This is a common question among many organizations and associations.  Should you become involved in Social Media as a company or not? The biggest challenge faced by associations is time and staff.  Everyone has had to cut staff and/or take on multiple responsibilities over the past year or so and no one  has the time to add another responsibility.  Social Media involvement does take a commitment whether from one or multiple staff members.

There are a few ways that involvement can be addressed that may fit into your company strategy and profile.

Should you become involved in Social Media – YES.  According to the Nielsen 2010 Media Fact Sheet, Time spent on social networking sites in the U.S. increased 277%; The average U.S. worker spends 5 hrs a month visiting social networks at the office; Facebook reaches 56% of the active U.S. Internet universe with an average usage of 6 hrs a month per user; Twitter grew 500% over a year; and 32% of all mobile web users visit social network sites.

Due to these statistics, it would definitely be in your best interest to become involved in social meeting as a company and marketing strategy.  Now, to what extent do you become involved?

This will really depend on your staff and time allotment.  Adding a blog to your site and providing content and resources to your viewing audience and member is a huge commitment but one that will pay off in the long one as establishing yourself as a knowledge leader in your field.  Blogs do take time and commitment to write, but is it possible to spend about 1 hour a week on your blog work?  Consider video blogging vs. writing a blog.  Make it a point throughout the day jotting/writing down blog topics and key points (approximately 5-10). Schedule an hour to sit in front of a video (does not have to be a professional production) and tape a 5 minute blog session on each topic that you’ve recorded. The video blogs can then be posted weekly to your site and based upon the number of video blogs that you recorded, you could have about a  months or a little more of video blogs to post that took you a few hours to complete.

Assign social media sites to various people in your organization. Arrange for these people to be in charge of each site and check/perform searches on the selected keywords for your organization, and interact with others. A schedule can be arranged where this occurs at least 3 times a day for approximately 1/2 hour each time. This provides some type of interaction with the social media main stream and enables your organizations name and content to be seen and discussed.

Becoming involved in Social Media does involve a commitment of time and resources. But if this is planned according to your companies goals and staffs schedule and abilities, can become a positive tasks to any ones day while increasing company awareness, site visitors and potential members.