Here’s How Much Time You’ve Wasted On Social Media

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time you have wasted on social media

Don’t get me wrong, not all time is wasted on social media.

However, there are many gaping holes that we (myself included) have fallen into with social media that have caused us to waste colossal amounts of time.

I’ll share with you the ones I see trapping companies, brands, and clients the most.


Social networking is where a lot of people are spending (and sometimes wasting) their time these days.

In fact, Americans aged 18-64 who use social networks say they spend an average of 3.2 hours per day liking, commenting, and being lurkers.

But, as a user, I should be allowed to waste my time.

As a marketer and consultant? I should NOT.

As a business, YOU should not.

Here’s Where Your Business May Be Spending Time Wasted On Social Media

Too Many Social Media Platforms

We’ve talked about Shiny Object Syndrome before.

And yes, it’s wise to test out new platforms like Snapchat and see if they’re a fit with your brand.

But if you’re on 20 platforms, sharing the same, tired content, or barely showing up at all, you’re likely wasting time.

How to NOT waste time here:

  • Invest in the platforms where your specific audience/customers are active
  • Stick to 3-5 platforms (or 1 — whatever you can commit to being AWESOME SAUCE on)
  • Get rid of platforms where you don’t have a constant (read: DAILY) presence
  • Let the data tell you what to do (as we did with our G+ biz page)

Measuring The Wrong Metrics For Success

There are soft metrics and solid metrics to analyze with social media.

Then there are vanity metrics; things like number of followers or fans, likes, etc.

If you don’t have a solid strategy for measuring what matters — CONVERSIONS — you’re wasting precious time.

I can’t tell you what your goal(s) should be, but it should involve some sort of return on investment (ROI).

That might be new blog readers, newsletter subscribers, course buyers, or webinar attendees — but unless your fans and followers are doing those things, you’re doing it wrong (and wasting time)!

How NOT to waste time here:

  • Have a social media strategy
  • Tie that social media strategy to business outcomes and/or goals
  • Don’t let vanity metrics steal any of your focus

thumbs down

You Think Campaign, Instead Of Conversation

This one is really simple: If you don’t understand the value of engagement (or the social part of social media), you’re wasting GOBS of time.

Newsflash: If used correctly, conversations with your niche audience can actually SAVE you time on social media.

I can use some of my own good news for the New Year to make my point:

  • I connected with Mark Schaefer of Business {grow} after hearing him speak in October of 2013.
  • A year ago (January 2014) Mark and I were able to meet in person in NYC.
  • A few months later (April 2014) Mark asked me to write a post on Emotional Marketing for his world-renowned {grow} blog.
  • A few months after that I made his 70 Rising Social Media Stars list (June 2014).
  • I closed a new client in November 2014 because of making that list.
  • Mark and I met again in NYC in December 2014.
  • Later that month, Mark asked me to become a blogger for his {grow} blog (my first post goes out later this month!).

And it all started with a conversation on social media.

There’s power in that. And money! And clout! And paid writing gigs!

Catch my drift?

How NOT to waste time here:

  • Create and curate content that’s actionable, starts a conversation, or entices relationship building
  • Instead of creating quote memes in Canva (where you highlight someone else’s wisdom and words), start asking your own questions, or sharing your own helpful quotes
  • Ask SMART questions: Like ones that help you understand the pain points of your perspective buyers, or what social platforms they’re active on, or how they like to consume content (aka: market research)
  • Run ads as a supplement to your conversations, rather than a way to collect fans who aren’t really interested in a relationship with you

Using The “Post And Pray” Method

The whole “post and pray” method many businesses use can actually hurt your brand. [More on that here]

While your social media content should meet your goals (see “measuring metrics” above), you should also ensure you’re nurturing the buyer through the sales funnel.

Not that it should be boring.

You have to entertain audiences, too.

But we feel sharing only meme and quotes made in Canva content is not smart, strategic, or savvy!

How NOT to waste time here:

Other Time You’ve Wasted On Social Media

There are plenty of ways to waste time with any activity, social included.

Of course, I could go on and on, but instead, I’ll leave you with a few more obvious time wasters:

  • Not using a social media dashboard or CRM (we use and love Sprout Social!)
  • OR, using too many tools to run your social media accounts
  • Not trusting in automation (as long as you use it the RIGHT way!)

Have I forgotten any super obvious ways businesses and brands have wasted time on social media? Chime in and let me know in the comments section below!


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Brooke B. Sellas is an award-winning Customer Marketing Strategist and the CEO & Founder of B Squared Media. Her book, Conversations That Connect has been recognized nationally and is required reading for a Customer Experience class at NSU. Brooke's influence in digital marketing is not just about her accomplishments but also about her unwavering commitment to elevating the industry standard of digital customer experience and customer marketing.
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11 Comments. Leave new

  • Great post and great tips as always Brooke! It all comes down to creating a win, win value – something others can value and appreciate and something you can feel wasn’t wasted in vain. Invest and focus on people and the majority of the time you’ll come out ahead.

    • Thank you, once again, for being such a loyal blog reader! And for helping with the podcast. I want to shout from the mountain top how AWESOME SAUCE JOSH IS!

      [Gains composure] You said the secret word, VALUE. Can I be so bold as to say that the reason you read our blog, and help Mallie and me out with the podcast is because of value?? And would you be doing those things if we didn’t offer up value 24/7? Or if all we did was post memes and quotes? I’m guessing no.

      I think the element after value is conversation, and I don’t think I have to guess when I say that our conversations help you be/stay loyal (but please correct me if I’m wrong).

      #MorePeopleLessNumbers in 2015!

      • Aww, thanks Brooke. It’s been my pleasure. Anything I can do (and I really mean that).

        I completely agree with everything you just said. Although we’ve gotten to become friends, I read your blog and listen to the podcast because it’s truly great. If it wasn’t, as much as I enjoy our friendship, I wouldn’t be able to waste the time (your words, not mine). And of course I hope I’m able to reciprocate that value back to you.

  • Avatar
    Veronica Solorzano Athanasiou
    January 7, 2015 8:38 AM

    Thank you so much for the shout out. This is a GREAT guide for business owners to audit what they’ve been doing and HOW they can stay on target and be efficient. Definitely sharing across platforms.

    Concepts like Vanity Metrics must be borne in mind (sorry, went passive here!) and your options for QUOTES that work are so valuable.

    Thanks again for being such a friendly conversationist and for sharing your knowledge and experience in such an enjoyable way.

    • Well, you’re welcome! I liked the message AND that it pinged you, Mallie, and Ralph all in one post.

      Staying on target — especially with all of the changes on FB and content shock — will be SO important this year and beyond. If fluff works for you (I can only think of one person who does well with nonsense), then keep doing it! If it doesn’t, it’s time to get serious (and stop wasting time).

      Thank YOU for always joining the conversations I try to start, Veronica! It takes two for any great communication to start happening, and you’re always there to help get it going. :)

  • I’m as guilty as the next guy when it comes to going too far down the social media rabbit hole and spending too much time on some tasks and not enough on the right ones. Your blog post brought to light some of my snafus and how to remedy them. Bravo Brooke!

    • We ALL are, Neil! Working (or doing) in social is like juggling a desk, a chicken, a phone, a chainsaw, and 18 squeaky balls. (Did I miss anything??) I’m so glad this resonated with you. THANK YOU so much for reading and commenting. I hope you’ll come back. :)

  • Great post Brooke! I think most businesses don’t realize the time they waste until they take a good, hard look back at it.

    You make 2 awesome points in your blog – one, to concenrate only the platforms that your audience is on and two, it’s about the conversation. I think we’ll see a huge push towards the conversation element this year. Businesses are wising up to the fact they can’t use social to broadcast – they have to engage. It’s sad it’s taken this long for them to get it.

    Congrats on the writing gig with Mark! He rocks!

    • Thanks, Mandy! You’re spot on. You have to be introspective (and honest) to find out where your mistakes are (or where you’re wasting time). And, HECK YEAH, you know I LOVE that you’re onboard with #ThinkConversation in 2015! ;)

      More thanks on the gig. Very exited/humbled/nervous!

  • […] interview with Rebekah was my inspiration for last week’s post on wasting time on social media because Rebekah asked this amazing, make-you-think […]


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