• Productivity and social entrepreneurs

    By Editor of SocialBusiness.org

    As I’m on “vacation” in the Caribbean, I’m thinking about productivity. Maybe that’s a good sign, or maybe, it’s not. It’s here where I get my best work done—sometimes my fastest and sometimes not. I read about a dozen books, I write creatively (something I hardly ever have time to do) and I also get a little work in for my thesis and my job. Rest is needed in order to reboot and continue or recharge productivity. Some would say it’s a sin to “work” on my vacation but it gives me a bit of balance. Since I don’t work 9 to 5 anymore, I don’t have much of a schedule. But that doesn’t mean I have a lot of free time. In fact, it means I have to be a lot smarter about my scheduling and what I do with my time. I only have about eight hours of class time a week (usually a seminar), an hour or two of office hours with a professor, too many hours in the library to readily admit here. Then, I usually set in an amount of projects I want to complete in terms of work. And then there are errands, exercise, friends and family. Sometimes I try not to think about all of things I have to do, and sometimes, it’s exactly thinking (and writing) all the things that I have to do that makes me that much more motivated to tackle each and every thing on the list. My former editor, Marissa Brassfield, started the wonderful site Ridiculously Efficient that vows “helping solopreneurs pursue their passions and still have the time to live well.” There, I can go and lose myself (in un-productivity). But mostly, I get my advice from a tweet or from the efficient daily newsletter. Many of the tips she gives are apt for the entrepreneur or freelancer who creates his or her own schedule. Here are a recent few stress-free tips that she’s shared with her readers:

  • Ways to use social media for social business

    By Tiana Reid, Senior Editor of SocialBusiness.org

     This list is by no means exhaustive, but it can help the small social business owner start up and consider their social media options. The best thing about social media is a low-cost way to spread your message – and meaning – in the way that maximizes productivity. But, yes, it can be time consuming. And that’s time that’s precious for start-up social businesses and enterprises that already have their resources spread thin.

    Canadian entrepreneur Amber Mac was featured on the Lavin Agency’s YouTube channel and she discussed how, for some, social media can be overwhelming. It’s true that even though there’s an immense amount of stuff (What stuff?!) available on our smart phones, laptops and hey, even on our digital wristwatches. Mac notes that there are statistics to prove that many people are less productive in the workplace. “It’s about using the right tools and being smarter,” she said. “You don’t need to live inside Twitter all day long.”

    Remember: be effective and be productive. Don’t waste your time, because in the end, your time is your company’s resources.

    Frame content for distinct platforms

    “Social media” is a broad, broad term that encompasses everything from web-based technologies like blogs to mobile-based technologies like iPhone apps. The list goes on and on, of course. For businesses, it’s important not to lump all of it together. Here are a few tips for creating distinct content among those social media platforms that you do decide is best for you and your social business. For instance, I advise not to cross-post Twitter and Facebook (or any platform!). Twitter is a place where you can tweet 12, even 24 times a day and you won’t necessarily annoy your readership. It’s the norm. But Facebook is a slower paced friend, and its users gravitate toward image-friendly links and albums. So utilize that to the best of your ability.

    Say what you mean

    If you’re doing a mini study on LinkedIn about what you think your customers would like (or not like), ask them straight up! Or maybe even use a platform like Survey Monkey if you think your customer base is strong enough in terms of participation rate. Don’t beat around the bush or undermine the intelligence of your customers.

    Mix it up

    Pictures and links and questions, oh my! These are a few of the things that make social media users click, share and engage. It’s important not to get stuck in a rut of the same old, but rather, make a conscious effort to vary your content. If anything, ask yourself what you’d like to see from a company that you love.

    Use hashtags and participate in Tweet Chats to maximize your reach

    Moving World collected a resource of the top 13 hashtags for social entrepreneurs, enterprises and investors. No need to memorize them, but keep them in mind, especially when prioritizing your messaging.


    Keep an eye out for new social media platforms that are taking off. For instance, while many people jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon, it hasn’t yet completely taken off in the social business world. If you set yourself ahead of the curve, you could reap the benefits. In the case of Pinterest specifically: do you have awesome images of your product and/or service? Consider new platforms and if you think it would work for you but don’t just join and use your time if not.