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How Much Time You Invest in Social Media Does Not Matter

Jeff Molander

Wanting to know how much time to give LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogging (etc) per day is a natural desire. But having that answer won’t make social media produce better results. That’s why many of us are putting down “hour a day” books and picking up a new habit: asking a different question. That is: “How can I get clear on what social media’s purpose is for my business—and how I can best use it to achieve that specific goal?” Why ask this question? Because doing so will help you decide how much time to invest occurs naturally, painlessly and obviously. Use time and pressure to create results to your advantage. Ask a better question.

1. Stop Worrying About Time
We all want to know how much time things are going to take—everything in our lives. And for good reason: we feel like there isn’t enough of it in our lives! Okay… but if this is true you should NOT be worrying about how much time it will take to make Facebook or whatever to produce a result.
You’re not alone in worrying about time. Many of today’s social media gurus are working day-and-night to make sure you needlessly worry about it. They want you to believe in a “social media revolution” rather than discovering how to evolve your habits and business. So far, sex and fear sells books and consulting.
But now you know the truth and can choose a different path—away from reacting to social media and toward evolving your business (each day of your life) in harmony with it.
2. Make Purpose Primary, Time Secondary.
Everyone I interviewed in Off the Hook Marketing said the same thing: If you want to sell with social media start focusing on creating purpose for it before anything else. Time will work itself out. Trust in it, have faith.
Here’s another way of looking at it. Think about how you feel when you ask “how much time is this going to take?” You’re reacting, defensive. The presumption behind the question is that LinkedIn, Facebook, blogging or whatever is somehow “different.” But what if social media could be a better way to achieve a particular set of goals you have—rather than being “so different” and such a pain? It can be if you so choose.
Social media is not rocket science. The more you think it is the more you’ll believe time investment is what makes the difference. It does not. As Peter Drucker said, “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”
3. Why We Chase Tweets, Not Sales.
You see, the “social media revolution” is devoid of true, meaningful outputs—business outcomes like sales. Think about what you’ve heard or seen in the sexy, thumping videos on YouTube. Facebook is the size of a country. And? What are we to do with that super-exciting-fantastic knowledge—other than feel exuberant or fearful?
This false, paradigm-shifting revolution amounts to experts telling us, “the rules have changed, your goals must change.” And this is why we often find ourselves chasing re-tweets, friends and followers rather than leads, sales and subscribers.
4. How to Get Back “On Purpose”
All the hype, smoke-and-mirrors surrounding social media go a long way to help some people feel like it’s not worth their time. Yet others are keeping the faith—they sense social media can help them do great things. And it can.
For instance, you can make social media produce leads and sales by changing the question. Stop asking “how much time…?” and start asking “how can I determine what Facebook’s/blogging’s/YouTube’s purpose is for me/my business and how I can best use it to achieve this goal?” Trust that “how much time is likely required?” will come in time.
5. It Works for Me.
In parting, here’s a quick example. I need to generate leads for myself among large corporate customers who serve small businesses—companies like Intuit, IBM, Cintas and Deluxe. I put as much time into a wide variety of social platforms as is needed to achieve that goal.

I use…
  • LinkedIn (to find and qualify people within a target company based on current position & experience background, increasing relevancy of my approach via monitoring comments/discussions in groups)
  • JigSaw.com (to secure actual contact information)
  • Confession: Google (to get around LinkedIn’s “pay wall” (sorry, LinkedIn!)
  • Twitter (to increase my relevancy, again based on what’s current to the prospect)

I put as much time into using social media platforms as I need to achieve my goal. Simple! Empowering. Liberating!

Jeff Molander is a self-published author of Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You and adjunct faculty at Loyola University Business School. He blogs at www.offthehookblog.com and can be reached at [email protected].

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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