Whenever I speak to a large group or consult with a client on social media, I have a tendency to overwhelm my audience with the so many things that they could be using it for. That leads to a growing fear for those that aren’t active in social media that it will become a total time suck. On the other hand, for those that start to get active and see its professional and personal benefits, they can’t seem to find enough time to cover all of their online bases. Which leads to the question that I am often asked: How much time should you spend on social media?
As you can imagine, the answer to this question is not a simple one. As someone who’s industry and expertise is in social media, my clients hire me to stay ahead of the curve, so it’s only natural that I am spending most of my day online. That doesn’t mean that YOU do not have to spend all of YOUR day on the likes of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook! Managing your time effectively with the advent of social media comes down to understanding and maintaining three important principles:
1) What is your objective for being on these sites to begin with? If you don’t have an objective you shouldn’t be on in the first place, but assuming that you do have an objective, the next question is asking yourself…
2) What your ROI of social media is. Yes, there IS an ROI in social media, and it is determined by whether or not you are reaching your objectives, whatever they are.
Finally, there is a need to:
3) Create social media boundaries. Just like with email and cell phones, you need to create your own rules and avoid distractions that can occur in an era or realtime online communication. With these boundaries you need to have a daily routine which determines how often you stay on and check each of your sites. It can be as little as a few minutes each morning before and evening after work. The choice is yours!
Here is a video of me actually answering this question recently and my mention of a “shift” that I often see happening with those that become active on social networking sites:
Have you created your own boundaries and rules to make sure that you don’t end up spending too much time online? Please share your ideas with us!