What is the value of time spent in Social Media? [Free Tool]

Analytics

Time. Our most valuable asset in social media. Here's how to calculate it:

The blogosphere is officially cluttered with social media how-to articles about how to measure social media. Some are really helpful, and some not so much. Yet, I find it really peculiar that not many of these blog posts take cost of time as a factor in their calculations. As we (aka marketers) figure out how to close the loop between publishing social media messages and measuring revenue and lifetime value, we also need to close the loop on the ROI equationCost! (tweet this)

Why is this subject so important? Well it just so happens that social media is an extremely time intensive activity, counter to what many believe. The biggest cost you will encounter is staffing resources. With that being said, it would behoove you to know how valuable your time is, especially as a team.

Value of Time

So let’s say you have a team of 3 employees with varying annual salaries. If you have their annual salaries in hand, it’s easy to calculate the value of every single minute spent using social media to generate positive business. I’ve included an excel template to help you do that:

Download the Value of Time Calculator (No registration required)

value-of-time-screenshot

But Nick, what should I do with this information?

I’m glad you asked reader. Now that you have the value of an hour and minute spent in social media, you can start tallying cost of time for each channel and even tactics within a channel. (I highly suggest time tracking software if you are serious about optimizing time spent in social media.)

Let me demonstrate in the following example:

  • Team hours spent on Twitter per day: 8
  • Team hours spent on Facebook per day: 4

All you have to do is multiply the total hours spent on both channels by the hourly value of your team’s time. Let’s say the average value is $25 per hour (this doesn’t factor in overhead and other costs). Your team spent 12 hours in total using social media. The product of 12 multiplied by $25 equals $300 per day, or $6,000 per month on pure staff time. Not a bad investment if you’re seeing leads and revenue on a high revenue product or service!

Please feel free to download the free calculator. I’d love to get your feedback. What else do you want to see in the spreadsheet?

image credit: turnbacktogod

About the author: Nick Robinson is a lover of all things analytics and digital. He has a strong background in web development, marketing, and entrepreneurship. His professional experience with the web dates back to 1997 when he coded his first Geocities website. When not burning the midnight oil, you can find him on the lacrosse field, playing or coaching. The best place to interact with him is Twitter or Google+.