Can you sum up your thoughts on social media in three letters: TMI? If so, a change may be in order. Here are tips to help make digital platforms more manageable.
FIVE WAYS TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA LIFE
Make sure what you use brings value and doesn’t simply waste your time
Social media can become addicting. When someone responds to your post or posts using a hashtag you’re following, there is seemingly a need to pick up your phone or smart tablet and check it.
By Michael Wayne
As a producer, your clients look to you as the insurance expert for their specific niche. In most cases, they consider themselves to be the experts in their chosen fields. They’re happy to give you all the information you need to build their insurance and risk management programs—sometimes (what seems to be) too much information.
Many people have a similar feeling about email and social media. There’s just too much information. Some find it easier to walk away than to manage the flow.
More than likely, those who have sworn off social media never made it past this article’s headline. For those of you who are still here, I have to assume it’s because you are experiencing some pangs when it comes to keeping up with your personal online life, your professional online persona, or both.
The first thing you need to be able to do is to recognize when you’re hitting the wall. If you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, you are probably in danger of reaching your limit:
- You’ve become apathetic about posting.
- You’re having problems focusing on composing content.
- You’ve allowed the time you take to reply to online messages and emails to become almost too long.
- You’re stressing about the next post to the point it is interfering with your ability to focus on real life.
Here are five tips to help you stay on top of things and not get buried so deep that you decide having a social media presence just isn’t worth your time—or sanity.
Limit your intake
Social media can become addicting. When someone responds to your post or posts using a hashtag you’re following, there is seemingly a need to pick up your phone or smart tablet and check it. To deal with this, you may want to set a schedule.
Carve out a definitive time period each day to dedicate to your social media sites. Allow yourself an hour in the morning to review any messages, shares, likes, emails, or whatever you like. Set a timer for an hour, and once that hour is up, move on. Even if you are still on your computer or phone throughout the day, avoid having a window open to those pages or having apps open that will distract you from what you need to do.
You may even want to set one day aside each week to stay offline completely.
Turn notifications off
Many in our society seem to have an almost Pavlovian response when their phone vibrates or a light on it blinks. Almost instantaneously, they have to pick up their device to see who emailed, who’s calling, what social media platform they are on received a reply, etc.
Turn off your notifications. Close your email so that you don’t see when a new message pops up. Put your phone on the opposite side of the room that you are in … or in another room altogether. Get your phone out of arm’s reach.
Cut out the junk
Take a look at what and who you subscribe to or follow on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and elsewhere. What e-newsletters do you receive? How do they help make you more productive? Are they helpful at all or a hindrance?
If you’re not careful, you can easily find yourself receiving a lot of junk that ultimately becomes too difficult and time-consuming to filter through. Make certain you follow influencers who will provide content that makes you more knowledgeable about the niches that you specialize in and e-newsletters that are beneficial and worthy of your most precious commodity: time. Everything else is just noise.
Don’t automatically take on everything
Being a part of a team has advantages. Why not share the workload as it pertains to social media tasks? Certainly, it doesn’t make sense to burden one individual with the responsibility of keeping up with everything regarding a specific niche—mainly because it’s impossible. If you are able to spread the job of keeping up with what’s out there, you should.
Jettison what doesn’t meet your needs
It’s understandable to miss out on knowing something everyone else knows. At some point, however, it is important to get rid of what isn’t working for you. Instead of being beneficial, what typically happens is you end up constantly checking everywhere for information that may not even exist. And that just wastes your time.
Examine what you are using and what, more times than not, actually provides you with real knowledge. After that, be bold and get away from platforms that are just clogging up your ability to get things done.