I love Social but I hate wasting money. With another recession looming marketing budgets continue to be slashed across Europe. Although Social Media is only a small part of marketing budgets the industry is pretty immature and non-standardised so wastage is guaranteed to be occurring. Checklist your Social Media activity to the below to see where you could be wasting money.
- Spending on Social before SEO: If you’re doing Social Media without any SEO planning or strategy then I guarantee you’ll be wasting some of your hard earned effort on creating content and conversations [Ref: Search Engine Marketing vs Social Media Marketing: The Showdown]
- Planning Social on a campaign by campaign basis: If you want fast results invest in Paid Media, if you want long-tail benefits and deeper engagement then choose Social. Doing ‘a little bit of Social Media’ to support one off campaigns is a waste of time. You may as well just buy some Facebook ads and check off the Social Media box [Ref: Social Media is a long-tail strategy]
- Paying your PR agency to manage your Social profiles: While many evangelists think Social is returning the Public Relations professional to public facing activities the PR agency simply can’t deliver high-quality AND high-value ongoing community management. Unless your PR agency has a specific facility to offer community management and an appropriate pricing strategy then take the running of your social profiles in-house or look for a specialised company to do that. [Yes, that is a self-serving statement but if we believed our role could be done by any old agency there wouldn't be any belief in the nature of our business would there?]
- Letting an intern run your Social profiles: While hiring an intern to run your Social profiles might seem like the most frugal option available, the cost of leaving an untrained junior member of the team in control of the public facing role of your brand could be impossible to calculate. Mistakes could lead to hefty PR, Legal and even Employment Tribunal costs. [Ref: Marc Jacobs Intern Calls CEO a “Tyrant” in Twitter Meltdown, Habitat blames Twitter faux pas on intern, Nestle Learns an Important Lesson in Social Media Management]
- Expensive Social Media tools/software subscriptions: Some companies don’t want to start Social Media activity until they have Social Media software in place. Unfortunately inexperience can lead to costly subscription of a tool which never gets used. Instead? Don’t just rely on sales demonstrations and recommendations. Strategise and pilot your Social Media activity with free tools or trials of software you are considering purchasing before signing subscription contracts. [Ref: Any thoughts on using paid social media monitoring/reporting/engaging tools?]
- Relying on/ignoring agency subscriptions: The wasting of money could go both ways here. Firstly, many agencies purchase multi-seat licenses for Social software which they resell to clients at advantage. Check what subscriptions they have in place before purchasing direct. However, some agencies make an absolute killing marking up user-seat licenses for Social software. Check direct with the technology vendor to make sure the agency isn’t re-billing unfairly beyond the convenience of paying via their account.
What ways have you saved money on Social Media Marketing?