by Edie Melson @EdieMelson
In the past, I’ve shared my schedule on how to keep up with social media. But many of you have mentioned that, in addition to writing, you also work full-time. First, let me say you have my respect and admiration! As my grandmother would say, that’s a tough row to hoe.
Today’s post is for those who—either by choice or necessity—don’t write on a full-time basis. I salute you and hope you find this helpful.
While writing IS your priority, small (even tiny) consistent steps with social media can grow an impressive online presence.
The majority of your audience will be checking social media during the day and into evening. Because of this, it’s important to utilize a scheduling program to send out updates while you’re at work during the day.
Use Your Evening to Schedule Updates
I know many of you don’t have the time to schedule your updates in the morning before work. The way to get around this is to schedule your social media in the evening. I even do a little of this myself. Here’s an example of what I do. I usually check my social media once before bed. If I happen to see something I’d like to share, instead of sending it out right then, I schedule it to go out the next day. Sure I’m a day late, but if the information is relevant, a day or two isn’t going to make a difference. You could schedule all your updates that way.
Watch the Clock
Many of you mentioned you only have an hour or two to write in the evenings. If you take a full half-hour to work on social media, you’ve used up to half your writing time. That’s unacceptable. If that’s the case, then limit yourself to no more than 15 minutes of social media scheduling.
Schedule Updates for the Entire Week at One Time
Another way to work around your time-crunch issues is to devote one single evening to all your social media updates for the week. There have been times, when I was on a trip, that I’ve had to do this. Here’s how it’s done.
I chose Friday to schedule everything for the following week. For me, it was easier and here’s why. Starting the Monday previous, everything that came into my inbox that I thought would be valuable to share, I put into a document. I named the document by the date of the Monday I started collecting—1/27/13, Social Media Updates. Then I saved the document on my desktop, so I’d have easy access. Every time I found something valuable, I clicked on the link to the specific post. I then copied the URL of that specific post and, along with the title or something that would help me remember why I thought that post was valuable, pasted that info into the document.
I did this Monday through Friday (remember, I’m scheduling this in the evening, so I’ll have info from Friday to include) and plenty to share for the coming week. You could chose any day, even a weekend time to do this, and it would work just as well.
Limit Your Social Media Networks
With less time to devote to your writing, you have to make sure the time you spend on social media is well spent. You’ll have to discipline yourself to make the most of the time you have. This includes the time you spend interacting on different platforms. I recommend you read and comment on no more than 4 – 6 updates per social media network. AND I recommend you limit yourself to no more than 3 networks. Trying to do too much will result in less visibility.
For example, it’s much better to have a strong presence on 2 networks by sharing 4 or 5 updates several days a week and commenting on 4 or 5 updates several days a week, than only 1 or 2 updates and comments over a 5 or 6 networks. If you choose the latter, you have a much less likelihood of being seen.
Choose the Most Valuable Networks
By limiting your social media networks to no more than three, you’ll have to decide which 3 make the most sense for you. I still stand by my recommendation of Facebook and Twitter as numbers 1 and 2. After that, I’d choose between Pinterest, Instagram, Google Pus and YouTube. If you’re not sure how to evaluate these networks, I recommend a post I wrote about Social Media Platforms and How They’re Used.
Do What’s Best for YOU
All of these tips are just that, tips. Ultimately, you know what time you have and what priorities make the most sense for you. Take what works and toss the rest. The most important thing is to have a plan. In the past, stumbling along—doing the best I could—has set me back years with my writing goals.
These are my tips, now it’s time for you to chime in. Help each other—and me—by sharing what has and hasn’t worked for you.