How can I stay relevant in various social media channels without it taking up my whole day?
Always keep your profiles on social media sites up to date. Potential clients and vendors, and other professionals may use that information when trying to do business with you. They are seeking points of mutual interest and experiences they have in common with you to facilitate conversations and avoid small talk. Share areas of expertise that you hope to be asked more about. Additionally, head hunters and potential employers do a lot of their research online; an out-of-date profile can lead to a missed opportunity.
Sometimes post status updates. Having a profile but never participating in the community by sharing updates is like not being present at all. You also miss out on the value of using social media to build your professional brand when you're out of sight and out of mind. So occasionally share some good news or a link to an interesting article. How often? Posting a minimum of twice a week and a maximum of once a day will allow you to remain visible to your network without having to live on social media.
Never get involved in petty arguments or engage in heated political debates. It's fine to share opinions, just be sure to be respectful of those with different points of view. As a business professional, there's no line between who you are on and off the clock. Engaging in conversations that might offend customers, prospects or potential employers will come back to haunt you.
Thom Singer is a corporate trainer and professional speaker who regularly works with CIOs and their IT teams. Contact him at www.thomsinger.com.