As a social media manager, you have to be on social media all day…which can be quite distracting if you’re trying to be productive at the same time.
While many mindset and productivity gurus tell people to get off social media during work hours, that’s not exactly possible for you!
Not to mention, there are other challenges when you’re working in social media. For example, you may get sucked into a comparison trap when looking at everyone’s fabulous vacation photos or pulled in a dozen different directions by clients who expect things to happen right away just because it’s the internet.
If you’re a remote social media manager, you may also have to deal with distractions from your surroundings, such as kids, pets, neighbors, and even the snack stash! Some people even assume that they can barge in any time just because you’re home – which can send half of an afternoon down the drain if you aren’t careful.
To become a social media manager who’s highly productive, you need to upgrade your mindset, pay attention to self-care, and set yourself up with the right tools. Here’s how:
There are many software applications that can help you do your job better and faster. One of the best social media management tools that allows you to manage all social media in one place is Socialbakers.
There are also some smaller specific tools for automation software (e.g. Zapier, IFTTT) or team collaboration (e.g. Slack). It’s important to choose applications that integrate with software that you are already using so you can manage everything on a single dashboard.
Also, responding to messages on social media pages can be very time-consuming. Taking two minutes out to handle messages every 15 minutes will make it extremely difficult to focus on other tasks. You can leverage chatbot technology to help you respond to and route messages on Facebook business pages so you can spend more time focusing on other tasks.
Be strategic about how you invest in these tools. Don’t get sidetracked by the fear of missing out (FOMO) and always keep your objectives in mind. Set up a standard process for working with clients and streamline your workflow so you can maximize the time you spend on income-producing project work.
A strong boundary is essential if you want to stay in control of your schedule. Remember, it doesn’t cost a client anything to ask you to bend over backward. You have to advocate for yourself and know when to say “no” to protect your time and energy.
You may not realize that most clients simply don’t understand that they’re asking for something out of scope and are very reasonable if you clarify what’s covered. Of course, you can accommodate special requests occasionally but explain to the client that it’s a one-time occurrence so they don’t take it for granted.
You also need to draw clear boundaries with people around you, especially if you’re working from home. Being at home doesn’t mean you’re available to walk the dog or serve lunch on-demand. Communicate your rules and stick to them.
Cultivate a “CEO mindset” whether you’re interacting with clients or designing your life. Having proper boundaries allows you to protect your time, energy, and attention so you can focus on what matters and be productive where it counts.
It’s easy to get distracted by the many dramas happening on social media. Everyone has an opinion and some posts may trigger you. When you’re working, keep your own ideologies and opinions at bay. Don’t become reactive or get sucked into rabbit holes that can take you away from the tasks at hand.
Set a timer to limit how long you spend on each social media channel and log out when the time is up. Know your Achilles’ heel – if you can’t resist looking at interior decoration boards on Pinterest or scrolling through your Facebook news feed, then be extra mindful and avoid those actions whenever possible.
You can also set your status to “offline” whenever possible to prevent friends from hitting you up on chat or direct message when you’re working.
Negative emotions, such as anxiety and depression, can lower cognitive performance, hinder creativity, and make you less productive. Not to mention, being in a bad mood makes it hard to focus on the task at hand.
Positivity is a virtuous cycle. It builds on itself so kick off your day on a high note. For example, you can create a morning ritual that will put you in a good mood before starting the workday.
Also, keep your mindset positive by having mood-boosting snacks handy (e.g., nuts, bananas) and taking a power nap when necessary to boost your focus. If you get stuck in a rut, find something that will take your attention away from what’s bothering you. When you feel stressed or tense, consciously lower your shoulders and release the tension. You can also try journaling to help you process negative feelings.
You may feel isolated at times if you work from home and it’s tempting to use social media to connect with others. However, doing so can become a major distraction. Instead, build a support network with people who understand your challenges and connect with them via other channels and/or in person.
If you work from home, don’t short-change yourself by squatting in any corner that’s not occupied at the moment. Create a dedicated workspace and make sure it’s designed to keep you focused and eliminate distractions.
If possible, set up your workspace in a room so you can close the door to minimize disruptions and signal to everyone in the house that you’re not to be disturbed. Declutter the space because clutter can impact your productivity – it’s distracting, hinders creativity, slows you down, and causes stress.
Invest in a desk and chair that promote good posture to help prevent aches and pains that result from sitting at the computer for prolonged periods. Some people like to use a standing desk or treadmill desk while others prefer to sit on an exercise ball. Experiment to find a setup that works for you.
Lack of sleep or poor sleep will leave you tired, groggy, cranky, and irritable in the morning – which is not a good way to start your day! Sleep is essential for brain functions and helps you improve focus, be more creative, and regulate your mood, which will boost your productivity.
To get high-quality sleep consistently, you can establish a bedtime routine to prime your body to rest, create a bedroom environment that’s conducive to relaxation, and use a high-quality mattress that will help you stay asleep comfortably all night.
For social media managers who work at the computer most of the day, the blue light from screens can be particularly disruptive because it delays melatonin production. Turn off the screens one hour before bedtime and use “night mode” on your phone and computer to reduce the amount of blue light emitted. You can also use glasses that filter out blue light to minimize exposure.
Exercise is closely linked to improved workplace productivity. It releases feel-good hormones that keep you in a positive mood, boost alertness, and make you feel energized. It also helps you stay in optimal physical health and mental wellbeing so you can have the stamina to handle the demand of your work.
Also, make an effort to spend some time outside each day. Being outdoors increases productivity by improving short-term memory, sparking creativity, decreasing stress, increasing concentration, boosting positivity, and increasing mindfulness.
As a social media manager, your schedule is often fast-paced and unpredictable. It’s easy to get caught in a whirlwind of client requests and before you know it, the day is over. However, taking time out to recharge is the key to staying productive in the long-run. Block out time on your calendar each day for movements and activities – even if it’s just a 20-minute walk around the block – to help you stay focused and positive.
Are you spending your time on the right tasks and using it efficiently on revenue-generating activity? Social media can create a frantic environment that will cause you to be reactive and/or do busywork. To make sure you’re doing what matters, you need to hone your time management skills and use your time wisely.
Use an app (e.g. Toggl) to track the time you spend on each project. This can help you better determine the ROI and anticipate the efforts required for future projects so you can budget your time effectively.
When you’re managing multiple accounts on various platforms, it’s tempting to multitask. But doing so comes with a high cognitive cost – your IQ drops and stress hormones spike when multitasking. You’re actually not as productive as you think and you’re more likely to make mistakes that will take more time to fix.
The social media world is fast-paced and always-on, so you need to be at tip-top shape every day to manage multiple accounts and generate outcomes that will keep your clients coming back.
As you work hard, don’t forget to keep track of your results and celebrate success. Tracking results will allow you to make improvements that will increase your productivity. Having a stellar track record also allows you to command a higher fee, which can boost your ROI.
Meanwhile, celebrating success helps you recognize your achievements. This is the key to staying positive and upbeat – it will keep you productive and effective, creating a virtuoso cycle that will generate even better results!
Understand your audience, create more effective content to engage and grow your customer base, and measure social media’s impact on your business goals.