Saving time on social media is a must if you want to escape time wasters and time suckers. Setting up a system can help avoid many of the distracting games, gossip, and out and out worthless parts of social media. There is a time to play games, but it's not while you're at work. Even though you don't have a boss looking over your head, the time wasting will catch up with you. You need to control it, not let it control you.
Plan for Success — If you have no road map to your destination you're not likely to make it. Yes, people accidentally hit the lottery, but most of the time success comes from careful and thoughtful planning. Don't set out blindly for a hit or miss effort. Instead, make a plan and stick to it, you can always adjust it, if necessary.
Implement Automation — This is a great way to save time. You can schedule automatically new posts, new articles and new information across all your social media. There are many tools available that do a great job. This will enable you to use your social media time more wisely in conversation with your potential clients rather than just pushing information to them.
Schedule your time — If you set up automation you can then carefully schedule your time for using social media for being, social. Imagine that! The automation of updating friends and followers of blog posts will create time for you to actually read other people's tweets, re-tweet good information, and to actually participate. The trick is to schedule the time, and stick to the schedule.
Outsource — Yes, you can outsource a lot of aspects of social media. A virtual assistant can set up all your automation. She can also keep track of your metrics, and alert you to important tweets or buzz that you need to address in a blog post or in a direct message to someone. A good long term virtual assistant can even answer your direct messages for you when needed.
Turn it off — You read that right. When you're off work, turn off your business social media. When you are doing other work, turn off your social media completely. There is no reason to have it on 24/7 because that will only serve to distract you from money making tasks. There are better ways to monitor social media with automation and RSS feeds.
With proper planning, implementation and perseverance your social media efforts can and will pay off to bring you more traffic, more business, and more success than you ever thought possible. The important thing to learn is to control your time since that is your most important asset. If you can do something else that earns you more money, do that instead, while using tools that let you continue with using social media strategically.