1st off, I’m actually writing this on the same day it is going to appear online, which for me is not the norm.

It’s Saturday and the 3 day Labor Day weekend has begun.  Since I work for a company that keeps regular business hours, we get Monday off as a paid holiday.  But due to the nature of my job as their Social Media Magician, I’m never completely off unless I schedule time off and have someone cover for me.

I am also going to do more than one update today.  I was reminded by a friend that this is national bacon day, so I’ll write and post about that this afternoon.

But let’s concentrate on Social Media for a moment.

Since I began working for a national internet retailer this year my own person social media habits have changed.  And Thursday evening I was having dinner with a small group of friends and we mentioned how their habits have changed too.

For me, I spend less time on my Twitter account and more on my Facebook account than ever before.  However my total social media time is huge each week when you count the time I spend working for my employer.

I am in the office between 7:30 and 5:30 most days.  I log 48 to 50 hours each week. Then in the evenings and weekends I use my laptop to check in and monitor our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts.  I spend at least 10 hours weekly outside of the office working on our companies social media accounts.

But that is the nature of the Social Media World.  If your company is going to participate, you need to be actively involved and monitoring your social media channels.

I monitor our Twitter accounts a few times a day, in order to respond back to people who have reached out to us.  I am in the process of creating a more active Twitter engagement, but it’s taking time to build.  We have over 22,000 followers, but the engagement rate was nearly invisible until I started a new process and tactics recently.

I get notifications in my email when comments appear on our Facebook fan page, and unless I am sleeping I can respond if necessary within an hour or less.  Often within minutes is the norm.

Most of our customers are based in the United States, but we have social media fans and followers worldwide.  When a customer has a question, often they will go to Facebook or Twitter to get an answer.  I have spent a Friday evening or two helping a customer by walking them through our website via Facebook.

Before I worked fulltime in the social media world, I would do the same thing as a consumer.  A couple years ago I was having problems with Comcast and I tried 3 methods of restoring service simultaneously. I called their 800 service number, did an online chat on their web page and talked to @ComcastBonnie on Twitter.  Twitter won at getting our service fixed.

That’s the same service I want to provide for our customers and potential customers too.  Are you willing to invest the time and energy in your social media for your business?

One last comment.  I still maintain my personal connections on social media.  With Twitter I learned a long time ago to use lists, if you were following more than a couple hundred Tweeps.  I am reorganizing my lists this weekend, since I have nearly 4,000 followers and follow over 2,000.  I’ll write more about how I use lists one day.