Money is measured in dollars and cents. Lives are measured in years, months, weeks, days, hours, and in the course of those running races, fractions of seconds. Money you can always make more of. You can lose your entire fortune and make a new one. If you lose your life, you cannot make another! Minutes are the currency of your most precious, and irreplaceable asset, your life.
Handle this currency and purchase the same way you’d make any other purchase. First decide what it is you need. If you wanted to spend dollars to buy a car, you’d state the need then evaluate the various options by comparing them to see which best fills your need. You’d try very hard to drive the best possible bargain.
Complete the same process in dealing with Social Media.
1. Identify the need. What is the real goal? Be very specific. ”I want to connect with 100 people who own landscaping companies so I can create relationships with them. I want to create relationships with them so I can help them help their customers by showing them how to control weeds without killing desirable flowers at the same time.”
2. Set a budget. If you’re going to buy a car that you know you’re going to drive back and forth over very rough roads until it falls apart, your budget is going to be very different than if your goal is to “impress my father-in-law.” Similarly, the time budget needs to match the goal. I am going to spend 15 minutes three times a day building my Social Media presence because. . .”
3. Determine your options. ”What shall I post? Should I give away information? What kind of information? Should I blog, use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or something else entirely?” Don’t forget to use tools. You research a car for many hours using Google, or perhaps Bing or Yahoo, prior to making that purchase. Do the same for Social Media tools that are available. If you find that you can post something on schedule to one Social Media outlet, then create a string of self-posting events, you’ve just make a whole lot more time for yourself.
4. Stop shopping and buy! Indecision is a decision – one that’s made for you. In Social Media terms, this means define your very specific program and begin to spend the amount of time you budgeted the way you’ve decided best to achieve your stated goal.
You’ve just converted the time you’ve spent from an expense to an investment – one that will return a handsome dividend. You’ll no longer lose productivity as the result of “trying” to “work Social Media” and nothing is more costly than that.