The Cost of Social Media

As social media has evolved over the last few years, so has its cost.  More and more companies have hired in-house social media managers who perform the daily executions.  While agencies perform more of a consulting role.  They show businesses how to use social media properly.  If you’re interested in seeing some numbers for estimated costs (based on 2012 trends), click here.

But strategies and tactical executions are not the only costs to consider.  Businesses who allow employees to access social media websites are facing huge losses in productivity.  And according to some, this social media recreation could be costing the U.S. economy $650 billion per year!  According to LearnStuff, every time a someone at work receives an IM, Facebook message or tweet, it takes them 23 minutes to get back on task.  Wow!

Check out this awesome infographic that illustrates exactly how social media destroys productivity:


4 responses to “The Cost of Social Media

  1. What if companies put that time to good use and had their employees positively promote their company on social media instead? I know Best Buy has several store employees that answer customer service questions on social media sites. This approach has worked well for them so far. Best Buy tells their employees they should use the same tone online as they do in store. So far it has worked in their favor, and they haven’t had any rogue tweets.

    • Hi Angie, thanks for the reply. I totally agree with you. Employees are often times organizations’ best brand ambassadors! But, in order to maximize this resource, companies must equip employees with knowledge (what does the company stand for; what is its brand promise; etc.). Only then can they influence customers and prospective customers in a meaningful way.

  2. Hi Katie,

    I enjoyed your post and the pictograph. The figures are astounding! That being said, I don’t agree that employers should completely ban social media access while on the clock. Some of us take smoke breaks, some of us Facebook.

    There was a study done in 2011 that shows “Job satisfaction and employee engagement are also impacted by access to social media: 63 percent of employees at organizations with open policies on social media said they were satisfied in their job, versus only 41 percent of those who had their access restricted” (

    The company I work for allows us to access our social channels and I think it has boosted morale, shows the company trusts us, and in the end, has made us more productive. Unless companies are going to ban personal phones too (lame!) it seems hard to completely cut off the use of social media at work. Thoughts?

    • Thanks for the reply! The article you included is quite interesting. Because I am in the field, I am allowed to access social channels while at work. However, many of my colleagues are not. The channels have been blocked due to security reasons. However, as the article points out, personal devices are often less secure and completely unmonitored. I’m hoping that once our revised social media policy is approved, we will open up the channels.

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