Beating the biggest time wasters

Social media columnist
Social media columnist
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Managing your social media so that you get results takes a great deal of time. But, there are many distractions that whittle away precious time on activities that produce zero results. Here are the biggest time wasters on social media and how you can avoid them.

When you go into your business accounts it’s very easy to get distracted and start reading the latest post from a friend or watch a ‘really interesting’ video. Before you know it an hour has just disappeared!

LONG CONTENT

Long and involved content wastes your time for two reasons. First, it takes you a long time to read or watch it. Very few people have the time to watch the hour-long documentary you’re thinking of sharing with your audience. So not a great use of your time.

The other problem with long-form content is that it doesn’t perform as well on social media generally speaking. People prefer small, “bite-sized” content instead.

One way to avoid getting sucked into long content is to set a specific guideline for maximum length, and then evaluate each piece of content you might share.

UNFOCUSED CONTENT

For each piece of content you create or share, ask yourself what particular use it is for your audience. Many businesses simply share things they find interesting or amusing, and this is fine as long as your audience thinks so too.

A better approach is to start by asking yourself, “How can my audience use this?”

CHECKING RANDOMLY

Many of us check our social media profiles throughout the day when we have down time. This is fine for personal use, but you want your business social media time to be more focused. After all, you want to get things done and the more efficiently the better.

This is why it’s best to create specific social media times throughout your day. Set aside this time and create a routine for what you do during this time to make the most of it. When you’re checking social media throughout the day, however, you can save things to share later or save ideas that you like.

Use scheduling apps, like Hootsuite or Buffer, to schedule your content throughout the day without you needing to be online all time. Facebook has its own scheduling function for a business page.

Grouping the time that you spend on social media together and using a scheduler will help you get in the flow of writing for the platform you’re on.

FAILING TO USE FEATURES

Finally, you could be wasting a great deal of time by failing to use the features that social media platforms offer for controlling your feed. If you’re using the same profile for personal and business, you’ll be seeing posts from old high school friends alongside the content of influencers in your niche. Try segmenting your news feed into business-related and personal.

A good way to discover your own personal time wasters is to log your social media time. Write down the times and what you’re doing during those times. By tracking, it’s easy to see where you’re wasting time.

BREAKING NEWS

Facebook Updates Metrics and Reporting Standards: Facebook rolled out several updates to its metrics and reporting standards to give its partners “more clarity and confidence” about the insights it provides. These updates include increased third-party verification to review and validate data on impressions and views, the formation of a Measurement Council that will address the “growing need for measurement standards tied to business outcomes,” a new internal review process to ensure Facebook’s metrics are “clear and up to date,” and regular communication about future updates. Facebook also addressed and corrected several bugs that led to inaccurate data over the last few months.

Facebook Updates Inbox to Include Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram: With Facebook’s updated inbox, businesses can link their Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram accounts into one place where you can “quickly scan all three channels for new updates and feel confident that you’re not missing an important message.”

Facebook Rolls Out Smart Ad Targeting Capabilities to Pages: An update to Facebook Ads Manager has made it possible for page owners to retarget “Everyone Who Engaged With Your Page” in their custom audiences.

Facebook Introduces New Android Auto Integration for Messenger: Facebook rolled out an Android Auto integration for Messenger that enables drivers “to listen to and reply to messages using voice commands” or press a button that sends an “I’m driving right now” message as a 
quick reply to incoming 
texts.

Instagram Adds Boomerang, Mention Tags, and Links to Instagram Stories: Instagram introduced two new tools “to help you make your story even more fun, Boomerang and mentions,” and announced that it’s starting “to test links inside some stories.”

Twitter Releases Live Streaming Video App for Android TV: Twitter rolled out its live video app to Android TV. Similar to the Twitter app on other platforms, the Android TV app provides access to “the best of Twitter today plus top global Vine videos and Periscope broadcasts” on big-screen TVs, as well as displaying a running feed of tweets to go with the live video.

Twitter Continues to Combat Online Abuse: Twitter gave users more tools for controlling and reporting online abuse. Twitter expanded its muting functionality to notifications and announced that “in the coming days” all users will have the ability “to mute keywords, phrases and even entire conversations you don’t want to see notifications about.”

LinkedIn Opens Sponsored InMail to All Marketers: LinkedIn announced that sponsored InMail is now available to all marketers through LinkedIn Campaign Manager. According to LinkedIn, Sponsored InMail allows you to “engage your target audiences in a personalized, direct and meaningful way.”

Pinterest Rolls Out Native Video Pins and New Content Discovery Feature: Pinterest launched Promoted Videos earlier this year and is now testing “a new auto-play version of the experience… [in which] your video jumps right into the action as soon as a Pinner discovers it.”

Pinterest Simplifies Notifications Features and Inbox: Pinterest announced that “the place you go to check your Pinterest notifications and messages just got a whole lot simpler.”

Periscope Makes Periscope.tv Moments Shareable: Periscope now allows users to share specific moments from Periscope.tv broadcasts with other people on the web.

YouTube Debuts Official VR App for Daydream: YouTube released a new stand-alone YouTube VR app for a Daydream-ready phone like Pixel and the new Daydream View headset and controller.