Social media marketing has revolutionized the advertising industry from the business point of view because it’s three things: fun, ubiquitous, and free.
But the thing is it’s not really free because even though it is free to use, social media takes time and some skills.
People are familiar with social media in that they use it personally, but so many don’t understand why a business or non-profit would pay for someone to do this for them.
Below is why we charge hundreds of dollars a month to do social media for businesses, you know, so you don’t ever have to awkwardly ask us at a party about it.
In terms of marketing spending, businesses often get a better return online.
Whether you have worked at your company for five minutes or five years, you are aware that they are doing something to get new customers, clients, or donors. The question for most people is not whether or not to do marketing but how (and how much).
To explain the above graph, ‘outbound marketing’ is traditional marketing: direct mail, television commercials, etc. ‘Inbound marketing’ is putting out information and allowing customers to find you: social media, blogging, etc.
So if it cost you 60% less to get a customer, wouldn’t you try to get most of your customers that way? And wouldn’t it be worth you putting some money into your internet marketing one so it could work better?
Your current (and potential customers are on social media).
This may seem obvious but if you think all they’re doing is looking at pictures and playing Farmville, you are wrong:
People are as likely to get information about a company or product from a social media website as they are to go to the company’s website. And if you aren’t there to have the conversation, how many customers could you be missing?
Creativity on social media is required.
Let’s say you sell toothpicks.
I’m going to venture a guess that every day, you don’t have breaking news about your theoretical toothpick business. I also am guessing you don’t want to be that jerk constantly saying ‘Buy my toothpicks’ every day, all day.
What’s a toothpick salesperson like yourself to say that’s shareable on social media? How’s this:
10 toothpick recipes kids will love– Don’t worry, we won’t make them actually EAT the toothpicks!
A video about how toothpicks are made:
See what we did there? We made your fake toothpick business interesting. Someone is going to remember that you pinned that cute toothpick picture or share that recipe link with their sister-in-law. And what you have there is the beginnings (and expansion) of brand recognition. It’s information that’s fun and sometimes useful… but it’s still about toothpicks.
Our point with the exercise above? You can make your news on topic, interesting, and shareable on social media… you just need need a creative mind, an organized approach, and some time to do it.
Consistency is the name of the game.
I run three days a week, and go to roller derby fitness skate once a week. The run is outside my door, the skate practice is an hour away. Which one do I miss more often, percentagewise?
I am more likely to miss the run, and I think it’s because people at the fitness skate are expecting me to show up.
Accountability and consistency is an important thing in business too. Can you make something interesting to share, everyday, on every social network you want to be a part of on behalf of your business?
Most people can’t do this consistently, so they need help.
Being effective takes knowledge.
There is something to be said for knowing the culture of the website as well as the optimal conditions when something will work best.
It’s also valuable to be able to see where things are going and be ready for then they change (as things often do online)!
Someone who follows and understands social media knows what to do and when to change strategies on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Youtube… for themselves and their clients.
Who you trust with this is key.
Social media is an extension of your business culture since many customer service questions are answered on it.
Your customers need to be responded to in a timely, appropriate, and helpful manner. So whoever is the gatekeeper of your social media profiles needs to be someone who can represent your business well.
Working with someone you trust who has a proven track record and excellent communication skills is something you pay for.
Hiring a firm can mean having someone with higher skills at a lower expense.
By the time a company hires an employee to do their social media, they are paying in the thousands of dollars per month. They are paying to train the person, for their benefits, and other employee expenses.
Hiring a firm like ours means no overhead costs and having access to expertise that gets the job done in a shorter period of time then it would take a less experienced employee.
If you are too busy to do it yourself but don’t have the financial resources to have a staff person, having someone help with social media is a great in between step.
Social media companies keep their eye on results.
Most everyone we work with signs a six month contract. This means that we have six months to prove we can increase followers, engagement, sales, website traffic and more.
Because we haven’t been hired for an indefinite period of time, we are always hungry to prove ourselves. This constant striving benefits our clients in the way of results.
Taking care of social media has a lot of indirect benefits.
Many people notice the following happens after they have a strategy for social media that is well executed:
- More website traffic
- More targeted website traffic (people going to an online store or filling out a request form)
- More followers/fans
- More engagement with their followers/fans
- Better search engine performance
- More email subscribers
- More comments (‘I saw you are doing x’ or ‘I loved y’ said by customers or employees), over the internet and in real life
Social media may be free to use but it’s not free in terms of maintaining and growing an online business presence. And that’s why we do what we do!