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One Simple Trick to Make Social Media Less Time-Consuming

One Simple Trick to Make Social Media Less Time-Consuming

The biggest drawback towards using social media is that it seems to take up too much time. Due to the time commitment, businesses are not leveraging the full positive impact that social media can bring.

There are 3 reasons as to why social media becomes too time-consuming.

  1. There are so many different sites and you don’t know how to use them. Therefore you have to figure out how to use them, which eats up your time.
  2. You don’t have a solid plan and just enter the websites on the spot looking for the right thing to say. When you aren’t sure, you get sucked in and spend a lot of time on the sites.
  3. You consume everyone else’s content and posts. You click on links, look at pictures and watch videos because you aren’t clear on what else you could do while there.

In order to overcome these three time wasters and take back you time on social media, you must have a clear plan.

Creating a plan means getting clear on what you’re on social media for. It also means that you need to line up your content creation and curation in a way that supports that.

For example, my personal strength on social media is engaging with people. I could have conversations with people all day long, but I also need to remember to incorporate a healthy dose of content marketing into the mix. I’m on social media both to market my business and to create relationships. Knowing that I need to add content marketing is the reason why I come up with a content plan before I enter the sites.

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Knowing what your audience wants to see.

If you don’t know what type of content your customer is interested in, then do some research on your target audience. Figure out where they already hang out and what types of content pieces are already resonating with them. This is a clue as to the types of content you can potentially share with them.

One of my clients has a retail-based business. I know that when I find content which is retail specific or customer service focused, my client would be interested. I curate it and share it with them in a way that they will receive and read it.

Once you identify what your target audience wants to see, organize this content into themes.

Create five themes and 10 sub-themes to post about on social media.

Let’s say your target audience is interested in learning more about social media. Break this down more specifically. In this specific case, the topic of Facebook can be one theme that you post about. Twitter can be another theme.

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Sub-themes are smaller topics that relate to the theme. If your theme is Facebook, your sub-themes can include Facebook ads, Facebook pages, Facebook graphics and Facebook groups. These are all separate topics related to the main theme.

Once you organize these five themes and 10 sub-themes, it’s time to create the content and the content plan.

Where do you find content for your audience?

Create original content based on those sub-themes that you created. You can get content from your blog posts or just from your expertise. For example, if I want to post about Facebook ads I can find relevant blog post that I have previously written about and create social media posts from this content.

The other content you can share is other people’s content. To find content relevant to the themes that you have identified set up Google Alerts. Google will then alert you when they find new content related to the terms you set up.

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To do this, use the information you found after researching your target market. Go to www.google.com/alerts and type in the topic that you are interested in. Click “Create Alert”. You will then be notified via email of content created with that topic.

google-alerts

    By this point you are well on your way to creating your plan. You have identified your goals for the social media platform (i.e. use it to market your services, become an industry leader, etc.), identified your target audience, listed all the topics you will specifically post about, and created a pool of original posts as well as other shareable content.

    Now it’s time schedule these posts.

    Decide at what times a day you will post, and on which platforms you will post on and then schedule the posts. You can use one post and share it across different social media sites.

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    By taking these steps you will no longer go onto social media pointlessly, try to come up with content on the spot and get lost in your newsfeeds. You will know exactly what you need to post to reach your goals and your target audience, and you will where to get the information for the posts.

    Finally, book time in your schedule to create and publish these posts so that you only have to spend one time per week on social media.

    If you tap into your audience and share content that you know they are going to enjoy, you will spend less time throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks and more time delivering interesting content with high value.

    Featured photo credit: Clock/Pixabay via pixabay.com

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    Last Updated on July 17, 2019

    The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

    The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

    What happens in our heads when we set goals?

    Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

    Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

    According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

    Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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    Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

    Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

    The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

    Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

    So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

    Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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    One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

    Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

    Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

    The Neurology of Ownership

    Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

    In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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    But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

    This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

    Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

    The Upshot for Goal-Setters

    So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

    On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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    It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

    On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

    But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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    Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

    Reference

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