The Work/Social Media Balance

I sometimes worry about the day when I’ll work for a company that does not know about hootsuite because they will surely fire me for being on social media all day. The fact is, however, that my twitter will probably be posting links to cool articles for a couple days after I die. My Tumblr will be reblogging for much longer than that.

That’s how I manage to have an active social media presence and still manage to work full time. I schedule almost everything. I do take a few 15 minute breaks every day to look through twitter and facebook and share some things real-time. I also occasionally live-blog my process of making peanut brittle. I’m present, but not at the hours my social media typically posts.

So here’s a few things I’ve learned through my time of doing social media.

1. You can crosspost some things but not all things.

If you’re posting a link to your latest blog post or short story or announcing something, go ahead and cross post. That’s not a problem. But if it’s your regular social media, you should try to have different content for different sites.

2. Don’t be an asshole

I know some people who get more klout for being a jerk but they are not a usual case. Don’t be a jerk to the people who follow you. You don’t want them to unfollow you.

3. Hootsuite

You don’t want to be on social media at all times. That’s going to waste all your time. Unless you have money to hire someone to post for you, I would schedule or queue posts to go up throughout the day. But make sure the things you’re scheduling don’t have time limits. You don’t want to post about a meteor shower coming up and see it post the day after it ends. Also, don’t schedule for more than a few days ahead. You want to stay current.

Bonus tip: Hootsuite has this thing called Suggested Content for people who pay for the pro version. You can have it gather articles based on a few keywords and you can go through it and see if there’s anything you want to read and share with your followers. It’s pretty awesome.

4. Social Media breaks

Taking 15 minutes out of your day, two or three times a day, can help a lot. You can retweet, share, or reblog content in real time, also talk about anything current going on. This also gives you a chance to keep up with what’s going on in social media. Would you know what Vine or Snapchat were if you weren’t paying attention to social media? You can’t be constantly creating. You have to take stuff in as well.

5. Content Creation and Content Curation

You can’t do just one of these things. You need a good balance of both. If all you post is content you created, you seem like you only care about pushing your own stuff. You can’t just post links to things other people have created, you’ll seem like a robot. You need to be able to share things you enjoy and things that influence you from around the web but also share things you’ve created. I admit I’m a little heavy on the curation part but that will probably change soon.

6. Play Favorites

You can’t pay attention to every social media out there and still get work done. Try to focus on a few. I do Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook primarily. There’s occasionally Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+ content I post but those aren’t that often. When I do post something there, I probably also posted it to Facebook or Twitter, because those are my primary social media sites. Don’t be afraid to play favorites. Just make sure your favorites count.

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