That’s the question that pops up in every business owner’s head when they’re considering starting a social media marketing campaign.
Nothing matters, especially for small-business owners more than finding the budget to implement new marketing strategies and improve their business. Although there are many roadblocks business owners face, especially in their beginning, money seems to be the biggest concern of all of them.
As you know, time and money are the only 2 currencies that you can trade with when looking into growing your business. If you don’t have time, then you must have money. If you don’t have money, then you must invest your time.
A Special Case
There are some cases when founders of a startup don’t have either time or money. Becoming profitable takes lots of time and effort, especially in some industries. Bootstrapping seems to be the best solution for these businesses until at least they become profitable. That means using existing resources (very minimal), dividing tasks, just getting things going until things start to take off. This concept I believe is the very core of Eric Ries’s “The Lean Startup” concept.
If you want to learn more about how you find the budget and resources for social media marketing, then check out this post, which is part of the process I use to design effective social media Marketing strategies.
The Requirements Of A Successful Social Media Marketing Program And There Cost!
There are some key factors that you need to make sure they are present if you want social media to work for you: a solid Strategy, effective implementation (or coaching), ongoing Consulting and appropriate tools. Therefore, here is what you need if you’re just starting out with social media:
All the requirements below vary in price depending on 2 main things. The first one is the size of your business (small, medium-sized, the size of the market, complexity, the size of the team…etc). The second one is the individual or agency that you’re working with. Also, keep in mind that the below pricing is for small to medium-sized businesses. Social media marketing gets really, really expensive with large corporations!
1- A Solid Social Media Marketing Strategy
That will be the biggest investment that you’re going to make into your business. An effective strategy requires weeks of research and brainstorming. The price of a social media marketing strategy varies from $3,000 to $40,000. The strategy can also take weeks and sometimes couple of months before it’s completed.
This might seem like a lot of money, especially for small-business owners who don’t have the budget for it. Lucky for you, I have a FREE ebook that walks you through the process of designing the perfect social media marketing strategy for your business if you can’t afford a strategist
What If You Need Refinement Of An Existing Strategy?
Lots of strategists offer the package of auditing your existing social media marketing strategy. This package varies from $2,000 to $25,000. This package includes analyzing all of your existing program as well as your competitors’. It helps you understand the missing ingredients from your strategy so you can work toward improving them.
2- Strategy Implementation
If you already have a social media manager in your team or someone that you can temporarily assign this task to, then this won’t obviously cost you any extra money (unless if they need some coaching):
Many social media professionals offer the package of teaching your team the solid foundations of social media marketing as well as its latest effective strategies. Everyone offers a custom package depending on the size of the team, the level of social media experience they have…etc. I’m a firm believer that all of the people in your company should be involved in social. Jay Baer always likes to say that soon enough; social media will become a skill rather than a job. The price range for a full-day session in your company is between $2,000 and $20,000. It’s true that there are many online training programs out there, but they leave lots of question marks that need to be answered. Social media coaches offer an additional 1-2 months of phone and email support in case anyone in your company needs something answered.
• Hiring a social media manager
If you don’t have someone on your team that you can assign social media management to, then hiring a social media manager is your best solution. A social media manager will take care of all of your social media activity as well as implementing the strategies outlined by your strategist. Here is a post I wrote while ago about “What Makes A Magnificent Social Media Manager”. The salary of a full-time professional social media manager can vary from $40,000 a year to more than $70,000 for small to medium-sized businesses. If you don’t have lots going on and you only want to start with a part-time manager, then you should expect to pay $15-$35 per hour.
3- Ongoing Consulting
Many business-owners think that social media is a one-time thing. The truth is that social media is changing every single day and you always need an expert consultant to advise your business with the latest effective strategies. Some social media consultants charge a monthly retainer fee of between $1,500 and $5,000. Other consultants offer phone/Skype consultations (half an hour, 45 minutes or 90 minutes calls). They charge anywhere from $100 to $150 for half an hour of consulting.
4- Social Media Tools
Social media tools are very important to the success of every social media marketing campaign. Their price depends on the size of your business and the sophistication of each tool. The cost of these tools range from free to $500 or sometimes more. Also, most of them aren’t a one-time payment and require an ongoing monthly fee. Some of them do specific tasks like scheduling or reporting while others contain dashboards of every single task you want to accomplish through social media: scheduling, listening, tracking, reporting, analyzing, recommendation…etc.
5- Additional Costs
There could be many additional costs to your social media marketing campaigns. You could need a designer who will make sure all of your social profiles have a consistent branding. You could need some technical help or even a programmer if you’re looking for some sort of integration. However, the biggest chunk of your budget will go to the previous tasks we talked about above. If you happen to have an additional budget for advertising, then starting some ad campaigns will be very beneficial for your business, especially if you’re just starting out.
Can You Afford This?
I know that for a small-business owner, this might seem like lots of money to spend just on social media marketing, but as I told you before, the cost depends on many factors. If you start on the right foot with social media, then all of your efforts will be rewarded. However, if you don’t have an effective strategy in place, and you’re just stumbling here and there, then social media will never work for your business as it is the case with many businesses out there. If you’re wondering of where to get the money for your social media marketing program, check out my post about “Allocating budget And Resources For Social Media”. If you want to see some examples on how social media affects bottom-line, then here are 5 case studies for you!
Image Credit: Tax Credits