This week our creative director and I met with a client of ours, a Birthing Center director, to visit with her about the blog she started a few months ago that highlights her experiences as a Birthing Center nurse.
Our meeting’s purpose was to talk about how the process was going and to see if she needed any help. When I told her this, her answer to me explained it all:
“Are you a registered nurse who will work for free?” she asked, with a smile on her face.
She went on to explain that the Birthing Center’s nine beds had been full for 10 straight days, many of them being c-sections and requiring a four day hospital stay, and that she just didn’t have time to blog twice a week (our original plan), and that once per week was more realistic.
We talked for a while, brainstorming ideas that would help her. And what we found was that as we suggested options, such as asking other nurses, pediatricians and midwives, to come on as guest bloggers, her answer was the same.
“We’re all so busy.”
Well isn’t that the truth!
We are all so busy it seems, no matter what profession we’re in. Our days are full of meetings, e-mails, reports and projects, and if you’re in health care, add patients and paperwork into that mix. So what do you do when you need to add blogging, tweeting and Facebook to your workload?
The best way to look at it is to start small. Identify the most important thing you can do, and work it into your daily tasks, remembering that it’s part of your larger marketing and social media strategy. Once it has a regular place on your daily “to do” list, it will feel much more manageable. I know when I first started my Twitter account, I looked at the multiple columns of tweets in my TweetDeck flooding in and wondered to myself, “how am I EVER going to figure this out?” But after a few weeks of setting aside half an hour to read about it and experiment, I got the hang of it.
The good news is, you will too. The key to it is being honest about what you can accomplish each day. For our Birthing Center manager, she recognizes that a blog post once per week is all she can handle. And that’s just fine, because if she had said she could do two posts a week but then only ever got to one, she would feel like she was failing. But because she is honest with herself and honest about how much time she could commit, she will feel accomplished. And I, as her social media mentor, know what I need to do to help her.
So while the time commitment is not the same for everyone, the rule is the same. Acknowledge what you can do, and then do that. If you can only spend 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon on Twitter, spend that half an hour during your day and make it productive by picking one thing to accomplish. Don’t feel bad if you think you “should” be doing more. The truth is that if you know you only have half an hour per day to finish a task, you’re more likely to get it done in that time frame.
Life is all about balance, and no matter how overwhelming your new social media strategy seems now, before long it will become a natural part of your daily routine.