Denise Vogel | November 03, 2013 11:45 PM ET
Three Steps to Save Time Using Social Media
Where are you right now? Are you traveling on a cruise ship in the Caribbean, trekking through the African terrain, or are you, like most travel professionals, on an impossible voyage dealing with time management when using today’s social media networks?
Navigating social media should be similar to a well-planned vacation undaunted by mishaps and misdirection. For the home-based travel professional, mastering a few simple steps in time-management with social media guide you allow you reach your professional social media network destination.
Step One: The first step is all about priorities. Your priorities for the next few weeks or months should initially be set without a computer. When you are not using a computer, you can work without the distraction of technology. Simply take out a pencil and paper and write down information about coming seasonal holidays, vendor campaigns, and any special areas that pique your interests or meet your niche criteria.
Once overall priorities have been set, you can return to the computer to set specific goals. For instance, your priorities can be set according to the season. As we enter the holiday season, your clients may be looking for a tropical vacation. Start finding pictures, images, quotes and vendor promotions so you can be prepared to share them with your clients when the occasion arises. In addition, keep the list of focus topics in front of you as you do your research so that every time you begin to wander off track you can bring yourself back to your priorities and the task at hand.
Step Two: With this step you simply have to set a timer and set limits. I would recommend a “real timer.” For example, a hand-held or desktop timer that does not allow you to hit the snooze button, which will prevent you from being lost in “virtual land.”
To make the most of your time with social media, you should set the timer to limit social network check-ins to 20 minutes or less. You also should return to your social media sites a few times a day. Periodic check-ins will give you adequate time to click on “likes” and respond to the comments on your social sites.
Step Three: This involves using Facebook’s “auto scheduler” for posting your week or month of upcoming posts. Using this tool is a real time saver. The “auto scheduler” will keep you organized, and you do not have to learn a new application because you are working on your Facebook business page.
Once you are ready to schedule your posts, upload your image, type in your status update, and click the little clock to schedule. Voila, you are scheduled! Hint: the little clock is located directly under the status update box.
The scheduler is so specific that you can input the year, month, date and time (in 10-minute increments). If you feel that you need to change the timing of your posts, go to the “activity log,” click on the down arrow next to the posts, and change the date according to your needs.
When you are traveling, the auto scheduler will do the work for you. Your posts will go out on time, and all you will need to do is go back to check for comments. Don’t worry, the auto-scheduler is user friendly. I love it because if you make a mistake, you only need to double click on the image and click on the “edit” button. This trick will only work for images. If you need to edit text, you should copy text, delete it from the auto scheduler, paste it back into the status update box, and click the clock to reschedule.
As always, it will be important to check your posts after they are in the activity log. Specifically, you will want to check that your dates, images and links are working correctly. Most importantly, don’t forget to click “Done Editing.”
I hope these three simple steps help to lead you out of the virtual “jungle” and keep you on the path of working efficiently. Until next time, I will see you on Facebook!
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