Getting down to business with social media

Ever wondered how much time you should devote to social media on a daily basis?

Does one hour sound about right to you?

Katie Lance (@KatieLance on Twitter) recommends spending 1 hour a day on social media, 1/2 hour in the morning and 1/2 hour in the afternoon.  I advise that you update your social media accounts during business hours, or during the periods you feel your customers are most likely to be checking their accounts.

I’ve taken Katie’s recommendations and elaborated on them to create a routine that promotes maintaining a presence on social media while still getting your work done!  Would this work for you?

  • Open Facebook.
    • Scroll through your Facebook profile and make one to three comments on posts, photos, and video by your friends.
    • Post an update (remember to set your privacy settings; otherwise, do not post personal information, such as vacation plans).
    • Respond to anyone who has commented or left you a message.
    • Check your Facebook Page(s) for comments or questions.  Respond.
    • Post a Facebook Page update, such as a helpful tip, photo, or video.  If you have a blog post feeding through notes that is appearing that day, you are all set.
      • Spread out those Facebook and Facebook Page updates!
      • Updating your Facebook Page with two updates per day, in addition to responses, is plenty of information for your Fans.
  • Open Twitter.
    • Post a status update that is useful, relevant, and business-like.
      • Don’t post anything overly personal, revealing, or negative.
      • If you have a blog post that is being auto-fed to Twitter that day, you don’t have to bother with this step, unless you want to.
    • Check your @replies.  Acknowledge anyone who has mentioned you.
      • When responding, it pays to be mindful of your followers and their need for useful and relevant content.  So, in your thank you replies or @mentions, do include some context, such as the original update or a link, not just an anchor-less “thank you.”
    • Respond to DMs (direct messages). Don’t worry about the spam DMs!
    • Use Twitter lists and Twitter search to manage your monitoring of your brand, products, clients, and favorite accounts.
      • Scroll and re-tweet one to three updates of interest.
      • You can use HootSuite to schedule your tweets and retweets and spread out your updates and retweets throughout the business day.
      • Schedule multiple tweets at least one hour apart; posting a string of six or seven consecutive updates on Twitter or Facebook could annoy your followers, especially those following you on mobile phones.
  • Move to LinkedIn.
    • You don’t have to post a status update on LinkedIn because you will have fed your Twitter updates to LinkedIn.
    • Respond to messages in your inbox.
    • Check your groups for updates, or configure your settings so you get daily email updates from your groups. Comment on one discussion each day.

Close these windows.  Repeat again in the late afternoon or evening, whenever you think your customers or clients may be online.

I would also add this important step: subscribe by email to a few, well-read and influential blogs related to your core business services/nonprofit mission.  Try to post a comment on these blogs as often as is practical (perhaps once a week on each blog) when you have something especially compelling to add to the conversation, or useful information or links to share.  Commenting on other blogs creates immensely important backlinks to your website.

If you blog, you’ll need to set aside an additional two-three hours per week to write articles and respond to comments (unless you have a team blog.)

Also see Fletcher Prince’s “social media prescription” for managing your time and resources on social media.

How do you manage your time on social media?  Have you developed a system that works for you?  Post your feedback in the comments.

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About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a public relations and marketing consultant, and owns Fletcher Prince (www.FletcherPrince.com). Follow Mary on Twitter @FletcherPrince.

Posted on March 23, 2010, in Facebook Tips, small business marketing tips, Social Media Tips, Twitter Tips and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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