Which Marketing Resources Should You Dedicate to Social Media?
While a quick journey can bring companies into the social media marketing world, it’s the long-term strategy that keeps them there. As soon as your organization establishes a Facebook page or claims a YouTube channel, it’s time to go all in. In many ways, social media is a living and breathing creature. It needs nourishment to thrive, and it will not survive without attention. It’s not enough to be “on” social media, especially if customers are arriving to desolate Twitter pages with year-old Tweets. If you want to create an effective social media presence, you need to invest the time and the marketing resources.
In setting up a social media business strategy, Heidi Cohen of Social Media Examiner advises defining a few areas first. This includes:
- Determine who will handle your social media engagement;
- Outline parameters of social media usage for employees and visitors;
- Establish processes and content that can support your goals (i.e. customer interaction);
- Keep content creation a top focus (bringing a camera to a business meeting may even yield something unique).
The initial planning phase should also act as a blueprint for organizations. Some social media outlets will make sense to join while others may not. Certain content can be more powerful on different social media channels, and your target audience may be more receptive to specific messaging. These are all considerations in developing a social media strategy that will deliver results. Once the roadmap is in hand, it’s time to put it into action.
There is no guarantee that “more time into social media” will yield more sales leads or customer acquisitions. That benchmark is too vague to provide value. Instead, it’s about putting time and resources into your strategy in the smartest way possible. Logging the hours won’t get you there, but thinking about the most profitable ways to utilize social media outlets will get you closer. Social Media Today recently posted the “Social Media Workflow” created by Intersection Consulting that attempts to quantify things more clearly.
Based on a 40-hour workweek, this model breaks social media management into distinctive categories with specific time recommendations:
- Updating social networks: 4 hours
- Planning, writing, and publishing blog posts: 7.5 hours
- Researching and planning internal and external content to share: 4 hours
- Curating and sharing content: 2.5 hours
- Engaging with your community: 4 hours
- Monitoring brand mentions online: 2.5 hours
- Developing campaigns, such as promotions and contests: 2.5 hours
- Growing community: 2.5 hours
- Managing strategy and adjustments: 2.5 hours
- Analytics Reporting: 2.5 hours
- Contingency time for damage control or unexpected problems: 5 hours
While this breakdown is just one industry recommendation, it illustrates the multi-faceted nature and complexity of social media. Your company is essentially talking to the community, listening to customers, looking for opportunities under every nook and cranny, and planning for the unexpected – all at the same time. It’s a tall order, but it’s worth it if you leverage it correctly.
What Will Your Social Media Strategy Cost You?
Social media will make you money… and it will cost you money. In determining your social media budget, you first need to understand how much you can realistically invest. Accounting programs (like QuickBooks and Peachtree) can help solve this riddle. Since business laser checks are created in the accounting software, all financial transactions are logged in real-time. Leading provider Checksforless.com offers laser computer checks within 4,500 different software titles that are customizable to represent your brand. Automated software programs can give you greater control over your financial health, and allow you to make smarter decisions about your investments. Having laser check printing capacity is icing on the cake because it frees up more of your valuable time — or staff time — to help manage, execute, and evaluate the effectiveness of your social media tactics.
Your social media team will also determine your overall cost. Top executives bill the most for their time, so your CEO should not be monitoring Twitter mentions for hours each day. While the most important people need to be involved at the strategic level, consider putting interns and other employees at the helm for the day-to-day tasks. At a lower billable rate, you can afford to have an intern sort through Facebook commentary all day. With such a small monetary investment, these big time investments can uncover customer insights that transform your business. Thinking outside the box with resource allotment can make your social media investment even more powerful than your vision.
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