Why Does Social Media Management Cost So Much?

Social Media Price BoxIn today’s online arena, businesses of every size are engaging their audience and potential clients through social media. Even the term social media is bigger now than a year or two ago. Whether you like it or not, it’s a medium you’re going to have to deal with if you want to grow your business. For us, our best reasoning to our clients is “It’s better that you use it and expand your brand to your community, or your competitor will.”


This is probably the main reason why social media costs so much. I know there’s plenty of people who tell you that you can do it in just a few minutes a day and never have to think about it for the rest of the day. Not entirely true. Scheduling posts is a great way to leverage your time, but what happens when your posts get a bunch of responses and some of them are viable leads? Do you then respond the following day when the trail is cold? I hope not. You respond while they’re engaged and lead them to a meeting, phone call, or call to action on your website, or better yet to BUY SOMETHING! This isn’t possible if you’re not available to respond when things are happening.


There are quite a few social media companies out there. You don’t have to search hard before you find one either locally or via a quick Google search. What may be hard to find is what they charge, hourly or monthly rates, and what your ROI may be. (we’ll get into ROI shortly). Lets go the hourly route for now. Signing on to each of your accounts doesn’t take long right? Then thinking of a good post that is NOT the same for all your accounts may take 5-7  minutes each to come up with something clever and original. Using Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your posts could take about 2-3 minutes each to post a message and a short link. Reading back your feeds, wall posts, timelines, etc could take about 5-10 minutes each here depending on all the people you follow, and save or read posts. Then of course you have to respond to their posts, blog articles, at-replies, direct messages, wall comments. I’d say another 4-5 minutes. Did I lose you? Add all that up for all your separate accounts and you’ll easily be over an hour’s worth of your morning coffee.

ROI – Return On Investment

There’s a couple of ways to look at this. For the business owner trying to do this on their own, you’re immediate ROI is the money you may save by doing your marketing on your own. However, you also have to invest in a LOT of constant research to stay up on all the latest updates and improvements in order to ensure you’re social profiles and accounts are the best that they can be. Honestly that’s a daily task that isn’t done in under an hour.

Using a marketing firm probably won’t give you back 2-1 for each dollar you spend either. Chances are you’ll spend a lot more than you stand to make. Of course this rather depends on your website, products, and or services. There are ways to gauge the effectiveness of their services though:

  • New fan page Likes
  • New Twitter followers (real users, not spammers)
  • Improved views on your customized YouTube page
  • More connections and recommendations on Linked In
  • Improved +1’s on Google Plus

Unique Identity and Personality

You can’t fool people. Well some maybe, but its pretty easy to discover social accounts that are poorly managed. You’ve seen them, the big goose egg for a Twitter avatar instead of a nice head-shot. The overstretched fan page cover art that was never created specifically for the cover art but instead chosen by Facebook automatically. The Linked In profile picture that is of a family pet or worse the person in a swimsuit. (I’d post actual pictures, but I don’t want to get hate mail). My favorite are the ones that got started, got heavy into it, then suddenly stopped and never returned. They most likely got frustrated with the lack of engagement for many reasons both valid and some unbeknownst to them.

Each of your social profiles should be a little bit different because of the audience of that platform. For example, your Twitter avatar and profile may be a bit more casual, where your Linked In profile will and should be more business professional. One major point about each of your profiles though is that they’re optimized fully. Meaning a great bio, edited profile or avatar picture, links back to your website, phone numbers, and if possible location and email address for quick contact.

I hope that this was informal to you. If you have any accounts that may need a bit more attention, please take a few minutes and adjust them now. If you believe you can take on your companies social media accounts, be encouraged that you can do so and be effective so long as you keep up with your audience in whatever way or medium they’re most active. For those of you who don’t mind sharing please comment below in how much time you spend daily or weekly in your social efforts.


Blah, Blah, Blog!

For a modern lesson on a classic fundamental, let’s take it back to elementary school for the 5 W’s (and 1 H) for a moment shall we?  Who, What, Where, When, Why & How…although not in that particular order.
WHO…you of course!  Don’t think blogging is for you or beneficial to your company?  Read on my friend…
WHAT’s the point of business blogging?  To communicate clearly to a wide variety of readers (either from your business sector or to one who is interested in acquiring your company’s expertise) and reach them on a virtual yet tangible level that says  wanna do lunch…via Skype?

HOW can a blog work for your company?  Let me pass on what I’ve come to understand. Basically, if you are a small to medium-sized company, more than likely you have a limited advertising/marketing budget if any.  This may in turn affect your ability to rub elbows with your industry-related business colleagues and the frequency of networking opportunities.  But guess what? If you have a semi-talented employee who can write pretty well or hire a content writer like myself (hint, hint-plug, plug) you can be well on your way to leveraging social media to your advantage and profit margin.
WHY and the WHAT points are somewhat synonymous. You (or your superiors) want to have a corporate blog which elevates you/your company to a WORLDWIDE PRESENCE.  This taps you into the local and global business market by creating dialogue via your company website to an UNLIMITED number of people for almost FREE.  Need I say more?  Ok but just because I can hear the anticipation…
WHERE is Waldo, Jane, Bob or whatever your name is?  Where do you pow-wow and have your swank & usually expensive lunch meeting to seal your deals?  Your couch if you’re lucky!  In 2012, most freelance and small business owners work from home or out of a local Starbucks.  You can save time and money with this fantastic networking tool by using a little of Father Time and a smidge of talent to take your business to the next level and into an unlimited marketplace.  No expense account required.
WHEN you choose to use social media to your advantage, you win-plain & simple.  Oh and today is a great day to start.

Still saying blah, blah, blah?????

Designers: When to find time to update your own projects

ChecklistAs a designer, either in graphics, coding, programming, or in web, we tend to get totally involved in our projects.  A lot of times we juggle more than two projects at a time without our clients even knowing, but still providing full support and service.  Over time we get used to this type of multi-tasking without even thinking about it, scheduling time to plug in updates, billing, and more.  Now what about projects and to our own websites? When will we have time to post new blogs? Update images and links? Yea, this is one of those things I can say (generally speaking) that we all put of way too much.

Between client emails, conference calls, meetings, and the occasional work here and there, it’s hard to find the time to actually do work on our own projects.  That includes updating those little annoyances about our work that people may have caught and we still haven’t had time to fix. You also have to consider time to learn new apps and technologies pertaining to your trade.

I’ve learned that time management is such a necessity but is often overlooked. Most of us pretty much go about our days with a general idea of what tasks we will accomplish.  Whatever is most important and approaching a deadline, we put to the top of our list of things to do, and the rest is a bonus or shelved for a later date.  However there are days where this could totally bite us in the rear for lack of planning. I’ve come up with 5 quick and easy ways to find ways to get to our own projects while keeping in step with our client ones.

1) Populate your calendar down to the hour. This may seem like a big task, but once you get it started and up to date, filling in your tasks and projects by the day and hour will really help you find open times.

2) Create a To-Do List. There are many books out there on Getting Things Done (GTD), and all will recommend a list of some sorts with all of your tasks.  Since we’re so tech savvy, there are also smartphone apps and web sources to help with this also. Toodledo is a great free one to get you started.

3) Set Realistic Goals. If you know you need to make some serious adjustments to your own site or work, set a goal for when you want to complete it.  Not just a mental one, but actually write it down and place it somewhere that you’ll be constantly reminded of it. Be sure to make these goals tangible. After completing a few you’ll feel proud and accomplished.

4) Eliminate the fluff. The constant checking in on your social sites, spam email accounts, watering the plants, watching sunsets, calling to check on mom.  You know what I mean. These fillers are nice “fluff” but take away from what you really need to get done. Though it may be important

5) Make yourself accountable. Now this may be the toughest off all, but I promise it works. Being a freelancer, you really are only accountable for your deliverables to yourself and your client. As an employee, your tasks need to get done so that the next person in line can do theirs. So appoint a fellow designer, friend, or significant other to monitor your projects.  Maybe start with the big ones at first so you don’t start resenting them with the smaller tasks and projects.

If you’ve come up with ways other than what I’ve described please let us know in the comments below. It’s all about helping others improve, and we all know we can use improvements every now and again.