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Michael Brenner is senior director of global marketing for SAP. He is also author of the B2B Marketing Insider blog and cofounder of social news site Business 2 Community. Michael is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 99 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

How Do You Find The Time For Social Media?

04.10.2013
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How do you find the time for social media? This is the question I get asked probably more than any other.

I have four lovely children, a demanding job, a wife with a successful career and more. So how do I find the time to tweet, blog, share, and comment?

The answer is simple: I make the time for social media because I think it’s important.

I believe that business people in general, and marketers especially, have an obligation to do more than just consume content or share other people’s content but to become a content creator and to contribute to your work and your life.

Now I am not trying to guilt anyone into this. I realize there are a lot of reasons why people don’t spend the time on social media even though they know they should.

There are also plenty of reasons why people don’t work out, quit smoking or stop eating too much. You know, reasons like: I’m too busy with more important stuff, I don’t know what to say, I don’t understand the tools, I don’t see the value, and my favorite excuse: social media is for kids.

In order to find the time for social media, you need to see why it’s important, how it will change your life, how it will improve your business.

And you need to understand what steps to take to be successful. I call this the Social Business Imperative. I do not think it’s a choice when you accept that we live in a social world and that only the social business will win.

So if you don’t think you have time for social media, let’s find some for you. First you have to consider: How do you spend your day?

According to The Atlantic, we spend more than a quarter (28%) of our day answering email!

According to this infographic, the average worker spends 19% of their time in meetings. And they consider half of those meetings a complete waste of time. The average worker also reported spending another 25% of their day dealing with meaningless distractions.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the problem is even worse for executives, with as much as 33% of their day spent in meetings.

Wow. So when my kids ask me what I do all day at work, maybe I should answer “I do email, sit on conference calls and listen to my colleagues talk about TV shows.” (Disclosure: these examples are purely fictitious. Any similarity to real persons living or dead is purely coincidental.)

So finding the time for social media is simply about making it a priority over emails that aren’t important, meetings that aren’t productive and the daily distractions that come along.

My main tips for making the time to blog, tweet, comment or share:

  • Make a small but daily time commitment.  You have to find the time to make small “investments” in social every day. Tweet once a day. Blog once a week. Do whatever works for you and be realistic. But it’s amazing what happens after a year. You’ll have sent hundreds of tweets, created dozens of blog posts, connected with lots of great people and learned more than you would have ever imagined.
  • Build your content and your audience based on your passion. Write about and share what interests you and you will attract an audience of like-minded people. They will inspire you with questions and theories and unique points of view that will spawn completely new thoughts of your own. This in turn becomes the idea factory you need to consistently generate lots of great share-worthy content.
  • Help others. Give-to-get (G2G), “pay it forward,” whatever you want to call it, the bottom line is that “karma” works in the social world. Share the work of people you admire and they will take a second look at your own work. Over time, you will become an authority yourself.
Published at DZone with permission of Michael Brenner, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)