One of the biggest and more oft-debated questions in the social space is how much time a company should devote to its social media efforts.
There is no blanket time allotment or suggested industry standard, so how do you decide the level and time commitment to social media that is right for your company?
The answer to this question lies on your business goals for social media and what you want to get out of it. Here are four social media disciplines and how much time I recommend spending on each one. The suggested time allotments are a guide that will vary depending on your company’s size and the social savvy of your customer base.
Customer Support – social media allows customers with issues or dissatisfaction to go directly to their companies. It also lets companies help alleviate headaches by assisting customers in real-time. If your company wants to run a segment of customer service via social media, mirror your operations in the space with the hours of operation of your support team. Supporting customers in this fashion will typically range between three and five hours a day. An acceptable response time is within an hour of a social complaint so this can be handled with responses at the top of each hour.
Brand Awareness – given the nature of the platform, companies can search for their brand and products or services and see what is being said about them or their space. To help build up awareness, respond to questions about your company or share relevant information about the brand to potential customers who are discussing your market. Brands looking to build brand awareness might spend one to three hours a day building up their presence.
Sales – much like brand awareness above, companies can utilize searches to identify leads and generate sales. For example, a roofing company that sees a homeowner on Twitter complaining about a leaky roof can get their foot in the door by offering do-it-yourself suggestions or a free consultation. Plan to devote 10 to 20 hours a week for a salesperson in this capacity.
Thought Leadership – social media is a great platform to be seen as an industry leader. If this is important to you and your company, create and share relevant content with your community on a regular basis. Content creation is something that you might devote four to five hours a week on if you post a few times a week. Article sharing can be automated to an extent using third party tools. Devote 30 minutes to at the start of each day to finding the content and offering a unique take on it.
Aside from the aforementioned areas it is important to keep in mind that social media never rests. This does not mean that you need to populate your company’s account 24 hours a day and 365 days of the year. Once you decide the time that you will devote to your social media activities, publish the hours that you will be manning your accounts so that your community has clear expectations of how and when they can get a response from you. You should also monitor your accounts a few times over “off-hours” or weekends to make sure that there are not any major issues that need immediate attention.
Tune in next week for the next installment of Institutionalizing Social Media, if you want to get it sent to your email, please click here.
Image – simpologis