We all know that social media is a black hole for time…
Sucking us in… forever lost in the continuous newsfeed messages and Pinterest pins.
So when I say “time commitment,” I can almost see your eyeballs roll as you nod in agreement.
Mornings are started late after we take a quick scroll through our newsfeed and check our personal accounts. And yes, personal accounts usually come before business ones. Then afternoons disappear after we follow one hashtag on Instagram, and end up looking at some interesting photos on Tumblr.
Professional social media managers, however, knows how to make the most of their time on it. They know that social media is a tool to be used in marketing, and they work hard to integrate it into their employer’s plans.
They’re finally getting it
It appears that business is finally understanding that social media is an important part of any marketing strategy today.
In 2013, 62% of marketers used social media for six hours or more every week (according to Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing Industry Report for 2013). Thirty-six percent of them used it 11 hours or more weekly, while 17% of them used it a whopping 20 hours a week or more.
When you consider how many social media platforms there are out there now, it’s not surprising that more businesses are using it as part of their marketing campaigns.
With Experience, Comes Higher Usage
It’s interesting to note that the more experience a business has with social media, the more time they spend on it.
Half of the businesses just starting out with social media spent five or fewer hours per week on it. Yet almost 10% of the ones that have been using it for more than five years spend more than 40 hours per week on it.
As time goes by and business becomes more comfortable with the idea of using social media to promote themselves, they’re integrating it more into their marketing plans. It’s become as important as a website, brochure, or commercial to them.
Find the Sweet Spot
The key is finding the time commitment sweet spot for your business.
You’ve got to determine what’s the optimal time investment for your staff and marketing campaigns. In fact, the majority of businesses, both big and small, use social media from one to 10 hours per week.
What’s YOUR Sweet Spot?
Regardless of your size or the size of your customer base, you’re probably wondering what your social media sweet spot is, right? You know it’s an important tool to use in your marketing campaigns, and you’d like to take full advantage of it.
How can you do that? Here’s a 4-step process for finding your personal social media sweet spot.
Step 1. Take a look at the platform you’re using
The social media platform you’re using is going to be the biggest determining factor for your time commitment.
Visual platforms like Pinterest or media like infographics take more time to plan and create than a purely text-based one like Twitter. (And that’s ignoring the fact that you can be visual on Twitter too. I’m just trying to make a strict distinction here.)
Step 2. Determine your employee investment
Do you want to use dedicated staff to handle your social media work, or will it be added to an existing employees’ work responsibilities? Both of these involve different costs and considerations, so ponder them wisely.
Step 3. Determine your technology investment
Most social media platforms are accessible through a web interface; however, it may be worth it to investigate some specialized tools for managing them. Many marketing automation tools have a social media component to them, so you can schedule your messaging and save time.
Step 4. Analyze your social media ROI
This step is one that’s often forgotten but is very important. Given the cost of using social media marketing (like I just outlined), it’s important to evaluate whether it’s worth the investment.
Set up some reporting mechanisms to determine if social media is working for you, and to find out if it’s having an impact on your bottom line.
Enjoy Some Sweet Revenge
You already use social media in your personal life, and you understand that you should use it for your professional life too. Especially if that’s your job. Knowing what your social media sweet spot is will help you turn it into a professional tool that gives professional business results.
So the next time one of your colleagues makes a smart-aleck comment on how you’re “always wasting time on social media instead of working,” you’ll be able to tell them exactly how you’re contributing to the company’s bottom line.
Read other Crazy Egg articles by Julia Borgini.