Truthfully—the bare minimum.
Yep, you read that right.
But what about the hype, the promises, the RESULTS? Don’t the results increase in direct proportion to the effort? No, not so much.
Fairly quickly, the return on investment when, it comes to time and social networking, begins to diminish. I that sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s the absolute truth.
That said, how much time is required?
It depends…on your expertise, your audience and the desired result.
With any new skill, including social networking, there is a learning curve. It takes time to come up to speed on how to use Twitter, Facebook and Blogging platforms effectively.
But, you don’t need to become an expert. After all, you want to be a writer—not a social media expert! So how do you know when you're expert enough to be effective? Here are some basics you should have mastered:
Twitter: You need to have a Twitter account and know the basics of tweeting. Here is the first, second and third in a series I wrote about Twitter. And one stand alone post about Twitter.
- How to compose an effective tweet.
- How to use hashtags correctly. Here’s a post on that.
- The difference between a direct message, a reply and a tweet.
Facebook: You need to have a Facebook account and know how to navigate Facebook. Here's a helpful post.
- How to accept friend requests, as well as send them.
- How to hide unwanted posts.
- How to compose an effect Facebook post.
- How to configure your account privacy settings to protect yourself and your family while still interacting with readers and clients.
- The difference between a regular page and a fan page.
Blogging: You should have a blog—to practice writing on a deadline if nothing else. Here are parts one, two and three of a series I wrote on blogging.
- You need to know how often to post. Unsure what’s best? Here’s a post to help you decide.
- How to use keywords and labels effectively.
- How to tie your title to your keywords.
- How to use photos and videos to illustrate and partner with your posts.
- How to answer comments effectively.
- Which platform best suits your needs and skill level. Here is a comparison of the three most popular platforms.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be explaining these topics more in-depth. But for now here’s my short answer on how much time to spend each day—once you’re familiar with social networking.
You should spend no more than 30 to 45 minutes per day, five days a week on social networking.
Yep, after talking with thousands of authors and writers, I’ve found that any more time than that becomes counter-productive and actually interferes with our writing.
If you’re spending more time than that per day, something’s not working. So now it’s your turn, how much time do you spend daily on social networking? Is it working for you? Do you know how to tell if it’s working? I’d love to have you share your answers and your questions in the comments.
And don’t forget to join the conversation!