SocialApps We’ve all seen or heard from a social media “guru” (that title in and of itself should scare you!) that your company can achieve social media success in an hour a day or less. I’m here to tell you that’s just plain BS. Can you maintain social media in under an hour a day? Sure, but like everything else in business and life, you get out what you put in.

Let’s imagine for a moment you’re the sole employee of a store that sells TVs. Would you only spend an hour per day engaging with customers and the rest letting them simply wander around? I think we can both agree you would be out of business rather rapidly.

As the owner of several small businesses and consultant to several more, I am all about scalability and automation where it makes sense, but the simple fact is you can NOT scale or automate true relationship building. Social media is more than just scheduling a Facebook post or tweet for your fans to read everyday. Sharing news and information is just one aspect of what you should be doing on social media. The real win comes from human interaction. It comes from being REAL.

Being real translates into every aspect of your business. It’s amazing what happens when you stop your business from acting like a nameless/faceless robot and start acting like the human beings you are. Take a look at any of the true social media success stories. They weren’t wasting time (theirs or their customers’) trying to minimize their time on social media, scheduling tweets of their blog posts, or just blasting out industry news. They took to social media and invested the time to build relationships in a way that really mattered. Heck, Gary V spent HOURS, every single day, doing nothing but answering questions about different wines – the exact same way he would if each and every person he engaged with on Twitter had shown up at the Wine Library and asked him the question in person.

Now, I’m not saying you have to spend 18 hours everyday answering questions on social media and neglect the rest of your business. If an hour a day is all you truly have, then fine, but don’t expect miracles on the scale of Wine Library.

My humble suggestion? Spend every spare second “being real” on social media and in person. Forget simply scheduling an hour between 11 and noon as your “social media time,” and start seeking out opportunities to engage with your customers throughout the day. After all, the average American spends more than five hours per day watching TV. Do you think you could use some of that time to engage?

Okay, okay, I know YOU don’t waste five hours a day watching TV, because you were smart enough to better yourself by reading Bad Rhino’s “Rumblings” blog, but I am pretty sure you have wasted time in your schedule that you can be putting towards social media, even if it’s just a few minutes here and there.

Find it, use it, and be amazed at the change in your results.

Think I’m the one that’s full of it? Let me know in the comments section below.


Photo credit: Flickr user Jason A. Howie