It is important to have an effective social media presence, but according to Penny Sansevieri, author and chief executive of Marketing Experts, Inc., improper use can harm your business as well.
Sometimes, we use social media for the sake of being busy, without being aware of the results, and that puts our company at a disadvantage.
The Negative Aspects of Social Media
Social media is destroying productivity, at least according to an infographic shown in an article by empowerednetwork.com. The infographic shows that 22 percent of the time we spend online is used on social networking sites. In addition, people spend more time using Facebook than exercising, in particular, twice as much time.
Ten percent of workers spend less time working than they do on the Internet. Among websites, 41 percent said the most time wasting for workers is Facebook, followed by LinkedIn (37%), CNN (29%), Amazon (25%), YouTube (13%) then ESPN (8%).
How to Control Time Spent on Social Media
In light of these disadvantages, business owners and entrepreneurs should know how to harness social media and use it to their gain. Here are some tips by Sansevieri:
- Check the effectiveness of your social media strategies. Are your customers or potential customers really engaging in your Facebook page? Are your messages fit for the social networking site you put them in? For example, maybe your message is much more effective if placed on LinkedIn or Google Plus, than on Facebook. Try to measure the benefits, if any, that you obtained from using social media marketing.
- Focus on important industry headlines. Sansevieri suggests that you skim through headlines and read only those that you find interesting while skipping the rest. That way, you get more value for the time spent.
- Use a media alert system. Sansevieri recommends Mention.net or Talkwalker.com, among other new alert systems that will help you become much more acquainted with stuff taking place in your market. Using these systems, it is important to use appropriate and specific keywords, and change them up as your market changes. Media alert systems let you receive daily emails of stories and headlines that contain relevant information for your business.
- Don’t be afraid that you’ll miss out. Most of us want to join all social media tools out there just because we don’t want to miss out. However, one should get rid of this habit because we should just focus on the tools that really matter right now. In fact, most of your customers and potential customers are likely to be found in just one or two social networking sites, so you need to focus your attention there.
- Limit the amount of time using social media. Sansevieri recommends using only 30 minutes in the morning and another 30 in the evening for social media. Use the remainder of the day to capitalize time on other more important things.
- Know the difference between being busy and being productive. Spending lots of time on social media might only make you look busy, but actually you’re not being productive at all. Think of the tasks you are doing, if they are just keeping you busy without leading you somewhere. Don’t relate being busy with being successful. If you try to figure out how you can be productive for each of your work tasks, then you will get lots of free time. If you’re just being busy without achieving anything, then you haven’t attained success.
- Outsource if you can. You can hire other people to do social media work for you if you can’t manage to do it yourself. LinkedIn is a nice place to look for recommended experts in social media.
Social media can indeed take away lots of our time and keep us from reaching our potential productivity. While it is useful for your business for a number of things, such as raising brand awareness, it can also be harmful. One should try to be social but be productive at the same time and maintain that equilibrium.