Social Media Strategy: How To Avoid Social Media Distractions

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Social Media Strategy for 2010

As we start a new year, it is important for all of us to create our own personal social media strategy to avoid all of the social media distractions that exist.  I never think of social media in itself as a “distraction,” but if it keeps you busy to the point that you are doing lots of things that are not related to your social media strategy, there could be a more efficient use of your time.

Determining Your Social Media Objective

First of all, whenever I do a speech on social media, I always begin with helping my audience create an objective, a raison d’etre, for being active on social networking sites.  What is your objective for being on LinkedIn?  For being on Twitter?  If you don’t know why you are doing what you do in social media, you could potentially be wasting a LOT of time.

Creating Your Social Media Strategy = Building Social Media Boundaries

Once you have your objective, you need to create a strategy.  I like to simplify the meaning of strategy as deciding to do what’s NOT important to you.  Look, there are just so many hours in the day.  Unless social media is your life, you also have other important things to do.  So you can’t be spending ALL of your time on social media.  Doesn’t it make sense, then, to start to build your own social media boundaries?  It means limiting yourself to x hours or x minutes of the day to each site or performing each objective on each site.  If you don’t have these boundaries established, more important things in your life could slip through the cracks.  If you’re still not sold on the idea, do what I plan to do this week: time how long you spend each day on each social media site performing each activity.  The results may be shocking.

Social Media Goes Mainstream in 2010: What Does It Mean to You?

It is more important than ever to create your social media boundaries because the amount of user generated content that exists, number of social media connections you have, and number of people that you know that join social networks is only going to continue to increase in 2010.  Think of these facts:

This means that there will be more information and more people competing for your precious time you use in social media.  True, one important objective in using social media is the social aspect: keeping in touch with friends, finding new like-minded people, and joining conversations.  But there is also another important aspect of social media: reading the news, researching new information, finding out about new products or discounts, etc.  It is going to start to get crazy because the number of Twitter followers you have as well as the number of Facebook Fan Pages that you will be sent requests to join is only going to increase.  This has a lot of great potential in helping you reach our objective, but it also means you will need to be more efficient with the precious little time that you have.

With the start of 2010, it’s time to erect our social media boundaries and try to stick with them so that we achieve more this year.  To paraphrase the great Tim Ferriss, don’t let Twitter (or social media) own you.

What has your experience been recently?  Do you find it harder and harder to keep up with everyone and everything in social media?  What social media habits have you created to deal with time-management issues?  Please contribute your comment!

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Neal Schaffer
The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professionals strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer


Author, @MaxYourSocial | Founder @msocialbusiness & @socialtoolssmmt | Trilingual Social Media Strategy Consultant, Coach, and Speaker
How can rainmakers (Investment Bankers) ‘make it rain’ like never before? via @LinkedIn - 7 hours ago
Neal Schaffer
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  1. says

    Nice post regarding setting internal boundaries for using social media. It is very easy to get lost in the numerous amount of sites that exist and I agree that objectives need to be created before any activities get started. This is what I do first with my clients because I want to ensure they are headed in the right direction before potentially wasting time on sites that will not produced their desired objectives. Great way to start the year right based on your recommendations!

  2. Cj says

    Excellent post. I implemented these strategies the last quarter of 2009…what a shocker the amount of time spent on twitter and facebook! I've established Social boundaries and have scheduled times to check the sites. It works! Happy New Year!

  3. says

    Thanks for the confirmation Cj! I am starting to track on a daily basis how long I am spending doing the things that I am doing. Twitter can definitely eat up a lot more time than you think! Those 140-character posts can be deceiving!

    – Neal

  4. rogerwilson says

    Neal, this is helpful. I engage to learn and develop contacts that could lead to business but I find it easy to start randomly following whatever piques my interest. I have advised conference participants (my business is producing executive conferences) “Don’t take notes – take action (or create to-dos).” Reading you blog makes me think I need to take my own advice with respect to social media! I am going to jot down my objectives and start tracking my time.

  5. says

    Thanks for your comment Roger. I have the same issue…that's why the New Years is a good time to remind ourselves to stick to our priorities and strategies. More important than ever with the advent of mainstream social media.

    – Neal

  6. says

    Thanks for your comment Roger. I have the same issue…that's why the New Years is a good time to remind ourselves to stick to our priorities and strategies. More important than ever with the advent of mainstream social media.

    – Neal

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