About five years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Eric Ly, co-founder of LinkedIn – a dominant player in the social media apps world. During our conversation, I asked him how much time we should be spending on each of the “big three” social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. He chuckled and said, “When you figure that out, let me know.”
Fast forward to today. We have a multitude of social media apps and platforms to use for building business – or losing time. If you’re trying to figure out how to manage the amount of time you spend on social media apps, here are two of four questions to consider:
1) Is using social media apps necessary for you or your company?
It can be tough to quantify how valuable social media is because sometimes people are so inundated by all of the “noise” out there, that they can’t remember how they acquired a piece of information. Despite this, it’s important to ask everyone that phones or emails into your company: “How did you find out about us?”
When you have that information in your lead-tracking system, you can begin to look at how valuable social media is for you:
How many of your leads come from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Yelp, or another platform?
How much revenue do those leads produce?
Or maybe you don’t use social media for building your client pipeline and brand. Maybe you use it for customer service. What percentage of customer service is handled via social media apps versus phone or email or online chat?
When you have numbers to work with, you’ll have better information to help you decide how social media will help your company.
2) How much time should you spend on social media apps?
That depends on your numbers from the prior question. If 5% of your revenue comes from customers who found you on social media, perhaps you don’t need to spend as much time on there. But if 50% of your customer service questions are handled through social media on a daily basis, you probably need to spend more than just five minutes a day on there.
There are small companies that spend as little as 15 minutes per day combined on all platforms. When they limited their time to 15 minutes, they did not experience a drop off in business, so that 15 minutes works for them. There are larger companies that have a dedicated employee monitoring their social media in eight-hour shifts. Their brands are national or international and live and die by what people post, so they have coverage 24/7.
Check your analytics on each platform to see how much interaction you have and look at that along with how much revenue comes in from each platform. From there, you can decide two to four weeks at a time how much time to spend on each – and adjust accordingly by examining your data.
Next week: We’ll look at more efficient ways to use social media and how to quit – gasp! – if you feel the need.
For more info about how much time to spend on social media apps – and other productivity tools and tips – from time management trainer Helene Segura, click here.