How To Productively Use Facebook for Business

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Facebook is a devil and an angel all at once. Once just a place to connect with friends and keep in touch with people who you sort of liked from your secondary education, Facebook has evolved into a powerful marketing and business development tool. With features like Pages, Groups, and Ads, Facebook is a gold mine for small business owner looking to connect with like-minded people and their ideal customers in the same breath. At the same time, Facebook is a breeding ground of distractions. But you don’t have to be sucked into the blue hole. Here’s how to stop wasting your time on Facebook.

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Understand Your Purpose for the Platform
Most great things are achieved when you feel an innate sense of purpose from completing the task. Why should building your empire via Facebook be any different? Take the time to write your top 1 to 3 intentions for using Facebook. They can include personal goals for business, personal relationships, or self education. My personal intentions are to create meaningful business connections with other female entrepreneurs, be inspired by quotes and success stories, and stay in touch with my high school friends (I was a cyber school student for my last 2 years of high school, so I need the social interaction). Knowing these three goals, I can spend my time on Facebook doing these three things. Do I deviate from my goals? Of course! But just having them makes my time on Facebook more meaningful and focused. I usually look at my favorite pages for new content, glance at my News Feed, catch up in groups, and message a friend or two during my Facebook sessions. And then I more on with my life. Which brings me to…

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Limit the Amount of Time You Spend on Facebook
No matter how much business you get from Facebook, spending all of your free time on the social network will drain your energy and productivity, say experts from RFK Solutions Ltd. Give yourself a daily Facebook browsing time limit and stick to it. You can use it up all at once, or give yourself little drops of Facebook throughout your working day. Feel yourself working less after 60 minutes of networking/stalking your ex’s photos? Shorten your time to 45 minutes a day and see the improvements. Remember: tiny habit changes lead to BIG results. Bonus points if you schedule your time on Facebook every day. Personally, I like to give myself 10 minutes of Facebook during lunch, 20 minutes during my afternoon break, and 10 minutes during dinner. Besides that, I respond to important messages and push notifications throughout the day.

Weed Down the Number of Facebook Groups You’re In
There are millions of groups out there, and chances are that you’re in quite a few. At one point, I was in about sixty groups until I’d had enough. A lot of business groups have the same people floating around in them, so it’s safe to cut down the number of groups that you’re in. Look for the ones with the best content, active members, and the best chances for making quality connections. Keep those groups, and get rid of the rest that don’t serve you.

Sierra Elmore

Sierra Elmore is a high school senior and the owner of 13 Elm Streets. Part graphic design studio and part creative resource, 13 Elm Streets helps whip-smart women create playful and profitable businesses. She created three successful businesses by the age of seventeen and is in the process of starting a nonprofit. When she's not obsessively designing, Sierra enjoys reading and writing young adult fiction, studying psychology, and playing with Bronx, her cat.

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