How much is a good Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube presence worth to your business or organisation?
It’s a vexed question when you consider that any marketing channel – even social media – requires some time and some money.
One of the reasons I have been busy delivering my Social Media Matters digital marketing training and coaching program this year is because some people believe that with some knowledge and someone to show them how, managing social media is something anyone can do.
It is. But you have to want to do it well, be involved, have goals, be willing to learn and to spend time working on it…and have a budget.
“…it is always highly unsatisfying when the client doesn’t want to have any involvement…”
I’ve been asked to manage social media accounts for people in the past and it is always highly unsatisfying when the client doesn’t want to have any involvement, including providing content leads, feedback, follow-up within their business or cross-promotions. I then find I haven’t charged enough to make up for the extra work I need to do to produce the results the client expects.
Those who aren’t already immersed in social media or haven’t done some reading or training often don’t understand why it might cost so much to whack up a few Facebook posts each week…if only that was all it took.
As someone who has managed social media accounts and who also trains and coaches others in how to do this, here are some tips on what I call Social Media PIE (Planning. Implementation. Evaluation).
Do you have a business/operations plan and a marketing/communications plan? How do you see social media achieving the goals you have in these plans? Where is it in the mix and can you allocate a budget to it?
What other digital infrastructure have you got and how will it support your social media marketing efforts? Is your website in good shape, are you blogging and using e-newsletters, are you on top of SEO?
What market research have you done lately and has it included a digital marketing audit? Where are you positioned within your industry or sector and within the online world? Are you a leader, follower or somewhere in the middle?
“Think of your business as a person…”
What is your organisation or business about and what does it want to communicate? What’s your brand personality and what does it convey about you? Think of your business as a person – solid and dependable (maybe a little dull), friendly and informative (but not too OTT), or the kid who never grew up?
Who do you want to engage with? What do you want to say to them and are you ready for a conversation? Can you clearly describe the person you want to have that conversation with – their interests, motivations, needs, desires?
Where do these people hang out? What platforms are they on? You need to be there, not just where you’re comfortable.
By the way, have you written your social media strategy yet?
Am I asking too many questions? Good!
You’ve worked out what you want to achieve, who you want to engage with, where they are, and what you want to say. Now, you need to work out how and when you’re going to do that, as well as who will be doing it, and how much time and money you’ll be spending doing it.
Time needs to be spent on:
- Creating and curating content from a range of sources using a content calendar – visuals, videos, infographics, blogs etc. – as long as it’s planned (what do you want to achieve with that content?), relevant, enticing, entertaining or educational (think content PREEE-publishing checklist);
- Pre-moderation and post-moderation – double checking before publishing and keeping an eye on things after. Have you got an editorial policy?);
- Engagement – responding to comments, sharing, liking, commenting on other pages, working with allies and advocates to champion what you do;
- Account governance and maintenance (privacy and security);
- Cross-promotion on other channels and platforms as part of wider marketing efforts.
“You need a budget.”
Money needs to be spent on:
- Paying someone to do all of the above and the evaluation (see below) – in-house or outsourced. Remember what you get when you pay peanuts…;
- You might also need to purchase stock images for photos and videos, or pay for a photographer or videographer to work with you to create relevant, quality content. Good visuals are not negotiable.
- Promotions – those posts you pay for on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to achieve specific objectives related to your social media strategy e.g. call to actions that lead to web traffic, sales or sales leads, data capture etc. Just because it’s social media doesn’t mean it’s free. Your strategy should be clear about organic and paid content.
There’s nothing quite like pulling up Facebook Insights in a workshop to hear murmurs around the room, “I never knew that was there…”. If you don’t look at your results and evaluate them in light of what you set out to achieve, you are indeed wasting your time and money.
Social media is about developing relationships and therefore it is all about engagement with people. You must look at the metrics in order to make good decisions how effective you’ve been with this. You’ve then got to marry this information with the conversion metrics from your website, CRM software and various other sources to ensure you’re on track to achieving your big picture goals. The metrics you need depend on what it is you’re setting out to achieve.
The Professional Facebook Pages ebook in the image on this page is one of our ebooks published for our training and coaching clients.