That's a question a lot of people ask themselves every day. It's also one of the questions posted on Focus.com, a free website where business and technology experts (and anyone else who joins) post answers to questions posed by members. Topics include marketing, sales, IT, small business, finance, social media, operations, customer service and more.
This particular question, first asked about a year ago, continues to draw responses - as recently as this month - as it should, since this is a common question for anyone in business today. Below are selected responses. Names and company affiliations of respondents have been deleted here, though job titles remain, and some minimal editing was done. For the full list of responses and information about the respondents, click here.
I think you will get a lot of different answers for this - depending whether people are on social media for personal or business purposes and what their overall objectives are. I spend at least 50% of my workday on social media. A big part of that is consuming content (reading articles and listening to consumers for the brands I manage online, etc). The other portion of time is spent engaging and creating. For me, this is from a business perspective and can be anything from customer service, customer chatter on Facebook and Twitter, to creating fresh content of a variety of natures. There is no definite answer in my perspective, but I think what's important from any perspective is to give your friends, fans, followers, and clients a consistent and fluid experience, whether it's from your personal or business brand. How much time this takes can fluctuate depending on what you have to say, as much as by what your audience has to say.
I monitor conversations throughout the day, but more intensely focus on it about 30 minutes a day. All told, probably an hour in total. I find the evenings are my best time to respond thoughtfully and share articles rather than during the workday. With tools like Hootsuite and Sysomos, the listening and engaging part is easier, more focused within segments of conversation I care about.
CEO and Founder
As a social media marketing firm, my company spends many hours a day on our clients' social media accounts. What I think is a more appropriate question for me to answer is how much time should you be spending on social media marketing. While some will give you an equation as to how much time it takes to get the best result, I have other thoughts. Social media marketing is a marketing activity that lives within your marketing plan. So you have to budget time to execute a campaign, much like you would budget time to respond to emails, make calls, write email blasts, design new advertising campaigns, draft a press release, etc. The only difference is that social media marketing is a more frequent activity that involves consistent attention. My advice is to see how much time you have available each day and dedicate that amount of time to social media marketing. As you get more skilled at each activity, you can schedule more as you will be doing it faster.
VP Content Marketing
All of it. Social media runs like security software in the background of my workday. It is the day's soundtrack.
Good question. It depends on your strategy and goals. It also depends on how many social media channels you are responsible for. Are you blogging? Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? Others? To do these right, I do not think 60 to 90 minutes a day is unrealistic. However, there are tools that let you update several platforms at once. Based on your available time, you might look into those. Most important, you don't want to lose the personal touch. People want to interact with people on a genuine level. Only you and your management team can decide how involved you want to be.
VP Business and Supplier Development
A tip for speeding up the time you spend on social media is to make sure everything is connected. When you post to your blog, it should automatically post to Twitter and Facebook. Use tools to make it easier. For video, for example, you can use tubemogul.com. This is a fast way to distribute video content.
I invest at least 30 minutes a day on social media, usually in 5-minute bursts where I'm either responding, scheduling, wishing folks a happy birthday, or trying to create engagement. A good plan is 5 minutes on Twitter, 5 minutes on Facebook, 5 minutes reading blogs, and 5 minutes creating post stubs to go back to later, with 10 minutes to invest somewhere else.
Chief Strategist and Co-Founder
1-2 hours of engagement every day sets the tone.
Managing Director .
I find an hour a day is enough. Much more than that and the value of what I contribute thins out. And I make sure I split the hour between responding to questions and generating new ones
My own social media activity averages about 45 minutes to an hour a day, usually in smaller increments during the day. But there is no right or wrong answer to this question, as far as I'm concerned. It really depends on how you are using social media and what your goals are. There is no way to estimate how long you should be spending, unless you have a detailed social media plan that outlines what you hope to accomplish and how you intend to do it.
Vice President, Sales and Marketing
I would say my social media is on all day. Via Tweetdeck, I am following Focus experts, news of the day, my mentions etc. I communicate with people all day as well. If you message me and I like you, I will respond accordingly. I read and/or write for a total of an hour a day. Thirty minutes first thing in the morning, I speed read blog posts found via social media. Then throughout the day I aggregate ones I want to read later until I have time.
Social Media / SCRM Consultant
Perhaps the question should be turned around: How much time don't you spend on social media? For me, it's "on" all day, and I'm checking in and out throughout: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Focus.com (of course), etc. If I'm not physically checking in, then I'm mentally thinking about it, writing about it etc. I do try to start every day, however, with about 30 minutes of seeing what other people are tweeting and RTing their interesting stuff for others.
Author and Speaker
Candidly and respectfully I think this is the wrong question. And the more airtime we give it, the more we lose. Would you ask yourself (or task yourself to doing better with) "How much time per day do you spend on the phone?" Or "in meetings?" You might. But what's the point? Without context, without understanding why we're asking the question it's not a purpose-driven question. There is always a context - and a needed outcome -when we ask ourselves these questions. Right? So I'll ask: Why is this question important? It's a popular one. And many books have been dedicated to answering it. But does that make it worthwhile? Or does the fact that none of us have time for new, daily tasks (social media) make it worthwhile? Is "saving time" and "getting it done" the real challenge with social media? Just my two cents. I don't think it is, personally. I think the real challenge is finding ways to make social media serve mature, purposeful (goal-oriented) business interests. Not just finding time to get it done "in an hour per day." Again, respectfully, I enjoy the question. But I question the value in asking it.
I do not spend a lot of time, usually about 30 minutes per day. I know an article about social web page strategies.
Time spent for me varies. It increases when I am participating in an industry event. It slows down on weekends and holidays.
Perhaps a more accurate question is how to limit your time each day! It can be an addictive time soak. I set a time limit each day and try to group the activities so I can focus on direct customer activities. I usually catch up early in the morning and then do a few updates over lunch. I set aside time each weekend to blog. I write 3-4 posts a week and probably devote 6 hours a week to blogging and an hour a day to other activities.
I spend about 45 minutes per day, but I suffer from the same problem too many others have: "A few minutes here and a few minutes there." The result is it may only be 45 minutes, but it takes far more than that in terms of my thinking time when we add in the time switching over to a social media site, checking it, and then going back to the regular work.
I spend about 15 minutes before lunch, and 15 minutes just before I go home.
Giving people some time to interact with you personally is positive for your business image.
Radio Show Host
Spending time on social media is part of my everyday plan to connect with people. Sometimes I do it face to face, and my time on social media is meant to complement that effort. Participating in conversations, whether it's a conversation I started or someone else started, is an important part of my daily routine. Depending on the day, that could be 1 hour, or it could more or less, depending on the need. For me, social media is about engaging, not just posting.
Depends on the day. I personally I spend about 2 hours. But in order not to waste time it's useful to automate some tweeting and Facebook posts with the help of such tools as Hootsuite or SocialOomph. Check out this article to optimize your social media use for business purposes
I looked at some research last week by Social Media Examiner that shows a clear benefit to spending extra time on your social media marketing. Even a slight increase in social media activity can have a benefit for your company. Research found that 37.7% of marketers spend less than 5 hours per week on social media. Even a slight increase in that time could provide dividends for that group. The surveyed showed that 50% of marketers, who spend 5 hours or less per week on social media marketing, reported an increase in website traffic. However, of the group that spent 6-10 hours per week, 74% reported an increase in traffic - a huge jump for a small increase in time spent. Across each of the areas surveyed, marketers who spent more time on social media reported better results, with the biggest improvements appearing when social media marketing activity increased past the 5-hour mark. Beyond the 11-hour mark, while there were consistently higher results, the improvement was more gradual. The best results, in almost every area, came from those who spent more than 40 hours per week on social media marketing.
The more you put into social media, the more you get out. If your hopes for social media are high, then the time spent on social media should be a lot. Many companies now look to have professionals in this area employed into their company to deal with this area or outsource it to a company like ours. I've linked to a webinar and whitepaper you may find very helpful.