One of the questions people ask me most often about social media is, “How much time does it take?” The answer varies, of course, depending on the size of the project and the strategies involved, but more often than not, they’re hoping I’ll tell them it really doesn’t take that much time once they get used to the tools. Unfortunately, that really isn’t the case.
In many cases, they’ll go off to seminars or hear from their friends (or bosses) that it really doesn’t take that much time at all—just get on Facebook once in a while, post however-many updates per week, or just tweet once or twice a day and you’re done. Those are the tough ones. They trust what their friends tell them and I not only have to disappoint them, I have to untrain them of the haphazard tools strategy they’ve adopted, then guide them (often kicking and screaming) toward the real social media strategy their company needs. They usually thank me afterwards, even if they still hate me a little.
In my workshops, I tell people that if social media is your job, it’s a full time one if you do it right. I’m grateful for this generic Social Media Workflow infographic from Digital Strategist Mark Smiciklas. A picture is always worth more than 1000 words, and this one explains it more clearly than I ever could have.
The reality is social media is something your company has to commit to. It takes time and resources, and is something you have to weave into your company’s culture and budget. It’s not just posting on Facebook or Twitter. This is how people communicate.