Curb Your Appetite: Social Media Will Devour Your Time Only if You Let It

To paraphrase Mame from the eponymous musical, “Social media is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death.” But with a bounty of social networking and media platforms that we can feast on for law firm marketing, we also need to keep our appetites in check. Lawyers already have a lot on their plate, so how do we keep from overloading with social media?

As with any buffet, survey the whole spread before you start filling your plate, pace yourself and don’t fill up on bread.

Randall Ryder on Lawyerist.com observed that the siren’s song of social media and e-mail will disrupt your workflow unless you make behavioral changes to close yourself off to the chatter, or organize your schedule to harmonize your existing work habits. And I noticed that Lawyer coach Debra Bruce, a keen observer of technology’s role in productivity and effectiveness, recently provided time management tips to the Law Practice Management Section of the Houston Bar Association

Extending my dietary metaphor, following are some simple tips for managing your social media diet:

  • Portion control: Consciously budget and monitor the total amount of time you spend on social networking/marketing. Assign an amount of time and time of day to each activity — blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook — based on inherent requirements (e.g. drafting blog posts needs larger blocks of time than tweeting).
  • Cut out empty calories: Don’t waste time trying to bulk up on Twitter followers quickly.
  • Limit snacks: Foursquare , Gowalla and Farmville are “sometime foods.”
  • Find a support group: Tap into your network to learn about best practices from friends and colleagues. The LegalBlogging Group on LinkedIn is active and interesting.
  • Boost your metabolism: Scheduling tools like SocialOomph can increase your social media productivity.

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