Why Social Media Marketing is neither free, nor cheap

Surely you’re tired of hearing about your surroundings about the low costs and even nullity that supposes having presence in social networks; more than once you have been about to raise your voice and pronounce yourself in defense of your work, of trying to make see those “authorities in the matter” that can not be more wrong. There are numerous reasons that show the cost involved in being in social media:

Time is money. The greatest asset that is consumed in social media is time, and this one has an incalculable value. Hours and hours are required for the planning of the strategy, planning and its implementation. Subsequently, it is essential to carry out a detailed monitoring, analysis of results and readaptation of the strategy; thus until arriving at the evaluation of the results. It is an endless background race where counts to the last thousandth.

Have specialized human capital.It is necessary to be a qualified professional (or even sometimes a complete team), who exercises the aforementioned functions. The cost of hiring a Social Media Manager can be, at least, the same as hiring a Marketing Director. As an aggravating factor, we expect that social media is a relatively new discipline, making it more difficult to find available professionals. As a result, their contribution increases and the effort to achieve them is greater.

In the case of Community Manager we are facing the same situation, professionals with demonstrable training and experience are highly valued. We are not referring here to hiring a fellow to update social profiles at times. This a priori practice can be economically attractive, but we must take into account the great responsibility that we leave in the hands of a person without preparation or knowledge about the company. Bad management can be very expensive and its impact can seriously affect the overall image of the company, whose consequences would not have a price.

Work tools.As in any other activity, every worker needs the right tools to perform their duties. In social media, it could not be less; here it is necessary to use monitoring and monitoring tools mainly. If you want to obtain reliable information, you have to pay for the use of the premium version, as well as software and other licenses. In any case it is advisable to have the lite version, it would be as if a transporter, instead of a truck, we gave him a cart pulled by oxen.

Outsourcing of services and technical support.One of the pillars of success in social media lies in the strategy and diversity of content; They are the source that will nourish our community and make it grow strong and healthy. In this sense, the social media strategy can contemplate the creation of audiovisual content, such as videos; the development and maintenance of blogs, the creation of applications; the design and mailing … All these actions involve, of course, an economic cost, which the company must take into account in its budget to be able to assume it.

Other concepts: gifts and details. Often the actions that are carried out in the online media imply some incentive for the users. It can be the prize of a contest, the gift as a response to a survey or simply a discount coupon. The company must be aware of the expense that this type of action brings.

Investment in continuing education.We are facing a very dynamic sector, where you have to innovate every day in this and evolve. On the one hand, new functionalities constantly arise, new social platforms or new changes in existing ones, let’s take as an example our esteemed Facebook and the theatrical turn it has given to company profiles with its new Time Line. On the other hand, it may happen that simply the techniques used no longer cause the expected effect, they have become ineffective; before this panorama there is no other option: renew or die. In social media the obsolescence awaits us around the corner, we must be prepared to fight it.

Hiring of conventional advertising.It is often the case that a campaign in social networks requires, to give more impetus, a promotion through conventional media channels. Yes, this happens and it is highly recommended if you want to achieve the expected effect and these are by no means free.

Therefore, no one expects that, although registering a social profile is free, using it as a means of communication is also free. When making any decision as to how the management of social networks is going to be carried out, we must always keep in mind that we are talking about our company and if we act in an irresponsible way our reputation could be seriously affected. Who is responsible for online reputation in your company? Do you think it’s the right person?

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