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Ask the Entrepreneurs: 13 Ways to Make Sense of Your Social Media Feeds Each Day

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 13 Ways to Make Sense of Your Social Media Feeds Each Day


    Ask The Entrepreneurs
    is a regular series where members of those involved in the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

    Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

    How do you, as a busy entrepreneur, find the time each day to keep up with social media?

    1. Newsflash: I’m Engaged!

    Laura Roeder

      Writing 140-character tweets or replying to a Facebook comment takes minutes — entrepreneurs waste hours on social media when they’re reading, not engaging. Twitter and Facebook were designed to suck you in to click on photo albums, read blog posts, and watch videos, but none of these activities grow your business! Make sure you’re spending your time engaging with, not consuming, social media.

      Laura Roeder, LKR

      2. Take It Personally

        When I’m pressed for time I look for more tasks that I can give to my virtual team that free up space to connect on social media. It’s not about “keeping up” with every post and link but really listening to, sharing with the community to build relationships. That’s not something that can be outsourced, so I’ll hand off other tasks to find the time.

        Kelly AzevedoShe’s Got Systems

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        3. Timebox Your Tweets

        Lea Woodward

          Interacting on social media in batches of time helps timebox it and keeps you focused. During that time, using web tools enables you to schedule useful resources to share, and also allows you to space out your interactions and responses so you’re not interacting in one overwhelming stream of activity during that period.

          Lea Woodward, Startup Training School

          4. Check Your Pulse Daily

            Set up time daily to share original content and other articles through news aggregates such as Pulse. Review what your followers are saying so you can connect and look for ways to be of service more effectively.

            Michael BrunyAmbassador Bruny.Com


            5. No Smartphone Necessary

              I connect Twitter to my cell phone — I get text notifications when someone mentions me, and sending a Tweet as a text message is much easier then doing it from the computer or even a phone app. Sending the Tweet via text message is as simple as sending a text to anyone else. It flows easier into my day this way, since I don’t get distracted by my feed.

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              Raoul Davis, Ascendant Group

              6. Stick to Your Discipline

                It can be easy to get swept up in social media and, as a result, work less efficiently. Instead of always being on, put aside a couple hours each day to answer emails, tweet things out, respond to @replies, etc. The rest of the time? Close those tabs! You don’t want the temptation. Believe me.

                Steph AuteriWord Nerd Pro


                7. It’s Just Another Part of Communication

                  I need to send out emails, return phone calls and even stick a letter in the mail today. I keep track of all of those things on one list and I keep social media tasks on the same list. Twitter and all the rest are just additional communication tools, and I treat them as such.

                  Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting


                  8. Set a Social Media Schedule

                    When using social networks, it’s important to set aside time to keep active and be consistent in your posting. Make sure you can use them live in real-time too. Occasionally, some accounts schedule their updates to go out later through TweetDeck on a specific date or time.

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                    Lane Sutton, Social Media from a Teen


                    9. Can’t Beat Buffer

                      Personal and business branding require maintaining active social media profiles, but it is tough to find the time for posting new content as a busy entrepreneur in this 24/7 news cycle. I am indebted to Buffer App; it’s the tool that helps me maintain an active Twitter presence without the headache of babysitting my feed. Use the bookmarklet to add updates to a queue, and let Buffer do the rest!

                      Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

                      10. Let’s Hear It for HootSuite!

                        I use HootSuite to manage all of my networks easily and schedule updates. In just a few clicks, I can send messages across all of my networks, which saves me tons of time.

                        Ben Lang, EpicLaunch



                        11. Integrate, Don’t Interrupt

                          I see social media not as an interruption or something to be scheduled throughout my day, but rather as part of my everyday activities. My setup in the TalentEgg office has a full computer screen devoted to HootSuite so that I can casually stay up-to-date with what’s happening throughout the company’s social media channels.

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                          Lauren Friese, TalentEgg Inc.

                          12. Consistency Is Key

                          Nick Friedman

                            It’s best to delegate that job if possible, so you can be consistent with your postings. If delegation isn’t an option, set aside 10-15 minutes each day (broken up into two or three separate, 5-minute periods) where you focus on posting, tweeting, and responding to social media.

                            Nick Friedman, College Hunks Hauling Junk


                            13. Download Those Mobile Apps

                            John Hall

                              Make it as easy as you possibly can. This means make sure that you have all of the mobile apps. Have these apps be the first ones you see when you touch your phone. Most people look at their phone quite frequently when they have down time. The more you are reminded to post, the more time you will make.

                              John Hall, Digital Talent Agents

                              How do you make sense of your social media feeds each day? Let us know in the comments below!

                              (Photo credit: Social Media Button on a Keyboard via Shutterstock)

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                                Last Updated on January 15, 2021

                                7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                                7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                                The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                                Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                                Posture

                                First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                                • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                                • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                                • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                                • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                                All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                                Facial Expressions

                                Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                                • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                                • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                                • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                                If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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                                1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                                A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                                The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                                This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                                2. Relax Your Face

                                New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                                The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                                To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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                                3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                                Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                                The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                                To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                                3. Smile More

                                There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                                Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                                4. Hand Gestures

                                Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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                                It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                                5. Enhance Your Handshake

                                In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                                “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                                It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                                6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                                As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                                Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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                                Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                                Final Takeaways

                                Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                                If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                                More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                                Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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