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If your first social media objective is to bring awareness to your brand and getting traction requires you to have a constant presence, you will need to develop sticky habits to keep the momentum going. However, too often social media activity takes a back seat to other priorities in an entrepreneur’s day. When an hour a day is too much time to commit at once, most of us wait until we can actually find that hour in the day; our Facebook business page ends up barren for months and our Twitter feed starts to sound like crickets. Every couple of months we find that magic hour and send out a barrage of messages that make it feel like we’re getting something started, only to be derailed by the next urgency. By the time you’ve addressed that emergency, you’ve missed the hour you’d set aside and you’re back to doing nothing or very little.

If an hour a day is too big of a block to commit at first, break that down into even smaller increments of time with even smaller tasks to accomplish. These will eventually turn into habits you won’t even notice you’re doing and it will all add up to you having a more consistent social presence. So, when you’re ready to get going, here’s how you can count down to your active social media presence:

5: FIVE MINUTES AT A TIME

Find five minutes on your schedule for each activity interval. Have a goal for what you want to accomplish for that block and set a timer to get you started. If at first you don’t reach your objectives, try breaking them up into smaller tasks until you find tasks manageable within each 5 minute block.

4: FOUR TIMES PER DAY

Schedule these 5-minute blocks 4 times per day. For example, you can choose to schedule them in 2 hour intervals: 9AM, 11AM, 1PM, 3PM [or substitute 9AM for 5PM].

3: THREE DAYS PER WEEK

Find 3 days during the week to include these 5-minute, 4 times/day intervals.

2: CHOOSE TWO THINGS TO DO

In each 5-minute time block, see if you can accomplish 2 of these interactions:

ENGAGE: with your audience – if they are interacting with something you’ve previously shared, let them know you appreciate it. Audience engagement is another step to forging those relationships and should not go unnoticed. If you want to grow your audience, make sure to acknowledge those who are already there.

PRODUCE: Share your own content, like an impromptu photo or your thoughts for the day. Offering insights into the inner workings of your day allows others to connect with what’s going on with you and your brand.

ACT: Act on or interact with content that you see on your feed. Find a post that resonates with you and like it, add a comment and/or share it with your own audience on Facebook. (on Twitter: favorite the tweet, respond to the tweet and/or retweet it). When you interact with others’ content, you’re connecting directly with that individual / brand.

CONNECT: Have you recently connected with a brand or organization whose audience may align with yours? Connect with them on your common social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…) and gain insights into their public spaces – what are they and their audiences talking about?

1: DO ONE THING AT A TIME

If this is still too much to think about, consider taking any or all of the sequences and changing it to one (one-minute-blocks, once/day, 1 day/week).

Developing habits take time, as does driving activity on social media. If you find that a task takes longer than 5 minutes, try to break down the task into 5 minute increments and use these blocks to get those increments of work completed. Eventually, when you’re able to follow this countdown, you will have generated 24 separate interactions over the course of a week (2 activities * 3x/week * 4x/day).

How do you do it? Use the comments below to share what techniques have worked for you in keeping your presence active.