How Much is Your Time Worth?

There has been much debate about the cost effectiveness of social media. I mean…everybody is doing it right. Students, teachers and even politicians have joined the conversation online.

The idea behind it is to engage the customer where there are. And EVERYONE is flocking to the Internet for one reason or another. I read an article entitled “Tech-savvy governments to embrace Web 2.0” which states that:

“Governments are expected to increasingly use social networking and other Web 2.0 innovations as a means of fostering greater participation and dialogue with their citizens, as well as encouraging more effective intragovernment communication.”

Since I began my graduate work at Georgetown, I have been inundated with Web 2.0 and its effects on everyday life. I have even developed a strategic communications plan for a non-profit and suggested that they embrace social media. But at what cost?

Let’s think about this in more concrete terms. Consider hiring someone like myself as the self proclaimed “social media” expert. I can be the expert keeping your company abreast of social media outlets and updating the various sites for as little as $35,000 a year. Seems costly? Think about what the job entails. Let’s just say that your company only uses Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and a blog. Information on Myspace and Facebook has to be checked daily, friend requests need to be accepted (or not,) messages need to be answered and dialogue needs to be encouraged. Then there is Twitter. This powerful microblog needs to be carefully managed, followings need to be authorized and tweets need to be daily if not several times a day. Lastly, but arguably most importantly, there is the blog. It takes me FOREVER to write a blog entry. I have to find the right pictures, embed the video, link to other articles and not to mention write something worth talking about.

But what if you decide not to hire an expert? You and your company have to make sure that everything written in social media remains genuine and consistent with other forms of communication. It may indeed be to much for you and your company to manage.

Just something to think about!

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