By Mikhail Alfon (@miqk)
If you’ve been approached by a social media marketer in the last 6 months, please continue reading. If you’ve been approached by a social media marketer who pitched you a $500 per month plan, please keep reading. I'm here to tell you some of the pros and cons of those plans, as well as some questions you should be asking before ever signing any paperwork.
Here’s the Good Stuff
Just to be clear, there’s nothing inherently wrong with a plan that only costs $500 per month. In all honestly, I believe that a lot of those programs are good, depending on the scope of work and your business objectives. The problem I’ve seen is that business owners are simply unaware of what they’re getting themselves into when it comes to social media marketing. Here’s what I’ve seen, and here’s what you can expect.
You’ll see more activity on your profiles.
If you feel that simple activity 3–5 times a week on your Facebook and Instagram page is all you need then awesome, you may have found the right program for you. I believe that it’s very valuable to post fresh content regularly to stay on top of news feeds.
You’ll see increased engagement.
If your social media marketer is posting regularly you’ll definitely start seeing a little more engagement from your current audience, which can be very valuable to any business. Increased engagement is a sign that your audience is paying attention to your social marketing campaign, which is the first step in seeing an ROI from your new efforts.
You’ll be saving a lot of time
The biggest advantage of these $500 per month campaign, is that you’re probably going to be saving $500 worth of time for you to manage other aspects of your business. Social media marketing is a full time job, especially when you’re doing it correctly.
Here’s the Not-So-Good Stuff.
Look, I am 100% on board with every business starting a social media marketing campaign, regardless of the size of the business. With that said, I also believe that every business deserves to be well educated before investing in a monthly retainer. Here’s what you might be missing if you choose a smaller program.
You might not get a clear strategy to new sales or clients.
Regular activity on your social profiles is very important, but without a clear path for your audience to make a purchase or give you a call, you might not see a very good ROI. While social marketers with smaller plans have very good intentions to help you out, they may be lacking the time or resources to create a clear marketing and sales funnel for your potential customers.
The creative might not be very creative.
Don’t be surprised when you log on to your Instagram page and see recycled content. A smaller fee for social media management means less time spent on creating original content for you.
You may also see that your copy isn’t very exciting. It’s hard to write a new caption for each post every single day, and it’s even harder when your marketer doesn’t have the resources to take their time on your posts.
Your campaign and your service might seem impersonal.
One way to be sure your voice is translated well through various social platforms is spend as much time with your marketer as possible. The better they get to know you, the better they can relay your message and culture.
A major flaw I’ve seen in smaller social marketing plans is they lack the amount of time needed to get to know the business owner or company before deploying the campaign.
How do you make sure a social marketing plan is right for you?
If you’re willing to spend money on social media marketing, I’ve put together some questions you can ask your potential contractor, agency, and even yourself.
How will you be quantifying your results?
You need to know how your social media marketer will be reporting to you at the end of the month, quarter, etc. Are they going to be reporting likes, shares, and followers? Probably. But what about new leads, purchases, e-mail subscriptions, or cost per conversion? How will you determine if you’re getting the results you need from social marketing?
Facebook and Google have incredible analytics tools that can tell you almost anything about your traffic and digital marketing campaigns
How much of the content will be original and branded?
If your social media marketer is telling you that they’ll be posting blogs on your behalf, infographics, or photos then be clear on exactly what you’re getting. If you want original content created specifically for you, be sure toask if you’ll be interviewed for the blogs, where they’ll get the info for the infographics, and when they are planning to schedule the photo shoot.
What kind of success have they seen in the past?
Good social media marketers will have at least one story they want to tell you about how their plan benefited a current or past client. Keep in mind they might not have another client that does exactly what you do (I don’t think you’d want that anyway) but they will have implemented strategies that produced the results their clients were looking for if they know what they’re doing. Here’s a follow up question: do their results fit your business goals?
One last thing to keep in mind.
Remember that no matter how many times you post, or even how creative your content is, you may need to invest in Facebook Ads, or another form of ‘sponsored advertising’. Facebook posts may only reach 2% of your fans without an adequate ad budget. If you only have 100 fans, that’s not too many people.
Facebook is an incredible advertising platform, and when used correctly can yield amazing results. Will your future social media marketer be managing an ad budget for you? Is it included in their monthly retainer? This might be one of the most important questions to ask.
Costa Mesa, CA
About Storyteller Media
Storyteller Media helps businesses connect to their audiences by creating and distributing creative, headline grabbing content that drives measurable results and ROI. We are social media agency built around helping you tell your story to the world. We were founded on the idea that everyone has a story to tell.