It seems that a social media manager’s job is never done. It doesn’t matter what time of day or day of week you’re in, there’s always more to do. Social media moves at an astronomical pace, and it can be hard to keep up.
In fact, research has found that the top two barriers impeding adoption of social business within organizations are lack of overall strategy and competing priorities.
Raise your hand if the scenario below sounds familiar:
A Day in the Life of a Social Media Manager
6am – 12pm
- Check company social media notifications before you even roll out of bed.
- Quickly respond to any messages or tweets
- Sneakily check for brand mentions as you’re stuck in traffic
- Schedule all brand messages for the day across all social networks
- Eat lunch at your desk while checking your personal Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn messages
1pm – 5pm
- Research articles that are relevant to share with your brand’s online community
- Check your company email and social media sites for new notifications
- Respond to any brand mentions or comments
- Identify influencers to connect with
- Get caught up in not one but two trending topics on Twitter
- How is it 5pm already?
6pm – Midnight
- Review daily social media performance
- Schedule morning social messages
- Register for an interesting social media marketing webinar about visual content
- Cannot function…need sleep
Making the time to execute on a comprehensive social media strategy that garners results can rattle even the most experienced marketers. Social media marketing is flush with its own set of challenges and distractions. Below are 4 helpful ways to help you focus and manage your social media marketing activities.
#1 – Determine Which Tactics Have the Biggest Impact
Reuters estimates that the average worker loses 2.1 hours of productivity every day to interruptions and distractions. To avoid wasting time begin by prioritizing your week. While it’s true that unexpected issues can come up plan for the best and the worst. If you have 3 hours per day on average to complete tasks related to social media strategy what will you get accomplished in those 3 hours? If you were only to have 1.5 hours per day what would you want to get accomplished? Proper planning will lead to improved productivity and efficiency. Also, take some time to determine what your top distractions are and eliminate them.
#2 – Optimize for Productivity
Focus on what will have the largest impact on your productivity. Determining what time of day you are most productive, and which activities are most significant will help you to stay on track. Are you an early riser, night owl, or somewhere in between? Creating a daily schedule and routine can significantly improve your productivity. You will also want to keep in mind statistical data which points to the best times of day and days of the week for engaging in social media activity.
Neil Patel of Quick Sprout recently published an infographic that details some of the best times to publish on various social media platforms.
#3 – Tips For Better Time Management
I have often thought that I was invincible and could simultaneously focus on every task at once. A balancing act acquired from years of having too much to do, and not enough time. I considered multi-tasking an art form and a higher form of organization than my counterparts who only focused on one thing at a time. I could not have been more wrong.
In recent years I’ve had to buckle down and force myself to devote all of my attention to one task at a time. I’ve found that the quality of my work has improved and the level of my stress has decreased significantly. Some tactics that have worked for me include:
- Closing my email when I’m working on social media tasks
- Exiting from all browser windows and tabs except for the one I need to work on
- Disabling chat or closing chat windows to avoid distraction
- Picking 15 minutes a day to indulge in activities such as checking personal social media profiles, responding to texts, or chatting with friends.
- Spending 30 minutes to an hour each morning reviewing emails and responding, do the same thing before leaving at the end of the day.
It is significantly easier to stick to your schedule if you are working ONLY on the tasks you have scheduled in the time allotted.
#4 – Use Social Media Tools for Better Time Management
Depending on your available time and social media content strategy, there are many tools that can help you accomplish more with less time. Below are three different types of tools that social media marketers can use to get the most out of their time:
Content Curation Tools
Social Aggregators & Management Tools
Want more? Here’s an awesome list of 22 social media management tools
Still Feeling Overwhelmed?
In order to help you better focus on the tasks at hand ask yourself the following questions:
- What are your top 3 social media goals and do you have a plan for reaching them?
- How much time can you dedicate each day to using tactics to reach these goals?
- What steps can you take to improve your focus while completing social media activities?
- Which type of tool: curation, aggregator, or social bookmarking can you use to help save time?
Sometimes, there are just too many moving pieces for your internal team to execute on. Know when it’s time to call in reinforcements and work with the social media marketing experts to help manage your workload.
What have you found are your biggest daily distractions when trying to manage a social media marketing program?
Image via Shutterstock