Social media managers are probably the most distracted human beings in the workplace. I can’t begin to tell you how many distractions arrive every single minute… notifications, chat messages, internal requests, ongoing campaigns, emails, breaking news, the latest trends… ARRRGGGHHHH! So how can you stay focused as a social media manager?
Firstly I won’t pretend to be perfect or above distraction. In fact, a large element of our jobs as digital managers is to pay attention to trends and react to them, so we are used to having lightning fast reactions. We must accept that our priorities will shift throughout the day and we will need to prioritise an urgent tweet from a client over an ongoing campaign or answering that chat message over preparing next week’s social contest. That said, there are ways that you can channel your attention and prevent yourself from having a complete distraction meltdown…
#1 Use Multiple Computer Screens
Multiple connected computer screens are an essential tool for serious digital marketing managers, in fact you can have as many as you like, although 2-4 are optimum. By having multiple screens you can keep essential windows open and keep an eye on them without needing to flick between windows and lose your train of thought. For example, I like to have my content for editing on one screen, my Tweetdeck on another, Facebook on the 3rd and then a split screen of forums on the 4th. I fully appreciate that many would find this distracting, however, for me simply being able to have a constant overview of activity is reassuring and allows me to focus on screen 1, AKA the job in hand.
#2 Don’t Plan Too Much
Really? Don’t plan too much? But surely that’s essential to be a great Social Media Manager? Planning is essential but I try to focus on long term planning for campaigns and content management as opposed to daily planning. I look at the overview of what I need to achieve each quarter, the aims and implementation of each campaign and the overall engagement for each platform. When you are in a fast paced position which must react to changes – sometimes creating new campaigns at the drop of a hat, it is not possible to stick to a rigid daily structure. A daily plan can in itself be a distraction if you are a digital marketing manager. It may drag you down and prevent you from accomplishing the potential for your channels.
#3 Quality Over Quantity Every Time
Quality always wins over quantity so if you are struggling to keep up with all the distractions then perhaps you need to scale down your projects. It is better to produce an excellent piece of writing which you successfully circulate and promote as opposed to 5 pieces of content which are poorly written and badly promoted. Don’t be afraid to remind others of this if you find yourself overwhelmed with “urgent requests”. Would they prefer that you achieved one of those requests successfully or all of them poorly?
#4 Don’t Mix Business With Personal
I have talked about this before in my previous articles (See “no I don’t play farmville” … social media manager annoyances!) but I will say it again! I don’t play Facebook games when I’m working, or talk to friends, or look at their photos! Yes during a lunch break I will take a look or maybe a quick scroll while I’m having coffee but when I’m working on brand stuff I don’t look at my personal wall at all! This is a massive help when it comes to remaining focused and keeps your mind on your brand. Admittedly I do still get tons of messages from friends but they understand when I don’t answer them… Mostly!
#5 Stop Drifting
You know how it goes… you start off by looking at your competitors Facebook page, then you visit their YouTube channel and before you know it you’re watching a video of a cute panda in a playground! Ever stop and think… “How did I get here?” I do take time for research on YouTube, especially competitors and viral video research but I remind myself continually not to drift. I came here to watch this video, I watched it and now I’m leaving! Be aware of your mouse clicks when you are online and don’t allow your focus to drift. If you see something fun that catches your eye then bookmark it for later on when you have time.
I hope you enjoyed reading How Can You Stay Focused as a Social Media Manager , I would love to hear your thoughts on Twitter @Charli_Says