[RESEARCH] How much time does your team waste on Facebook?

Part of social media marketers’ job is to spend time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and whatever platform their brand and/or their target group use. This is natural since you can’t effectively participate in a community without in-depth knowledge and understanding of its design and dynamics. Frequent visits are also necessary when one needs to publish a piece of content or answer users’ questions and comments. But usually, while we’re there to do business, we can’t resist browsing through our personal news feed, watching just a few seconds of the new cat movie our friend posted or reading a few paragraphs of an article shared by our favourite tech blog. All this during our working hours. Multiply this “waste” by the number of your social media team members and you’ll know where we’re heading at. To calculate how much time is wasted on such occasions we asked 20 of our clients actually NOT TO USE NapoleonCat to manage their Facebook pages for one week and switch to Facebook directly. Here’s what we’ve found out and its pretty mind blowing.

Our hypothesis was that when you manage your Facebook brand page directly via Facebook you waste some time on browsing through your personal feed, commenting and reading stuff not directly related to work. Here’s what we did to validate it:

  1. we divided our clients into three groups:
    1. single user clients – usually a small brand where social media is handled by a person responsible for marketing,
    2. clients with 2-5 users – small marketing agencies or mid-size businesses with own social media teams, typically e-commerce,
    3. clients with 6 or more users – large marketing agencies or multi-brand corporations,
  2. we went through behavioral patterns of NapoleonCat users from the above groups to find the most common scenarios of Facebook brand page management use,
  3. for one month we monitored the average time those users spent on the following groups of tasks:
    • content publishing,
    • community curation (answering comments and posts),
    • analytics and reporting,
  4. we selected 20 clients (11 single users, 6 mid-size clients, 3 large clients) and asked them NOT TO USE NapoleonCat for one week,
  5. we also asked them to track the time they spent on Facebook during that week with time tracking software called Toggl (a great product by the way). You can also use Time Doctor, which is another great alternative for a time tracking software.

The results summarized on the graphics below are pretty stunning. Even the smallest, one-person social media team spent almost 8 (eight!) hours a week on Facebook more compared to the time he/she used to perform the same work using NapoleonCat. For larger teams the differences were even bigger – 15 hours/week/person in teams of two to five people and 17 hours/week/person in teams of six people or more. The increased time on Facebook for larger teams can be explained by the fact that usually people working in larger organizations are more specialized while people working in smaller teams have to perform different roles thus having less time for a specific task such as social media marketing.

using facebook vs napoleoncat

As you can see, time savings with marketing software like NapoleonCat are enormous. In this particular case companies saved relatively the most time (and efforts) on social media reporting, which is fully automated with NapoleonCat – you just set up a schedule and PDF reports are sent periodically to your email inbox. Alternative method involves downloading XLS data from Facebook, crunching it, then turning into graphs and Power Point presentations. One-man teams spent 30 minutes a week on reporting with just Facebook tools compared to just one minute needed to set up automated reporting in NapoleonCat. Second best was publishing and then community management. However, the latter was the winner in absolute numbers since this is always the most time consuming activity. Small, mid-size and large teams spent 640, 800 and 1200 minutes per person per week respectively when they were deprived of NapoleonCat and only 240, 320 and 600 minutes with its help.

Those numbers are even more thought-provoking when you turn time into money. We assumed $20 as an average hourly rate for a social media specialist. Introducing social media management tools even for a single user can create as much as $680 of monthly savings (minus the cost of software). And for large companies those savings can be tens of thousands of dollars per month!

money wasted on facebook

The above numbers are for Facebook only. When you add Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or Google+, they will most probably multiply.

So, what should you do now? We’re definitely against blocking social media sites at work, although we know some organizations do it. It doesn’t make sense since your employees will use it on their mobile phones anyway. However, it’s good to make them aware how much time can be wasted and how much money it ultimately cost to the organization. Secondly, for social media marketing teams that need to use Facebook and the like, it is worth introducing tools, that will help them stay focused on their tasks without being constantly subject to distractions. NapoleonCat can be one of them of course, but it’s always good to test alternatives to see which tool fits best to your team and processes or which one can be easily adjusted to your specific needs or integrated with other tools you already use. And when calculating the cost of such an investment, do take the findings of this study into consideration.

Feel free to register for a 14-day trial at NapoleonCat now and see how it can help you or your team increase productivity and stay focused.

Finally, we would like to thank our clients who agreed to take part in this experiment. We know it was quite an effort and costed you a lot, but thanks to you all of us are a bit smarter now. Thank you guys!