One of the recurring questions that comes up whenever I speak is some variation of, “How much time do you spend on social media?”
Great question, but the one I believe they really want to find an answer for is, “How much time should I spend doing social media?“
The answers to both questions are vastly different and the more interesting question is the second one. My response to question #2 usually is, “That depends on what do you want to accomplish by participating in it.”
Social media anthropologists spend a lot of time in these various channels as part of their research and in their roles as prognosticators in forecasting the “next big thing” in this new medium. In this capacity I spend a lot of time in social media, much like research scientists or academics would do while deepening their knowledge in any field of study.
From my personal experience and as a consultant I’ve found that people and firms utilize social media in different ways and rarely do they, or should they, use it in the same manner as I do. In my role and business I use social media for specific reasons with specific goals and outcomes. Much like a DJ working a dance floor, I experiment with social platforms and study the outcomes. Did the medium produce the desired result or, in other words, did anybody dance? Much like people prefer differing music styles I’ve found that different types of content appeal to different crowds. In very broad terms, some people prefer small bursts of information such as Tweets (more broadly referred to as “Microblogging”). Others prefer videos or blogs. Some prefer Q&A forums such as Quora or participation in online communities or groups such as LinkedIn. By our studying these behaviors experienced social media experts can make the best recommendations to our clients.
Now, back to that question, “How much time should I spend doing social media?“
What do you want to accomplish?