How to Manage Your Social Presence in One Hour a Day

Today, I bring you a guest post from post from
 Maikel Vanhees.

* * *

Over the past months I noticed a trend among the small businesses we work with at
 Likify; they know social marketing is important but they don’t have the time to execute their strategy on a daily basis.

For those of you really pressed for time, you can manage
 Twitter in 20 minutes per day. For those who want to take it one step further: I believe you can successfully maintain an online presence in 1 hour per day. The key to this is planning.

We have successfully advised businesses with this approach and we want to share it with you! So lets get down to it! I’ll give you the schedule, and break down the thought behind it afterwards.

The one-hour schedule

30 minutes:

  • Read articles from your favorite blogs.
  • Use
     to schedule the articles you want to share.
  • Schedule the tweets/shares to be sent out at the most effective moments for your audience. Use a tool like
     to find out when these moments are.
  • Don’t just post a link to the article, but add a personal insight or opinion about the content.

10 minutes:

  • Scroll through your social streams and retweet or share 2-4 interesting things.
  • Respond to your messages and mentions.

10 minutes:

  • Do a few
     twitter searches
     for your field: e.g. if you are a real estate agent in London you could search ‘real estate london’, ‘properties london’, ‘housing london’ etc.
  • Reply to things where you can weigh in in a useful manner, don’t be a salesman but just help people out.

10 minutes:

Why does this work?

When we noticed the lack of time in small businesses for the first time, we decided to apply the
 rule to social presence. It would surprise me if you haven’t heard of this principle before, but just in case you haven’t: the 80/20 rule basically states that 80% of results can be attained by 20% of the possible effort. So evidently you want to identify that 20%.

With social media, people look for interesting or entertaining content and interactions. They don’t want to see your sales pitch there.

So how do you get people to engage with you without producing a lot of own content?

You become a valuable source of other interesting and entertaining content and interactions. And the process of becoming that source can be split up in to 2 processes: Discovery and Engagement.

Discovery (40 mins per day)

To become a source of valuable information you need to produce or find that valuable information. Now, if you have the expertise and time for it producing quality content is very much worth it. However it is time intensive, and most small businesses don’t have the time to create their own content and following. So we need to find it elsewhere and turn ourselves into ‘curators’. This is why you will spend 30 minutes per day crawling through blogposts and sharing content.

The 10 minutes spent finding new people and blogs is very important. You can’t just follow the most famous blogs since everyone already reads those. Find lesser known sources of quality content and share them. You will be helping your followers by providing value, helping the writers by giving them exposure and in turn helping yourself by becoming a valuable source.

Top off your week by aggregating the most interesting content you found that week in a blogpost. Blue Kite Marketing does this excellently with their
 Reading Roundups.

Engagement (20 mins per day)

A second, but equally important process is engaging with people. Remember, there is “social” in social media. Answer questions,
 make meaningful connections
 and get to know new people.

This can easily result in discovering new information or finding a new prospect! Become the ‘go to’ guy in your industry by replying to questions outside of your followers. Participate in discussions and help people out. Be a genuinely nice person and people will connect with you.

Getting started (1 hour)

Kickstart this process by spending one hour:

  • Find good blogs to follow, and add them to your RSS reader;
  • Research what your niche wants to read about;
  • Set up a free
     account to monitor everything in 1 view;
  • Find the top influencers and follow/friend them; and
  • Spend some time adding links to your social accounts to your email signature, website,
     products, packaging or print material
     grow your following.

Good luck!

Maikel VanheesMaikel Vanhees is the digital strategist for Likify. We offer brands a way to connect their in-store experience to social media through the use of mobile technology.
 You can follow us on

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9 replies on “How to Manage Your Social Presence in One Hour a Day”

Thank you for this post Maikel and a big thanks to Laura for providing me access. I wish I had this list of “good to-dos” a year ago but better late than never. I am doing a few of the steps but I’m not maximizing my effort or leveraging my time. I don’t usually make new year resolutions but I think I will make an exception for this.

So glad you found it helpful, Jeff. I think this formula does a nice job of breaking down all of the things we know we should do and puts it into a nice daily action item list. Maikel did a great job and I hope this helps your efforts!

Hi Maikel,

This is a solid schedule. Perhaps the most difficult part to achieve is “engagement”, but it’s by no means impossible (the “social” in social media).

Here’s the ironic part– in my experience, I’ve had wonderful exchanges with folks from the insurance, caregiving, and Alzheimer’s communities. But who are the hardest to maintain meaningful dialogues with online?

You guessed it. Those in “social media”.

There’s a perfectly good explanation for this. I intend to explore this in an upcoming piece I’m penning, but I’m going to leave it open-ended here, in order to start a conversation : )

Thanks for your thoughts, Maikel & Laura!

I could be wrong, but here’s my take. The hypothesis I expect to advance is simply this: the Voracious Need for Content (“VNC”) creates an internet environment not unlike 24/7 cable news.

“Onto the next one, onto the next one, onto the next one.”

Conversations once started are quickly abandoned as content creators are lured away by deadlines to publish new content. In no field is this pressure more keenly felt than in “social media marketing” itself. (This very thread is in danger of becoming stale as both of you turn your attention elsewhere…there’s just too much content to read, share, and write in an attempt to rise above the noise.)

I intend to expound on this with examples, but that’s it in a nutshell. Everyone should, obviously, feel free to disagree : )

Certainly there comes a point when the more popular someone’s blog becomes, the harder it is to keep up conversations and engagements. I know plenty of A-list bloggers in the social media space who struggle with this. The very thing that helped them get to where they are (engagement) is now something they don’t have much time to do.

Although conversations are important, you can’t spend all of your time doing that in lieu of revenue-generating activities. It’s a balancing act, for sure.

After 7 days, I did NOT think you were coming back, which would’ve made my point. Namely, that you had moved on and turned your attention elsewhere.

I am afraid the same thing is now happening over at a SpinSucks thread where the conversation is just now getting good. There’s a few unanswered questions… and I suspect Gini is “onto the next one”; she may have no choice but to abandon the thread she’s moderating (too bad).

Having made this observation, I agree with you in large measure: it’s why I’ve opted to scale back my writing this year. (I know you must find that statement amusing.) But there’s an awful lot of “old-fashioned” work to be done in this here office, and only so much time to divvy.

You said it better : )

Hey Stephen,

I think the problem is that most people in social media is that they are too engrossed in it. And there’s just… too many people just there to do ‘marketing’ instead of having conversations. I guess this is because they know the potential power of Social Media instead of just viewing it as a community.

My thoughts anyway :).

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