This is a common question that I get asked when speaking at conferences. As businesses and organizations begin to see social media as a viable opportunity, they want to be sure that it is resourced correctly.
The challenge with this question is that it depends.
How long does it take to cook dinner?
How long does it take to create a budget?
How long does it take to fall asleep at night?
How much does it cost to build a house?
With all of these questions there is a HUGE range, and it depends on what you want.
I can build a house for $100,000 or $1,000,000 – they won’t both be the same. The budget for my house will depend on what I want and what I need.
The same is true with social media. The time it takes you depends on what you want and need to get out of it.
Last week I spoke to a State Board of Election Conference. Very few Boards of Election are using social media (for a variety of reasons) and one of the top questions was – how much time will it take to get active on social media?
For a Board of Elections, which isn’t posting as often as a traditional business and had different goals and objectives vs. a traditional business, a small investment in Facebook is probably a good starting point.
With some set-up time and a quick understanding of best practices, a Board of Elections could be active on Facebook and meet their objectives with under 30 minutes a week.
Compare this to a restaurant, which will probably post more frequently, receive more comments and aim to translate Facebook attention into butts in seats. A restaurant will probably invest more on a daily basis than a Board of Elections will in a week.
The important first step is to understand WHAT you want to achieve and consider the ACTION PLAN that is required to achieve it.