AskNickUsborne Newsletter Do you waste time on social media?
Sent Thursday, April 22, 2010
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ARTICLE: Do you use social media as a business tool, or because
This may sound like a mean question, but it's a legitimate one.
To find the answer, you first need to do an audit of the time you
spend on social media sites during business hours.
Figure out how much time you spend on these sites. Then think about
what kind of return you are getting from the time spent. I'm not
suggesting that you need to make an immediate income from your
interactions each day. You might be investing in relationships that
will pay you back in six months or a year from now.
But look closely at how you spend your time on social media. Is it
part of your marketing plan? Or does it just feel good to be in
touch with people during the course of the day?
The second thing to consider is the timing of your social media
Do you log in once a day? Or are you checking Facebook and Twitter
on an hourly basis, or more?
If you check in on your social media accounts several times a day,
I would ask that same question again: Are you doing this to build
your business? Or are you doing this because you feel isolated and
If you suspect that at least in part you are engaged in social
media because you feel isolated and lonely, you don't have to beat
up on yourself. As freelancers we are isolated. It can get lonely.
We don't have a water cooler. We can't hang out with colleagues for
lunch each day. Often we miss and crave the casual human
interactions we had as employees.
But do the audit, and be honest with yourself.
When you spend time on social media sites for reasons that are not
directly related to your work that day, you are allowing yourself
to be distracted. And social media sites have the potential to
distract you dozens of times each day.
Think about that. If your kids or friends interrupted your work a
dozen times a day, you'd get pretty upset with them. You would say
something like, "Hey, I am trying to work here. I can't get my work
done if you keep interrupting me this way. Each time you interrupt
me, it takes me about ten minutes to get back into what I was
Do you do the same to yourself by checking your Facebook and
Twitter accounts a dozen times each day?
Do you break your own concentration for ten minutes, a dozen times
That's two hours of work time you just lost.
Social media can be a great marketing tool for freelancers. But be
honest with yourself when it comes to using these sites. How much
of your interaction is about business, and how much is simply
feeding your need for human interaction?
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