Is Social Networking a Waste of My Time?

Feb 11, 2010 | By Mike Lyon

“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)

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