There’s no doubt social networks have had a hand in increasing awareness, loyalty and clients for a number of companies. Social networks have given companies a way to directly connect and engage with fans, customers and their target audience face to face. Not only that, but they are able to send news faster than ever to their audience. But how has it personally affected us?
On one hand, we are more connected than ever before. No need to wait until your 20-year high school reunion to see what your friends have been up to. You can see pictures of their family weekend on the ranch today. Where is your favorite band stopping on tour today? Check their Twitter and you’ll see their constant updates and personal tour pictures. There are 157.4 million Facebook users in the U.S. Twitter’s user base increased 59% over the past year.
But on the other hand, are we spending too much unproductive time online? A recent study showed we spend an average of 1 of every 5 minutes on social media and over 20 billion hours online (email included). Did you check-in (email, social media) during the holidays? Do you check your phone at the dinner table? Do you find yourself mining through Facebook statuses when you could be productive?
Now, I’m not saying social media is bad, but can be a big obstacle to productivity. Just ask any college student or those in the 18-34 age range. How do you stay connected, but make sure you use your time wisely? Here are three ways to help you efficiently accomplish that.
1. Make Lists
On Facebook, Twitter and Google+, you are able to make customized lists of people you want to keep up with instead of being overwhelmed by everyone’s updates. Make these lists and only check these lists so you’re not scrolling through updates to find them. This will save you time and help you stay connected to certain people.
2. Allocate Time
Let yourself spend 30 minutes checking your social media accounts and then sign off. Set a timer if you need to. This will help you stay in the loop but keep you from spending mindless hours reading updates.
3. Log out of your accounts
When you log out of your accounts every time or you take the bookmark off your browser toolbar, you add extra steps to getting to unproductive time spent on social networks. These extra steps could deter you from logging in or when it comes to your deleted bookmark, “out of sight, out of mind.”
What are your feelings about social networks?