First, let me say there's no universally accepted schedule for engaging properly in social media. This is my own, and by following this schedule, I spend approximately 1.5 hours on any given weekday on marketing activities, excluding e-mail. That time is spread out in bits and pieces.
Back in the olden days, I'd have spent about that much time going to the library and researching potential clients, and then coming home to type up inquiries on my typewriter to snail-mail. These days I rarely see the need to send snail mail, write prospecting e-mails, or make cold calls.
As they arrive: Answer messages that require reply (e.g., from clients). Keep your e-mail program open during the workday but use tools to control how much time you spend on e-mail. (For example, I have set up an e-mail rule to play a certain sound when a message from any of my clients arrives, and another rule to play a different sound when my husband sends me a text message. Messages from colleagues, friends, and other people arrive unheralded by sounds so that I can ignore them until I take a work break.)
Your business web site
Each day: check that your web site loads properly and hasn’t been hacked.
Once a month: check that all outgoing links work; consider using an automated link-checking service if your site is large.
Once a month: read all site text for needed updates. (If you maintain a page or section of resources on your site, as I do, check it once a week for needed updates.)
Post at regular intervals.
Once a day: check to make sure that it hasn't been hacked.
Your LinkedIn profile
At least once a week: update your LinkedIn status, read the digest-style e-mail about updates to your LinkedIn network, comment on some people’s status updates, and answer questions in your areas of expertise or in your LinkedIn groups.
Your Facebook profile (if you use one to market your business as I do)
Once a day or once every two days: update your status.
At least twice a week: post an interesting link to your wall with a little commentary.
At least twice a week: check your Facebook friends' or fans' statuses by clicking Home on the toolbar atop your profile. Post to their walls.
At least twice a weekday: Tweet something.
How do I remember all this? I live and die by calendar reminders. Without them, I’d never remember to do the more infrequent tasks. The rest becomes habit after a few days or weeks of calendar reminders.
Note: I originally wrote this piece as a guest post in 2011 on another blog, one that is apparently no longer functional. I transferred it here in January 2013.
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