How Much Does a Social Media Campaign Cost?
As is the case with many web services, just because they are free to set up and use, it doesn’t mean they are without considerable cost.
The obvious cost is staff. Ideally you’ll need a marketing strategist to work out the campaigns, a community manager to manage the day to day activity, and then there is the time the rest of your staff may spend promoting your business on social media.
Whether you do it in-house or outsource it, the costs are still going to be significant.
On top of that there is the cost of the various tools used to monitor and promote social media campaigns and these can cost several hundred or even thousands of dollars a month. (Infographic by Focus)
Even for a medium sized business such an outlay is significant, and therefore it will need to justify itself by producing a quantifiable return on investment.
That of course is one of the big “iffy” questions around social media, measuring a tangible result.
What’s the ROI of Social Media Marketing?
The issue of ROI from social media is a hot topic right now, and there is no clear answer. Some companies have had good success while others have seen negligible returns.
One of the arguments is that social media is a long term game, and that expecting instant results is the wrong way to look at it. Social media marketing expert Gary Vaynerchuck puts forward a compelling case in this video.
While that may be true, the hard reality is that every business from corporate boards down to owner operators measure things by its financial return, and if they can’t clearly see one, then the investment won’t be made.
The issue of measurement was well illustrated in a recent Adweek article.
According to Adweek, even though the web is now the dominant medium and almost all are customers are on it, marketing and advertising budgets are not yet ready to invest the bulk of their budgets online.
That’s because there’s no consistent way of measuring its effect. IE: If you spend this, you will get that. Adweek - The Problem with Digital
We’re Still Learning
The reality is it’s still early days in the use of social media for business. We’re still experimenting with many aspects of it. For a small business such experimentation may be a luxury they cannot afford.
The infographic points out that the value is in how a business can engage with its followers, and makes some effort to quantify that value, but ultimately it will always come down to how much revenue was made.
Several large retailers have already decided against using Facebook for ecommerce.
Others argue that social media is what it says, it’s for socialising, not doing business. Social Media Marketers: Get Over Yourself!
Still, the fact that there are billions of people using it makes it irresistible to marketers.
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