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Our Thinking

Stimulating Social (Media) Productivity

Social media productivity

Are you one of “those” people who have thoroughly adopted Social Media, but has a nagging feeling that you just aren’t that productive with it?  Or are you tapped out, and have no interest in adding extra time to your day with low-value Social Media activities?  In either case, you’re not alone.

Here are the top six productivity problems – and what you can do about them:

1) No focus on professional outcomes:  Social Media can be used for entertainment, connecting with your friends and family, and mindless surfing.  These aren’t problems if you are doing them on your own time, but they have nothing to do with your job.  Solution:  When it comes to your work, decide on why and what you are looking for, before spending time on the social web.

2) Rangers and Scouts:  These are the people in your organization who have manufactured roles for themselves as Social Media experts, typically wheel-spinning as they “discover” new ways to fill their time with Social Media.  Nothing wrong with this five years ago, but their energies need to be diverted into two areas: doing their day-jobs, and working on Social Media activities that are consistent with the organization’s strategy.  (Hint: rangers and scouts do great R&D, and bring innovation to the organization – something that we should all aspire to.  The trick is to recognize when this devolves into unproductive activities, or displaces critical ones.)

3) An explosion of Venues:  With literally hundreds of Social Media venues, it is too easy to begin slicing time between many of them, with the erroneous belief that you are making headway.  Unfortunately, without a certain critical mass of users who are interested in what you have to say, your efforts on these outpost sites are wasted.  Instead, spend time on the main anchor sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Google +.

4) Silo problem:  Many organizations have a marketing-driven Social Media strategy, but neglect to consider how Social Media can be used by HR, IT, Accounting, Operations, and all of the other silos.  As a result, each of these groups does their own thing, often quite inefficiently.  Solve this problem by including representatives from all key areas of your organization in the planning and governance.  And remember that if you only seek advice from your advertising or PR agency, you will only get advice that drives the marketing department.

5) Wrong tools:  You wouldn’t take a car if you hoped for a  “quick trip” down south – an airplane is faster  Choose the right Social tool for the job: for example, Hootsuite.com is far more effective at managing your Tweets, than directly using Twitter.com.

6) No management or accountability:  Are the people who are doing Social Media accountable for outcomes that are tied to the organization’s strategy?  Often not, because of a knowledge gap with senior management.  Sadly, without accountability, Social Media often becomes directionless – and unproductive.   Solution:  close the knowledge gap through senior-level training, then embed Social Media into the planning and reporting cycles.

This week’s action item:  You can increase your Social ROI by either getting more return or making less (or better) investments.  This week, look more carefully at your own productivity and commit to making at least one change.  Not only will your Social ROI increase, but you’ll have more time for other important tasks.