15 Minutes a day for social networking

Here’s another look at what you can do in just 15 minutes a day.

Like you, I know that Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging, and Twitter can be time suckers. This is where my recent experiment comes in.

I’ve been trying to prove that you can take care of social media tasks in just 15 minutes a day. Scoff at me all you like, but you gotta give me points for determination.

Elizabeth Bryan

Elizabeth Bryan, Santa Monica Portal. Mixed media, 96 x 60 x 2 inches. ©The Artist

Here’s how it’s going. (Keep in mind that social media is a big big part of my online presence. It is probably not of equal weight for you.)

I’ve been setting my alarm and trying to get through Facebook chores in 15 minutes a day. These means updating my status, responding to comments on my wall, checking my FB inbox, sending birthday greetings, and tending to my fan page as well. Some days it works, but on other days my 15 minutes are more like an NFL quarter: sidetracked by injuries, flags, and timeouts. The 15 minutes morphs into 30 and then 45 minutes and then . . .

This extra time spent on Facebook doesn’t help me prove my thesis, but I stick to tasks that must be done. And I know I’m doing them as quickly as possible without getting caught up in games, applications, and quizzes. (This latter part is key. I have a strict policy against participating in any of these time-sucking activities. I have other ways of having fun, which usually involve the real world outside of Facebook.)

The timer is key! I love racing against the clock for stuff like this. My husband and I sometimes do the same thing when we go to the supermarket and don’t feel like being at the supermarket. It’s kind of fun to see how fast you can get through the crowded aisles without hurting yourself, knocking over displays, or mowing down unsuspecting shoppers.

You can do this, too.

Set your alarm and take care of your social media tasks in 15 minutes a day. If you need more, as I do on some days, that’s fine, too.

Or perhaps you prefer 30 minutes two or three times a week. That’s great!

Make sure that you are spending quality time online and not allowing it to become a time-waster.*

How do you monitor your social media time?

*Sometimes you need to waste time. You’re fried and you want to do brainless stuff. As long as this doesn’t happen every day, embrace the moment. Go on Facebook and take all the quizzes you like. Just don’t get upset if someone (me!) blocks your application or doesn’t respond.

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18 comments to 15 Minutes a day for social networking

  • Great Post! I use an iPhone app called “Statustic” and it updates your status across multiple social networking sites. It’s a simple, but useful tool for quick updates.

  • Thanks for another great tip, Alyson! Twitter especially can be a huge distraction for me because of the way it’s constantly updating. Fifteen minutes a day sounds like the perfect time frame for getting “maintenance” done without getting distracted by everything else that goes on there!

  • Will: Do you use that to update every site automatically? I worry about that because people are complaining about duplicate content everywhere.

    Miranda: This is Tara Reed’s “Zen of Twitter”:

    “Don’t worry about what you might have missed when you weren’t looking, just assume that the tweets you are meant to see are the ones on the screen when you are inspired to look.”
    http://snipurl.com/tarareed (affiliate link)

  • OK …I have now spent at least 4 hours with the social networking and internet interactions of some sort…..I am going make a check list and start withdrawl tomorrow 1 hour a day to start (will I ever make it 15 min?)

  • Mary: Ouch! 4 hours is a lot. Were they productive? I like the plan for withdrawal.

  • Hi Alyson! Great post! You are so right about putting this on a schedule, as you would any other task. I update my blog and take care of facebook first thing in the morning – Monday thru Friday. I also have a strict policy of avoiding the games and stickers, farm animals, etc. People who send those things to me will not get a response. You gave us good advice at your Estes Park workshop. It is true that you don’t need to scroll down to see a bunch of stuff that happened when you weren’t looking.

  • Alyson thank you! This is exactly what I have been feeling lately as I seem to waste time on the social networking which takes time away from the studio time. Instead of being dialed in to accomplish what is most important the minutes (& hours) often seem to be frittered away with no return on your time investment.

    I love adding the timer idea to different parts of your life (especially the shopping!!!), as you know it always seems for some reason to be the most important things we sacrifice first on the altar of busyness or laziness, like family, friends and the art!

    This has given me the motivation to make a plan and stick to it without feeling like I am missing something on the social sites or not doing enough to promote and grow my business and network. Thanks again!

  • I started using a timer a couple of weeks ago and it has done wonders for my production. I work for 15 mins, read blogs for 15 mins. play solitaire for 15, etc.

  • this is a great tip, since the lines between FB, Linked In, Twitter and all the others can definitely make life blurry . . . I find that it’s best NOT to go to any of these sites first thing, since all of my morning energy will be sucked up by them. Focus is key! As are having goals of what you want to accomplish, too. Still, these sites are great in that they allow you to express your creativity and your voice, which is what makes them so appealing to artists!

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  • …as well clicking “LIKE”, and sending out support to others.
    A recent radio show on Social Networking today referenced the “80-20″ rule: 80% give, 20% get.
    Interesting….

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  • Thanks a lot for the advice! A great idea for those (like me) that are out of time!

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