- Social Media Attack Phase: Spend a short period of intense focus on key Internet tools, eliminating the "extraneous"
- Social Media Cruise Phase: Introduce additional computer activities, but still primarily use core, productive tools
- Social Media Consolidation Phase: Bring back some of your old Internet habits, but structure your time carefully
- Social Media Stabilization Phase: Give yourself more freedom to do what you want on the WWW, but keep some of the new good habits that you've learned -- and look for expert support and guidance to keep you on the right track
Key aspects of these phases are maintaining consistency and maximizing your time and resources.
In Phase 1, you'll want to eliminate time spent on things that are not productive (shopping and browsing online stores, playing games, chatting, etc.) and focus on learning all you can about how to use social media and online tools to accomplish your goals -- which might include increasing the revenue for your business, creating more awareness of your brand, finding out more about what your clients want, and reaching more prospects. Depending on what your goals are, spend 100% of your time online and on social media doing activities that will help you get closer to what you want to achieve from a business perspective. These activities can include: educating yourself about the tools available at sites like Social Media Examiner, working on a blog with content that will differentiate yourself from your competitors, posting information and interacting with your contacts in meaningful ways on the most popular social media channels (Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter). Also, set up an auto-responder and opt-in service such as the one offered by Aweber (example of an email opt-in box is at the top right of this blog) so you can better manage your business contacts and begin connecting your email promotions and newsletters with your social media activity.
In Phase 2, work on other building up your repertoire online, creating additional accounts on less widely used social media sites and looking for other ways to make new connections. For example, explore the directory at Mevvy, a resource that features a collection of powerful Internet tools.
In Phase 3, you can start doing some of the other fun, but not-so-productive activities that you eliminated in Phase 1, but keep it at a minimum (e.g., allot yourself an hour twice a week).
In Phase 4, you can spend the time however you would like online, but maintain a cadence with your productive social media and Internet activity (e.g., posting some new content at least once every other day), and allot a regular time at least once a week to focus on the intense activity and tools that you learned in Phases 1 and 2.
Finally, consider hiring a Social Media "Personal Coach," or someone who can offer customized, online business consulting. It will free up your time to do what you do best (selling your products, offering another type of service, or whatever else you do). By outsourcing Social Media set-up and maintenance tasks, you may be better able to leverage the power of the Internet.
If you are feeling like you're being gorged with information overload, try our "Social Media Diet" -- and register to get access to additional resources to help support you. For a limited time, new registrants on our site will receive a personal email and offer for a free 30-minute social media phone consultation tailored just for you and your business.
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