Finding The Time To Tweet or Blog?

Social media is intimidating to a large number of people. But the growth just keeps going for the users on the major social sites Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And so I get this question all the time. Sometimes the question comes from sincerely curious colleagues and peers who also want to grow their connections and interact with our increasingly social world…

Other times it comes with that oh-so-subtle implication that I’m a slacker spending my day on Facebook, status updating about the loud talkers and bad dressers in the office. As all Gen Xers have to state at some point in our lives: I am not a slacker…

For the curious peers, the answer is that it is all part of my day. It’s “built in” because it is important. For the others, my answer is that it is an important part my job. I’ll explain my views on both in more detail.

Building It In

The simple fact is that it doesn’t take that long. I don’t “block time” for social media any more than I do for email. I am constantly scanning and making quick decisions about what to respond to right away, later or simply disregard. And like we all learned how to deal with the onslaught of corporate email threads, you learn to quickly deal with the constant stream of tweets, likes and connection requests.

Here is a review of how I work social media into my routine:

  • Scanning, Monitoring, Prioritizing: I start each day with a quick glance at the blackberry for urgent emails and mention notices from twitter, Linkedin and Facebook. I also check to see if there are any comments on my blog posts – which I reply to as soon as I see them.
  • Read and Connect: I check Facebook for updates. I check LinkedIn for connection requests. I check my Twitter lists. I start with a list of fellow employees and company news I want to share. I add new connections based on the recommendations from each major site. This takes no more than 15 minutes.
  • Share: Next I look at broader news sites, blogs and my “VIP” lists. These are the people and sites that typically have great content. I scan articles and quickly share them. If I find something really engaging, I will post a comment on a blog or write a quick note to myself about a blog post idea.
  • Write: This one takes the most time but is also the most therapeutic. I usually gather my thoughts over the course of a day and write my blog posts at night while my wife watches the “Real Housewives of…” somewhere.
  • Rinse and Repeat: there are plenty of books and speeches on exactly how much time to spend on social media. The timing for you will vary based on the amount of content you read, the amount you want to write and ultimately on your objectives. For me, the objective is mainly leadership, personal branding but with an eye toward corporate brand advocacy: I strive to be a positive voice for my personal and employer brand. A balance for sure – but one that I think is achievable. And that leads me to the next point…

The Social Imperative

I know many more people in marketing who are NOT active in social media than who are active.  When these folks ask me how I find the time, I tell them that it is an imperative. We live in a social world. We need to have an outside-in perspective. I find the time to tweet and blog because I have to. I have come to the conclusion that it is a matter of survival and I welcome more folks to come to that conclusion too.  I hope this post helps, even just one person, to wade in to the conversation, to connect and even to share.

And if you’re looking to get started but afraid to take the leap, reach out to me and I’d be happy to help!

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michael brenner and liz bedor

Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.

12 thoughts on “Finding The Time To Tweet or Blog?

  1. Hi Michael,

    you nailed it! It may take some time to initially ramp-up and build up your network on the social platforms. But after that networking just gets a part of the job as you put it perfectly. I could not imagine how-to properly do my job anymore without all the information and resources I get served on a silver plate by the people I follow and interact with.

    And yes, blogging is the most time consuming part of it … but also the most rewarding one. If you’re curious, here’s my blog post about Why blog?

    Keep up the good work!

    Cheers, Matthias

    1. Matthias, I will certainly check out your blog. And thanks for the comment and support. I agree on the value of the information. I’m also amazed at how much more quickly I am able to get up-to-date news vs. traditional means. I often find myself having to say “yeah I saw that a couple of hours/days ago on Twitter.”

  2. Good way to tell everyone that social media inbox is no more
    An option, but is like our email

    Cheers Muthu

  3. Hallo,
    indeed it is hard to follow all the informations. In Germany I concentrate myself on xing, which is big enough and gives a lot of informations. How ever I try to get more connections on the international market. So even so I don´t like it to much, I will give more energy to facebook and twitter.

    Or what is your experience to start with?

    Harald

    1. Hello Harald. It is tough when you start. Starting in the local market is not a bad way to begin. LinkedIn is a huge tool for me to keep in touch with former colleagues, make new connections and share information. Everyone I meet, I go link to on LinkedIn. And Twitter is not for everyone. I think you have to find what works for you but I wouldn’t reach too far. I do not spend “enough” time on Facebook to really cultivate relationships there. But I spend time making connections. You never know who will become the largest player in this market.

  4. Great article, thank you! I could stay online all day looking through blogs and social media streams, but I struggle with finding the time to do so consistently. Getting organized and using time effectively is the key, and I still need to do some work there.

  5. Hi Michael –
    This is really helpful! I’ve just realized that I’ve read other content of yours before and am getting a lot out of it.

    I see that that you are Sr. Director of Integrated Marketing for SAP. I’m consulting to a group in marketing at SAP now (unrelated) and am wondering if you are working with Chip Rodgers or others on social media there. I wrote a blog post last month referencing the SAP Community Network (https://socialrati.com/2011/08/08/9-ways-to-know-your-community-is-awesome). I’d love to get to know some SAPers involved in social media. Any advice?

    Keep up the great content and thanks,
    Jill
    @socialrati

    1. Hi Jill,

      Thanks for your comments and yes I now Chip quite well. I think interacting just like this is a great way to get to know SAP-ers. Let’s connect on Linkedin and we can take it from there.

      Best,
      Michael

  6. Hello Michael, I have just retweeted one of your articles and found myself reading more of your material since I am trying to get into social media. I am not sure yet if I like it though and if I agree with all of what you say. Like for example where is the point in having a huge network on LinkedIn but not really knowing half of the people in it? What’s wrong with keeping a smaller network even using traditional means like email and phone but one that really works because you do take the time to connect with people in a less superficial way? Also not everyones finds their thoughts important enough to be shared with the world by constant blogging and tweeting. This is what I call information overkill. But I might be convinced otherwise in time. I’m giving it a go.

    1. Hi Anja,

      Welcome to my world 😉 I hope that you do find some useful things here. I do not agree with quantity of connections over quality. I think you have to do both if you want to extend the reach of your message. It ultimately comes down to what multiplier you can achieve at what number of connections. But all this misses the point a bit. Go make connections. Manage them in a way that it true to your personality and approach, and I believe you can achieve personal and professional success.

      Now it is not about whether your thoughts are important. It is a matter of whether they are unique. And we are not the best judges of what is unique. Most of us think of ourselves as insanely boring but then people that know us will disagree. So my challenge is to take the journey, find your voice and see if there is an audience for your thoughts, no matter how important you think they are. Write as if there is only one person who cares. But they care a lot.

      These are just what works for me, and I hope it can help you even just a little.

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