How much time must I spend on social media…?

As part of the social media for events course I run on behalf of The Media House, we spend a whole session quantifying the amount of time it will take to build and manage a social media campaign.

Generally there are two responses to this part of the course: horror and relief.

I use a diagram originally created by Beth Kantor, adapted by others, which lists social media activities and how long it takes to monitor, contribute, create and promote a single brand within a range of social media environments. The reveal of each sector is often greeted by a sharp intake of breath and a visible lightbulb moment.

For some delegates, it is the realisation that, at long last, they have a piece of tangible evidence that they can present to members of their senior management team about the scale of the task they are being asked to undertake.  For a marketing manager looking after ten or more event brands, who is under pressure to develop a Twitter feed, a  LinkedIn group and/or a Blog for each of them, having a clear idea of the time commitment this would take is fundamental to writing a strategy.  While initially horrified that even the basic monitoring phase could take them anywhere between seven and ten hours a week, they are relieved that at least now they can create a case for more resource and/or being more strategic across a whole bundle of brands to deliver a social media strategy that has real Klout

What is most interesting though is that this time-commitment comes as a surprise at all to marketing managers who have long experience of working with traditional media.  Given the amount of time and iterations it takes to write good advertising and marketing copy, why would it take any less to write a good blog post or e-newsletter? And, since the latter have to be done with greater frequency to deliver a regular audience or following, why is it so difficult to scale this up until the realisation occurs that it could well be a full(ish) time job for someone.

But you already have a full-time job…

hellen @missioncontrol



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