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?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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