What DID we used to do before Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, email and even cell phones…? With all the time I spend on social media, I’m really starting to wonder what I did with all my time before it existed.
Dear Technology, what happened to all that free time you promised us?!
I like to think of myself as a relatively tech friendly person (don’t get me wrong, I’m no C++ Programmer) and in terms of the average social media user, I’m fairly on the ball. But as a small business owner, it’s high time I push my amateur tech skills into new territory to leverage my business through social media.
We’ve moved beyond automation.
In the early days, adopting technology meant that things would be automated, but here we are in World Wide Web’s second incarnation (Web 2.0) with the addition of social media. Unfortunately social media can’t be entirely automated because it’s all about forging connections with people. Real live people. People like clients, friends, peers, customers, co-workers, followers and subscribers who all deserve our attention on various social media platforms.
It’s a steep learning curve and there are lots of options.
When I’m not trying to understand what and how to work with the technology, I spend my time researching all the options. Technology hasn’t freed up time in our work days, it’s only created different work. And I am quite certain that it has actually created work that’s more overwhelming.
The stress of trying to keep up with the dot com Joneses could drive any entrepreneur crazy.
Technology is always evolving. Information is always updating. And the dialogue is always rolling. So how do we manage to get involved with social media AND actually work, sleep and live with just 24 hours in each day? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Pick one thing to learn at a time. Whether it’s learning how to create your Facebook Page or advertising with Google, don’t overdo it or steam starts to come out of your ears. True story.
2. Find a buddy. Either someone who wants to learn with you or who already knows the ropes. Two heads are always better than one.
3. Aim for ease of use. Play around with the trial version of a few things before you make your final purchase. If it’s too complicated or requires you to drastically change the way you work, it’s not likely to become a time saver.
4. Use social media to save time by crowd sourcing your research. I see a lot of questions on Twitter or Facebook from people asking their followers what software they use or what app is best.
5. Call the help desk. Many companies are realizing the benefit of 24/7 support staff. I’ve had good experiences with help desks lately because they rely onfeedback to make revisions to their software.
6. Allocate specific times for social media. I generally don’t use Twitter on weekends but I tweet on my phone while on a transit commute, while waiting for a meeting or during TV commercials in the evenings.
7. Integrate social media learning and research into your weekly schedule. I block off an hour or two each day to focus on one of the following duties that pile up each week: Financials, Technology, Networking, Research and Administration.
8. And of course, amalgamate platforms. Use an app that will send out one message to all platforms every so often. Just remember to keep the hashtags on Twitter.
What ideas do you have for streamlining social media technology into your day?