Gini Dietrich

How Much Time Should I Spend On Social Media?

By: Gini Dietrich | July 22, 2009 | 


I get this question ALL THE TIME! How much time should I spend on social media?

How much time do you spend on your email? Do you have it down to a science that you can manage it effectively, while still doing your job?

When email first entered our work lives, none of us knew how to handle it. We all thought it was evil and we didn’t know how we were going to manage it. But we’ve figured it out and technology now allows us ways to manage it efficiently.

Same goes for social media. This is a new way of being able to communicate. Of working more efficiently and personally with your customers. Of interacting on a more personal level with your employees and stakeholders. It creates PERSONAL relationships with hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people you wouldn’t otherwise even know.

All this being said, you should spend an hour a day on social media. You can do it in as little as 15 minutes a day, but to have true influence, create thought leadership, prospect for new business, recruit talent, and create customer loyalty through engagement, it takes an hour a day. No more.

Here’s how to do just that:

* Sign up for an account at TweetLater.

* Spend 15 minutes every day finding industry articles, news you find interesting, and thought leadership pieces that have nothing to do with you or your business and set those up to be distributed throughout the day. A good rule of thumb is that 60 percent of your tweets should not be self-serving. I set up my tweets 30 minutes apart.

* Spend 10 minutes every day setting up your “self-serving” tweets – these are links to your blog, white papers the company has written, any articles written about you or that quote you, Webinars or podcasts you’re hosting, etc. A good rule of thumb is these should be only 40 percent of your tweets and you should space them out so they don’t come out all at once.

* Spend 10 minutes going through your groups on TweetDeck and find things to RT (retweet) for your followers. This expands your follower base, shows that you listen, and provides great influence.

* Spend five minutes setting up and using that to distribute your content to your other social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Delicious.  I only use for our daily blog content. I use Twitter for everything else.

* Spend 10 minutes going through your LinkedIn groups and answering questions where you have expertise and can position yourself as a thought leader.

* Spend 10 minutes responding to people on Facebook and Twitter.

It’s a science and this method works, if you stick within the limits and use your time efficiently.  What other tips do you have for managing daily social media time?

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • I’m asked the question, too. Now have some great advice to share. Thanks Gini.

  • Hi Gini! These are excellent tips. You make it simple and easy for those new to social media to focus on the critical few activities with the greatest impact!

  • Very nice blog, as a new tweeter fan I needed two know how two lead and not just follow. Now Ican stast being a better friend on twitter.

  • I have to ask: Where’s the love!!!!! Have I been talking to the Gini-Bot all this time?

  • Oh Gregg. I don’t use bots. I only set up my tweets via a bot. You actually talk to me, CMF.

  • Time management is always key to a successful work day – great social media tips!

    Shout out to “CMF” – best title in the history of titles!

  • Cool, thanks for the tip~

  • If you spend only an hour a day on social media, it seems like you’re very focused on the “media” and not the “social.” Interaction with people can’t be scheduled — it just happens when it happens.

    I enjoy checking in with social media networks throughout the day to see what people are talking about and engaging with them — sometimes on serious issues and sometimes on silly ones. But it’s that interaction that allows you to humanize the technology.

    Just my 2 cents…

  • Ari – I agree with you. But you and I are not the norm. I spend more than an hour a day on social media, but it’s part of our bigger business strategy. Most of the people I work with are CEOs and are already bogged down in too many work hours. They know they need to begin using social media, but they don’t know where to start. This gives them a starting point and then they can decide if it’s worth it to invest more than an hour a day.

  • Great article! Take 2 “atta gals” out of petty cash! You even highlighted a few things I will tweak for a more effective Social Media Informatician.


  • Good tips, although I often find it difficult to answer questions well in only 10 minutes. Unless short answers like this one will work!

    My addition: For those who feel themselves sliding down the slippery slope of Twitterdiction, set a timer to tell you to get back to work!

  • This is so helpful! For one thing I had no idea what was – clearly something I need to know and start using immediately. And while some days I will spend more than an hour it is good to have a strategy for the days I cannot. Thanks!

  • Pingback: Twitted by zbnet()

  • Great tips, thanks

  • I agree with Susan Mazza on this one. Your tips are great, especially when pressed for time. I find I tweet when I need to refresh my mind during the day, as a change of pace activity for 5 to 10 minutes. It usually clears my mind or inspires me to bounce back ideas with interesting people. I go to LinkedIn for a different depth of exchange, much like you suggest here, at least once a day. Thanks for a thoughtful post.

  • Gini,I’ve tried to organize my time on twitter to best effect but have not gotten it together. Your tips are like good cognitive therapy and will assuage quilt, I hope, about time Tweeting.

  • As a relatively new Tweeter and one trying to expand my Social Media presence, this advice is really concise – thanks so much! I’ve had a couple of buddies talk about, so this is now another reason to check them out.

  • Hi Gini from your NZ Social Media / franchise consulting contact! This post is a good one as the question about how to be productive is vital and an objection to starting out in Social Media.

    Since your post Tweetlater is now known as Social Oomph. Great tool!

    Several tips I suggest for those who want to create in-house written, high quality, market relevant blog content efficiently on the fly: have all the client facing team record/bullet point topics of interest as they arise. They may be FAQ’s, current rising or trending issues, a solution to a need highlighted, snippets of consulting that can be used as a teaser for paid services or a webinar. Your business will have its own unique possibilities and opportunities. You’ll save heaps of time not having to rack your brains for topics, in-house case studies or examples.

  • Pingback: The 26-Hour Day » Blog Archive » Social Media in a Small Town – Time-efficient networking()

  • Pingback: Target your social consumers with personas | Insights & Ingenuity()