Is social media “killing your time” and your profits


I used to think that email was one of the biggest time-suckers for modern entrepreneurs, but now I’m thinking it may be social media. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some kind of cooped-up recluse who hates technology or talking to people.  I actually love connecting with people, leveraging technology, and relying on modern conveniences.  Believe me–I probably wouldn’t even survive a 1/2 day camping trip without electricity. 

However, I’m seeing an unsettling trend.  Many of the entrepreneurs I work with are spending way too much time on facebook, twitter, linkedIn, etc.  and they are not seeing a return on investment.  The problem is they aren’t using social media strategically, productively, or effectively.  If you don’t have a solid strategy behind your social media marketing, you’re basically just “killing time” and your profits are going down with it.

While I’m no social media expert by any stretch, I do know a lot about helping entrepreneurs master their time and make more money. So here are the 3 biggest social media mistakes I see entrepreneurs making that really tank their productivity and profitability.

  1. Spending several hours a day on social media.  Unless you are a social media manager, you likely can’t afford to spend all day on facebook or twitter.  Most entrepreneurs can get away with 30  minutes  a day  (60 minutes a day,  if you’re a real social butterfly)  and still have a great social media presence. Use services like SocialOomph or hootesuite to automate some posts and save time. You can also have your VA or social media manager do this for you. Then you can use your 30 minutes a day to add your personal touch (so you aren’t  just sending out automated messages from bots all day).
  2. Spending  a ton of time and money trying to figure it ALL out.  Many times, people try to figure out every social media platform all at the same time.  Choose one at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed.  Once you’ve mastered one, or at least feel comfortable with it, you can think about adding another.  Look at where you’re ideal clients are hanging out to help you decide where you want to build your presence first. And that brings me to mistake #3…
  3. Spending time on social media when your business foundation has cracks in it.  There are several things you need to do before getting on social media; here are just a few:
    1. Get clear on your ideal client and niche.  It does no good to have 10,000 random friends and followers.  You want to build relationships with your ideal clients , colleagues, and centers of influence.  You also need something to talk about besides what you ate for lunch, so knowing your audience and their interests goes a long way in providing content that people will actually want to read.
    2. Have a strategy.  I hear this all the time, “Everyone says I should be on _______.”  Because everyone else is doing it is not a good enough reason to redirect your time, money, or energy towards anything.  You need to know what you’re trying to accomplish with each and every action you take in your business.  Is it to build your list, build relationships, enroll new clients, establish expert status, etc?  Whatever it is, be clear on it.
    3. Get the basics down first.  If you don’t have any paying clients, it’s not the time to be learning how to use facebook and twitter. You need to be focused on filling your pipeline immediately. Reach out to people in a way that will make the most impact and get clients quickly–pick up the phone and call some warm leads or meet some people in person who can refer clients to you.  If you don’t have a website, I suggest getting that done.  That way you have some place to direct friends, followers, and connections when they want to learn more about you. 

As an entrepreneur, there are so many things that you could be working that it’s hard to know what to focus on.  Get clear on the exact steps YOU need to take to grow your business and don’t get side-tracked by flashing lights.   There are definitely different phases to building a business and they determine what you should be spending your time on.  Next week I’ll let you know about an event I’ve put together that will show you the exact phases of building a rock-solid, productive and profitable business.

© 2011 Tiffany deSilva, Order and Balance, LLC

Want to reprint this article?  Feel free to do so as long as you include the following message:

Tffany deSilva, founder and CEO of Order and Balance, LLC, specializes in helping women entrepreneurs  conquer chaos & overwhelm , boost their productivity & their bottom line, and strategically build financially successful and sustainable businesses that not only run seamlessly, but integrate seamlessly with their ideal lives. Visit http://www.orderandbalance.com  to receive your copy of the FREE report, “Get the Money You Deserve and the Time You Desire:  How to Avoid the 7 Biggest Mistakes Women Entrepreneurs Make.”

11 Response to “Is social media “killing your time” and your profits ”

Mary Ellen Miller
August 11, 2011
3:56 am

Comment :

Good advice Tiffany. I always advise my clients to be very disciplined in their approach to social media. It’s kind of like chocolate. Some is great. Spending too much time, if it’s not your profession, can be a big waste (or big waist in the case of chocolate) of time.

Tiffany deSilva
August 11, 2011
6:34 am

Comment :

Absolutely, Mary Ellen. Social media is a wonderful tool, just don’t get lost in it.

Kristina Shands
August 11, 2011
7:54 am

Comment :

Oh, TIffany. You have no idea how happy your post makes me:) I agree with you 100%. I am asked all the time about using social media for business. What I find is that they often don’t even have a marketing plan. Without a plan, social media is just a waste of time. For most businesses, social media should be a marketing tool, not an entire strategy. Thanks so much for pointing out that you should focus on a solid foundation before heading online. Love it!!

Tiffany deSilva
August 11, 2011
8:24 am

Comment :

Thanks, Kristina. I know you’re all about helping people master social media as part of their overall marketing strategy. Thank goodness for folks like you!

Jeff Brunson
August 11, 2011
12:16 pm

Comment :

“time-suckers ” … I love that! I know some people that may fit. But I digress.

Thanks for this great advice. I recently met with someone who is launching in an entirely new direction with their career after selling an established business. I am going to send a link to this post as I know they will appreicate your guidance very much.

Linda Pucci
August 12, 2011
6:05 am

Comment :

This is a great post, Tiffany! I especially found your 3rd point SO important. I’ve got the strategic part down pretty well (thanks to Kristina Shands) but continue to need to “fine tune” my ideal client. I have found that even aside from social media, you HAVE to have the foundation of your business solid before you can successfully utilize the internet to grow.

Renee Preis
August 14, 2011
9:45 pm

Comment :

Love this Tiffany!! You are so so right….especially about getting the basics down first!! Always love reading your posts::))

Sue Painter
August 20, 2011
1:20 pm

Comment :

I totally agree with “get the basics down first” – I’ve had to be selective about social media because in fact it can take 100% of your time. Stick to a few of the main ones and do a good job there – leave the rest, is how I approach it.

Katrina Sawa
August 23, 2011
3:47 pm

Comment :

Hi Tiffany,

It was so nice of you to comment on one of my blog posts a couple weeks ago so I thought I’d head over to your blog and see what you were writing about.

I teach a lot about social media and how to PROFIT from one’s efforts so this is a good post, some good tips. I especially agree with starting with ONE site first, mastering that (preferably developing a strategy and system for continuing that one, then go build another).

The one thing I could argue a little on however is how much time you’re spending on social sites every day. If you were getting thousands of dollars in revenue generated by the leads coming from social media marketing every month, it would make sense to spend MORE time there wouldn’t it? For some people that’s a big yes….

The reason some social media experts suggest only 15-30 min a day or twice a day is typically because they just suggest posting, commenting and things like that, not a real strategy on how to ‘connect’ and build a relationship with everyone you connect with.

I actually recommend treating your social media sites as you would a live, in-person networking event. You wouldn’t walk up to someone at a local networking event and throw a flyer at their face about one of your upcoming events right? But people do this sort of thing all day long on social sites.

Instead you’d walk up and spark up a conversation with them, ask them questions and interact with them to find out if or how you could help each other.

There’s more to it than that and I could go on and on about this but I wanted to share my thoughts. I use a simple messaging system to reach 250 new potential prospects every week in my business…then I delegate some of it (that which can be) and it always brings quality hot leads.

Keep up the good work and great writing!

Katrina Sawa
The JumpStart Your Biz Coach
916-872-4000
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“Kicking YOU and YOUR Business Into High Gear!”

P.S. Get your FREE Entrepreneur’s Success Kit plus a couple other Free Gifts online at http://www.JumpStartYourMarketing.com/gifts!

Tiffany deSilva
August 23, 2011
9:20 pm

Comment :

Hi Katrina,

Thank you for your thoughtful response. I totally agree with you. Heck I would stand on the side of a busy street wearing a stuffed chicken suit for 3 hours a day if it were generating thousands of dollars in revenue each month and was a good return on investment.

If you’re generating thousands of dollars in revenue from social media marketing, you’re obviously not one of the folks I’m talking about who is “dabbling” in social media without a strategy. You have to have a strong business foundation in place before you can see a huge payoff from social media marketing.

Katrina Sawa
August 23, 2011
9:52 pm

Comment :

Ha Ha! I would do that too Tiffany for sure! LOL

Katrina

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