If the year 2011 proved anything in the world of media and communications, it’s that contrary to popular belief, “The Revolution Will Be Tweeted.”
The emergence of Social Media as a global source of influence and news sharing among everyday citizens has every organization, business and, might we even say, revolution, jumping onboard these new, yet powerful channels of communication. A recent article posted by Fundly, one of the largest strategy platforms dedicated to online social giving, says it best –
“Through social media you can get your name out faster and with less financial investment than any other resource out there.”
While larger organizations are beefing up their Social Media presence with dedicated staff or third party vendors, smaller businesses and nonprofits just don’t have the manpower. This leaves many wondering how much time should really be spent investing in social media. Luckily, there are plenty of resources, ready at the click of a button, that showcase how any entity can successfully leverage the power of social media
In its 2011 Annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report, the Social Media Examiner analyzed marketing data from over 3,000 organizations, with surprising results. Small businesses and organizations are seeing the greatest results from investing in social media marketing! The important factor they have in common – remembering that Time Investment Pays Dividends. The 2011 study proved that time is a key success factor for social media marketers, no matter the type of organization. The old ideal of “work smarter, not harder” applies, no matter the scope or social network you utilize. Spend more time (wisely, of course) and you’re likely to see greater results.
So the question remains, how much time is required? This can be answered in three ways:
1.) The power of endurance – those entities with 3 or more years of experience in social media marketing are the ones seeing the greatest results. For example, only 25% of those just getting started in social media saw new partnerships form, as compared to 80% or more of those with 3 or more years of experience. So marketers shouldn’t make snap judgments on the value of social media after only a few months. Give it some time!
2.) It doesn’t have to be all-consuming. It may not take as much time as you fear. In fact, 75% of those spending as little as 6 hours per week on social media marketing saw increased traffic.
Likewise, those who spend at least 6 hours per week are almost twice as likely to see leads generated as those who spend 5 or fewer hours. While the study didn’t draw any firm conclusions on how much time marketers should spend, there’s clear evidence that those who commit at least 6 hours per week will see significant rewards for their investment.
This is especially true for content development. According to data analysis by Fundly, the speed of social media is remarkably fast. You can post or tweet a comment in the morning and by afternoon, you could scroll down four pages before you come across it again. The average lifespan of a tweet is 2.8 hours and of a Facebook post is 3.2 hours. With such a fast paced medium, the best way to use this resource is in short bursts. Don’t spend hours constructing and reading messages that are just a flash in the pan. Create a well constructed updated announcement, post it, and move on.
3.) Last – remember, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Valuable time spent on social media marketing should also be allocated to the most effective tools. Social media is a rapid, ever-evolving industry, so it’s easy for marketers to become enamored by the newest tools. However, the industry study showed that almost all marketers have four tools in their toolkit: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogs. Smaller organizations should stick with tried and true forms of social media, allowing other organizations to test the weight and worth of newer mediums.
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