How to Avoid Wasting Time with Social Media Engagement - dummies

How to Avoid Wasting Time with Social Media Engagement

By Aliza Sherman, Danielle Elliott Smith

Social media engagement takes time, there’s no doubt about it. There’s a difference between making time and wasting time. To prevent the latter, add these components to your social media engagement strategy and process:

  • Goals: With social media engagement, everything should start and end with your goals, and in your case, your business goals. Social media engagement can support many aspects of your business, but if you don’t keep your goals in mind, you risk wasting time.

  • A plan: Social media engagement requires strategic thinking, and it benefits from a written plan that outlines how to implement engagement strategies and tactics.

  • Guidelines: Follow best practices for social media engagement, and craft guidelines tailored to your business. The guidelines should specify how frequently to publish content to your social networks, how much of it to automate, and how often to go online to check in directly with your community.

  • Systems: Your plan should include the systems you’ll implement to streamline messaging and engagement across all your social networks. A system might include the way you link networks — for example, whether you post Facebook updates automatically to Twitter.

  • Tools: Implementing a system often requires the appropriate tools, such as a social media management (SMM) platform like HootSuite or Sprout Social to gather social networks under a single communications umbrella for efficiency and control.

Distraction is the enemy of social media engagement because it can lead you to wasting time and forgetting your business goals — the underlying reasons why you are engaging online in the first place. You can easily become distracted by all the messages, links, and information that appear in front of you. Stick to your plan, guidelines, and goals. Be disciplined about spending time in social networks.