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Should you be spending more or less time on social media marketing?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues.

This week, we asked: Compared with a year earlier, would you say you spend more, less or about the same amount of time using social networks as part of your job?

  • More 50.54%
  • About the same 23.37%
  • I don’t use social networks as part of my job 17.39%
  • Less 8.70%

One of the big misconceptions about social media marketing is that it is “free.” The fallacy comes from old media thinking, from an age when the largest expense involved in marketing was the medium that carried your message — billboards, print pages, seconds of radio or TV ad time. Social media flips the equation on its head. Now the medium is free — but the message costs more than ever. Even if you’re doing all your own marketing, the cost is still there in the form of your precious time. The more invested your brand becomes in its social presence, the most resources your social efforts will gobble up.

So it’s not surprising that more than half of SmartBrief on Social Media readers say they’ll spend more time on social media marketing in the next year. But more time spent on social media isn’t necessarily a good thing. Hopefully those readers have found what works for their brand through careful experimentation and will focus on doing more of what works. Conversely, I hope the people who are spending less time on social platforms aren’t giving up social media entirely, but are pruning back efforts that weren’t producing returns. Regardless of how much time you’re spending on social media, I hope you’re making every moment count.

How do you expect you social media activities to change in the next year?