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Social Media has changed the way we do business and interact with our customers, and the best part about it is it’s free! Or is it? Social media can drain hours and hours of time from you if you don’t have a plan or don’t understand what you are doing.

You could spend hours tweeting, pinning and sharing viral videos and have it still be unsuccessful. So how do you know how much time to put into your social media?

Firstly, you need to have some basic housekeeping in place. It is pointless jumping online and throwing links and content onto a poorly optimized platform.

Make sure your information is all up to date, you have clear and recognisable display photos and covers and that all of your platforms are linked to one another.

This goes for your website, blog and email marketing as well. Without this in place, there is no point in spending time on social media as it will lead you to poor results.

Next, check your insights and gather information about how your customers use social media. You need to know what your customers are looking at, when and where. This is so you can create content that will encourage your customer to look at it and act on what they have seen.

Remember, quality over quantity

Sure you could create content and post 5 times a day, but if the quality of your content is poor or doesn’t push your customer to act, then it will be all for nothing and result in wasted time and no sales.

Depending on how many times you need to post a day, on what platforms and what sector your business is in will determine how much time you need to spend on your social media. It is recommended that you spend at least 1-4 hours on content creation monthly, but this of course can fluctuate.

Distributing your content

Distribution of your content can take up slightly more time than creating it. The easiest way to get a leg up on your competition and also create an easy route for you is to create a schedule weekly.

Spending 2-6 hours a month in total pre scheduling your tweets, updates and posts can save you so many hours of wasted time. You can use tools like Meet Edgar or Hootsuite as well to make this process even speedier.

Monitoring your network

Monitoring your network is one of the most important aspects of social media for businesses. This is when you answer messages, comment on posts and interact with your customer base.

Again, this is highly dependant on how large your business is and how many interactions you face daily, but for a small start up it is recommended at least 15 minutes daily spent on interacting.

If you have a large business, it can become overwhelming to keep up with, so it may actually benefit you to hire a social media manager to takeover for you.

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