I have a love/hate relationship with the whole Social Media thing. I love catching up with friends on Facebook or screaming at the universe on Twitter – but sometimes it gets to be too much. You have to step back and ask yourself if it is right for your business.
One of the weird things about being a professional photographer is that there is a very fuzzy line between work and play. For example, if you spend your Thursday night trying out a new Photoshop technique – is that fun or work? Kinda both. What about doing research for that next camera you are wanting to buy? Technically, you are working – but it is also something you love. That’s the great thing about being a photographer.
Social media is something that falls into that category for me. Things like keeping up a blog or updating your Facebook page could both be considered Marketing (and thus, work) but they can also be enjoyable. Like most things in life, the key is moderation. You have to dedicate just enough time to social media to get results, but no so much time that it becomes a part-time job.
A good plan is to dedicate a specific amount of time to your social media campaign. Say three hours a week, for example. Three days each week, you would spend one hour doing all your social media chores – whatever you need to do to get your name out there. From there – you set it aside for the day. Any other “work” you do from that point on is just for fun. If you get a kick out of sending 50 tweets per day, no problem – just do them during your 3 hours of work or after you have “clocked out” for the day. By drawing a more clear distinction between work and play, it can help you to keep your day a little more organized.
Another time saving tip is to use TweetDeck – or a similar client – to get more efficient with your posting. With TweetDeck, I can type an update and send it to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all at the same time. Very handy! For Twitter users, SocialOomph is great. It allows you use your hour to schedule a whole bunch of tweets – then have them sent out over the course of the week. How cool is that?
Of course, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Maybe you could spend one of your hours researching other Twitter techniques or check into Google+. The social media landscape is always changing, so you have to change with it.
So what about you? Is social media taking over your life? Got any time-saving tips? If so, leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your feedback!