Here’s a piece of common-sense journalism about how difficult it is to account for time spent on social media in the workplace. In Social Media Is Not Free: Here’s Why , writer Dave Evans suggests that it is very hard to measure the value created for the company by people blogging, Tweeting and updating Facebook, even if is about the company and its products. It’s somehow easier to measure the hours of productive time “lost” to social media with managers posting blog entries and workers responding to customers through social networks or even by email.
1. Schedule the social media inputs which makes it much easier to account for the time spent.
2. Don’t get into personal stuff during office time, even though the line between personal and work-related might be very fine indeed.
3. Get lots of people involved so it doesn’t all come down to one or other person. Spread the load.
4. Take it seriously. Don’t attempt to de-prioritise it as a discretionary part of your work activities. If you do, it will be the first to suffer when the going gets tough, but it could be the very thing that helps you build new business.
There’s plenty of evidence that people involved in social networks trust the opinions and advice of others in the network, even if they barely know them. This might be related to a chronic, but not misguided, mistrust of traditional advertising/marketing/branding messages and corporate communications. Many don’t trust the opinions of so-called experts who often have some hidden agenda, or even the media itself who is rightly seen to be less than impartial and is often caught out sucking up its advertising clients. As a result the massive global spend on adverts and other promotional activities is becoming less and less effective in driving sales or brand equity.
The smart move would be to divert both financial and human resources away from those increasingly ineffective marketing channels, and plough them into progressive and sustainable social media campaigns. And that is how you count the cost of your social media campaigns, by offsetting it with the massive savings of a single print or TV which didn’t run to lukewarm response.
Seen this way you’ve just saved a whole lot of money by moving to social media!