Day 3: How do I best manage my time with Social Media? [Top 10 SM questions Marketers want answered]

Time Management Social Media

3. How do I best manage my time with Social Media?

Social media has taken up more than its fair amount of cognitive market share in the minds of marketers over the course of the last few years. Whether it’s spending 20 minutes a day checking your facebook profile or pouring over spreadsheets of information calculating ROI’s and engagements, we need to understand that Social Media can take up inordinate amount of time, if we let it, and while the medium is free the resources we allocate to it are not.

In the 2009 EMarketer Research report compiled by Geoff Ramsey over 25% of individuals saw time as their biggest barrier. So how can we manage our time, and efforts, better on Social Media channels? Some of the activities we can engage in to better manage and allocate time to Social Media activities, according to Steve Radick, is:

  • HAVE A GOAL. If you are doing this and don’t see the benefit, stop. If you can only manage one channel, then do so. Don’t overreach in the social space if you can’t keep up.
  • Understand that what we are experiencing is not an information overload, but a filter failure. There’s always been too much information around, now the gatekeepers (quality filters) are gone and we need to create our own.
  • Self-discipline is important. Filters are irrelevant if you can’t monitor yourself
  • Remember that Social Media doesn’t just waste time you save time too through these SM interactions as well

In Managing Social Media Time DK further extrapolates this actioning plan by stressing the importance of spreading the load necessary to successfully manage your Social Media time. He suggests that you:

  • Get internal, meaning that you get everyone in the company to engage socially. Everyone can help, and everyone can engage to develop better visibility
  • Share the load. Introduce internal collaborative workings.
  • Create social space in your day, but beware overuse
  • Also remember to start small, and work your way up.

Managing your time on social media is in effect similar to managing your time on every other aspect of your life, the only difference being your perceptions of missing anything by not being engages 24/7. Engage when you can, give as much time to this component of the marketing mix as you can and don’t compromise of balancing your life.


Day 2: What are the Social Media marketing best practices? [Top 10 Social Media Questions Marketers Want Answered]

Day 1 of our search to answer Michael Stelzner’s Top 10 Social Media Questions to ask marketers has brought us a reasonable answer to measuring your return on investment with regards to Social Media. Today we’ll be focusing on what the best practices for Social Media are:

2. What are the Social Media marketing best practices [My to-do list]?

Most people, when developing their skill sets and knowledge in a field start out with what they already know. Not bearing this is mind, large volumes of companies approach and engage in Social Media without understanding the “formal and unwritten community rules” and treating Social Media as simply another dumping ground for current “advertising assets”, as eloquently put by Lee Odden back in February 2009.

He, Odden, lists some of the best and worst practices of Social Media as:

  • Best Practices
    • Start with a thoroughly researched plan, including audiences, objectives and strategy, not just tactics
    • “Give to get”: meaning listening and participation with your audience. In effect creating value through your engagements, not just sales
    • Be transparent with intentions
    • Understand, advise, monitor and interact with the message, but realise that you can’t control it. [Read my previous post regarding this matter]
    • Metrics should roll up to objectives
  • Worst Practices
    • Being fake in any way. Just ask Trevor Noah and Cell C, by Walter Pike, about this if you need convincing.
    • Not listening
    • Being oblivious for formal and unwritten social rules and codes of conduct.
    • Being pushy or overtly sales driven
    • Approaching social media channels as silos
    • Not staffing appropriately
    • Not having a mechanism to monitor ROI correctly

So, how do I make Social Media work for me?

  • Start with listening, understand what people want
  • Share your backstory, who you are and where you come from
  • Try and crowd source content
  • Target your advertising on Facebook
  • Develop a community of Facebook, and customise their experience
  • Share your offline promotions
  • Respond quickly
  • Link back to your webpage
  • Remember your content and conversational tone, have a strong visual identity
  • Build relationships with bloggers
  • Have a clear call-to-action on Twitter, and try and build anticipation
  • Provide relevant offers and try and enhance customer service
  • Finally, show you are social and encourage sharing of your content

Top 10 Social Media Questions Marketers Want Answered

Social Media

Social Media has risen in popularity over the last several years, becoming one of the hottest topics in the marketing industry, along with words such as Online Reputation Management and Digital Engagement. Each one has had a significant impact on our burgeoning digital world and Social Media forms a strong cumulative vantage point for us as marketers to gauge and interact with our stakeholders. In his 2010 report Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Michael Stelzner summarised 1365 open-ended responses into 10 fundamental questions marketers want answered, in order to prepare and assist them in this new and exciting field. Below finds my viewpoints and findings on these questions, as part of my course on Digital Marketing Strategy, but also as part of my continuous attempts to understand and define our Social Media space. I will be posting my answers to one of the ten questions each day for ten days.

1. How do I measure Social Media return on investment?

The first question in Stelzner’s report hinges around marketer’s ability to accurately track and report on Social Media’s return on investment to companies. Taking a step back we also need to understand that one of the most compelling reasons people have found a growing use in digital has been its ability to report on ROI, through all digital channels, including Social Media.

So how can one measure Social Media? Several valuable tools exist on each of the Social Media touch points that allow for measurements. Facebook offers users Facebook Insights, which examines likes, interactions, demographics, media consumption and much more. Twitter allows for several methods of tracking, firstly through link-tracking sites such as and Tweetdeck to influence measurement in your community through Klout and Twittergrader. Youtube has Video Statistics and each other Social Media channel has its own analytics system.

The main factor, and steps, that we need to take into consideration is how to measure the ROI for Social Media but rather the why’s of measurements. In order to determine we need to follow several steps, as set out by Adam Mitchell in his Ideate Article How to Start Monitoring your ROI from Social Media and Olivier Blanchard in Basics of Social media ROI:1.  Establish a baseline, remember through baselines we can establish delta’s (changes)

2.  Create activity timelines, plot activitiesSocial Media Return on Investment
3.  Look at sales revenue, number of transactions*, net new customers
4.  Measure transactional precursors (positive and negative mentions),
5.  Overlay all timelines
6.  Look for patterns
7.  Prove relationships

This analytical, reasoned, approach will provide you with a clear and effective business case to present to company stakeholders when reporting on the effectiveness and justifications for investments in Social Media

*Transactional data should be specific (Frequency, Reach and Yield)

The Power of Social Media to Affect Corporates

Social Media, Activism, Brand Awareness, Activism


Recently, Social Media has once again been in the spotlight for its ability to force larger corporates out into the “open”, engaging in public debates and allowing smaller activist groups to force changes on larger corporate institutions. Think of examples like Cell C (Trevor Noah and 4G), Woolworths (Christian Magazines), BP, Gareth Cliff and our favourite…Barack Obama

Social media, by definition, has allowed info-activism (or internet activism) to reach new heights of visibility and accountability from larger corporate participants in the media. This form of global connectivity (Facebook, Twitter, Emails, Websites) have allowed local polarised groups and internal causes to engage with a potentially much larger audience, seeking to swell the support for their cause without people being forced to leave their homes.

So why is Social Media so powerful? In a recent article on, called Why Social Media Is Reinventing Activism, Sarah Keller pinpointed three based elements that showcase the awesome power of the channel:

  1. Social Media allow us to more easily connect with support structures, allowing people to affect social and business changes without bureaucratic support.
  2. Social Media also allows people to co-ordinate their activist activities to a much larger scale. 100 000 people shouting in the same direction does make a difference
  3. It allows you to not only connect easier but also to “shout” much loader
  4. Forces Corporates to consider new levels of accountability, where individual grudges (Dell Hell) or isolated incidents (Nestle) can quickly get out of control

So what should Corporates and brands understand about Social Media to engage appropriately and avoid similar fates as the ones mentioned above. Walter Pike distilled this down into a few great thoughts, which I’ve furtherThank God for Exclusive Books adapted to the below:

  1. Understand, and accept, that conversations about them and their brands are happening as we speak. You can’t changes this, or stop it or move it to a private meeting so either engage with the conversation and gain some level of interaction or burn as they’ll talk about you anyway
  2. Create a community space for your brands to engage with you, Social Media cuts  through a massive amount of red tape
  3. Let the conversation happen, don’t try to through your weight around and don’t react as if the Titanic were sinking every time a random thought pops into someone’s head about your brand
  4. If you have a good service or brand, trust in your consumers to act as activists for you as well.

Other great references on the discussion can be found below:

This blog is being completed as part of the requirements of the Digital Marketing Academy

PS. As a last thought let me include a segment of Gareth Cliff’s response to his level to the president. Simple put, it brillaint!

“What is impressive about this exercise is the increase in the scale of the public debate thanks to the internet. Immediate, insightful, evolving threads of discussion have unwound from the dissemination of the original letter and this is very encouraging. I am pleased to see that so many South Africans care so passionately about our country, regardless of whether we agree or disagree. The old “letters to the editor” means of airing issues of importance has been replaced by an organic, direct and instant forum for conversation. Surely this is something we can be very proud of? Newspapers, radio stations and television seem to lag behind ever more as we all become broadcasters online. Let it never again be said that young people in South Africa are apathetic, disengaged and ill-informed. There are new ways of finding facts, starting arguments and getting to the matters which matter. The Fourth Estate is no longer the province of a few editors and spin-doctors.”

The Impact of the Internet on Society and Marketing

Some eight thousand years ago a hunter paused across an open field, as he surveys the abundant fields of fruits and vegetables cultivated by neighbouring tribes, providing food for their tribes in the hard winter to come. Seven thousand nine hundred and fifty years later room-sized mega-computers started to fill institutions in the world and 2 years ago a shack-dwelling student in Soweto followed a page on Facebook.

Today I am looking back to look forward, for, as de Toqueville observed, “As the past has ceased to throw its light upon the future, the mind of man wanders in obscurity.” We have to think using our memories of the past, but our actions take place in the present, and define the future.

So, what are the similarities in the three strange occurrences described above?

What we’ve just examined explains three of the four most impactful Social Revolutions during the course of recorded human history. So, how are Social Revolutions applicable to the impact of the Internet today?

Social Revolutions

The term “revolution” has been used in the broader context of history to also denote greater changes outside of just the political sphere. Such revolutions are recognized through their transformation of more than just the political (As was the case with the French revolution) but rather societal, cultural, philosophical as well as technological. Some can be global, while others are limited to single countries. One of the classic examples of the usage of the word revolution in such context is the industrial revolution (note that such revolutions also fit the “slow revolution” definition of Tocqueville). Looking at the above we can understand how the internet has “transformed society” and affects us on a global scale. Social revolutions are also characterises by the transitional nature of phases between revolutions as well as the rate of increase of adoption of subsequent revolutions.

If we then examine the time it has taken for each revolution to take place it can be deduced that the Internet and Social revolutions combined have taken less than five thousands of the time than agricultural revolution has taken.

Figure 1: Time Relative to Each Social Revolution

The Impact of the Internet

The Main considerations of the impact of the emergence of the internet are based around the socio-ecological elements as a whole, but on the following aspects in particular:

  • Nature of Work: Remote Work, physical traffic and driving patterns, business conglomerates and resource sharing and allocations, social interactions, Globalisation
  • Privacy: Legal and law enforcements haven’t had time to adapt to new technologies.  Sacrifices in privacy in exchange for getting connected socially and to the cloud
  • Ownership: Does ownership ‘now’ still equal physical possession. Who owns the thoughts in the cloud?
  • Security: Whilst it is certain that security technologies will continue to improve, it is at least, if not more, important to reassure consumers that the online interactions in which we engage are secure.
  • Environmental: Rate of climate change. Waste material and recycling. NGO and activist participation. Green Technologies
  • Co-dependence: The creation of geo-tribes and localised centres of interest. Are we becoming co-dependent to affirm our existence? New notions of belonging, new modes of distribution of information (media), new management models and economics, neo-tribalism: all will be accelerated by this shiftiness in social scale.
  • Convergence: Technological convergence. Convergence of use.
  • Marketing: Content Consumption Model, Marketing Research, Access to the Long-Tail, New Channels, Niche engagement, Brands become consumer-facing and removed-from-the-board, Social Media

We have reached a critical “tipping point”. Moving forward the internet and social media will light up even the farthest corners of human existence, the individual will become the new group, small will be the new big and links will be the new news. Everything will live in the cloud, and the cloud will become the only required touch point to access everything.

All I can say, as William Bison wrote, is that “The future is already here. It is just unequally distributed”