timeA common complaint I hear among small business owners and solopreneurs is that they just don’t have enough time to keep up with it all. There are so many items competing for our attention on a given day that social media can seem like one more overwhelming thing we don’t have room for on the schedule.

Admittedly, social media can be time-consuming in the beginning. There are platforms and tools to get familiar with and learn how to use. Not to mention all the talk about needing to “build relationships” while you are there.

Add to this its seductive nature of being both immensely fun and a handy way to procrastinate…oy.

So how do you keep from wasting your precious time but still take advantage of this world in order to benefit your business?

The answer is to be selective. Pick one or two networks–in my case it is Twitter and Facebook–and focus on those. It’s impossible to be everywhere and besides–it’s not necessary to be everywhere, which should offer you a bit of relief.

Now because social media is a piece of what I do in my business, I check out many of the new tools that come along, poking around to see how they work and how they could help my clients or myself.

I don’t explore most social sites in depth unless suddenly there is a good amount of chatter around them. I like to keep track of those occurrences along with lots of other information through Google Alerts, RSS feeds and Twitter.

But even I have limits! While tempting, I do not have Tweetdeck open all day. I check in a few times as a break from doing other work. For the other sites I experiment and set goals. Basically, you want to avoid participating in low-priority topics and conversations, just as you would in your offline life.

Let me know how you (try to) manage your time when it comes to social media.  Care to share any helpful tips for others?  Stay tuned for Part 2.

Photo Credit: fdecomite

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