I am often asked, “how much time should we expect to spend on social media.” What a loaded question, and here is my response.
If you view social media as a task of posting, responding, and monitoring in an effort to build a presence, then 45-75 minutes per day will probably get you where you want to be. BUT that’s not the smart way to approach social tools. Social media is most effective when you integrate it into everything you do in a way that makes you more effective. Social interaction is different from social media.
For example, a solar panel company may need to educate people about the importance and benefits of going solar in order to grow the market. Communication may take many forms, from photos of installations to video interviews about life-changing experiences. But it doesn’t stop there. What if a potential customer sees the video and has a question. A traditional company may expect that customer to visit the website and send an email, but a forward-thinking company might offer to chat live right from the website while the interest is still fresh.
Let’s take this scenario one step further. Let’s say the customer contracts the company to install the panels and months later that customer wants to know more about how to sell back stored energy. A phone call isn’t going to cut it and training customers one at a time can be costly. An innovative company may offer virtual training several times a year, or even provide a library of videos customers can watch whenever they want. This would save the company time (and therefore money) and make for some very satisfied customers.
Want to know how innovative employees might utilize social media as they begin to integrate it into everyday functions? Perhaps an engineer has an idea to incorporate nanotech batteries and so he posts a question on LinkedIn to get more insight. This leads to catching the attention of a reporter who is looking for an interesting tech story. An interview later, the solar panel company is gaining all kinds of attention and the employee has since engaged in interesting conversation with an expert in nanotechnology.
Your digital footprint is more than profile or a post here and there. It should truly represent who you are in digital form. Some people are accessible, transparent, and helpful. Some people are disappointingly NOT. If someone mentioned you to a business acquaintance and they googled your name, what would they find? Would they be able to get the answers they need in the same day, or would they become frustrated waiting for you to check your notifications? Are you spending enough time where you can be heard, or are you too busy marketing yourself the old-fashioned way?
NOTE: Yes, I know the dictionary defines social media as a plural term. I refuse to compartmentalize it (not them) like that. If you read several of my blog posts, you know that I approach social media wholistically — as a way of doing business, not as several marketing platforms. I encourage you to do the same.