How Much Time is Too Much Time on Social Media?

Jun 12, 2013
Melissa Mitchell

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and more. They’re not just for fun anymore. As a sole business proprietor, you know the importance of building a social media network in order to create sales and generate revenue. But do you know how much time and effort to put into social media on a daily basis, and how to use this time wisely and effectively? Let’s explore a few ideas to help you create a time-efficient social media strategy.

1. Social media is a marketing strategy.

The most important thing to remember when you sit down to manage your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account is that these websites are merely a tool to help you grow your business. While they can be highly effective methods of advertising, spending time on social media networks take time away from the job you actual do for a living. Keep this perspective in mind when budgeting time to update your feeds and status.

2. Build your brand in as little as an hour per day.

How much time is appropriate to spend building a network, then? Some social media gurus report that as little as 10 minutes a day can be effective, while others estimate up to 20 hours per week. A more practical number would be about 15% of the total time you spend working on your business. For an 8-hour day, this works out to roughly 1½ hours a day and includes time for posting on social media accounts as well as responding to emails, alerts, and other forms of marketing-related communications.

3. Use content curation to open the lines of communication.

When first starting out, you may wonder how exactly to reach out to others, appear as an authority in your field, and create a following. One of the best ways to connect with others is through curating content, or gathering and sharing information relevant to your business. This is quite different from spamming or re-tweeting useless articles. Like art curators, you want to showcase only the best and most appropriate pieces of information. Gathering content is easy through Google alerts and RSS feeds of your favorite blogs, as well as influential Twitter feeds and Facebook pages. Sharing these tidbits is usually as easy as a couple clicks of your mouse, so give it a try.

4. Social media alerts – useful or time wasters?

Once you begin to build a sizable network, you might find it more difficult to keep in touch with those you are connected with. Remember that effective marketing takes a dialogue, which requires interacting with your social media contacts. Set up appropriate social media alerts and learning how to manage them effectively. You could easily spend your entire day replying to individual status replies or tweets. Consolidate alerts into daily digests and reply to posts during that 15% of your day allocated to marketing. An immediate response is not always necessary, but do be sure that they are timely so as not to make your followers feel abandoned.

Overall, setting limits is the key to recognizing if you are spending too much time social networking. If social media is interfering with getting your job done, rethink your marketing campaign and develop a more time efficient social media strategy.

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