From Social Slacking to Social Selling: How to Stay Productive on Social Media

Learn how to stay productive on social media networks with these time budgeting tips and tricks.

May 24, 2015


For the social selling professional, social networking sites provide a web that can connect you with clients and prospects. But they’re also a different kind of web: the kind you can get stuck in, draining your energy and

You probably already know how sticky social networking sites can be. You log in with the best intentions. You want to search for relevant conversations to join, or to find and share content to enhance your professional brand. But then a compelling headline grabs your attention, so you allow yourself five minutes to read through it. Then that article has links to other interesting articles, and those articles have interesting side notes, too. When you finally snap back to reality, it’s an hour later and all you have to show for your time is a recipe for vegan chili.

As publishers and content marketers continue to pull people in with click-bait headlines and personalized suggestions, it gets harder to stay focused. Here are five tactics you can use to ensure your time spent on social sites is productive:

1. Go in with a Purpose

For too many professionals, the reason for logging onto a social site is to “take a break from work.” That’s a mindset sales professionals can’t afford. Don’t let yourself idly log on and click around. It helps to have a specific goal in mind. Say to yourself “the reason I am opening this site is to”:

  • Find connections to expand my network
  • Search for potential prospects
  • Share an article to build my brand
  • Monitor the activity of key prospects/clients

While it’s pleasant to read your news feed and see what your old high school friends are up to, that’s best left for after you get home from work.

2. Give Yourself a Time Limit

Nothing encourages productivity like a deadline. Try giving yourself a time limit. Once your time is up, it’s time to log out. Schedule just enough time to complete your specific task and no more. If you get distracted, you run the risk of not accomplishing your goal in the allotted time. This little bit of panic can be a great motivator for staying on task.

3. Pare Down the Sites You Visit

If you plan to use social networks outside of LinkedIn, don’t feel like you have to visit them each day. Focus your efforts on one social network rather than many in one sitting. As you become more efficient with your social media time, then you can start to consider how you can leverage your messaging across all social channels. The fewer social networks you log into a day, the less chance you’ll have of getting stuck in the web.

4. Dedicate a Specified Time for Reading

LinkedIn Pulse and their publishing platform always have interesting and compelling content to read. That’s great, except for when you’re just dropping in to respond to an InMail or send a thank you. You can avoid running afoul of your time limits by setting aside specific time in the day just for reading. If you see a compelling article, bookmark it or use an app like Pocket to save it for later. When it’s time to read, you’ll have a list of articles all ready to peruse.

5. Develop a 30-Minute Routine

After a few days of budgeting your time and going in with specific goals, you’ll be able to develop a daily routine. Take the tasks you find yourself doing on social throughout the day and condense them into an optimized thirty minutes of focused activity. Here are a few tips on how to maximize your effectiveness on LinkedIn in thirty minutes a day. Knock that thirty minutes out early in the day and you’ll be better equipped to resist temptation until tomorrow.

Spiders know which threads of their webs are sticky and which are safe to walk on. Make sure you’re the spider and not the fly by keeping your social media time purposeful, budgeted, and focused.