Using social media is just like any other marketing tactic; you want to use the tools effectively and put an adequate amount of resources toward the cause. This can often mean hiring someone (internally or an outside firm) to help you with that task.
Let’s break down some social media myths and demonstrate why it can be advantageous for you to pay for social media strategy and content marketing:
Myth: Social media is free.
I don’t mind the push-back that sometimes comes with social media strategy fees, but the the comments that surround potential clients’ “sticker shock” sometimes just don’t add up. I posted a question to my Twitter contacts the other day about why people are hesitant to pay for social media strategy or content strategy. Two recurring themes were: they can get someone else to do it cheaper and the channels are free so they don’t require skill or strategy to use
Don’t get stuck in the “I can get an intern to do it” mindset. Do they understand brand strategy? Are they the best person to offer advice when it comes to social media crisis plans? Would you trust them with your overall business marketing plan?
Likewise, don’t be fooled by free tools. In order to be strategic and use them well, it is beneficial to learn what you can about the tools but leave the “hard stuff” to the experts. Yes, social media is free, but it still requires a heck of a lot of strategy–and don’t worry, if you’ve hired the right person, they’ll involve you in the process and guide you to what will work best for your brand.
Let me give you some examples:
Things you pay for that you wouldn’t dream of doing yourself:
- Logo and visual identity design
- The latest advertisement your company ran
- Billboard designs
- Strategic plan work
When it comes to social media strategy, we’re talking about hiring someone with the potential to help you:
- Increase website traffic
- Create a personality for your business
- Generate buzz for your brand
- Use geolocation and coupons to bring in customers
Are those things you want to guess at, or do you want a professional?
Myth: There’s no way to tell if social media is working.
It’s a valid question for any marketing strategy: how will I know it’s working–what’s my ROI? If you can’t measure return on investment, it might be hard to understand why you would spend money to use social media.
You should know that there are lots of ways to track ROI (and we don’t advocate using it without a measurable plan); but your return on investment with social media doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and a whole lot of consistent effort to make social media a successful part of your marketing plan.
Social media is not free, not really. It takes time to manage properly. What’s your time worth? Do you want to spend time running your company or keeping up with your social media content? Because when you really think about it, everyone pays for social media. You can do your best yourself, but paying may be worth the investment. It’s certainly something to consider. Time and tracking can prove it.