Is Social Networking a Waste of My Time?

Posted by
Mike Lyon
 February 11, 2010

“How in the world am I supposed to keep up with all of the Social Media stuff, I don’t have enough time as it is?” I hear this question just about every time I present on the subject.

I just finished a great webinar with sales agents about social networking and building communities while building a powerful personal brand. Sure enough, during the Q.A. portion, someone asked it again.

I think it is an extremely valid question. The last thing you would want social networking to be is a time sucker, especially if it replaces critical business development opportunities. My standard answer is don’t spend more than 45 minutes a day of your “business” time.

Let’s face it, I have yet to see someone be 100% efficient from 8-5 every single day. So take some of that spare time and engage in your digital network. On that same note, don’t get caught in what we call “digital quicksand” where you emerge hours later and realize you have been doing nothing but playing Mafia Wars.

It may look like I spend more time on these sources than others, but I follow my own advice. I have a few tools that allow me to be efficient. (tweetdeck, hootsuite etc) but my swiss army knife is my iPhone loaded with all of my social networking apps. Because I am connected, I can use my “down time” for connecting with others. Yes, you will have to trade in your “dumb” phone for a “smart” phone – I talked about that in a recent post.

Think of all those times you are waiting around. Maybe you are getting your oil changed, stuck in traffic, waiting for the dentist, sitting at the mall waiting for your wife to finish shopping at the Gap – you name it. This is a great time to pop on Facebook and talk to a few folks, send a retweet or comment on a LinkedIn discussion.

If you are committed to using social networking to build your business, this is how you can do it without wasting time. Or you can just stop watching American Idol and use that time to build your brand – just a thought. Some call that being a workaholic; I just call it smart business.

I shot this video on my iPhone waiting for my oil to get changed. (I was a bit under the weather, sorry for looking so rough)

  • First of all, nobody talks smack about Idol! There's nothing that calms me more than watching people making laughing stocks of themselves. Is Social Media a waste of my time? Depends on how you use it Mike. If you're on it just because you're addicted to your friends status updates then yes it's a waste of time. However, if you set a certain time aside everyday (15 minutes in the morning and 15 in the afternoon) to make meaningful comments about topics in your industry or to make a connection with someone that may be a future client or to send out a blog post then you're not wasting your time. You gotta view it as an extension of your company's overall Internet presence. Being creative as to how & when to use it can be the trickiest thing but get a plan then execute it. Oh, and I agree with Mike on the smartphone thing. I mean who doesn't love impromptu videos from Jiffy's Tire & Lube. 🙂

  • casagogo

    Only MIke Lyon would think to do a video while waiting for his oil change! I agree, down time is an excellent time to connect with folks and I got rid of my dumb phone and now have a smart phone. I'm sending this article to my pals who don't “get” social networking and say they don't have the time. Thanks Mike!

  • Thanks for the comment Cassandra and Ed – now get back to work 🙂 OK, so Ed, you don't have to stop watching altogether, but maybe have the laptop cracked open while you watch? Cassandra, glad you got the smartphone….