What Price Glory? Or: Can We Get Some Air in Here?
This is an unscientific, undocumented, and probably unpopular analysis of what I’m learning as King of Social Media. (I’m reminded of a great review of a leading actor in King Lear by Eugene Field: “He played the king as though under momentary apprehension that someone else was about to play the ace.”)
Here are my anecdotal observations.
If people visit linkedin twice a day for 15 minutes each time, that’s 2.5 hours in a five-day week. (I’m discounting weekends, though I shouldn’t, because social media wandering is clearly a full-time avocation, but I want to be conservative here.)
If they visit Facebook four times a day for 10 minutes each, that’s roughly 3.3 hours.
If they Twitter six times a day for five minutes each time, that 2.5 hours. (Or 12 times at 2.5 minutes each—you get the idea.)
If they post on their blogs three times a week (rather important to keep a blog active and interesting), and the creation and posting of the item takes 30 minutes (and I think I’m really low-balling this one), that’s 2.5 hours.
And now I’m going to add just two hours to the week, that accommodate reading others’ blogs, replying to commentary, following up social media stuff off-line, updating profiles, uploading photos, and so on.
Drum roll, please: We now have a five-day week on a conventional 40-hour basis with about 13 hours engaged in what is somewhat inappropriately termed “social media.” I understand that those hours may well extend into evening or early morning time. On the basis of a 40-hour week, that’s 33% devoted to this stuff; but even on the basis of a 12-hour day, the percentage is 22%.
If you were devoting less than half of those 13 hours, say, six hours, to other professional marketing pursuits, I estimate you could do any one of the following during that week:
• Write 2-3 chapters in a book.
• Create and post 10-12 position papers on your web site.
• Call, at a moderate pace with follow-up, 30 past clients and/or warm leads.
• Send out a dozen press releases.
• Engage in a full day of self-development or a workshop.
• Create three speeches or a complete multi-day workshop.
• Create a new product to be sold on your web site.
• Create, and develop a marketing plan for, a teleconference.
• Create and record three podcasts.
• Create and tape a video.
• Contact 30 prior clients for testimonials, referrals, or references.
• Attend two networking events.
• Create and distribute two newsletters.
• Complete at least half of a professional book proposal for an agent.
• Respond to 50 or more reporters’ inquiries on, say, PRLeads.com.
• Seek out two high-potential pro bono opportunities.
• Contact and follow up with five trade associations for speaking opportunities.
You get the idea. Don’t forget, in my unscientific analysis, I’ve halved the hours I think are really being invested in full-fledged social media activity based on an already conservative estimate of what they truly are. And I’m not even counting other networks or platforms, just the four I’ve mentioned.
And over the course of a couple of months, you can easily do ALL of the bullet points, if you have a mind to do so. I’m just allocating six hours a week, just over an hour a day.
My current evaluation is this: Don’t confuse occupation with avocation. I’ve never said that “social media” are evil or will not help someone find a buyer somewhere at some time. Heck, I’ve become an avid blogger, and I visit Facebook and now Twitter daily. Yet I can still do all of the bullet points above and work only 20 hours a week.
If you’re serious about corporate consulting and coaching, and the blog you are currently visiting IS located at www.contrarianconsulting.com, then I’d continue to advise that you’re not going to find those buyers on social platforms. Is it impossible? No. Have some people done it? They claim so. But if you’re engaged in social browsing at the EXPENSE of those bullet points, then that’s not a good disposition nor apportionment of time. If you can do both, and still live a balanced and fulfilling life by your terms, then go for it.
I’m posting intellectual property, for free of course, on Twitter, just as I do here. I do find that these platforms present a great way to pay back, to contribute, and to share. You have to be judicious in your selections, however, since some people just want “air time” and you only have so much air.
© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.