Have you ever had the feeling that the Web can be a waste of time? We start by reading a bit of relevant information on a social media site. An hour later we are still on that site, but in our tenth different place. In fact, 65 percent of all streaming content is watched during the work day. YouTube reports that 2 billion videos are watched during this period of time. Black Monday started because of the faster Internet connections. A lot of the consumer buying on the Web happens at work.
Are you afflicted with a social media addiction? While it may not be contagious, is it affecting your work productivity. Do you feel any of these symptoms?
- You spend too many hours using social media tools with no measurable results. Sure it's fun, but from a business standard, what do you have to show for all of your valuable time?
- Your day is filled with distractions from constant alerts. There is constant fear that you will miss something so you need to react right now. In fact, you work on a stimulus response model waiting for interruptions to delay business decisions or progress.
- You are always looking at numbers as a reward: You need more followers, tweets, friends and views. You review these metrics more than your company's financial statements.
Don't despair. Here are five steps to the cure:
1. Learn that social media is promotion
What social media achieves best through its conversational style is making it easy to form trusting relationships over a long period of time. In the past, we may have done this over three martini lunches or trade shows, but these online tools really make it efficient. Focus on maintaining these relationships through online conversations with prospects, customers, influencers, and connectors.
2. Define how your social media activities assist in accomplishing your company's critical success factor this month
Pick your area of expertise that addresses the pain your company solves and join the conversation on that subject. Identify the connectors and influencers in those conversations. Find your key prospects on social media and begin to follow them. Limit your time based on the ROI your company receives over the next three months.
3. Limit your focus to one just tool
It is impossible to be successful at connecting through all of the social media tools. They all fit just a bit differently. Find which tool your community uses and focus on becoming consistently effective at building relationships with that one. This will enable your company to build their social media expertise slowly instead of burning through a lot of resources that may not be a good investment.
4. Measure your social media results
It's not just about followers, friends, or views. Track your company's growing social media influence with such tools as Klout. Think of it as your social media balance sheet.
5. Separate out social media for business vs. just for fun
There is nothing wrong with surfing social media for fun for hours. It's great connecting with people that you don't often see in person. But never call that work or a "marketing investment."
Have you recently cured your addiction? Tell us how!