The Real cost of Social Media
With social media at the height of its popularity, advertisers and companies find it an easy and trendy means of expand their marketing horizons. While many companies may be fooled by the free cost to open a social media account, many fail to consider the expense that goes into running a social media campaign. Do the benefits really outweigh the costs?
“How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shift of out generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?” – Seth Godin
The true cost of a social media campaign depends on the size and reach of the campaign itself. These are some factors to consider:
- Staff costs – Once cost often overlooked is the cost of your marketer’s salary. Without a dedicated social media campaign manager you will need to work out the amount of time your other employees will spend maintaining the social media site. Community managers are also need to answer customer inquiries and to maintain a spam-free zone for your clients and customers.
- Advertising – The biggest myth about social media is : “if you build it they will come.” Merely setting up a Facebook page or a twitter account will not guarantee any ROI. It is necessary to add your own advertising to the mix. This can include targeted adds on the platform, adding follow buttons, share buttons on your companies website or email advertisements.
- External Fees – If your campaign is not in-house, do you out source all parts of your social media campaign? If thats is the case then you will need to figure out the breakdown in billing and how you will be charged. Since different agencies have different rates for different strategies, you’ll need to work out if this is a continuous cost and whether it affects you return value.
- Other – While many basic tools for social media are free, more in depth tools, such as tracking, require some escalated cost. Any other technical and creative costs may also be assumed. What happens if you are highly successful? Do you have the backing and budget to expand?
Below is a breakdown of what a fallout social media campaign may cost in a year. The amounts are estimates released by Danny Brown, CEO of Bonsai Interactive.
Considering the potential cost if a target social media campaign, are the benefits really worth the effort and money?
In a recent survey, marketing executives where asked what they felt were the main benefits of marketing through social media. Not surprisingly, only half the respondents felt that ‘low cost’ was a benefit.
So what is the economic potential of fans on Facebook. Syncapse took a look at twenty brands – here are the results:
On average, fans spent an additional $71 on products for which they are fans of, compared to those that are not fans on Facebook.
Twitter has also provided some great case studies. Take DellOutlet, they sought to expand their brand awareness heavily through twitter. Soon after their pages where launched thay had generated over $3m worth of business from followers who clicked on links for purchases.
Sometimes the ability of social media is the ability to create a central forum fopr new consumers. Take the case of the Old Spice brand, a new commercial was launched which generated alot of media attention. The Twitter and Facebook pages became a rallying point for these new adopters.
2700% Increase of Twitter followers – 800% Increase in Facebook followers – 300% Increase in traffice to their website
So do the benefits out weight the costs? Tell me how you get on or if you like give me call and lets chat.
In Peer Review We Trust: Consumer Reviews vs. Other Ad Tactics
Consumer confidence in advertising has been swiftly shifting over the past five years; 7 in 10 internet users now trust brand websites and consumer opinions over traditional forms of marketing and advertising. Where else has consumer confidence in advertising shifted?
created by Flowtown.
What Does Social Media Success Mean to Your Business?
The following infographic depicts 2011 data showcasing how small business owners feel about social media and how small businesses measure what they perceive as success via this marketing channel. More specifically, focusing if small businesses are utilizing social media properly and know how to properly measure ROI.
The rise of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks has accelerated the growth of YouTube as it enables discovery and sharing of online video.
- 500 years of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook
- Over 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute
- 100 million people take a social action on YouTube (likes, shares, comments, etc) every week
- An auto-shared tweet results in 6 new youtube.com sessions on average
- There are 500 tweets per minute containing a YouTube link
- Millions of subscriptions to YouTube happen each day. (Subscriptions allow you to connect with someone you’re interested in — whether it’s a friend, or the NBA — and keep up on their activity on the site)
- More than 50% of videos on YouTube have been rated or include comments from the community
- Millions of videos are favorited every day
What about you?
How do you use YouTube and video in your marketing?
Has social media opened up global opportunities for you? What is the most exciting and inspiring business or personal event or connection that has been instigated by social media?
Look forward to hearing your stories.
LinkedIn to many is seen as a recruitment portal. The place to be to get headhunted into that dream job. I have yet to be blessed with that experience.
To me, LinkedIn was kind of … well, boring. If Facebook is the street party, LinkedIn is a stuffy reception with piped-in music at one of those soulless function facilities.
Does that sound harsh? For sure. If your thinking the same, let me tell you, you couldn’t be more wrong.
While the early adopters flock to Google+ and our kids and moms become power-users on Facebook, LinkedIn is where business gets done. Execs from all Fortune 500 companies are there, and 59 percent of those active on social networking sites sites say LinkedIn is their platform of choice over Facebook or Twitter, up from 41 percent who called LinkedIn their most important social account a year earlier, according to a June report by Performics and ROI Research.
LinkedIn, it turns out, is a happening place. As of this spring, it has more than 150 million members in more than 200 countries, on all seven continents. LinkedIn adds around 10 new members every 5 seconds.
All of this adds up to making LinkedIn the dark horse in social networking. Or the “unsung hero” of the social platforms.
There will –as suspected– an awful lot of job searching going on at LinkedIn. But there’s much more going on over there, too. I have seen that top-level executives and entry-level workers use LinkedIn differently: Younger members use the site mostly to post résumés and network for jobs, while more experienced professionals use it to demonstrate thought leadership and expertise, promote their businesses, conduct market research and–perhaps most important–win new business.
So how might companies use it to win new business, specifically?
- Target searches for keywords you’ve identified as central to your business. Target specific roles ie: “Director of Technology” specific post codes and company names to identify key contacts to call, e-mail, InMail (send a message via LinkedIn’s internal messaging system) or forward a hard copy information.
- Track who is looking at your profile and your staff’s profiles. Understand what searches you are appearing in and perhaps strengthen your profile to appear in more. Reach out to those who stopped by “how can I help”.
- Research, or as I call it “social sleuthing’ others call it stalking, but there is a law against that now!
- Set up a company page. Setting up your business as a “company” on LinkedIn can if you do it right, generate a bunch of leads, as well as it give you an opportunity to have a presence on LinkedIn beyond a personal profile to ratchet up your company’s charisma. I like the way you can embed banner images and videos in your company page, as well as feed your blog posts and tweets. You can also feature your products on your page and seek recommendations for them. That’s a kind of social proof that only enhances your credibility.
- Discern patterns. Notice who’s connected in your industry. Noting that an individual is suddenly connected to several execs at a single company may indicate that the company is open to dialogue. “Which suggests to me that I might want to get my brand (me) in front of them”.
- Participate in LinkedIn groups catering to your target market in order to engage in conversations with the right people. Seek out groups with lots of activity rather than simply lots of members. (You’ll have to join them to get a sense of the activity.) Monitor each group’s discussion posts and respond thoughtfully with content rather than a pitch. The goal is to engage rather than sell outright.
Does all of this work? Yes, although it takes some focused effort, but its worth it. If you are interested in hearing more about the success myself and colleagues are having please drop me a line or tweet with a #wesoe (we sell or else)
We are all in business to sell something, whether its a service or a product.
Lets look at the anatomy of a salesperson:
But buying is different and this changes everything!
Customers have too much information, but not enough fact to act upon.
These days Clients have more choice than ever before, with information available through varied and diverse channels. Buyers are no longer relying on the sales person for information. Instead 70 percent are looking for information online before making a decision or purchase.
A recent study “The Future of Selling” from Ogilvy, says that although sales people agree with the above, they feel that the customer is not getting the right kind of information about your products and services.
This new way of gathering information is affecting the seller in a huge way. In Ogilvy’s study, nearly 50 percent of sellers (1100 interviewed) agreed that social media helps them sell. The biggest influence was seen in China at 73 percent, Brazil 65 percent UK 33 percent and USA 27 percent.
Also the platforms used, vary from country to country:
Top performing sales people are adopting social media technologies to drive their success in sales. Using these tools they can help with personal branding, demonstrate their value faster, reduce the “time to trust” factor and best of all help (unconditionally).
It is also worth noting that sales organisations recognise that the buying process is changing faster than their organisations are responding, with many companies blocking employees from using social media. When companies do allow use, there is lack of education about how to use with many employees wishing their companies would offer more help.
Change or else.
The world is changing at an astonishing rate and as such the role of a salesperson will be completely different in five years. The link between the Marketing Department and Sales Department is becoming inextricable. Individuals, regardless of role i.e. sales, technical or operations are also becoming marketers of their personal branding. Peoples skills and expertise will be easier to locate at the touch of a button.
Questions to ask now are: “If your client is researching, are you easy to find?” “Do you provide information that will assist them and that will provide value?”
We all have information that someone is looking for, whether its in your head, on your hard drive or in your email. Get it out there, put it on YouTube, write a blog, use Twitter or collaborate from within your company, engage in conversations, be helpful, try to solve problems versus just selling your solution.
Another question to ask yourself is: Does your boss know your skills?
Things to do right now:
Check “your” brand, Google yourself.
Create content to fall in the path of the digital buyer.
Get marketing and sales on the same page.
Build your network with people you know well and others who you don’t know that well but essentially build your network.
Image credit: Use by country, Ogilvy
If you would like any advice please feel free to contact me.
Guest Post Jennifer Dubow
After spending a week at SXSWI for the first time, I met a lot of folks in a range of roles and companies including:
- Large enterprises responsible for transforming their business practices and workforce to adopt social business.
- Digital agencies and social business consulting firms trying to get their clients to adopt social media programs and new mindsets
- Social Media software vendors trying to train their clients to more fully adopt the software the client has purchased
- Startups seeking to scale their businesses and sell their software or services
To me, one resounding theme, especially with the onset of Spring, is that Change is in the air.
Organizations and their employees may or may not want to become a social business, but the impetus for change, whether externally or internally driven, is getting stronger. In my years in organizational change management consulting, I often heard the phrase “People (or Organizations) change when the pain of staying the same is worse than the pain of change.” Another common question asked is “What’s the burning platform?” that will make executives take action.
Change is a Choice. It’s that simple. Going through with the change, whether in your personal life, or in your organization, is tough. It may not always feel like a Choice, especially when the change is driven from an external source, such as a new CEO who has a new set of directives and style.
As we’ve seen in my last post about the Change Curve, people follow a predictable process on the change journey, and each step along that journey requires a Choice to continue moving forward. Deciding to be part of the Change is also a Choice: there are benefits and consequences to either participating in the change or resisting the change.
Once you or your leadership have decided, “Ouch, this burning platform is about to explode, I better make some changes,” then you need to have the Conviction to see it through to success. Having that Conviction, or that belief that change is possible is very powerful. In practical terms, your belief in the possibility of change may take the form of a vision of change or a roadmap of transformation (“as is” vs. “to be” state), a project plan, or a motivating speech to call the staff to action.
Another complementary technique to consider is solution-focused guided imagery, an approach long used by Sports Psychologists and Athletic Trainers to help athletes win in competitive situations or overcome barriers to success known as “the yips.” You can encourage your staff to imagine what a successful change would look like, or practice this yourself. Either way, having a positive focus and belief that your organization can successfully change will go a long way.
Whether you are embarking on a personal change such as trying to lose weight, or a Social Business adoption program such as retraining your workforce on social business skills, or rolling out a new internal collaboration system, transformative Change is actually composed of many small steps that require Commitment.
This is the place, in my opinion, where Change frequently breaks down. Change often takes time, especially large organizational transformations such as incorporating social business practices into core business processes. People can experience “change fatigue” along the way, executives may get frustrated that adoption or performance results aren’t where they should be, and the list goes on, etc.
It’s at this point, where we need to show Compassion towards ourselves and ideally, executives can take this opportunity to show Compassion towards their staff. Showing Compassion doesn’t mean excusing poor results or throwing in the towel. What it does mean is acknowledging that Change can be difficult for some, validating the challenging nature of change, and reaffirming that each step of the way requires Commitment, and re-Commitment on the part of the entire team of staff and executives.
We can think of the change journey as a series of Choices and small steps requiring micro-Commitments. When things don’t go according to plan, have some Compassion for yourself or your teammates. And recall that Conviction and belief in the possibility to Change that got you started on the change journey in the first place. That’s the real Magic in the C’s of Change.
As always, I welcome your thoughts, reactions, and any additional C’s you may think.
Follow me on Twitter @jennifer_dubow.
Image: StockFresh Change