I don’t have time for Social Media!

John Hope-Johnstone

Boa tarde my friend. I spent quite a bit of time coaching and giving seminars on social media and social networking. It’s my thing! The comment I hear more than any other from my audience is “I don’t have the time for social media”. This comment is so pervasive whether I have been speaking in the U.S., Canada or Europe, that I felt that I had to try and research it and write a post…so here goes.

The amount of time you spend on social media can be determined by whether you want to achieve quantity followers or quality followers.

You can go for the “fame…I’m going to live forever” results and acquire followers about the size of a small country but few of them really cares about you or your business or you can develop a crafted following of key influencers in your consumer niche who will infect many thousands more with their opinions. The latter will take less continual man hours, but more intense thought.

I always remind people of the great Zig Ziglar’s quote; “Networking is getting what you want by helping others get what they want.” Well, it is hard to get 25,000 people what they want or to create a relationship with them, (not impossible but hard).

Really, the initial time you spend on figuring out social media platforms like Twitter or facebook etc., is not excessive but the amount of time it takes in maintaining them and growing them is substantial. It only took me a few minutes when I first opened my WordPress blog account but I have spent countless hours on Sundays (my usual posting day) cursing and swearing over my blog prose.  Another key factor is that the more effort you put in social media, the more you will get out. It is as simple as that, as the following chart clearly shows:

What this chart by HubSpot states that 100% of those bloggers surveyed who posted more that once daily acquire customers from their blogs. Now they are obviously serious and good bloggers and deserve to acquire clients from their blogs. However, this is also a serious time commitment.

Here are some initial questions to ask yourself as you launch into social media, from Amber Nashland at www.altitudebranding.com:

1) Realistically, how many man hours can your organization spend on social media each day? Do you have resources/people other than yourself? What can you realistically expect of them/you? (Note: if you’re serious about doing social, you need to find roughly an hour a day to start with, at least.)

2) Which 2 or 3 social networking platforms make sense based on your listening efforts so far? What are your goals for participation on those sites? What is the culture of those communities and how will your participation align with those cultures?

3) Have you evaluated your current online and offline public relations efforts to determine what’s working and what you might supplement or replace with social media? Are you going to need to add this onto your existing responsibilities in order to prove its value before making trade-offs?

I have kept a time diary for a few months and here is my very rough estimate of time required on social media to promote a brand. I am going to use the term “man hours” because it does NOT mean that YOU have to contribute all these hours personally. You can delegate and you can request “guest” content providers (as long as you indicate that the blog or entry is being done by a guest):

  1. 3 to 4 man hours per work week: If you have three to four hours each week then you have enough hours to look, listen and learn. To open up a Twitter account and facebook and any others that you may find interesting and get involved by dipping your toes in the water. Mainly reading at this stage and seeing what is being said, and which platforms work best for you.
  2. 5 to 6 man hours per work week: If you have five to six hours each week then your organization can start becoming involved. By “becoming involved” I mean begin to build followers and friends and possibly add a short weekly blog or v-log.  Now you are becoming a minimal content provider.
  3. 7 to 10 man hours per work week: With two hours per work day, your organization is becoming more engaged in social media and someone most likely needs to be appointed as a “Community Manager”. You are becoming involved in providing more effective social media content.
  4. 11 to 20 man hours per work week: With roughly two to three hours per work day your organization is becoming a driving force in social media  and is providing a significant social media presence, and you may need to assign a “Community Director’ to help your Community Manager and brand angels .

Here are some other ways you can improve your time and personnel costs on social media and still get great returns:

  1. Don’t operate without a social media strategy ( you will waste your time)
  2. Make sure that your strategy has effective metrics of success and failure
  3. Make sure the strategy has a content calendar
  4. Use quality not quantity followers
  5. Develop a key influencer list (you most likely already have one)
  6. I am not a big fan of cross-blasting social media content. In other words writing once and having it go out on Twitter, facebook, Linkedin and others at the push of a button. The reason behind this testiness is that research has shown that each platform attracts different psychographic profiles and communities and I believe that the message has to be slightly tuned for each. Now, if time is soooo important then use the button that says “blast this out to every SM platform” with my blessing.

Well, I hope this may have helped you figure out the time required to enter and capture social media.

 Please leave me a comment if you have any additional ideas about time saving steps in social media. I would love to hear from you.

Many thanks for reading this post, I appreciate your time and comments.

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