30 Minutes a Day is All You Need For Social Media Marketing

It is no secret that the hottest trend in marketing these days is social media marketing, but the thing to understand about social media is that, to be effective it has to become more about them and less about you. That is, your job is to become added value to someone else’s day, and you do that by tweeting or posting content that you think your friends (old and new alike) would find interesting and useful.

If all you do is post what you have on sale that day or other such mundane stuff, you will not go far. If on the other hand you learn to post interesting, intriguing, smart, valuable, funny, quirky, or insightful content (either by you or others), you will attract attention, impress people, and forge new connections.

But that said, as anyone who has delved into this area at all knows, social media marketing takes time. And yes, time is money. So that then begs the question: Is there some way to jump into social media marketing more effectively, without it taking, say, four hours a day?

You bet.

In the excellent book 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, author Susan Gunelius argues that you actually can handle it all by implementing a daily, 30-minute social media strategy. Gunelius breaks down the social media marketing process into four “pillars,” each of which can become part of your daily marketing habit:

Pillar 1— Reading and research: “A successful social media campaign starts with research and the research must be ongoing.” The book suggests that you check out industry websites and periodicals, blogs, e-books, Twitter feeds, and online videos and podcasts.

Pillar 2— Create: “Success in social media marketing comes from developing online conversations about your business, brand, products, and promotions.” As such, the “cornerstone of any social media marketing strategy is creating amazing content.”

What is amazing content? It is content that “truly adds value to the audience and online conversation.” Your content could be almost anything: articles, videos, blogs, podcasts, links, presentations, and so forth.

Pillar 3— Share: There are two forms of sharing when it comes to social media marketing. First, share the best content you find during your Pillar 1 research, and second, share the great content you create. But as you share, keep our old friend, the 80–/20 Rule in mind. Gunelius suggests that you “spend 80 percent of your time on the social Web interacting and 20 percent of your time self-promoting.”

Pillar 4 — Discuss: What you want to do through all of this research, content creation, and sharing is to create a loyal following and to meet people with whom you can do business. You are not getting thousands of Twitter followers for your ego’s sake, but for your business’s sake.

Might this take more than 30 minutes a day? Maybe, but it also need not take four hours a day either. Bottom line: “Amazing content” engages and connects you with people and adds value to their efforts. As such, if I did my job right, then the following might make sense for you: You can follow me on Twitter: @SteveStrauss, or become my colleague on LinkedIn, or our friend on Facebook/TheSelfEmployed.

Need marketing help? Our pals at are the pros!


Steve Strauss

Steve Strauss is the senior small business columnist at USA TODAY, the Editor-in-Chief here at Small Business Connection, a speaker and spokesperson. He can be reached at

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