5 Tips for Striking a Balance in Social Media

The following is a guest post from momAgendaCOMM blogger Kris Cain.

We all know it, social media is addictive. It can be a huge time waster if you allow that to happen. Between Twitter, Facebook, and now Pinterest – there is plenty to read and respond to that can keep us occupied for hours.

But, social media can also be a blessing. If you need to expand your brand, it is a great way to create reach, connect with potential clients and provide support to existing clients. However, the key is balance and planning. I am going to give you 5 tips for achieving balance and I am going to admit that I don’t yet abide by all of these rules…but it’s a work in progress.

1. Schedule Time: Schedule an hour or so per day to read and respond to tweets, check your Facebook walls, update statuses, and pin items. When that time starts, set your timer for one hour. When it goes off, finish the last action and SHUT IT DOWN. Shutting it down is important because otherwise, alerts will draw you in again and you will never leave!

2. Schedule Updates: Twitter clients like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck now do a lot more than just allow you to tweet. You can connect to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare and more. This allows you to send an update to more than one service at a time. And even better, you can schedule updates to go out at a certain time of day. This allows you to tweak your updates to be sent at high visibility times. This is generally 8 – 9 am, noon, and 5 – 6 pm. So, even when you are commuting, you will know that your updates are being sent.

3. Limit Self Promotion: Even with #2 above, limit your amount of self-promotion. Twitter users like to chat not just read a constant stream of advertisements. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone to a brand’s page and saw nothing but link after link. Customers do not like that. Followers do not like that. They will say positive things about your brand if you take the time to talk with them.

4. Engage Your Followers: As stated above, followers and customers like to feel that you care. So, reply to their tweets in a timely manner (12 – 24 hours) and ask questions that make them want to respond and interact.

5. Limit Pinterest Time: So far I have somehow escaped the Pinterest addiction. f you look at my Pinterest account, I have only 2 boards with very few pins and for now, I am ok with that. I will find a balance and a purpose for it but I have enough social media distractions already. I do not need to spend 4 hours a day browsing other’s pins so take this as a cue to curb how much time you spend on these social media sites as well. However, Pinterest can be an important tool in promoting your brand so a great tip is to create a board that is named so that people KNOW that it is self-promotion. This could be board called “My Products,” “Things I Write About,” or “Shameless Self Promotion.” Your followers can peek in there when they see fit, and they do not have the advertisement factor shoved in their faces.

Do you admit to being addicted to social media? How much time would you say you spend on social media each day and does it take away from other things that you should be doing? How do you find balance?

Kris Cain is a member of the Council of Media Moms at momAgenda. She writes about technology and her busy life on her blog, Little Tech Girl. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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