Social media can be a large time-waster.
Many people spend much of their day tweeting, liking, and posting status updates.
It has forever changed the way the world communicates.
Yet, as much as it can waste time, it can also be a great productivity booster.
Are you using social media for productivity or procrastination?
Tool or Time Sink?
We usually think of social media as a time sink.
Something that takes up time and allows you to procrastinate throughout your day.
There is no doubt that many people use it to pass the time in their day.
In many offices, I see individuals on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ throughout their entire workday.
Social media is one of the most powerful technologies of our time. It allows us to communicate in ways never before possible.
Like most powerful technologies, it can be used for waste. (See email, web-surfing, etc.)
Yet, when used for good, it can be a powerful productivity tool.
Social Media: Productivity vs. Procrastination
In a world where ideas, communication, and speed are increasingly valuable, social media excels.
Granted, social media isn’t going to write that report for you, or analyze that spreadsheet. Nor is it going to perform that manual labor task.
However, there are many ways social media can help you get work done, develop new ideas, or just get feedback.
In all of these areas, social media can save you time.
Here are 7 Ways Social Media Can Make You More Productive:
- Seek Advice – Need advice on a topic? Social media can provide rapid tips, thoughts, and input. It is a great way to cast a large net, instead of just getting the singular opinion of the person in the cubicle next to you. Of course, depending on the matter, you have to know who you are listening to and trusting. Other times, it can be a great way to get a quick point in the right direction.
- Solve Problems – When you can’t solve a problem by yourself, ask the world. For example, a while back I was having a problem with a piece of software. I had googled and googled and couldn’t find a solution. I put the problem out on my social media channels. Within twenty minutes, a gentleman from Sweden (with whom I had never communicated previously) sent me a link to the answer. Simple, yet powerful stuff.
- Reach Companies – Companies that are social media savvy are serving their customers in new and efficient ways. Twitter is one of my favorite ways to reach companies that I deal with. Instead, of getting ont the phone and being on hold for endless minutes, I can send a tweet in seconds. Delta, Comcast, and SunTrust are great examples of companies that have solved problems for me via social media. A 5-second tweet can get me assistance on my upcoming flight. Anytime, anywhere.
- Get Feedback - Have an idea and need some input or feedback? Ask your social media audience. Often, you don’t even have to ask for feedback. Just put an idea out there and see how much response and sharing it gets.
- Find Ideas – Whether it is for your business, blog, or hobby, there has never been an easier time to find ideas. Want to know what people are thinking, talking about, or have passion for? You have a searchable stream of consciousness at your fingertips. A friend of mine determines his blog post topics by searching for keywords on Twitter and seeing what people are asking about.
- Communicate with a Broad Audience – Social media allows individuals greater power than ever to communicate with a large audience. It used to be you had to go through a publisher or big media company. Authors, speakers, experts, can now reach their audience directly, immediately, and in most cases for free.
- Quick Communication - There is something special about the brevity of social media. Take Twitter. There is magic in those 140 characters. If you tried that with your email, your recipients would think you were nuts. (Of course, email is for a slightly different purpose.)
Saving Time with Social Media
Social Media isn’t all about procrastination.
It one of the most powerful technologies of our time.
So, the next time someone tells you that you are wasting time on social media, tell them that you are being more productive.
Of course, that may not fly with your boss.
Question: How do you use social media to be more productive and get work done?