If you want to succeed in marketing online you need to focus on your objectives.
That being said, I’m one of the biggest offenders of succumbing to BSO (Bright Shiny Objects) syndrome. I’m always chasing down rabbit holes, all in the name of research. I do learn a lot of good stuff, but it sometimes results in wasted time and missed deadlines. Not good.
So, here are some of my strategies for staying on track:
I allow myself some “play time” to catch up with friends and family members on Facebook, twitter and the like. Usually I combine this with watching tv or on my lunch hour. Last week I had a long, fun chat with a high school friend and caught up with my cousin’s wife on Facebook.
During work hours I have a post-it of objectives next to my monitor that has a cryptic list of marketing objectives. As a consultant to self-published authors, my primary objective is to establish my expertise in online marketing and self publishing. So most of the comments I make are related to those topics. I automatically send a tweet to Twitter and post to my wall on Facebook when I update my blog. My blog is also on my LinkedIn profile. I comment on my friends’ status, and pass on articles that I find interesting. I also have Google Alerts relating to marketing and publishing that gives me plenty to comment on and write about.
Does this take hours every day? No, for the most part I spend about half an hour to an hour a day on social networking sites and checking the feeds for my alerts in Google Reader. Can it be done is less? Absolutely. I spend more time because I enjoy it! And, it’s my business to spend time doing this.