My clients and I are regularly bombarded with emails and social media posts. Both can waste a lot of time, and in business, time is money. As I discover ways to break through the noise and information overload in my own life, I’m also becoming aware of how these concerns affect customers and prospects.
Less Email, More Phone Calls
Sometimes, my email box is so cluttered with business that would take five minutes to resolve on the phone. Email is often more convenient than a phone call because it can be done at any time of day. However, when I find myself spending more time resolving emails and less time writing or having meaningful conversations with customers, it becomes more of a headache. Picking up the phone is so underrated as an efficiency tool when problems need solving. It’s also a great way to build a more personal relationship with clients, customers, and venders.
Could Unsubscribe Be Your Friend?
I’ve been unsubscribing from lists left and right, and you might wonder why I, as a copywriter and public relations professional, would even mention such a dirty word. Think of it this way: ideally, when you run an email list, you’d like subscribers to make time in their busy schedules to consider what you have to say. You’d rather not have people Who get so many unwanted marketing emails that they miss your message altogether, maybe even forgetting who you are. I believe it would actually benefit marketers if more people sometimes clicked the Unsubscribe button that reputable providers, such as MailChimp or Constant Contact, place at the bottom of every marketing email. When subscribers take back control of their inboxes, the ones that choose to remain on your list are more likely to remember you and interact with your content. Your business benefits from fewer full inboxes and more open minds.
Managing Social Media Time and Energy
Facebook and other social media platforms can eat up so much time. It’s so easy to browse social media and lose sight of why I set aside time for Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn in the first place. Since I’ve been purposely taking time to improve my social media presence, I’ve become especially conscious of these challenges. To move toward a less cluttered, more purpose-driven social media life, here are some key steps I’ve taken:
1. Separating people into lists or feeds. Facebook unfortunately limits these feeds to certain specific categories, such as Close Friends or Family. My Twitter includes list customization, allowing me to separate reporters from PR pros, and differentiate businesses from nonprofits, for example. I can also see more of my friends’ posts on the weekends and more business posts during the day.
2. Saving links and posts for future reading. It’s so tempting to read the many interesting articles I see each time I browse social media. Instead, I ask myself what I might gain from commenting or interacting with a particular person or brand on my feed. If following my curiosity would take me away from my purpose of building relationships with clients, prospects, and other key contacts, I’ll often save it for later and switch to something more important in the moment.
3. Customizing notifications. There are people, groups, and pages on Facebook that I always want to follow. I especially value the tweets of certain reporters. Notifications and other feed customizations enable me to see more of what I want and override Facebook’s spammy default notification settings. For example, if you join a lot of Facebook groups, you’ll notice lots of notifications about them. To manage these, I went into the Group Info settings for each Facebook group to turn off many of the notifications. I can also prevent certain groups from showing up in my main Facebook feed if needed. To make sure my group posting effort is a genuine give-and-take, I make a point of liking and commenting on posts of group members I’d like to get to know better. LinkedIn also has notification customization options.
More Time For Writing
My passion is writing, not email or social media. By managing my email and social media experiences more consciously, I have more time to do what I love.
How about you? What’s your passion? How much time would you save by making small changes to the way you handle email or social media? Feel free to ask questions and post your favorite email or social media hacks in the comments.