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Integrating Social Media Into Workflow

Sherpa chartofweek-02-16-10 social media processDo you have a social media strategy and policy? How do you work social networking into your daily routine so that it is effective but not overwhelming? As marketers, we know that social media requires thought and strategy in order to be effective…and that strategy and thought require time, effort and experience.

Not to mention, surfing social media in your free time because you are looking for a long lost friend on Facebook is much different time to spend than tweeting a recent news article about your company or blogging about a local area event. How do you make it work and still have time left to do your day job? Below are four tips to keep your social media marketing within your regular day and give you some pointers to remain effective.

1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew – Make sure that whatever social media sites you decide to use in your strategy are ones where you can interact consistently. Making sure you post regularly will help set the expectation of those that are in your ‘network’ of friends, followers and fans, not to mention Google and the other search engines. But be realistic – there are only so many hours in the day and you can’t work them all.

2. Use breaks and quick task changes effectively – in between tasks is a great time for a quick post or update on what you are working on. This time gives you the chance to change gears and begin to think about something different, and is a great time to quickly update your status or tweet about what you have completed or are about to tackle. Be careful, though, this tip requires that you are disciplined and not susceptible to ‘only 5 minutes of Farmville or Mafia Wars’. Focus and remain productive.

3. Don’t think more is always better – Adding a quick 120 or 140 character tweet once a day, a 250 word blog post once or twice a week on your favorite blog or even commenting on a LinkedIn group discussion is better than making sure you have updated every site you are on everytime you make a change to anything. Remember, the goal is to be heard, not ignored, and your network is interested in who you are and what you are generally doing, not what you do at every moment.

4. Walk before you run – If you are new to social media, try adding sites one at a time until you have 3 or 4 profiles and are comfortable using all the sites. Listen to and watch how other people in your network use each site so that you can follow along and participate effectively.