As 2011 approaches its end, most business owners plan to spend some time reviewing our business plans, analyzing our profits and revamping our marketing strategies. While the end of the year is a time for reflection and planning for the year to come, it is important not to overlook your social media campaign in your year-end review.

If you had the foresight to clock your monthly hours spent on social media marketing, doing a cost versus profit analysis is easy.

  • Begin by determining what your hourly worth is. What do you charge clients for an hour of your time? Your time spent on social media marketing is worth as much as you would make if working with a client.
  • Take your hourly value and multiply it by the number of hours you clocked for the year on social media marketing.
  • Add to the total any money that you paid out in advertising campaigns you did through the social media websites, such as pay-per-click or classified listings.
  • Calculate your profits that resulted from your social media marketing efforts.

 If your profits from your social media marketing efforts are greater than your billable hours, then your campaign can be considered a success. If it’s not, it may be time to consider outsourcing your social media marketing for the New Year.

Let’s Be Realistic…

Likely, you haven’t clocked the hours you spent on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media websites. To rectify this, take a week, proceed as normal, and clock your hours. Multiply the total hours spent in a week by the number of weeks you work per year, and use this as a loose guide. When clocking time, include time spent reading these social media sites, looking for topics to post about, responding to clients or other activities that take up valuable time.

The End Result

The vast majority of business owners will find they are upside down on their social media campaigns after completing this quick caluclation. If you haven’t ever really considered the time investment managing your own social media requires, take these last few months of the year and document your time. You will likely be surprised with the results.

Outsourcing your social media marketing campaigns has dual benefits. As this exercise shows, you will free up a lot of time you could spend doing more profitable activities. You will also be able to leverage the expertise of an industry professional and avoid the costly mistakes you might make on your own.