Be accountable for your time on social networking sites

When I’m presenting on social media, I’m usually asked the “time cost” vs. the return due to the variety of social media tools available.  As you explore or continue to utilize social media, build a plan focusing on enhancing your brand awareness, allowing you to connect with customers, vendors, and partners, and lets you use these sites as another way to build relationships that are meaningful and transparent. As with any marketing initiative, there must be a way to measure the ROI of the time you invest here. Not only are they worthy of our business time, but they are simply fun to be on as well! A great mix of business and pleasure, so long as there is a plan in place for this combination.

Have you ever tried to track your weekly hours that you dedicate to social networking? Perhaps you’ve kept a notepad next to your desktop and written down the minutes each time you were on Facebook or LinkedIn or even tweeting. It’s critical to maximize your efforts for cost management—specifically the cost of your time. Software and tools like RescueTime or MeeTimer are just a few of the ways that you can begin to track your time spent on social networking, a good start toward determining ROI. Then create a plan for how you are going to use social networking and estimate the time involved to execute that plan successfully. Then benchmark it using these types of tracking tools. They will give you great insight as to whether or not your time is well spent. Then you can adjust your plan accordingly for success.

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