When Social Media Is a Waste of Time

Time-Saving tips for social mediaWhen people ask me what I do for a living, sometimes it’s just easiest to tell them I play on Facebook all day long. Because I do. But it’s not what you think…

You see, I’m an ideas person. I start getting ideas and then I get really excited, so I need a client, a contract, a strategy and a paycheck on the line to keep myself in control. Otherwise, like I said, I play on Facebook all day long. And you know what I mean this time.

Social media is a giant waste of time if you make it one. If you read my blog, you know I’m a believer in setting intentions every second of your day. Here are some warning signs to help guide you toward the log out button when your social playtime has passed and a few time-saving tips for rechanneling all that anxious energy.

Link Hunting on Twitter

It’s never hunting season on Twitter, so don’t do it. If you’re on Twitter trying to get some work done – you know, responding to people’s posts, tweeting up a storm and retweeting your favorite blogger’s latest entry like a good tweeter should – then DON’T click on a link for the latest, greatest, bestest cupcake recipe of all time. Just don’t. You’ll get distracted. Then you’ll want to pin it. Then you’ll get on Pinterest. And we all know, our productive day just ends there.

Tips for overcoming Link Hunting:

  • Use organized Twitter Lists so that you are only looking at the content you want to look at.
  • If you do find something super interesting, clip it into Evernote for your reading pleasure later.
    • Schedule a half hour in your day to go back through your Evernote file. Reframe the activity as a dip into your creativity basket. Seriously. Name the note Creativity Basket. When someone asks you what you’re doing, just tell them you’re looking in your creativity basket for new ideas. Try it.

Pinterest Pinball

Whoa, those cupcakes look delicious. OMG, I love that quote. Are you serious – they still make those? This is the land of the roaming eye, where we go back and forth and back and forth, and our brain is producing so much serotonin, we honestly think sex will never, ever be able to feel this good again.

There are a lot of reasons why some businesses should be on Pinterest. There are a lot of reasons why others shouldn’t. But if you should be on there, then make sure you don’t let it get the best of you…all day long. The minute you notice yourself pinning that gorgeous beach landscape onto your Luxury Vacations board, it’s time to move on with your day.

Tip for beating Pinball:

  • Set a timer. It may be the only thing that will pry your eyes away from that wedding dress you don’t need and/or will never wear (for whatever reason)
  • Remember – Pinterest allows us to revel in what we WANT. That isn’t the same as what we need. What you need right now is to get some work done. Yes, I know, you might not want to. I’ll let you finish this post and share it, but then it’s time to get back to work.

Facebook Stalking

It’s innocent, I know. You’re just on your newsfeed looking for the status update of that one company because you wanted to share it with your fans. And then you see your best friend from high school just posted a picture album from her recent honeymoon to the Caribbean. So you take a peek. Which reminds you of that one time when you were all hanging out after a football game and then…Oh! I wonder what Jan is up to these days. WHAT! She’s engaged?  Why won’t your boyfriend propose to you already – that’s the 5th person to get engaged TODAY! And now you are suffering from Facebook depression and you can’t even remember why you logged on in the first place…

Tips for overcoming Facebook Stalking

  • If you’re using Facebook for your job, it’s best to just switch your settings so that you are using the page as your company. That way you won’t see all your personal details. Facebook just made it WAY easier to do this too, by adding a nice big blue bar across the top of the fan pages you admin.
  • Use a third party service like HootSuite or Sprout Social to handle customer engagement so that there is no way for you to get distracted by your own online life.

And my last challenge for all of you is to choose one day a month to go off the grid and forget that social media even exists. Take a hike, enjoy nature, read a book (a real one, not on a tablet or piece of technology). Remember what it’s like to live without, and you’ll be that much more likely to spend your social media time efficiently so you can enjoy more of those non-tech moments.

What are your tips for using social media for business more efficiently?

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  1. This is very helpful, thanks so much! I shared your post with others because it provides concise, organized guidelines to avoid getting sidetracked, bummed out or swallowed up by social media.