By Brittany Wright

Our day-to-day lives can be an crazy mess of meetings, appointments, friends, family, work, school, etc. If you have a personal Facebook account, sometimes even responding to messages can feel like a task so keeping up with everyone else’s lives? You think, yeah right! Add business-related networking tools into the mix and it can seem completely overwhelming. So what’s the best way to approach your professional social media accounts in regard to time spent? That can be a tricky question…but we’ll give you our best, educated answer.

The time needed to maintain a valuable presence in social media really varies depending on your industry and the number of employees who assist in your campaign. The typical recommendation that we give business owners is to designate 30-60 minutes each day purely for social media. This allows for enough time to make valuable connections, update content and create a consistent, visible presence for your company.

We recently conducted a Small Business Social Media Study*, in which we found that in general, business owners are usually committing to approximately 30  minutes a day. It’s vital to set aside this time to sustain a successful strategic social media campaign.

Making time means analyzing your current schedule and eliminating unnecessary tasks. If you think of social media as just another aspect of marketing, it makes it easier much easier to allot some of your precious time each day. With that being said, don’t think of SM only as marketing because it’s also a very useful tool in engaging current or potential customers. Be sure to check out the results of our survey to see the correlation between time invested and the amount of sales generated. It IS worth your while!

*The 2011 Small Business Social Media Survey was conducted by Roundpeg, an Indianapolis social media firm, from May 1 – July 1, 2011. We collected data from 243 owners of companies with 1-50 employees.