We've all been there. You know when you're spending so much time on social media that you end up feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and sometimes plain burnt out.
There's no doubt social media has the capacity to be all consuming. With so many different channels and an avalanche of new content every day, it's impossible to stay on top of the constant streams that are passing you buy.
But it doesn't have to be like this. With a little planning and some savvy social media marketing strategies, you can make social media work for you through smart and strategic moves for your business.
Here are my top five tips to help you deal with social media overwhelm:
Create boundaries around your time on social media
It's so easy to fall down a black hole in social media. Before you know it you've forgotten what you were doing, and two hours have passed you by. Social media can be very addictive and without boundaries around your time spent online, you're not going to be making productive use of your time or energy.
To make sure you don't get lost in the social media jungle, make sure you put boundaries around your time. This means to give yourself a time limit before you start engaging on your favourite social media platform. It may work well to set a time for 30 minutes so you don't lose track of time. When the timer goes off, you log out of your accounts and return to your regular work.
Often two to three 30-minute sessions a day can help you use your time on social media in an effective and productive way. Knowing you have a deadline also means you'll be much more purposeful and effective with your time.
Use scheduling tools to use your time productively
There are some great scheduling tools today that can help you save huge amounts of time. Tools such as HootSuite and Buffer help you load up tweets, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ posts in advance so you can do all your posting at once, but have your content be drip-fed to your followers at the times you want.
This also allows you to batch the sourcing and posting of all your content in advance instead of having to go into each social media account every day. Once your posts are then being scheduled to your accounts, you can drop in and out of your social media channels as needed throughout the week to continue the conversations with those people engaging with your content.
Use targeted searches to find the people and content you want
Rather than randomly surf through social media, use targeted searches to find the people and content you're interested in.
Twitter search is powerful for searching for keywords, hashtags or people you want to follow on Twitter. Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn all have the ability to search using keywords related to your field or industry and to search for people by name. By using the search functions in the social media platforms, you can be more strategic with your time on social media by going straight to the rich content that's relevant to you.
Other social media monitoring tools you can use to search on social media include Sprout Social, Social Mention, SmashFuse and Topsy. These tools also help you find influential people in your field to follow and engage with.
Take breaks from social media
It's important to consider taking a break from social media on a regular basis, so you can take the time to renew, recharge and come back refreshed.
Social media fatigue is a real phenomenon that can take a toll on you personally and on your business. However, by using smart strategies and some forward planning, you can make social media work for you and your business.
About the author
Catriona Pollard is the author of From Unknown To Expert, a step by step framework designed to help entrepreneurs develop effective PR and social media strategies to become recognised as influencers in their field. www.unknowntoexpert.com
Catriona is also the director of CP Communications, which merges traditional PR tactics with cutting-edge social media strategies that engage consumers as well as business. www.cpcommunications.com.au