So How Much Time Do I REALLY Have to Spend on Social Networking?

Truthfully—the bare minimum.
Yep, you read that right.
No, I’m not from another century. I know writers today need to have a platform and connection to their audience. But I refuse to believe we have to give up writing to do it.
But what about the hype, the promises, the RESULTS? Don’t the results increase in direct proportion to the effort? No, not so much.
Fairly quickly, the return on investment when, it comes to time and social networking, begins to diminish. I that sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s the absolute truth.
That said, how much time is required?
It depends…on your expertise, your audience and the desired result. 
Your Expertise
With any new skill, including social networking, there is a learning curve. It takes time to come up to speed on how to use Twitter, Facebook and Blogging platforms effectively. But, you don’t need to become an expert. After all, you want to be a writer—not a social media expert! So how do you know when you’re expert enough to be effective? Here are some basics you should have mastered:
Twitter: You need to have a Twitter account and know the basics of tweeting. 
  • How to compose an effective tweet.
  • How to use hashtags correctly. 
  • The difference between a direct message, a reply and a tweet.
Facebook: You need to have a Facebook account and know how to navigate Facebook. 
  • How to accept friend requests, as well as send them.
  • How to hide unwanted updates and even people.
  • How to compose an effect Facebook update.
  • How to configure your account privacy settings to protect yourself and your family while still interacting with readers and clients.
  • The difference between a regular page and a fan page.
Blogging: You should have a blog—to practice writing on a deadline if nothing else. 
  • You need to know how often to post. 
  • How to use keywords and labels effectively.
  • How to tie your title to your keywords.
  • How to use photos and videos to illustrate and partner with your posts.
  • How to answer comments effectively.
As you can see, there isn’t one right answer for everyone. But for now, here’s my short answer on how much time to spend each day—once you’re familiar with social networking.
You should spend no more than 30 to 45 minutes per day, five days a week on social networking. 
That’s right. After talking with thousands of authors and writers, I’ve found that any more time than that becomes counter-productive and actually interferes with our writing.
If you’re spending more time than that per day, something’s not working. So now it’s your turn, how much time do you spend daily on social networking? Is it working for you? Do you know how to tell if it’s working? I’d love to have you share your answers and your questions in the comments.