Monday, November 14, 2016

Finding Time for Social Media When You Also Have a Full-time Job

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Many writers I speak with are doing more than juggling writing and social media—they're also working full time. Others are torn between family responsibilities and industry requirement. All these individuals have my utmost respect!

Today, I'd like to offer some tips specifically for those in that situation.

Tips for Managing Social Media along with a Full-time Job

While writing IS your priority, small (even tiny) consistent steps with social media can grow an impressive online presence.

The majority of your audience will be checking social media during the day and into evening. Because of this, it’s important to utilize a scheduling program to send out updates while you’re at work during the day.

Use your evening to schedule updates.
Use Your Evening to Schedule Updates
I know many of you don’t have the time to schedule your updates in the morning before work. The way to get around this is to schedule your social media in the evening. I even do a little of this myself. Here’s an example of what I do. I usually check my social media once before bed. If I happen to see something I’d like to share, instead of sending it out right then, I schedule it to go out the next day. Sure I’m a day late, but if the information is relevant, a day or two isn’t going to make a difference. You could schedule all your updates that way.

Watch the Clock
Many of you mentioned you only have an hour or two to write in the evenings. If you take a full half-hour to work on social media, you’ve used up to half your writing time. That’s unacceptable. If that’s the case, then limit yourself to no more than 15 minutes of social media scheduling.

Schedule Updates for the Entire Week at One Time
Another way to work around your time-crunch issues is to devote one single evening to all your social media updates for the week. There have been times, when I was on a trip, that I’ve had to do this. Here’s how it’s done.

I chose Friday to schedule everything for the following week. For me, it was easier and here’s why. Starting the Monday previous, everything that came into my inbox that I thought would be valuable to share, I put into a document. I named the document by the date of the Monday I started collecting—10/31/16, Social Media Updates. Then I saved the document on my desktop, so I’d have easy access. Every time I found something valuable, I clicked on the link to the specific post. I then copied the URL of that specific post and, along with the title or something that would help me remember why I thought that post was valuable, pasted that info into the document.

I did this Monday through Friday (remember, I’m scheduling this in the evening, so I’ll have info from Friday to include) and plenty to share for the coming week. You could choose any day, even a weekend time to do this, and it would work just as well.

Limit your social media networks.
Limit Your Social Media Networks
With less time to devote to your writing, you have to make sure the time you spend on social media is well spent. You’ll have to discipline yourself to make the most of the time you have. This includes the time you spend interacting on different platforms. I recommend you read and comment on no more than 4 – 6 updates per social media network. AND I recommend you limit yourself to no more than 3 networks. Trying to do too much will result in less visibility.

For example, it’s much better to have a strong presence on 2 networks by sharing 4 or 5 updates several days a week and commenting on 4 or 5 updates several days a week, than only 1 or 2 updates and comments over a 5 or 6 networks. If you choose the latter, you have a much less likelihood of being seen.

Choose the Most Valuable Networks
By limiting your social media networks to no more than three, you’ll have to decide which 3 make the most sense for you. I still stand by my recommendation of Facebook and Twitter as numbers 1 and 2. After that, I’d choose between Pinterest, Instagram, Google Pus and YouTube. If you’re not sure how to evaluate these networks, I recommend a post I wrote about Social MediaPlatforms and How They’re Used.

Do What’s Best for YOU
All of these tips are just that, tips. Ultimately, you know what time you have and what priorities make the most sense for you. Take what works and toss the rest. The most important thing is to have a plan. In the past, stumbling along—doing the best I could—has set me back years with my writing goals.

These are my tips, now it’s time for you to chime in. Help each other—and me—by sharing what has and hasn’t worked for you.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!



  1. I need this help, Edie. I am trying to implement your recommendations and some days I do better than others. Each post you write about this subject helps motivate me to get back into the game. Your paragraph above about scheduling for a week out and making a word document of posts is something I am going to do. Thanks again for your valuable advice.

    1. Barbara, I'll let you in on a secret. I write these posts because I'm struggling too. I need the reminder to help me get back on track! LOL! Thanks for stopping in, Blessings, E

  2. Edie,

    Thank you for these great tips and wisdom in this article. Each of us have the same amount of time and we get done what we focus on and do--even with our limitations. I have a full-time job as an acquisitions editor at a NY publisher yet I've chosen to be active in social media. Other colleagues have never used twitter. It is a focused choice.

    The Writing Life

    1. Terry you are a master at priorities and organization. Thank you so much for dropping by and sharing your thoughts! Blessings, E

  3. Thanks for the encouragement, Edie. Scheduling is essential for me, and I've used Hootsuite for Twitter for some time, but just recently I've started using the auto-schedule feature that schedules posts at the optimal times. I've noticed and appreciate the increased visibility that comes with that feature.