Although many of the social media networks including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube are free to use, anyone looking to use social media to effectively market their products, services, or organization needs to take a closer look at the cost of “free.”
True, you can set up profiles and use most social media networks without opening up your wallet. But, entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations must not forget that time is money. Any time an entrepreneur spends on social media is time she is not spending doing something else to make the business profitable. And social media can take a lot of time.
- Determine best network
- Determine keywords
- Set up directory listings and profiles
- Create ongoing creative, informational updates
- Keep up to date with technology and network changes
So, what’s an entrepreneur to do? Evalute the options. Does it make financial sense to hire someone to manage your social media efforts for you?
Advantages of hiring a Social Media Manager
- You don’t have to do it
- If you’ve hired a competent manager, it will be done correctly
- If you’ve hired a competent manager, it will engage your target market
- If you’ve hired a competent manager, you will see ROI (a return on your investment)
Disadvantages of hiring a Social Media Manager
- You may spend your time wondering if you hired a competent manager
- You won’t be the one engaging with your target market
- You may not see a ROI
- You won’t have gained any knowledge on how to use social media to market your company
- You will be continually dependent on hiring someone to manage your social media efforts
- The cost
The Cost of Social Media Services
One study that summarizes the costs of hiring social media services is from my friend Mack Collier. Mack has generously granted me permission to share his social media cost blog. I regularly share it with Reciprocate and SCORE clients and presentation attendees. You might be in sticker shock when you see the dollar amounts mentioned in Mack’s study. Keep in mind that these reflect estimates from social media services furnished to companies of all sizes, including major corporations with marketing budgets that most entrepreneurs and nonprofits can’t even comprehend. You can check out Mack’s findings here: http://mackcollier.com/how-much-does-social-media-cost-in-2011/
Reciprocate is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and nonprofits find the most effective, efficient, practical, and economical way to market their organization, products or services — online and offline. If you are contemplating hiring someone to help you with your social media efforts, Reciprocate would be glad to assist you in the vetting process. We’re seen some not-so-ethical folks out there selling trumped up services. We can help you analyze the best place to spend your marketing time and dollars. Check out our reputation, then give us a call or send an email. We look forward to helping you succeed!