People often ask me how much time social media takes. Last week I did a media interview and a webinar, and the question came up both times….
It is a good question – especially because businesses need to optimize resources, and small businesses must determine how much time they can afford to spend on something like social media.
The answer is – it depends on the size/scale of your business and organization, but here are some general guidelines. There are 3 stages you should go through to get started in social media, and each stage will take a different amount of time.
1) Education and Learning
Before you launch that Facebook Page or Twitter account, spend some time educating yourself and learning about social media.
- Take some webinars or sign up for a formal training program to get a solid understanding of how the tool works and best practices.
- Check out what your competitors are doing – what works and doesn’t work.
- Learn best practices, tips and tricks to optimize your implementation.
Time Investment: 1 – 2 hours a week for 1 – 3 months.
Next, build your social media channels. When you get started you’ll need to build your strategy, create your account and build an audience (plus you’ll need to be posting regularly).
Building naturally takes more time than maintenance because you are getting started. In addition to creating and launching you’ll need to build your audience, plus test and optimize your content to see what your audience likes.
- Create strategy
- Create account
- Build audience
- Post content
- Test & optimize content
Time Investment: This depends on the size of your organization and business. It can take anywhere from 1 – 6 months.
Finally you are in maintenance mode and you can expect to spend less time on your social network execution! Congratulations. The key here is content & community.
- Post great content regularly
- Community management – respond to comments & questions
- Optimize and analyze performance
Time Investment: This depends on the size of your business and following – large companies need multiple full-time community managers just to keep up with content. Generally for a small or medium business you can expect to spend 1 – 3 hours a week (depending on media creation, etc).