Budgeting your social media time

Last week I wrote about budget spending on social media in B2B marketing. But that discussion left out the question of time.

We all only have 24 hours in a day. Time is truly our most precious commodity. And we all feel pressed to keep up with the social media world – particularly in the technology industry, where being ‘on top’ of new technologies is essential.

So the question this week is: how do budget your time on social media? How much time should you spend on blogging? Twitter? Facebook and LinkedIn? – whether on a personal or organizational basis? Because if you’re not hiring some firm to take care of it for you (which can backfire), then you’re making hard choices about your limited time.

There isn’t one right answer
I know that for myself, social media has consumed a growing amount of my time over the past year: Twitter, blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn. And when time is tight, I have to figure out where I’m willing to put it. I’m re-assessing all of this now, which leads to this blog post.

For example, I’ve found a wonderful client on Twitter, so I am very grateful. But I’m not sure I can commit the time necessary to develop meaningful conversations on Twitter. I’m about to sacrifice my dwindling Klout score and forget about daily Twitter check-ins and updates.

The answer changes over time

The new changes on Facebook. The evolution of Google +. All of these things mean that you need to constantly reassess your time balance. And some times you have to spend time on the new sites to find out if it’s worth reallocating your time.

Look at where your customers/prospects are.
“Duh, Anne,” you say to me. Yes, it’s obvious advice. But the fact is that B2B marketers are not aligning their social media efforts with the buyer behavior.

Forrester Research studied this, and CorporateInk summarized the research in their blog: Tech Buyers Are Social, But Not Where You Think They Are.

Even if your buyers are on Facebook for their personal lives, do they go there when evaluating a technical purchase? They probably go to specific forums and blogs, instead.

What are you doing with your social media time?
I’d love to hear from others – are you still trying to cover all of your social bases (or at least the big ones)? Or did you ever even try? Do you feel like you’re missing something, or think I’m missing something important?

2 Comments on “Budgeting your social media time

  1. I’m struggling with this issue, Anne. Personally, since the latest Facebook changes, I’ve been removing pages from my personal stream but trying to beef up my interaction with my “buyers” (mostly nonprofits) on their own Facebook pages through my business page/identity. Thanks as always for asking the right question.

    • Ah, if only I had the right answers, not just the right questions! Yes, the Facebook changes trouble me. And I don’t have an infinitely expandable amount of time to spend on social media. I think you’ve got a smart approach for your situation. I’m still working out mine. I still hope that Google+ might help, but it needs a certain critical mass. I guess I have to budget more time for that.

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