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Social Media Marketing Fees – don’t get ripped off!

Social Media Marketing Fees : Beware of rip offs!

Social Media Marketing Fees : Beware of rip offs!

Social Media Marketing is one of those specialist fields which a lot of people don’t understand and are therefore quite scared of. There are literally hundreds of companies out there offering these services and not all at the same level either. Some of these companies just sign you up to exorbitant monthly contracts, charging an enormous amount in social media marketing fees, and do very little or in some cases nothing for your brand. I’ve heard business owners complain about their social media agencies posting incorrect details to their social networks, offensive comments, it is like the wild west out there for some! And because the client has limited knowledge, they just pay and hope the pain will go away.

I don’t know how many of you saw this article in the paper yesterday in Durban – R500k for just 10 days’ work? Do yourself a favour and have a read … it makes me so angry to think this is what we are all paying rates, fines, electricity and water tariffs, etc. for in Durban – to have the Municipality pay a ludicrous amount of money to a Social Media Company for 10 days work that could be undertaken by ANYONE in this industry if the posts so far are anything to go by!

A friend of mine in this industry penned a rant in response – and what he wrote says it all … have a read here …

This when the Communications Department already employs 50 experts, some in social media, web, etc.

Talk about the gravy train!

So … as always … buyer beware … keep your wits about you and don’t be ripped off with crazy social media marketing fees by your agencies.

I must say this thing has made me so angry it makes me want to boycott the #welovedurban campaign rather than support it!  It gives an industry I love and that does so much positive for so many businesses and brands a terrible name!  Rest assured we are not all like the company in the article!  Some of us do good, passionate work for a fair fee!  Don’t judge us all by this example.

I wonder am I the only one?

 

Hashtags – what are they and why should you use them

Hashtags - essential to your #socialmedia campaign!

Hashtags – essential to your #socialmedia campaign!

Hashtags are essential in any social media campaign if you actually want to grow your following or make your content easily accessible to people who aren’t already fans/followers of you or your brand.

A friend of mine digs at me often about my liberal use of #’s – he appends everything with #GetALife – clearly he doesn’t understand what hashtags are and what their benefit is so I don’t begrudge him these digs. His digs certainly won’t stop me using hashtags anytime soon, because I’ve seen and know the effect of their use on the reach of my social campaigns. And why are we taking the time to post to these social networks after all if we don’t want as much reach as possible?

Okay – so first of all – for those who don’t know what hashtags are – here is a non technical explanation in layman’s terms:

What are hashtags?

Hashtags are any word or phrase (with no spaces between words) beginning with the symbol “#” for e.g. #FoodPorn (click on this link to see #FoofPorn in Twitter) or #100HappyDays (which is quite common at the moment and you may have seen recently … click here to see #100HappyDays in Facebook) or the latest big one #OscarPistorius (click here to see #OscarPistorius on Google +) which is being used extensively during the Oscar Pistorius murder trial currently on in Pretoria.

What do hashtags do?

Hashtags enable people (both followers and not) to find and see your posts or content. So if you have posted a photo of your food at a restaurant with the hashtag #FoodPorn anyone, anywhere in the world on that social network who clicks / searches on #FoodPorn will be able to see your post (of course there are some caveats here depending on your privacy settings in Facebook for example but we’re speaking generally here).

Why do you want people who you aren’t friends or who aren’t following you to find you?

Well, this is the whole point of networking! Both in the real world and online, we want new people to find us and use our services. Social media just allows you to cast a larger net and reach far more than you can face-to-face. And using hashtags allows you to target your market. So for e.g. If you are a legal eagle hoping to grow your network or extend your reach or become known as an industry expert you’d start tweeting on Twitter using #OscarPistorius about now – people will start seeing your profile and after a few tweets may start following you (step 1 – gain followers) – as your followers grow, you get more clout and as you continue to post good content with that hashtag the media houses start noticing you so suddenly you’re invited to comment on an article for a popular news website (step 2 – you’ve become an industry expert) – due to this comment you gain further clout and when the local TV station is preparing their slot for the news or a popular actuality program, their producer or researcher finds your hashtags, sees you’ve been quoted in popular media already and invites you to comment and be featured in their segment on Oscar Pistorius! This is a very real world example of how simply using hashtags can lead to your business being raised to the next level almost overnight. Suddenly people who aren’t even on social networks are watching you on TV or reading about you in the newspaper. Who doesn’t want that kind of exposure?

#UseHashtags #ThatIsAll

Social network selection – what will work best for your business?

What's the secret to effective social network selection?

What’s the secret to effective social network selection?

Social network selection can be completely overwhelming for any small business.

Which social network do you choose?

There are so many after all, how do you choose between Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, or any of the other networks out there.

This can lead to paralysis by analysis for any small business owner.

Where do you start in your social network selection decision-making?

  1. Who is your customer / client?

    The first question to ask is who is your typical customer or which clients do you wish to attract?  Once you have a “demographic” clear in your mind, the selection of social network becomes more obvious.

  2. What is your product / service?

    Do you sell products?  Are they visually appealing?  Or do you sell an intangible – like a service of some sort?

  3. Do you have time to post?

    How much time can you dedicate to generating content?  Do you have capacity to write articles or blogs?

  4. Do you have a budget to allocate to online marketing?

    What budget do you have to spend on you social network marketing?

Once the above questions have been answered the answer should become more obvious and make social network selection easier.  Some general guidelines follow:

  • Facebook

    This social network appeals to MOST users and therefore suits MOST businesses.  The reason being – any advertising you do on this network can be specifically targeted based on any demographic e.g. Age, Gender, Marital Status, Interests, etc.  Facebook can be used both for image intensive marketing and information intensive.  So really, every business should be on Facebook and if you are going to choose one to start with, this should certainly be the one.  Huffington Post published some very interesting stats in 2012 already that indicated that 80% of Facebook users prefer to interact with a brand on Facebook over any other medium – including the brand’s website!  And that was over 18 months ago!  That’s quite a statistic!  And a clear indicator that no business can afford not to be on Facebook.  Generally speaking posting only once a day on this network is ideal for most businesses or brands.

  • Twitter

    This social network does appeal to more technologically advanced users.  You need to be able to say what you need to say in limited characters as well.  So no long posts.  Since introducing images to the network – “tweets” with image links tend to be engaged with twice as much as those without.  As do tweets featuring hashtags (more about that in a future blog post).  And here’s a very interesting statistic – the fastest growing demographic on Twitter is 55-64 year olds!  So no longer is this social network only appealing to young and tech savvy users.  Twitter does need far more interaction with the followers.  Regular tweets and more devoted interaction is required here.    Read more surprising Twitter stats here …

  • Pinterest

    Women, women, women.  If you have a product or service that appeals to women, you should really be on Pinterest.  80% of Pinterest users are women.  50% of Pinterest users have children.  This social network is obviously also totally visual – so your product / service needs to have visual appeal.  If so, this social network could work even better for you than Facebook and needs to be considered.  You should post to this network several times a day ideally.

  • Instagram

    Instagram is a great easy to use tool which can feed easily and successfully into all your other social networks … it can post to your Facebook and Twitter profiles and has simple to use tools to make those quick photos you take on your phone look incredible.  You would obviously need to have a business where you have something to photograph.

  • LinkedIn

    LinkedIn is essential for any professional looking to connect with other professionals or corporates.  You can set your profile up to pull your Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, Google+ posts, etc. to your LinkedIn so once setup, LinkedIn can be left to generate leads and won’t be required to be logged in to too often.

  • Google+

    Google+ has rapidly grown into one of the top 3 social networks.  With more people becoming aware of the Google ranking benefits, any business who wants to get more visitors to it’s website or other pages from Google needs to consider a Google+ Page.

Understanding social network user behaviour

Its important to realize that many users choose only 1 or a couple of social networks to interact on.  So if you choose to only have a Facebook Page for example, you will not attract the many Twitter users who choose to not use Facebook at all and only use Twitter.  So whilst certain social networks may be more obviously geared towards your business or brand – don’t discount the value of having a more fully encompassing strategy.

Choose a network and get posting!

If your chose is clearer with respect to social network selection, make it and get posting!

Yes, your business DOES need social media marketing

Need Social Media?

Need Social Media?

Most large business brands already appreciate the value and need of online social media marketing – and many of them allocate considerable budgets to these avenues of marketing due to the tangible positive effects it has on their businesses.

I find that small business owners however, don’t often understand the value that this marketing strategy can have for them.  Usually they are multi-tasking and performing several roles in their own businesses already, they have limited budgets and they often don’t have the skill or interest in setting up or maintaining a company Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, or whatever the latest social environment is.

Sometimes enthusiasm will hit briefly when someone points out to them that its “FREE” marketing, and they’ll go ahead and create a page, post furiously and ineffectively for a few weeks and then lose momentum and give up because it “hasn’t worked”.

Social media marketing is definitely not free!  No, there are no costs to register on the platform you want to use, you can set up your profile free, brand it, and that’s where the “free” ends.  Maintaining a SUCCESSFUL social media marketing campaign takes time and knowledge and if you lack either of those you most certainly need to pay someone to do this marketing for you.  The cost of this marketing though is affordable to every company, regardless of the size.  Much like managing your traditional marketing budget, you can get creative and use your budget effectively to get the most “bang for your buck”.

Done correctly, a website and social media marketing campaign becomes a full-time 24/7 highly effective sales and marketing resource!  Think about what that would cost you if a person was doing this for you!  Think of the effects that person would have on your bottom line!

Yes, your business absolutely does need social media marketing!  If you have the time but lack the know how – get some training and do it yourself.  Failing that, find an online marketing company that gets you and your brand and speaks your language.  There are a lot of us out there, find your match and start your journey.

Deciding you need social media marketing for your business is just step 1, the next question would be which platforms.  We will be answering that question in our next blog.

 

Cooked Media

Cooked Media