Social Media Revisited: Is It ENCOURAGING Your Productivity?

Well, Mr. Saver and I broke down and got new cell phones, which only cost us $20 for both (with no activation fees). However, we did upgrade to the “lite” data plan, something we’ve never had before, for $10 for each phone line per month. I guess we got tired of seeing all of our friends posting on Facebook and Twitter or searching for the answer to some random trivia question none of us knew while we stood there helplessly.

Social media has definitely burrowed its way into our collective lives and seems to have some staying power.

According to Wikipedia’s entry on social media,

Social networking now accounts for 11 percent of all time spent online in the US. A total of 234 million people age 13 and older in the U.S. used mobile devices in December 2009. Twitter processed more than one billion tweets in December 2009 and averages almost 40 million tweets per day. Over 25% of U.S. internet page views occurred at one of the top social networking sites in December 2009, up from 13.8% a year before.

I find these statistics amazing, but not unrealistic. So how does all this online social interaction affect our productivity at work and home? If people are tethered to their smartphones and computers, does social media negatively affect their work ethic?

As I mentioned in a post back in December, Is Social Media Killing Your Productivity & Earning Potential?, social media can be a major time-waster. Instead of working and being productive, they’re telling the world what they’re having for lunch or complaining about how cold it is in the office (something we’ve all been guilty of at one time or another).

Some people actually become more productive through social media. How about those folks who find new clients or a new job through Twitter or Linked In? The networking potential of these sites is staggering.

Then there’s the other way around — when companies use social media tactics to reach out to customers and clients and increase brand-awareness.

Either way, integrating social media into your business plan is a good idea, as long as it doesn’t become a time suck that takes away from your money-making adventures.

You also don’t have to use social media 24/7 to get the most out of it, especially now that there are programs that allow you to schedule tweets and posts. But it’s still important to interact in real time with your followers and fans, in order to better connect with them. Just make sure you schedule this ‘social’ time into your work schedule to ensure you don’t get off track.

What’s interesting is that there are some studies that claim that workers who take a ‘brain break’ and participate in social media usage during office hours actually INCREASE their productive by 9% or more. Of course, this contradicts all the studies that claim businesses lose a ton of money due to workers being UNDERPRODUCTIVE due to overuse of social media.

Perhaps you just have to know whether social media usage will benefit you. Do you think you’re more productive when using Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, or less?

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