I get asked this question a lot! Not only from people looking to do the work on their own, but for people looking for us to do the work for them in a social media management support contract.
From doing this kind of support work for clients the past 8 years in business, I have it down to a science how much time social media marketing should take someone. And it is for this very reason that I say to people – Social Media is NOT free. Your time is money – whether you are doing it or paying someone. The avenues may be free – for the most part – but the investment really is in the cost of the time spent on it.
So to give you an idea of the amount of time needed to do some basic social media marketing for a business… here is my list!
Of course this assumes you have a Marketing Strategy in place, that your social media channels are optimized and your website, blog, email marketing are all connected to your social media as well.
(And if none of that is done, you need to do that before any of the other stuff in this list!)
How much time to spend on social media tasks?
Content Creation and Organization – 1 – 2 hours a month
- This is time to look at the category of content you require and create new content to use. So this is writing tweets and updates for your social media channels.
- Time is 3 to 5 hours initially and then 1-2 hours a month after
- Based on needing 3 images per week = 12 per month, you should take 3 minutes – maximum per image.
- Time is 1 hour maximum per month to create and store in a folder for use. (aim for 30 minutes)
- This is taking your content that is to be posted online and scheduling it to go out on your social media channels, one week at a time.
- Prescheduling tweets, LinkedIn and Facebook updates etc.
- Assuming you can post one update per minute using Hootsuite or Meet Edgar (this is my fave now and saves us about 5 hours a month) or any scheduling tool. And that you have 3 tweets per day, 1 on LinkedIn and 1 on Facebook = 35 per week.
- Time is 30-45 min per week on average to give login time, planning time and brain time to know what you are posting and where.
Monitoring / LIVE Networking – 2-3 hours a month
- This is spending time on at least one channel per day and checking for people talking to you, reporting other content, sharing info, retweets, likes, comments – networking with other people online. NOT posting your preplanned content but talking to people.
- Aim for 15 minutes each time and a minimum 2 times a week.
- Someone like me probably spends 30 min a day doing this. I will go on more than one channel per day but for clients starting out we aim for one a day to build the habit and ease in which they can do this.
- Time is 2 to 5 times a week at 15 min intervals.
Tribe Building – 1 hour a month
- You need to reach new people online, this takes time.
- You want to spend time on each channel finding new connections and sending requests to connect or accepting them. Following new people talking on a specific subject and placing them in a list etc etc. Social media allows you to reach new people, but it is not a one-way street you have to be online looking for people to meet too.
- I suggest doing this a few times a week and mix between every channel.
- 2 x 15 min sessions weekly.
Measure and Adjust – 1 hour a month
- Review results, adjust tactics and plan out new ideas and strategies. Update Marketing Planner.
- I generally look at this every quarter overall, but you will want to spend time monthly getting updates on your main metrics. This keeps it from being hard to follow the changes and seeing on a more regular basis the numbers. The review and planning can happen every quarter.
- Time is 1 hour a month
Overall you are looking at average numbers like this to spend each month on your social media.
- Content Creation: 1-2 hours a month
- Content Distribution: 2-3 hours a month
- Monitoring and Networking: 2-3 hours a month
- Tribe Building: 1 hour a month
- Review: 1 hour a month
It all adds up to a total of 7 to 10 hours a month. This is why we work on a minimum 10 hour a month minimum with most clients. The reality is … to be effective and see results, you need to invest some time into your marketing.
Like I said earlier, social media is free, but it really is NOT. Be prepared to invest time to be consistent and see results. Download the eBook below to learn more about WHAT to do when you use social media for your business.
Check out this free guide Foundations of Content Marketing: Proven Strategies To Get More Clients that shows you exactly how your online marketing content can bring in new traffic, new leads and new sales.
Stop Struggling and Start Thriving! My passion is helping to guide people just like you, dietitians, and private practice owners, who are often frustrated with all their wasted time spent on marketing that gets you nowhere. You can learn strategies to attract a steady flow of clients and build a thriving and profitable practice. Get started with some of the free resources on my Pepper It Marketing website, especially this Marketing Guide for Dietitians. I also offer several self-study training programs to help you attract more clients so you can have the Freedom and Security you want with your business!