How can you build a trusted network without spending hours and hours each day? How is it possible that some high ranking executives from Billion Dollar companies spend time in the social web while somebody working in the trenches cannot? Why chose other executives with equally big organizations to not participate at all – still wondering why they are just not as successful? How can people out of the blue just raise up the trust ladder and grow an enormous follower-ship all of a sudden? Today it looks like this is just a random pattern with no structure and all coincidental. But it is absolutely not. In this PART 1 I will talk about some fundamentals of Social Media Time Management.
Social Media is NOT a technology play
Unlike many who just don’t know much about Social Media find it confusing to be on all those sites wasting their time. It seems complicated to understand the difference between Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Xing, Pinterest, YouTube, Flickr, Connect.me, Twylah, Favo.rs, Scoop.IT, XeeMe, Qwikr and the 300 – 500 other places. Do you have a drivers license? How familiar are you with breaks, engine, gear, steering system, suspension, platform, wheels, navigation, rules, regulation, speed, acceleration…. Also a car is no longer a technology play. Get off of the tools discussion!
Social Media is a Relationship Play
First and foremost: unlike in the past you can easily quaddruple the number of meaningful and strong relationships, you can learn twice as fast from others and you can double or triple your influence. You get typically twice as much done than in the days before Social Media. I’m not going into the details of how but into the trouble of how much time. But for the sake of this discussion, that is the core of Social Media in business.
It’s not about the amount of time – but the allocation
One of the key things in “Online Trust” versus the one we developed over time is the mechanism of collective trust development versus developing trust between individuals. Two or three people can trust each other after they worked together intensely and got know the other during that process. However when we talk online trust we have to take the above mentioned advantage of massively more connections into consideration. If you are a very busy person, you are most likely sporadically pretty active in the social web and then there are times you probably are very heads down, work very focused on something and just don’t take the time to be online. That up and down effect is seen not only in the online trust development, such as connect.me for instance but in all kinds of scores like Klout, PeerIndex, Kreds, XeeScore and many others.
One day I realized that there is no difference between highly social leaders in the old world versus the new world. People like Sam Walton (Walmart) was known to visit his shops frequently, walked around in the distribution centers or warehouses. Tony Hshie, CEO of Zappos is no different, he is walking and talking inside his organization almost all day – his focus is supporting the culture. Others are more like an office person, thinking about the future, nudeling numbers and just less outside. The social web is no different – other than much bigger – ha ha ha.
What I help top executives with is keeping a good balance. not percentage wise but timing wise. Meaning spending 3 of 30 days with the public social web can be 3 days online and then 27 days offline. This is less successful. But spending 60 minutes a day online and 640 minutes offline each day makes a huge difference to your audience and increases the effect of information feedback for you – yet it is exactly the same amount of time invested :)
Why is that? The CEO that is only seen at the annual employee meeting is on average across all cultures less successful than the one who is in the company visible every week. 10 Minutes times 52 weeks = 8.6 hours. The personal presence is the most trust and influence building aspect online and offline.
This is the reason why top notch executives have no problem to always present in the social web and others just not. Compare their respective annual reports and you will be amazed about the result.
To Summarize Part 1: Don’t waste your time with tools and try to understand every aspect of it. Be where the people are who are really relevant to you. Remember: Social Media is about learning faster than ever, build more connections then ever, contribute more quality content than you ever imagined and expand your influence. If anyway humanly possible, spend 10 minutes a day – seven days a week (70 Minutes) than 140 minutes on one day. In Part 2 I will share some concrete examples how you can best allocate your time and about the ‘Social Minutes’ Project.