# How Much Time Should You Be Spending On Social Networks?

by on April 27, 2010

Whether you are an agency or your just a busy individual that wants to know how much time they should spend to plan their SMO strategy, these simple equations are very helpful to budget out how much time you should be spending on your social networks.

I’ve  come up with a couple equations that have helped determine how much time my company and I should be spending on planning and maintaining various channels for each client given their ultimate SMO goals and social comfort level. I have used these equations for about 3 years now to help me project manage and estimate how much time will be allocated to each network channel as part of a whole social media strategy. They have been pretty on point and very useful for project management and resource planning.  Here they are for you to apply to your organization, business,  or agency projects.  One of the main common denominators is the SMO multiple.  This SMO Multiple varies by desired reach for that network.  The number it is divided by to get the SMO multiple is 10.  I’ve chosen the number ten after looking at three years of project data and time spent per client to get from point A to B with Social Networks.  The multiple “3″ in the last equation was chosen after looking at the same data and finding that the most successful social network strategies were after taking about three times as much time to plan as we were spending each week on social network maintenance and growth.

To help the example, assume that this client is an online sunglasses retailer that gets a lot of traffic and conversions from Facebook users.  Part of this client’s social media optimization strategy involves  building an engaging  Facebook fan page to showcase all the products, build a discussion with sunglasses lovers, product reviews, and they want this page build up to approximately 1000 fans (to start) that are actively engaged.

Equation 1:    Network Reach (# of people) / 10 = SMO Multiple   (i.e. 1000 Facebook Fans / 10 = 100 SMO Multiple)

Equation 2:       SMO Multiple/60 = How many hours you should be spending on this channel per week.  (i.e. 100/60 minutes = approx 1.6 hours per week on this Client’s Facebook Page)

Equation 3:        Hours Per Week Spent on Network Channel x 3 = The Amount of Hours You Should Spend Researching and Planning this Channel Strategy

(i.e  1.6 Hours per Week x 3 = 4.8 or 5 Hours Should Be Spent on Planning your Facebook page Strategy)

Note: Revisit your strategy again every month to see if your reaching your goals. Taking the example used in the equation above, this client wants to engage an average of about 1000 fans on Facebook (as their first goal).  In order to do this, it’s budgeted to take approximately 1.6 hours per week (spread out over the week) and approximately 5 hours of planning the strategy.

This is kind of the rule of thumb I have been using to budget time for my social media projects.  Perhaps this SMO Multiple has other kinds of uses besides budgeting time?

What works for you?

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