Recently, I spoke at Social Media Day Adelaide. I mentioned a couple of points about cutting the clutter in our work life to ensure we can be more efficient in our time as Social Media Marketers.

With social media always under scrutiny for return on investment from Managers, I think that it is uber important to make sure that we are all on top of efficiency in our time.

I believe, that there are 3 big, fat time wasters in the workplace:

  • Excessive Emails
  • Pointless Meetings
  • Countless Interruptions and Distractions

I’m not the only one who things this. In fact, Atlassian created a fantastic HTML infographic about how much time we waste at work (you can find it here).

Let’s run through a few of these ridiculous time wasters:

Excessive Emails

  • Employees receive an average of 304 emails a week
  • Employees check their emails 36 times an hour, on average
  • Employees spend 16 minutes refocusing after handling an incoming email

According to Atlassian, this leads to an annual productivity cost of $7,100 per employee! That is HUGE!

Pointless Meetings

  • Employees attend an average of 62 meetings a month
  • 50% of meetings are considered time wasting by employees
  • 31 hours are spent in unproductive meetings by employees a month. Let alone the time spent preparing, and de-briefing from these meetings, as well as travel time to and from a meeting!

If that is not enough to make you shudder, then check out the graphic below, which shows that all of this time in supposedly wasted meetings per month is even more unproductive due to the fact that there is a lack of attention!

Countless Interruptions and Distractions

  • Employees are interrupted 56 times a day, on average
  • Employees spend 3 minutes working on something, before switching tasks. 3 minutes!
  • Employees spend 2 hours per day recovering from distractions per day.

The result of all of these time wasters? The result is that employees are productive for less than 60% of their work day, at best.

And that is only based on these points mentioned above by Atlassian, what about the tasks which we do which even when on task, are not a productive use of our time as Social Media Marketers!

So what are you going to do about it?

Well, if you are someone who feels like they fit into the categories above, and want to find a way to become a productive worker; then we have some points for you!

  1. Schedule Breaks

Make sure you make time to free your mind. Breaks are known to help you align focus, and increase attention and alertness.

2. Turn off Notifications

When possible, turn off notifications on your phone and computer, so that you can work, distraction free. Hell, if you aren’t using the internet during the time which you are coming up with new content ideas, or re-working some content for clients, editing copy, writing a strategy and so on, then turn the internet off all together!

3. Take a walk

Again, just like scheduled breaks, walking helps align your posture as well as focus, which is great to ensure you can be more efficient at work.

4. Schedule time to go through emails

That’s right. I think you’ll find that a majority of the emails that you have coming in do not have to be answered RIGHT this second. Chances are in fact, that you actually have a 2 hour window to just power through a task interruption free.

5. Identify time consuming, unhelpful and unproductive tasks; and never do them

If your hard work on social media doesn’t have some sort of effect on the bottom line, then what is the point?

On this point, about making sure you are doing work that is actually helpful and productive for your job, there are ways to assess this:

  • What are the business objectives?
  • What are you trying to achieve online?
  • How does this translate into social media objectives?
  • How are you measuring success? In particular, once you know HOW you are measuring, you can then assess this regularly to ensure you are maximising your productivity.

In a study done by Simply Measured, they found that the biggest metric measured by Marketers is Engagement metrics (56%), compared to Conversion and Revenue metrics (20.7%). Simultaneously, Social Media Marketers also identify their biggest challenge being in “measuring ROI”. I believe that this is a direct misalignment of goals v measurement. This thought is concreted by the fact that this study revealed that less than 9% of Social Media Marketers can actually quantity the ROI from social media.

If you truly get down to it, I’m sure that you will find that there is more to it than just how many shares, likes and comments you get. What about:

  • How much reach did I generate?
  • What is the rate of engagement from this reach? (as in, was I reaching the right people)
  • Of this engagement, how many people actually went to my website?
  • Of these people who came to my website from my social activity, how many stayed and how many bounced? (as in, was I sending people to the right place, and was I directing people from social media to something)
  • Finally, of these people who stayed on my website, how many people converted? What goals did they convert on? What is the value of these conversions? How does this compare to other channels? How does it compare to my goals for social?

When you know more about what is happening on your social media and online presence generally, you can start to paint a really good picture about your audience and your performance. From here, you can actually start to refine and rework this picture to how you want it to look.

Tools to help you get organised


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