Fast Company recently published an article called The 10 Commandments of Social Media, which basically amounted to "Blog, Tweet, Podcast, Monitor, Social-Network, and Comment all day every day". While I appreciate that this may be the ideal, it is simply not feasible for many people.

Among the most common objections to social media that I've heard from busy executives are: "We're just too busy to blog" and "We've tried Twitter but the inane banter is a waste of time".  Even though they may appreciate the benefits of using social media, their days are simply not structured to support it.

So,  given that I face a similar dilemma,  I've thought of three simple tips to help busy people get into and use social media efficiently and effectively.

1. Know what you want to achieve. In business, this might, for example, be to rank highly for a particular keyword in Google; to build your professional reputation; to share your insights and get feedback on them, or to raise awareness about your work. Whatever you seek to achieve with your blog, keep that top of mind and you will be more motivated to blog and more efficient in selecting topics to write about.

2. Share practical tips. The ideal of social media - what the best blogs have going on for them - is an ongoing conversation with a community of readers. This requires regular posting, so is not practically achievable for most. So the shortcut way is to create content of more enduring value, such as tips that your market would find interesting; lists of useful resources or websites; pieces of research; and anything else that would reward people for subscribing to your content or visiting your blog (albeit irregularly). This will help you become a search-engine favourite, or a useful reference aid for people looking for advice related to your topic.

3. Comment when you read. If you've taken the time out to read an article, blog post, or tweet, then it's worthwhile to spend a moment extra to leave a comment on what you've read. For one thing, you will link your comment back to your own website, and secondly it is likely to create a bit of goodwill with the author or other readers. Comments are a great way to enhance your online profile easily.

Lastly, remember that what you put online stays online and can add enduring value. Each contribution you make to the web under your own name can be thought of as a stepping stone in the path you're building to your goal. 10 minutes a day really is better than nothing, and it can really help you on your way.
AuthorDave Duarte