Clients who have accepted the fact that Twitter and Facebook and Linkedin are great for business, have asked me how much time they should devote to social media marketing. It’s a valid question, and one that has more than one answer.
It depends on what your goals are and what you hope to achieve. Keep in mind that Google has admitted that social media clout is one of the ingredients in their search engine ranking formula, and having your message tweeted by others can briefly have your website listed as number one on Google.
The Internet is a dynamic environment and the old days of optimizing a website and then leaving it for a year just don’t work any longer. We no longer can say the Internet is changing daily or even hourly – the content is changing every second as more and more people add to the information that is available online.
If you are not adding your business or brand information to the mix, then it’s tantamount to everyone taking a step forward, and you are standing in the same place. Even though you didn’t move, you wound up behind everyone else!
So, the first step to determining how much time you should spend on social media marketing is to determine what your goals should be. What do you hope to achieve using social media? Are you using social media as a broadcast device? If so, I can already tell you, it doesn’t matter how much time you spend, you are using it wrong!
One of the things I look at when I evaluate how my client is using social media marketing – and this is a great way to determine whether that so-called “expert” really knows what he or she is doing – is to see if there is a broadcast mentality to what they are sharing, or whether there is true engagement. I have seen these ‘experts’ with the same message sent multiple times. That’s enough to recognize that they obviously do not understand how to use social media and therefore, I wouldn’t waste any money or time investing in having them help set up a campaign.
Automated programs also are a waste of time. That’s the same as calling and hoping to get a live person, and then become frustrated with not being able to reach a person. They can actually cause more harm than good in a social media program, and any ‘expert’ who is advocating automating should be burned at the stake!
So, how do you manage your social media and how much time should you invest?
Just as organic optimization takes time, so does your social media program. If done correctly, it will stand the test of time. Just like “black hat” SEO techniques can have a short upsurge then have dire consequences, so can these ‘quick win’ social media plans.
So, with that being said, here is my recipe for a general social media program:
1. Post a blog at least once a week. Twice a week if possible.
2. Link your blog to your Facebook business page and Twitter and Linkedin profiles.
3. On a daily basis, check into Twitter and send out Tweets for fifteen minutes. You can break that into three five minute intervals during the day. You’d be surprised how much useful information you can obtain in those five minutes.
4. Post a question or observation on Facebook on a daily basis. Ask for input or feedback on a topical issue. Encourage interaction. This may take another ten minutes.
5. Daily, review your Linkedin messages and respond. This may take another 5 minutes.
So, all told, excluding the time you took to write your blog, your entire social media program may take thirty minutes a day. Of course you can spend more time if you’d like.
There are tools that can make monitoring your social media much easier, and we will address these tools in a future post.
How much time do you take for your social media program? Where do you focus your social media efforts? Have you seen an increase in sales based upon your social media efforts?