6 hours a week; an hour a day (with two on Wednesday); three working days a month. For businesses on the up and busy managers, it probably sounds like quite a lot of time, especially since you probably feel like you could do with three more days a month, not three less. But when you look at what you can achieve in those six little hours, they might not seem so daunting.
According to the Social Media Examiner's 2014 industry report, nearly two thirds (64 percent) of marketers are using social media for six hours or more a week, and of those marketers:
Even those without a big old marketing department are catching up. A recent survey by Vertical Response found 43 percent of small businesses are now spending six hours a week or more on social media. And they're getting strategic about it: over a third (36 percent) pay for publishing and analytics tools and 57.5 percent spend $26 or more per month.
Of course, to get such great results in so little time, you have to know what you're doing and execute it with lightening speed. Gamers often refer to their APM (actions per minute) to gauge their skill and dexterity in real-time gameplay. In order to achieve social media success in just six hours a week, you need a high APM, knowing what actions to deploy, when and where.
Exactly how you spend your six hours will vary depending on your audience, what you sell and how you sell it, but there are a few things everyone should be squeezing into their six hours:
There are SOOOO many tools out there that can help you manage your social media strategy, we're going to give you some of our favourites:
Even if you start your optimised six hours a week today, you won't see social media success straight away. These magic six hours a week have to happen every week, without fail, for the long term. Schedule them in your calendar and set to repeat indefinitely.
The other key finding in the Social Media Examiner's report was that the longer you keep it up, the better the results are:
Social media might feel like a flighty task. In your personal life you're probably used to Instagraming during dinner or Facebooking in front of the TV. But in business, you have to dedicate those six hours a week just to social media - it's work, like any other part of your job.
No tweeting while you email or interacting on LinkedIn groups while you're on the phone. You have to concentrate, focus and do it well to get results.
As Daniel Levitin, professor of psychology and behavioural neuroscience at McGill University says,
What it turns out is that we think we’re multitasking, but we’re not. The brain is sequential tasking, we flit from one thought to the next very, very rapidly, giving us the illusion that what we’re doing is doing all these things at once. But I’m here to tell you, as a neuroscientist, just because we think we’re doing something doesn’t mean we are. Our brains are very, very good at self-delusion.
Follow these tips in your six hours a week, and your social media success won't need any self-delusion at all.