media marketing efforts?
Following are a few ideas:
MAKE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING A HABIT
It's interesting how we always can find time for our habits, yet some critical tasks are crunched for time. If you don't have the luxury of a dedicated team to implement your social media strategy, it will always feel like a time-suck. However, if you stick with it and simply force yourself to make time for it, you'll be amazed at how efficient you can become at executing your strategic plan, and how many opportunities you actually have through each day to direct some time and attention toward your efforts.
Like forming any new habit, in the beginning it may feel like a bit of a grind to remain dedicated, but before you know it you'll be so into working away on your social media plan that it will become second nature.
DEDICATE TIME VERSUS EXECUTING ON AN AD HOC BASIS
I'm a firm believer that unless you schedule time to dedicate to your social media marketing efforts, there will always be things that trump giving it the time and attention it deserves. Schedule time for social media on a recurring basis and work your other commitments around your implementation efforts. Of course there will always be exceptions that need to be made, but get serious about dedicating scheduled time to social, and in due course you'll see your results amortize.
ELIMINATE NON-ESSENTIAL DISTRACTIONS
We all spend time doing non-essential things that absolutely kill the productive time we have to work each day. Focusing on eliminating or avoiding non-essential distractions such as YouTube binges, planning dream-rooms on Pinterest, creeping classmates from university on Facebook, or just downright procrastinating will free up a tremendous amount of time that you can pump into implementing your social media strategy.
CELEBRATE SHORT-TERM SUCCESSES
As I alluded to earlier, the early days of implementing a social media strategy can be a tough grind. It often feels as though early results aren't justified by effort input. But social media results compound over time, and it's only with ongoing dedication and effort that you'll experience full benefit.
Keep yourself motivated and make this grind more tolerable by celebrating short-term results, even if they aren't what you ultimately are hoping to achieve. So long as results are trending positively, you'll know you're on the right track, and can feel confident about sticking with your plan, and dedicating more time to see that trend line steepen.
How do you find time to dedicate to implementing your social media marketing efforts?
Do you find there is a correlation between effort and outcomes?
Have you ever found it difficult to dedicate time to social media marketing?
It would be great to chat with you about this more in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial.