The perception of what Social Media Management pricing should be is completely out of whack.
Here are 5 problems with social media marketing that are crippling businesses and agencies everywhere. HINT: It's not the pricing.
ARE YOU BEING PEDDLED SOCIAL MEDIA SNAKE OIL?
There may be some serious issues with the corporate social media strategy ideas being pitched to you - and it isn't the pricing that's the problem. It's you. It's them. And it's me. I know that sounds wierd, but that's because it IS wierd. There are so many misconceptions about social media and its abilities that I thought I would help set the record straight for those who are truly interested in tapping into its mystical powers.
It isn't a magic bullet, and it isn't the end-all be-all, but it IS an incredibly important digital marketing tool that should be incorporated into everybody's outreach efforts.
So, what are the problems?
1. Mindset about Marketing
There is no doubt that a changing of the guards is occurring in the world of marketing. Search engines continue to face off against those who choose to "game" them, while the focused efforts of marketers who marry the science of Google's algorithms with genuine, out-of-the-box creativity are gaining massive amounts of momentum.
What is the big secret? Well, that's the thing... There are no secrets about it. No mysteries... No esoteric riddles... No blurred lines... It's a very logical line, actually, and I think that's the fundamental challenge business owners and seasoned marketers everywhere are struggling to cope with. There is plenty of science out there to prove that inbound works, and several folks offering paths to acheiving sustainable organic digital marketing through the inbound methodology.
But it requires that we change how we look at marketing, and embrace the notion that social media and all of these other complimentary marketing mediums can stand on their own, but shouldn't.
Get the tools for creating an inbound marketing campaign for your company today!
Or should I say, the lack of...? This was probably my biggest pet peeve when Orange Pegs was a Social Media Consultant to businesses trying to tap into this widely misunderstood medium. Many believe that it's easy.... that social media is merely about posting some pictures, tweeting every once in awhile, and tagging their names on blogs posted in the group forums on LinkedIn.
But that's not all there is to, not even close. Social media requires a marketing plan like any other outreach program you have in place. You need be part of the social communities, getting involved in other folks' conversations, and keep advertising at a minimum. The person doing this work should spend time finding good content to curate, and they should be able to write.
This is not a 3 hour a month job you should be pawning off on an intern. This is your first impression to many, and it should be taken seriously.
3. Over-valuing "likes" & "follows"
I made this mistake once too... believing that likes and follows were how to measure success on social media. But how exactly does one translate "likes" and "follows" into anything more than... well... likes and follows? It's a question that I always had a difficult time answering myself, especially as a standalone service, and it's one of the big reasons why I chose to step back and adopt inbound marketing.
I wanted more than just social klout. I wanted to generate leads that I could convert into customers. Pure and simple - a truly effective lead conversion path. When I flipped that switch to inbound, social media became more than a popularity contest, transforming into a vessel for lead generation that would trump every other method for drawing an audience combined...
Well, sort of. (We'll talk about it in a minute - integration IS key)
4. Social Media Management Tools
This is a biggie, and I think a symptom of the lack of sophistication so prevelant when it comes to social media marketing. Juggling the different platforms can be really draining on your resources, and applying useful analytics even more-so. This is why you need real tools to manage the process. I personally live and breathe the word of Hubspot for this and every other digital marketing medium I manage, but it's not the only one out there.
If you're just looking for a one-off option, you can try Hootsuite, Buffebuffer, or Viral Buzz Content (just to name a few). Personally, I like the all-in-one, because it does it's job so much more effectively when it's properly integrated with everything else.
Integrating your social media marketing plan into a bigger picture marketing strategy is the real key to success. But it doesn't mean blasting company ads on Facebook or Twitter all day or even curating awesome content with the occassional company ad. While the latter will help you gain traction, it won't generate leads... at least not without PPC ads... and even those leads leave much to be desired.
Again, this is why I felt it was necessary to make a change for my firm. What kind of marketing agency would I be running if I couldn't generate viable leads through my own services?
So, let me illustrate this point by walking you through my top of funnel sales cycle:
- Write & publish free premium content offers - available for download on a custom landing page
- Blog about something related to that content - a granular view on one particular element - include a call-to-action (CTA) at the bottom and a few links throughout
- Curate 3rd party content, company blogs, and company advertisements on social media (even when followers are rare or non-existent). I follow the 10-4-1 rule.
- Respond to others and favorite their retweets of my content
- Watch as visitors come to my website, and exchange their contact information for said offers
And voila! Viable, engaged leads.
Social Media Management Pricing shouldn't freak you out:
Doing it without the right mindset, strategy, and integration should. So, what is the right pricing model? It depends on the value you place on generating qualified leads, but when somebody throws out a number, they should have a plan to make it back for you and then some.
Would you like to connect with one of our inbound marketing strategists to discuss how social media can integrate into your current marketing plan? Click HERE