Thursday, 7 February 2013

Take Your Time Online – Control Your Social Networking

When it comes to being in control of your social media, lots of people, particularly small businesses have concerns over wasting time on social websites. I know several people who avoid social networks because they fear losing time, and I have coached a few folk on time management where social media has been identified as a focus.

Part of the problem stems from the fact that social networks were frowned on historically, and seen as ‘play-time’ in the corporate world.

However, social websites are becoming more accepted in the office;
playing farmville on facebook less so, but keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date is encouraged nowadays at many forward thinking companies. It’s not saying that you’re looking for a job, but you are helping to raise your company’s profile with your skills, recommendations and reputation.

Lots of people I meet still have a feeling of guilt about spending any amount of time on social networks. But if this is part of your business (and if you are a start-up or small business, it should be) then the feeling of guilt is counterproductive to listening and engaging to other people and businesses and connecting with them.

Few see going to networking meetings as a waste of time (although they can be) because they are a more traditional way of doing business. Check the reasons you ‘do’ networking and check the same reasons for online or social networking. Perhaps you’re hoping to learn from people, find partner or customer opportunities, or get more motivation and inspiration for others; the same can apply online as face-to-face. Factor in regular time-slots for your social networking as you do for networking meetings, and combine the two for best effect. All online and no face-to-face can be very dull, so arrange go for a coffee with that new connection or follower next time you’re in town.

As always, it’s about balance and control, there is such a thing as too little or too much. Use feedback to check what is working for you, and don’t berate yourself for spending time online, embrace it!

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