Are your business social media efforts taking up too much of your time? What’s the solution?
Social media has changed so many things, from where we get recommendations to how we connect with other people.
But what most of us initially saw as a way to keep up with far-flung friends and family has become a business.
I'm using this in two senses – Facebook is indeed a business in its own right: it generated $10 billion in 2016 alone. [source: Variety.com] But it's also become a major platform for businesses to market their wares and grow their customer bases.
Why? Well, take a look at the numbers. [source: Mediakix.com] Each day, the average person spends:
40 minutes on Youtube
35 minutes on Facebook
25 minutes on Snapchat
15 minutes on Instagram
1 minute on Twitter
This adds up to over 5 years of a person's life spent on just social media. That's more than we spend on eating, drinking, and face-to-face socializing combined.
Naturally, many businesses want to have a good social media presence. But there's a catch: how much time on social media is too much?
What Do Businesses Do on Social Media?
Aside from coming up with a social media strategy and a marketing plan, you need to have content on your social media page. Ideally, you’ll also have links back to your own blog (which has its own fresh, readable, and informative content) as well as comments to and from customers and shares of related content.
Let’s break this down by category. It takes time to:
Write blog content (not strictly social media, but definitely a form of online marketing)
Curate interesting content from other sources
Source videos, gifs, images, and other media items
Write tweets and updates for future use
Write tweets and updates for breaking news and other time-sensitive items
Schedule and post content to multiple channels. (Channels are also known as networks or platforms. YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram are all different channels.)
Monitor each channel daily
Chat with customers/fans online
Reach new people
Respond to comments and complaints
Review results and metrics
Research new ideas, strategies, and channels, etc.
If you’re thinking “Wow, this is going to take a lot of my time!” you’re right. If you’re new to social media, you’re going to invest a lot of time getting up to speed and coming up with a strategy.
Once you get your social media running like a well-oiled machine, you can count on spending at least 5 hours a week on social.
Keep in mind that writing blog posts, updates, and tweets alone will take 2-3 hours each week. And because of the way social media works, people who contact you using Facebook or another platform expect you to answer quickly.
In other words, the time social media requires of a small business can quickly add up.
Is Social Media Demanding Too Much Time?
One of the worst things you can do is to let your social media efforts slide. Once you start them, you’re obligated to keep them going. Otherwise, you risk appearing lazy and out-of-date.
Fortunately, there are options. You can automate some aspects of social media administration, such as scheduling tweets and posts.
Companies like Hootsuite also provide social monitoring services. Or you can scale up to hiring a social media management service. You can even hire a freelancer or a part-time employee to handle your social media for you.
As usual, there’s no golden equation that equates so many hours of time with social media success.
What you can do is consult with people who have experience in the industry, like your friends at Techsperts.
And never stop learning, trying, and tweaking – success isn’t about getting it right the first time, it’s about adjusting to the changes that come along.