The cost of social media marketing
I’ve been travelling a lot lately working with a wide variety of companies from Olympic sponsors to global beer companies. I’m asked the same questions time and again – what does it cost to do Facebook marketing right? How much are other companies spending on social media marketing? What are the right measurements?
The first thing to realize is there are two ways to execute social media marketing:
- Stand-alone as a distinct separate silo within the company or marketing department
- Integrated as part of a holistic marketing strategy
The first method – stand-alone Facebook or Twitter marketing – is good for companies with limited resources, who want to drive a small group of customers to take action.
Investing in a small stand alone social program can be $1,500-5,000 a month.
The biggest bang for the buck is from Facebook and Twitter updates which drive traffic to a value-add blog. Knowing your audience and the different buyers you have, then doing a blog to them once or twice a week is the most effective way to leverage Facebook or Twitter. You can put a teaser – with a high quality photo on your Facebook site, and Tweet about the blog.
Using Facebook and Twitter to amplify a blog is a long-term strategy that can take 6-12 months to work, but once you have the machine working it is very valuable marketing. You build loyal followers and create an advantage not easily taken away.
To jumpstart a stand-alone program Facebook ads driving traffic to your brand page, and Google Ads driving people directly to the blog are the quickest way to get some return in a week or two on your investment. For $30-100 a day you can use Facebook, Twitter or Google Ads to amplify your message. Be sure to set dedicated URL’s to analyze traffic using something like Google Analytics. And make sure you try three or four ads to see the response rate to different wording.
If you are a Fortune 1000 company and have dedicated web and online staff then Facebook and Social Media marketing should be thoughtfully integrated into event marketing, product launches and customer service.
For an incremental $100,000 a year you can start to get a much higher ROI from your events and sponsorships. If you allocate $5-10 million to social marketing and have dedicated staff for the social media function you should follow five best practices:
- Integrate social media with product launch, events, and customer service. Read more about using social media to drive revenue in one of my recent blogs.
- Respond within minutes or hours (not days) to any comments on social media about customer service, product capability, sales locations etc. You need to track your company or product name to do this
- Tell a continual story through social media – there should be a trend and voice to your efforts. This includes showing pictures from your events to giving Facebook fans sneak-peak videos and doing crowd sourcing .
- Measure and Analyze everything. If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it. Getting great amplification from events through social media experiences should be compared with direct response from Google Ads and money spent on SEO.
- Stay educated – Facebook has it’s EdgeRank, Google has it’s SEO algorithm, Twitter has multi-grouping and all these things change. This will change your strategy on a regular basis. Read a lot about it and attend seminars or find peer groups to get best practice.
Some companies we work with are spending $10million plus on social media. They are getting phenomenal returns in part because many f their competitors have not figured it out yet. Be the first ones in your industry to really leverage it and figure it out and you will reap the rewards.
Patrick J. Sweeney II is President, CEO and co-founder of dwinQ. He is an expert in automatic identification and networking technologies and author of RFID for Dummies. Patrick is a widely sought after conference speaker, the chairman of ODIN technologies and founder and past CEO of ServerVault. Follow Patrick on Twitter: @pjsweeney