Social media time can be useful for promoting your business online. It can reach thousands of local and millions of other potential customers. This is why most small business leaders tend to spend copious amounts of time on their favourite platforms in an attempt to reach their audience.
However, is this social media time positive? Is there a maximum amount of time you should be spending on social media?
Social Media Time A Waste?
One aspect for social media often cited is that very few online sales are generated directly from social media. Research has found that only about 1% of online sales are as a result of an update and therefore many people assume that social media should not be part of the sales funnel.
However, this is an error. While social media is not directly related to sales, it does perform a function: introductory. Since social media has become mainstream within businesses we have found that the number of touch points between a customer and a business has increased. Previously it was just one or two, now it can be as high as ten.
Most studies about online sale contributors only include customers’ last two touch points prior to sale; therefore, the significance of social media is often missed.
Social Media Time Builds Brand Awareness
One of the biggest advantages of social media is its ability to share your customers’ positive experiences with new audience members. 90% of consumer purchasing decisions are influenced by reviews and 45% of consumers will check social media sites for updates related to customer service.
At the same time, you can increase brand awareness as consumers will actively look at a Facebook page or Twitter account for the latest news, products and offers from a brand. Many users will use these platforms specifically for brand research before they contact the sales team.
Therefore, social media time can build your business leads, but it is more than likely that other platforms will generate the sale.
How Much Time Should You Be Spending On Social Media?
This is a financial question pure and simple. You need to determine how much your time is worth, the number of sales from leads via social media generated per (week/month) and their average customer lifetime value. You want to create an amount of time where the average customer lifetime value is greater than the value of the time you’ve spent on social media.
So if you value your time at £60 per hour and you know that 1 customer is generated per week from social media and that customer is worth £200 over their lifetime, then to determine the breakeven point you should use the following equation:
(Customers x value) divided by hourly rate or (1 x 200) / 60 = 3 hours and 20 minutes per week or 40 minutes per day over five days. This isn’t a lot of time and you need to consider how you can use it to maximum impact.
During an average week you need to be:
- Re-publishing old content to new audiences.
- Informing audiences of new content.
- Interacting with community members.
- Sharing content from other users.
- Responding to comments and mentions.
- Promoting your products.
If you aren’t a professional social media manager these tasks can take time. Research in the UK and the US has found that those who haven’t had social media training can take significantly more time to complete the same tasks as those who have.
This inefficiency will cost the UK £2 billion by 2017.
Another problem is that social media meets several personal needs of everyone, including the sense of belonging. Therefore, when you go on social media you can sometimes be distracted and this can increase the amount of time you spend on social media.
Only by having a strong resolve and compartmentalising your time on social media can you be productive and be sure to have a return on your activities.
Social media can be a huge factor in the success of your business. However, it is a cost just like any other aspect of business. By carefully considering how much time you are working on your social media accounts in regards to their value and then applying an economic approach to your social media time, you can find profitable ways to grow your business online.
How much time do you spend on social media each week? Is this profitable?
Let us know in the comments below.