At the conclusion of our last “Social Networking 201” workshop one of the participants asked, “How does one person have time to do all this?” This is an EXCELLENT question. For many of us it is a daunting prospect to enter the world of social media. It is not uncommon to wonder where will I find the time to do it? Therefore, the purpose of this post is to give you some ideas about how to manage the time you spend on your social media presence. Below are some social media time management suggestions:

1. Set Your Goals. You should start with the following goals:
a. The number of social media platforms in which to participate. I recommend no more than three for most people, at least initially. The question is, “which ones?” The answer is, it depends on your situation and your reason for being involved in social media. However I recommend you consider Facebook and a blog to start.
b. How often to post. Again the answer is it depends. Notwithstanding, your goal should be consistency, and remember quality is preferable to quantity. That said, I recommend you plan to post two to three times a week on each platform. If this is too much for your busy schedule reduce the number of platforms you use, or get some help.

2. Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.
Plan to write some of your posts in advance. Use your less hectic times to prepare some posts. Blogs like “WordPress” allow you to write your posts and publish them at a time of your choosing.

3. Active Listening. Keep and eye on your friends’ and business associates’ posts. Also monitor websites that deal with the issues you are interested in. You never know when you may see something you can use for your post. I’m NOT suggesting you become a plagerist, but you can get some really good ideas just by looking and listening.

4. Get Help. Remember as you learn, do what you love and drop or outsource what you don’t love! The same applies to social media. Consider these options:
a. Outsourcing (or Ghost Blogging). There are services available who will write your social media posts. Naturally, you will need to give guidance and review the entries prior to publishing. One company I recommend for this service is Inkblot Communications.
b.Technology. Big surprise, there is technology to help with technology. One of my favorites is Ping is a really cool free service which reduces the time you spend posting to each platform. It actually provides a means to write a single entry which will post automatically to selected social media platforms. A couple of points to note:
1. You may not want the same post on each of your social media platforms. Ping also provides the means to create groups which determine the social media on which a post will appear.
2. Some social media platforms restrict the number of characters in a post. Therefore your post may be abbreviated on those platforms.

Feel free to let me know if you have any other time management suggestions.