Nearly 60 percent of PR agencies and departments that monitor social media spend no more than two hours a week doing so, according to a new white paper.
Daryl Willcox Publishing surveyed 376 PR departments and agencies, with 85 percent saying they monitored social media, including blogs and forums, for coverage and conversations.
Of those, 31 percent said they dedicated an hour or less each wee to monitoring social media, 26 percent spent between one and two hours and 36 percent spent between three and six hours.
Seven percent said they put aside at least a day each week to do their monitoring.
Asked how they monitor, 68 percent of respondents said they used free online tools and search engines while 42 percent said they visited each social media platform individually.
Daryl Willcox, chairman of DW Publishing, said: "The consensus now in the PR industry is that social media is of real importance and our survey findings support that.
"Our research also suggests there could be room for greater emphasis on monitoring social media despite the many online tools, free and paid-for, now available to help PR professionals pick up online conversation."
The research also discovered an apparent reluctance among PR professionals to join in with online conversations.
Almost half (49 percent) of departments and agencies only joined in when people were getting things factually wrong and 17 percent said they did not get involved at all.