It’s a common question: how much time should a business spend on social media marketing, and how much on each portal? Some businesses are worried they’re not spending enough time to make the most of social media, while others are fretting that they’re wasting too much time. Unfortunately there is no one set of rules for every business. The size of your business will influence how much time you should dedicate, and the type of business you have will too.
How Much Time Can You Afford?
If social media marketing is important to you (and it should be), then decide how much time you or your employees can afford to dedicate to it on a daily or weekly basis. Larger companies will often have dedicated resources that focus on nothing but social media, but SMEs usually have to fit it in amongst their other responsibilities.
Allocate Specific Blocks Of Time
Once you’ve decided how much time to set aside, determine how much of this time to spend on each social media portal. This way you won’t get carried away on Twitter at the expense of your blog or Facebook page. It helps to plan what specific actions you are going to do on each platform on a daily or weekly basis too, e.g. for Twitter: x minutes to find interesting content to tweet, x minutes spent sending tweets and retweeting, x minutes spent replying to other tweets or messages, x minutes finding new people to follow, etc.
Besides authenticity, one of the most important things in social media is consistency. You will get better results if you publish one blog post every week than if you publish 5 blog posts in one day and then nothing for a month. Similarly, posting hundreds of tweets one day and then ignoring Twitter completely for weeks is unlikely to be as effective as consistently posting a few tweets every day. You can use tools like Hootsuite or Social Oomph to schedule posts ahead of time if this makes it easier for you.
It helps to remember that social media is about relationships, and therefore you shouldn’t neglect any one portal for too long, so reflect this in the time you plan for each. For this reason, it’s probably better to focus on really making the most of a few social media platforms, rather than stretching yourself too thinly across too many.
However much time you decide to dedicate to your social media marketing efforts, make sure you plan for it, and know how you intend to use it. That way you can ensure that whatever time you invest is as effective as possible.