You know the old adage, “You get out of it what you put into it”? Well, it doesn’t always mean what you think it means.
What it doesn’t mean: spending too much time on social media, using your business as an excuse.
What it does mean: being smart and strategic about social media so you spend less time getting better results.
I have certainly spent my fair share of hours mindlessly scrolling on social media, blaming my business. And then riding the shame spiral when I blamed lack of results on my social media binges. I spent years in this cycle until I deleted all my apps and took a break. The break was more of a mental health during quarantine necessity, but it ended up giving me a business breakthrough.
I was confident that this break would signal the end of my business – my business that was built primarily on social media. On the contrary, I gained more followers, more leads, and more sales while I was gone. I experienced no withdrawals (though I did play a lot of crosswords) and I didn’t feel any FOMO.
Whether you take a break or not, there are some ways to really downsize your time spent on social media scrolling so you can focus on growing your business elsewhere.
One | Be Intentional
The time you do spend on social media should be extremely intentional. You’ll need to be honest yourself about your goals and how social media will help you achieve them. And perhaps more importantly, find out what social media can’t do for you – and skip it when you’re working in that area of your business. Some questions to ask yourself –
- What do you hope to gain? (followers, paying clients, bookings, sales)
- What activities will you complete? (commenting, messaging, liking)
- How will you streamline your time? (delete apps, schedule, batch tasks)
- What time limits will you impose? (30 minutes a day, 2 hours a week)
- How will you hold yourself accountable? (rewards, delete apps, buddy)
- How will you assess what is working, and make adjustments accordingly?
Two | Plan Ahead
Don’t groan – planning is the most important way to make this work. If you don’t plan ahead – both for your time on AND off social media – this exercise will be worthless.
- Use content calendars to align your content with your business goals and so that your social media flows seamlessly
- Pick a project or two that you will complete while you spend less time on social media
- Review your analytics and insights to determine when actually is a good time to spend on social
Three | Ask for Help
This one is both the hardest and the easiest. Entrepreneurs are pretty famous for avoiding help like the plague but seriously, ask. Think of your business hero. I can almost guarantee you they didn’t do it alone.
- Call on a friend to walk with you as you experiment with this and ask them to call you out when you spend too much time scrolling. (“Really! I saw you liked three of my posts over the course of an hour – get off social and do something productive!”)
- Add asking for referrals into your social media content and increase the value of each post and see results more quickly.
- Hire someone to help. You can have someone write content for you, take photos, prospect and outreach, and more! Take something off your plate, especially if you already don’t like doing it, and spend your time more efficiently.
If you are thinking this seems like MORE work than you’re already doing, don’t fear! I promise you are wasting way more time on social media than you realize, and that by streamlining your time, being intentional, planning ahead, and when you need to – asking for help – you’ll be more efficient, see better results, AND have time to spare. It might sound too good to be true – but I’ve lived it!