Balancing the Skies and Social Media: Effective Time Management for Thought Leaders

by | Apr 25, 2024 | business strategy, Content Creation, Entrepreneurship, Social Media

You’re miles up in the air, en route to your next speaking engagement. Your schedule is packed, your inbox is overflowing, and yet, there’s that nagging feeling—you should be posting something witty and profound on social media right now. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

For many thought leaders like you, juggling the demands of travel, public appearances, and maintaining an engaging social media presence can feel like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube blindfolded. But here’s the good news: social media doesn’t have to be this overwhelming. With clear understanding of your goals and a solid strategy, you can find that sweet spot—balancing your professional commitments with a thriving social media presence without stretching yourself too thin.

Understanding Your Time Constraints

Self-Awareness and Peak Productivity Times
First things first: let’s get introspective. When do you feel most alert and inspired? For me, I love the serene early hours of the morning before the pings and dings take turns vying for my attention. For you, perhaps is after the workday winds down and you get an additional jolt on energy and creativity. Either way, it’s important to pinpoint when you are most creative and energized that can transform the way you approach social media. It’s about syncing your peak creative times with your content creation—this means you’re not just getting things done, you’re getting them done well. 

Rather than feeling like this…

Tracking and Analyzing Time
Ever wondered where all your time goes? It’s easy to lose track amidst flights, hotel check-ins, flurries of emails from your team and back-to-back meetings. Using time-tracking tools can be a revelation, helping you see clearly how your day unfolds and where you might carve out some golden minutes for social media engagement. This doesn’t need to be a staple of your daily life. I’ve tracked my activities for a week to better understand my capacity for social media content creation as well as shed light on a few activities that I could definitely outsource to free up my time during peak creative hours. 

Strategic Planning and Scheduling

Comprehensive and Editorial Calendars
Here’s your new best friend: the editorial calendar. This isn’t just a tool, it’s your roadmap for content creation, integrating your travel schedule, speaking engagements, email newsletter sends, upcoming launches that will be paramount in planning your details social media content calendar. Think of it as the 30,000 foot few of what you have planning in the next 3, 6 or 12 months that assists in what content will go live, when, and aligning it with your real-world activities.

Let technology lighten your load. Scheduling tools are the secret sauce for staying visible on social media without being glued to your phone. An easy posting cadence to implement, so long as you can commit to being consistent, is posting three times per week on the social media platform(s) of choice. This content should be “evergreen” content, meaning its always relevant. This way you know that every week something is going out to your audience which then frees up additional days during the week to be creative, spur of the moment and share your expertise when the moment strikes! Was that just a sigh of relief I heard? YES!

There are too many scheduling platforms out there, my biggest tip…schedule demos with three of them to ask questions.

  1. What platforms they post to, do they allow scheduling of stories or reels?
  2. What’s the management of comments and engagement like?
  3. Do the reports provide relevant information for what you’re truly looking to measure AND are they customizable?
  4. What is the price per month for the tool?

A few of my favorites to research for your needs are SproutSocial, AgoraPulse, and Metricool. They all have various pricing options which include different features. I typically recommend a scheduling tool for those who need/want to have a presence on more than one platform. 

If you’re only focused on one platform, you can schedule content natively on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram (including Reels) and more at no charge.

All third-party scheduling tools and native schedulers offer a mobile option. Your smartphone, after all, is a production studio, posting powerhouse…in your pocket. Harness its potential to keep your social media buzzing. Apps designed to manage accounts on the move mean you can draft, edit, and post content, whether you’re in an Uber or waiting for your next flight. A few of my favorite #NoFancyPants technology pieces can be found in our Social Media Video Toolbox.

Prioritizing Tasks + Well-Being

Decision time: what gets your attention today? All too often social media is left at the bottom of the to-do list. Instead of waiting to check it off (hint it never does), make the intentional decision to put two hours on the calendar during the week. Use one hour to create the content and schedule, and one hour to plan for the following week.

Want to get more ahead? The best plan forward is creating a content calendar for the next month by the 15th of the current month. This forward thinking helps you stress less and focus more on creating content throughout your daily activities.

Remember, every part of your journey is a story waiting to be told. Share those candid shots from behind the scenes, speak about the highs and the occasional lows, like battling writer’s block before a big presentation. Authenticity wins on social media, and your followers will appreciate your honesty and relatability.

Staying Connected with Your Audience
Sure, consistency is key, but so is interaction. Schedule times to go live, answer comments, or share updates in real-time. This keeps your digital presence vibrant and shows your followers that behind the brand is a person who values their community.

Aim to engage with your audience before and after your posts go out, this way you get to condition the platform that your account is active AND you’re there to respond to the comments that come through on your posts and reply back in real time. This strategy assists in nudging your content up in your audience’s feed.

Setting Boundaries to Avoid BurnoutFinally, know when to unplug. Trust me on this one, I was in the thick of it in 2021/2022. Owning a business, sharing your thought leadership throughout the country and on social media are exhilarating, but they can also be exhausting. Set boundaries for your work and downtime, practicing self-care to recharge your batteries. After all, you can’t inspire others if you’re running on empty.

The Last Thing…

Managing a hectic travel schedule while keeping your social media lively might seem daunting, but it’s entirely possible with the right approach. By understanding your energy cycles, leveraging smart tools, and planning effectively, you can not only keep your social media feeds active but also enjoy the process.

Have you found effective ways to balance travel, engagements, and social media? What’s worked for you? Reach out on LinkedIn, I’d love to hear from you! 

By adopting these strategies, you can make the most of your time—both online and off—turning potential stress into managed success.

Looking to understand where your social media stands and how to best propel your authority forward in the digital landscape? Book a call with Karlyn to discuss your options!