Do Social Networks Steal Your Time?

Social networks can boost your business visibility and market YOU the brand. There are too many of them, and many are of good quality. We can’t force our friends and colleagues to join the same handful of networks. Some prefer these five, some prefer those four, and some prefer the other five — yet we belong to some of each. So what can you do without spending hours creating a profile on every one of ’em?

  1. Pick two or so general networks (i.e. MySpace and Facebook – yes, Facebook originally went after colleges and universities, but has since expanded to general population) that are neither business-oriented or oriented toward something specific (i.e. music, art, and media).
  2. Pick one or two specific networks, which can be business-oriented or cover a specific industry or hobby that you interact with on a regular basis. LinkedIn and Ryze focus more on business networking while Flickr (photos), Buzznet (music), and Shelfari (book) focus on a specific thing.
  3. Build a profile on your selected networks. Do as much as you can. It’s OK to do a little at a time with plans to complete the profile. Treat these as proactive networks.
  4. Connect with friends and colleagues on your proactive network sites. Again, do a little at a time or one network at a time. Don’t drive yourself crazy.
  5. Join other networks only when you receive an invitation. But on these networks — do the bare minimum. Join them, provide basic information such as your URL, and leave it at that. In other words, the minute you sign up — do all the work right there (five minutes or so) and never return until someone contacts you. Treat these as passive networks.

In a previous post, I linked to an article providing tips on saving time in your day. A few more thoughts popped in my head as soon as I pressed “Publish.” (There goes Murphy again!) — hence the motivation behind this post. Next: Surviving feed frenzy.

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