Monday, March 10, 2014

Social Media Monday—How I Do Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day or Less

by Edie Melson

You can look at this digital age we live in as a blessing or a curse—and there are merits to each viewpoint. Since I’m a glass half-full type girl, I happen to take the positive approach. I like the connectedness of this time and place. I like connecting in person and online—especially through Facebook and Twitter.

A word of warning here, it’s possible to let these tools (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) eat into your writing time. For myself, the way I combat that temptation is to schedule my networking time. I prioritize the things I have to accomplish. 

One of the things I have to do as an author is connect with my audience online. But I don't have to devote my life to it—especially at the expense of practicing my craft. 

I've learned to work with the tools available and spend no more than 30 minutes a day on social networking. I also spend a different block of time writing my blog posts. I've separated the two because blogging, for me, is practicing my craft. It teaches me to write better and gives me a place to grow my skills as a writer. In addition, it also helps me connect on a deeper level with my audience than just social networking.

Many of you have asked how I schedule my day so now is as good a time as any to share it with you. Now, please know that I am NOT an organized person, but this loose arrangement of my day helps me to stay sane in the insane world of publishing.

My Daily Schedule 

  • 8 – 8:30: I answer email and find interesting online articles and blogs to share with my social media audience. 
  • 8:30 – 9: I use Hootsuite to schedule my main social media for the entire day.
  • 9 – 11:30: I use this time as my creative writing time, because it’s the time when I’m most creative.
  • 11:30 – 12: I answer any emails, check my voice mail and return any calls I need to. I also check in on FB, Twitter and my blog.
  • 12 – 1: lunch.
  • – 3: I work on things that have a deadline and once a week write all my blog posts during this time.
  • 3:30 – 4: I again check email, phone messages, FB, Twitter and my blog. Then, before I go to bed I'll usually do a final check for email, FB, Twitter and my blog, but not always.
Also, about once an hour I get up and walk around to relieve my back and when I sit back down, I check Hootsuite. That way, if anyone has mentioned me or retweeted something I can reply. It’s important to keep the conversation going throughout the day and this is how I do it. BUT, I only allow myself 5 – 10 minutes each hour or two.

I give myself weekends off.
I keep this schedule 5 days a week. I've learned that everyone needs a day or two of rest, and taking the weekends off has not hurt my online growth. I think it's actually helped because I'm fresher and more enthusiastic because I've had some time to myself.

Now, some days the times do vary, especially if I have a big deadline. But this is my basic schedule. I try not to be subject to emails or even the telephone. Funny thing, I discovered that people are fine about having to leave messages, IF they know I’ll actually call them back. 

I've found that this schedule allows me to accomplish what I need most days and still stay sane.

I’d love to know how you schedule your social media time. Share your tips, and your struggles in the comments section below. Remember, we’re all better together!

Don’t forget to join the conversation!



  1. That sounds close to what I do, Edie. I get my posts ready before work in the morning. I use Buffer, but Hootsuite is about the same. If I need to reply to a comment, I can do that any time with my cell phone or iPad. But you're right, social media should not take up a huge chunk of time. That writing time is precious!

    1. Ron, I think we are definitely on the same page when it comes to social media. Thanks so much for stopping by, Blessings, E

  2. To me this looks like two hours each day in social media, because I would count the time reading blogs and email as part of the category. Anyway, it's simply part of doing business.

    1. Cathy, I scan my email for potential blogs to read, and then scan/read the ones I want to share. For me, part of the discipline is in NOT spending hours a day reading blog posts. There are a lot of sites that I trust because I've followed their content for so long, so I can tell at a glance if it's valuable info to share. Blessings, E

  3. I'm glad you've shared your schedule and defined what you classify as social media time. I now have an index card sitting next to my computer to remind me of the 30 minute limit. I also use the timer on my phone. I, like Cathy, count reading blogs as "social media" too- maybe I can cut it down the middle and allow 45 minutes for all of that. Thanks Edie!

    1. Julia, see my reply to Cathy above about reading blog posts. For example, I know you're always going to have great stuff to share, so if your title matches my audience's need, I'll skim your post to verify and then schedule the update. I bookmark the posts I want to come back to read more deeply and comment on. Truthfully, I just can't spend that much time each day reading posts. I hope this helps, Blessings, E

  4. Also, have you covered or can you cover how to add that floating Pin Button over your images? Thanks!

    1. Julia, I had to go in and add it to my blog's HTML code. It took a bit of trial and error. Here's the link to the site that walked me through the process: Hope this helps! Blessings, E

  5. Edie--THANK YOU so much for this blog post. I especially appreciate the guideline as I currently work as a nurse and do a fair bit of traveling. One of my biggest struggles is time to write/social media/blog/etc...while I will need to adjust the times, your guide is a great help!