Blog | Nov 5, 2010 | 6 Comments

[social media time management]

[case study part 2]

In last week’s post, I introduced a new project I’m involved with: The Working Chronicles. This is the second in a series of posts about how I helped build their social media strategy, and the topic today is “time.”

Why orient your strategy around time management?

Here is the first paragraph of my earliest strategy notes for The Working Chronicles:

For every social media channel we open up, someone has to be willing to spend time maintaining it. I’d suggest Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Generally, people say that Twitter is the easiest and YouTube is the most time-consuming.

(As you can tell, this is basic stuff. I’m not a social media “guru,” but I have enough experience to help get their social media efforts off the ground and maintain steady engagement.)

Here’s why time is of the essence:

How much time is enough?

Despite the wealth of information on the web about social media, there is surprisingly little concrete advice about time management. That’s because every entity that engages in social media has different goals, choices of channels/sites, and communities.

For example, I have this blog, a Twitter account, and Facebook page for my business, plus a LinkedIn profile. Here is how it breaks down for me today–but it might change tomorrow.

I probably spend 6-8 hours a week on social media. When I have that much time. When I’m on deadline, I still  spend at least 30 minutes a day. However, I’ve heard that a good rule of thumb for someone who is actively engaged in social media–but it’s not their only job–is 8-12 hours a week.

There are good tools for saving time on social media; I’ll talk about some of them in another post.

In the meantime, here’s a quote for you from Jay Baer:

Nobody said social media was both transformative AND a slam dunk. It’s hard. Really hard. So you either need to make the time internally, get more people involved, or stay on the sidelines.

Read the full article here.

Photo credit: David at seemsartlesscom. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Author: Claire Wagner

I'm a seasoned freelance writer/editor and an enthusiastic community manager. I'm passionate about developing and sharing good content.


There’s something else I’ve noticed that complicates things. The volunteers who are separately managing each part of an organization’s social media strategy (and communications vehicle, e.g. Yahoo Groups) often have difficulty managing the message across the different platforms and acting in a coordinated fashion. There’s usually no “manager” to organize the dissemination of information – it just kind of happens willy-nilly OR one is required to get everyone’s buy-in, and that can take forever (these are volunteers who are busy with their “real” lives, remember). It can be very frustrating.


Claire Wagner Reply:

That’s a really good point, Lisa. You do need somebody steering the ship. Too often in these cases, though, it’s a paid staff member who is already overloaded and hoped to just “outsource” the social media to volunteers without having to control the messages or their activities. That’s a huge problem. Social media can seriously affect the brand and reputation of any organization. It’s not fun and games. The better coordinated it is, the more effective it is–in terms of reputation, dollars, etc.


Lisa H.-S.


Looking forward to hearing more about why HootSuite works for you. There are so many solutions out there, I’m confused on what to do to pull all my social media together!


Claire Wagner Reply:

I started out with TweetDeck for myself but I think HootSuite is more sophisticated. Both have problems, many of which originate with Twitter or with Facebook. the interfaces are not perfect. But this is not the only integration program – this is just a dashboard. More integration plug-ins are needed if you want to “feed” one social media stream into another, such as automatically sending new blog posts to Facebook and Twitter, or Twitter feeds onto your blog, etc. All the programs are free but not always easy!


Laura B.


Great blog, Claire. You’re right that time is the often-overlooked consideration, particularly when you’re trying to set something up for a nonprofit staffed by volunteers! I worked with a small nonprofit choral group, and despite the fact that the group as a whole was very savvy in terms of Facebook, no one ever took ownership for posting anything to the fan page. Some nonprofits are doing a terrific job with social media, but they tend to be the ones with at least a little paid staff!


Claire Wagner Reply:

Anne, thank you for saying this. I agree wholeheartedly. I have recently seen Community Manager job descriptions from local nonprofits who are realizing that this is too important to leave entirely to volunteers or members. Also, as a professional social media content developer, I know my own work is better when my client keeps me informed about the overall communications strategy and thus ensures that everything is integrated.


Anne J


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