It’s the most obvious non-secret in the world right now: social media is a time suck.
You pick up your phone to look up the hours of your doctor’s office, and suddenly it’s 15 minutes later and you’re watching a video of a duck eating peas.
The apps are designed to suck you in and keep you engaged. We all know this, and many new year’s resolutions are to have less screen time.
However, here is an actual secret: the same time-suck, time-wasting pitfalls that entrap us also apply to us when using social media for our businesses. But that doesn’t mean we should just ignore it altogether.
The typical American is spending on average about 2.5 hours on social media per day, so showing up is important for your business.. And it requires regular attention – ideally on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis.
For businesses that get frequent interactions and messages, it can feel like social media ‘blobs over’ your whole day. You might answer a DM as you’re on a call with your shipping provider, then ‘like’ a comment during your team meeting, then find a video to re-post on your Stories while you’re trying to answer customer emails.
Having unstructured time to manage social media WILL consume your entire day.
And even worse, it leads to constant context switching. This is a major drag on your productivity and your attention.
If you struggle with how to manage social media for your business, by putting out content and responding to incoming comments, the answer will be familiar to anyone who’s studied personal productivity: time blocking.
The secret to contain the chaos is to schedule a set time daily to manage social media. It can be 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour. This depends on the volume of interactions you get, how many channels you have, and how much outreach/interaction is built into your social media strategy.
By limiting and scheduling the amount of time you spend on social, you can both be more impactful AND more productive overall.
Here is our recommended daily social media community management checklist:
Daily social media checklist:
|Moderation ‘Like’ and Reply to any new comment or post, asking a question if appropriate
|Clear out notification center for each channel (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.).
Respond to comments and DMs.
|Search for tagged posts, brand name mentions without tags, or brand-related hashtags. Like/comment where it makes sense.
|Follow 1-2 customers/engaged users (followback)
|Search hashtag or scroll feed and Like/comment 15 recent and relevant posts
|Like 15 posts from people we follow
|Follow and comment on 3 new and relevant accounts
Bonus: here are our recommended weekly and monthly actions :
Weekly social media checklist:
- Ensure you have next week’s content scheduled
- Double-check scheduled content against trending topics or news (some posts may not be appropriate based on what’s going on in the world).
- Scroll through social media to get inspiration and stay on top of trends (limit this to 15 minutes per week)
Monthly social media checklist:
- Look at analytics and update your monthly metrics report
- Double-check and update/refresh instagram bio links
To wrap things up, using social media for your business is more than just knowing it can take up a lot of time. The real trick is to use it smartly without letting it take over your day.
It’s all about planning your time well and sticking to it. Having a clear plan for each day, like the checklists we’ve talked about, helps you stay on track.
Remember, it’s not about being on social media all the time; it’s about using the time you spend there effectively.
Looking for more social media tips? Grab our Social Media Best Practices Guide (no email address required!)