Saturday, August 29, 2015

5 Tips to Prevent Social Media Online Overwhelm

Whether I'm wearing my author, reader or actor hat, the amount of online information and sources for that information are overwhelming.

Yet so much valuable material is shared, including:

  • casting notices-some of which are taken down as soon as enough submissions are received 
  • writing, marketing and social media tips in Facebook groups and articles/posts
  • specific projects editors/agents are looking for right now
  • info about writing conferences and contests

I don't want to miss anything I might need, but I also don't want to be one of those people always checking/online instead of getting things done. So how do we get the info we need in the most time-effective manner?

1) Only check some things certain times of the day. And/or set a time limit. There are apps for this, or you exercise self-discipline.

2) Take advantage of custom notifications. I have different email accounts for different purposes: one personal, one for acting, one for writing, one for shopping and one for miscellaneous things. Each account has a different notification (the shopping one is silent!), so I only have to stop what I'm doing and check if I hear certain sounds.

I also have Facebook notifications for all groups I really care about, and check notifications every hour or so to see if there's anything I need to pursue.

Your phone can be distracting, too. I also have custom ring tones for certain friends and one for talent agencies ("Popular" from Wicked). The only downside is I don't have all clients and obviously potential clients in my phone, and sometimes agents use other numbers. So when I hear the default ringtone, I often check rather than wait to see if someone leaves a message.

3) Focus on one or two social media outlets you like best and find their shortcuts. For example, I use lists on Twitter (casting, authors, publishing, etc.) and favorites on Facebook. This takes a bit of time to set up, but will save time going forward.

4) Skim and skedaddle. You don't have to read every word of every post. Learn to skim for highlights and to skedaddle as soon as you realize something isn't as important or interesting as you thought it would be.

5) Respond efficiently. While you want to be careful what you post (as we keep hearing, the Internet lives forever), keep track of how long you spend on each comment or post. See if you can trim that time.

If you have other tips, please share!

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