Social Media Marketing – How Much Time Per Day?

Portrait of middle eastern businessman typing on the laptop and looks concentration, shot in the office

One of the most common questions I get from SMB owners and managers is: How much time per day should my business be on social media? Note that I am talking about the business side and not the personal side, although there is (and should be) some crossover between each.

As a business with an online identity, you should have social media accounts representing your business brand. Social media is a great way to achieve awareness, introduce personality behind your logo, and engage with an audience. It can also serve as a focal point to indirectly draw people to your website. This brings us to the definition of social media marketing using social media as a platform to guide your audience to a specific action. As with any business tactic there must be strategy behind your efforts; in terms of what you are trying to accomplish and what steps should be taken to get you there.

Every business will be a bit different but ideally you should be using social media to talk to your ideal customers. Most customers access more than one social media channel, so your business should be represented on several at least for maximum reach. Regardless of your choice of channels, this is where you are challenged for time and resources:

Number of Posts Per Day

The number of posts per day varies somewhat based on the social media channel. Twitter, for instance, is a channel best suited to many posts throughout the day. Facebook and Google+, on the other hand, are better suited to a smaller number of posts per day, with top brands averaging one post per day. LinkedIn themselves suggest one post per weekday, but businesses can be effective with as little as several posts per week. The guideline for LinkedIn company pages is to post as many times as your content supports. This social media frequency guide from Buffer is an excellent resource.

Audience Engagement Time Per Day

This may be the most important time a business can spend on social media. When you post something of value you are looking for acknowledgement back from your audience; comments, questions, added value. You have started a conversation, basically. When someone picks up on the conversation you want to continue it. This is what develops relationships, which are the roots of all business. This engagement is absolutely vital in establishing relevance, trust, and authority in whatever your business is built upon.

Consuming and Curating Content

Most SMBs do not have a full time resource for content generation. Creating and hosting your own content is the ideal to strive for in online marketing efforts. The difference between social media marketing and content marketing is independence, although social media will always be an important part of supporting your own generated content. The way to start is to read a lot of other content on similar topics, digest the information and add value in the form of curation (commentary) and reposting. This is an easy way to follow the old 80/20 rule (80% curation, 20% original content), and not to appear too spammy on social media.

Connecting Profiles and Pages

Here is the crossover where you and your employees connect your personal social media profiles to your business social media pages. The benefit for the business is to identify the real people behind your brand and the benefit for the employees is the professional reputation they build by associating themselves with a business. They are going to dip in to their personal social media accounts throughout their workday, anyway. Why not encourage them to cross post from your business page and contribute to the engagement streams? Your employees can be vital particpants in any number of business conversations and represent you by their association to your business. Personal social media profiles will always get more engagement than business pages, so do not dismiss them as part of your overall company brand. Connect the dots!

Social media marketing should be a chunk of your marketing plan with a budget allocated and an expected ROI. It involves consistent attention to be effective, anything less will lead to failure. Crunch the numbers for the time and cost per day versus the ROI per measurable success (such the number of new subscribers/leads, and average revenue per subscriber) and budget accordingly. Here’s a tip; a pinch of automation and a sprinkle of marketing expertise can make a big difference.

Online Communities: How Do You Decide with Who You Want to Be Friends?


Do you remember your first day of school, standing on your own in the playground? Or the first time you walked in to the high school cafeteria and had to decide where to sit? In life, there are many groups of people offering us different kinds of communities. Social media is the same.

In the social world, you have many groups of people that share interactions, interests and information. They will each use different platforms that offer its members different advantages.

When creating your online community, it is important to think about your customers: What do they want? Knowledge? Advice? A quick sale? A quick laugh? A connection?

Here are five online community types that you can keep in mind when building or improving your community:

1. Its all about business!

Promoting your business it probably one of most popular reasons for starting an online community. Nowadays, every marketing strategy includes a social platform. Whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, an online presence for your business is a crucial key to your success.

If this fits your intentions then use your SEO opportunities wisely. Know your keywords and maximize their usage in your content. Put forth your products and promotions and interact with your audience about product and services. Get their feedback and be available to answer their questions.

2. I want to be entertained!

Pinterest and YouTube are top online social communities for entertainment. If your goal is to help your audience relax and tune-out, use this fact to your advantage and create a community around people’s down time. Add video to your blog posts, or comment on a popular TV series, movie franchise or book to launch your community. If entertainment and/or leisure describe your online community type, post consistently and several times a day. Any excuse is a good excuse to be distracted!


3. I want to improve!

Who doesn’t want to improve! Online coaching, self-help videos and ebooks are all over the web. Everyone wants to be happy and feel good about themselves. If you can help your customers, community members or colleagues reach that goal, then why not? Whether you are sharing leadership advice, life coaching tips or entrepreneurship opportunities, make your page friendly, welcoming and warm…just like a good hug! Think about offering ebooks and online video sessions to interact with your online community. Post quotes of the day or advice that is accessible and useful.

4. Let’s make a connection!

You have customers online and in real life. The main reason for your customers to seek you online is to share their feedback, ask questions, give a review or show you appreciation. This type of community could be useful if you are a scholar, a researcher, or a company wanting to regroup a number of people from your industry into one forum. Use hashtags on Twitter to host chats and host a forum, if that fits best.

5. I have a problem and need a solution!


How many times have you went on Google to look for a solution to your problem? The Internet has become our easy-fix, our reliable solution finder, our mom with her crazy tips, or the replacement for that manual that we lost or threw out when we got our dishwasher. If you want to establish yourself as a reference in your field or a page to look-up when your client has a problem, then create an accessible online community that provides knowledge. Position yourself as an expert or create a question and answer forum for similar issues – washing and cleaning tips, travel and vacation ideas, health or nutrition related issues, real estate, dry cleaning or home brewing tips…the possibilities are endless!

No matter what, remember to have fun! Social media is all about interacting and getting to know your audience better. Remember to be one of your members and not just that mystery person behind the curtain answering their questions!

Two Great Ways to Unearth Link-Building Opportunities

treasure chest buried in sand

Link building can be intimidating to undertake. It’s laborious, speculative, and many organizations don’t know where to start so they avoid giving it the attention it deserves as an important factor for ranking well in search engines. Instead of pursuing links sporadically, it’s wise to go into it with a plan on how you’ll devote your efforts. Less time will be wasted and the results will be far more effective. To get off on the right foot, it’s important to understand how to unearth the link-building opportunities that have the best likelihood of providing SEO benefit.

treasure chest buried in sand
credit: Ryan McVay / getty images

Mine Google’s Search Results

Considering that the basic premise of link building is to get links from websites that Google considers authoritative, it then makes sense, as a method of finding these websites, to ask Google who they are. Here’s how:

  1. You’ll need a list of your most desirable keywords. These are the words you’d most like to be found for.
  2. Prioritize your list.
  3. Starting at the top of the list, do a search using the keyword. I recommend not being logged into a Google account in order to minimize the effects of Google personalizing the search results based on what they know about you.
  4. Investigate each search result.
  5. If the search result is a competitor, they’re not going to be receptive to a link request, but before you move on to the next search result make note of them by creating a list of competitors. This list will come in handy later.
  6. When the search result isn’t a competitor, you’ll want to review the website while contemplating on how they may be persuaded to link to you. If you believe there may be a way, add them to an outreach list.

Pan Through Your Competitors’ Links

Another great source of inspiration for link-building opportunities is to review the links going to your competitor’s websites, especially any competitor who’s showing up in the search results in a better position than you for your important keywords. This is where the list of competitors from the Google searches comes in handy. Their ranking success is due in part to their links, therefore learning about the types of links they’ve been able to attain will help guide your outreach strategy. Furthermore, you may decide to reach out to many of the same websites.

You’re going to need a link research tool to do this. The best ones cost money in the form of monthly subscriptions, but they likely either have limited-feature options you can use for free or they have free trial periods you can take advantage of.

When doing this research, be sure to use the URL of the specific web page you wish to learn about as opposed to simply using their domain’s URL. For example, if your competitor’s product page is showing up in the search results above your product page, then use their product page’s URL as opposed to simply using their home page’s URL.

When researching a competitor’s URL, you’ll likely discover dozens or perhaps even hundreds of links. Don’t be intimidated – the more inspiration the better. You can, however, potentially end up with a list of thousands, or even tens of thousands of links, more than you can ever go through individually. Professional SEOs have methodologies for analyzing such lists to weed out dead ends and create a prioritized list of websites to investigate. This saves time and increases your likelihood of finding valuable link opportunities, so if you find yourself in this situation and you wish to be thorough, consider hiring a professional SEO.

How to Spot That Diamond In The Rough

You’re essentially looking for websites that are trustworthy resources that have a readership likely to be interested in the content of your site. Ideally, links from these websites will send valuable traffic to your website and they’ll send signals to the search engines that your site has authority. For more on this, visit Google Will Ignore Your Link Building Efforts Unless You Focus on Quality.

If the search result is an article, investigate the rest of the website. Ask yourself if you can approach them by offering to write a contributed article. You can also investigate the author. Can you pitch story ideas to them that relate to your business? Can you offer up experts within your business to be sources of quotes for future articles?

If the search result is a complementary product or service, ask yourself if you can create a resource on your website that would appeal to their website visitors.

If the search result is an organization that does activities related to your products, ask yourself how you can get involved. Can you sponsor one of their events?

Next Steps

Creating an outreach list of potential link-building opportunities is a major part of the link-building process, but it’s only the beginning. Your next challenge is to approach these websites. Email them, use their online forms, call them on the phone, or even send them a letter by mail to start a conversation about getting a link. Be sure to communicate why linking to your website would be truly beneficial to their readership. Ask them for their ideas as well.

Don’t be discouraged when your attempts don’t seem to be working out. Keep in mind that link building is a numbers game that can be thought of in terms of prospecting. You won’t always strike gold, but going through the process will, over time, pay off. Link building is time intensive so I recommend scheduling dedicated time on the calendar on an ongoing basis.

Now that you know what it takes to launch an effective link-building campaign, give it the attention it deserves. This is your chance to take control of how you rank in the search engines.