Many brands start their social media marketing programs because it’s the in thing, and because it’s free. Or at least so it seems. Once they’re in it though and start to learn how it needs to be done so it actually works, they quickly find out that it’s quite cumbersome work. It’s also very expensive, especially when factoring in the cost of time. Here’s why:
What you share must be useful
Social media marketing is not about sharing and reposting content that others have written. Sooner or later, you’ve got to start crafting your own content that is relevant to your industry and business. This takes a lot of time and energy as you’ve got to research the topics you’re going to write about, constantly work on your writing skills, and follow tons of others to keep learning. (A great side effect is that you’ll end up learning a lot in the process as well.)
There are millions of brands competing for attention
People can only follow that many pages or tweeps before they start to feel overwhelmed. In other words, you’re not necessarily going to be competing against other brands that have a similar offering, but all the other brands that are offering interesting and capturing content. In simple terms, you are competing for time and attention.
New channels are popping out frequently
Just when you feel you’ve got things figured out, along comes a new channel that’s exploding in terms of popularity and followers. Problem is that it’s very appealing to your target audience, so you have no choice but to jump on the bandwagon. And so the learning curve for a new tool starts all over again. But don’t despair; keeping up with trends is one of the traits that set a successful social media marketer ahead of the pack.
The mechanics aren’t all that easy
Getting your Facebook page up and running and making a few posts is easy at the beginning. But once you start to dig into the details, you’ll discover that there are tons of those that are critical for your successful campaigns. And those differ from channel to channel. For example, the ideal dimensions for images are different from one social channel to the other, which means that even if you want to use the same image for all, you still have to produce that in a few different formats. And that’s just scratching the surface.
Channels are creative in monetizing their services
Just take a look at what Facebook does with your posts; you have 50k followers, but your posts are reaching only a very small handful. Want to reach a few thousands? Pay up and boost that post. And the larger your following, the more you have to cough up each time you want to boost your reach. This is one of many reasons why it’ll pay to have a smaller – but more targeted group of followers.
People read less and less
Let’s be realistic; when was the last time you took the time to read an article or post? People simply want to consume content as fast and easy as possible. In other words, they want your content to be as visual as possible. So you’ve got to start producing infographs and pictures now. More time, and more money to spend.
But to counter-argue against all that and some more, just compare what you’re spending on social media marketing today against what you used to spend on print ads a decade ago. You’ll quickly find that your entire social media marketing budget for the month won’t buy you one or two full-page ads. Yet, results today are much better than they used to be back then in the mega-budget days.
So we shouldn’t be really complaining, count our blessings, and focus on not only doing it right, but doing it better than our competitors. And when it all becomes too much, you always have the option of outsourcing the whole thing so you can remain focused on your core business.
Happy Social Media Marketing!
About the Author
Pinnacle Business & Marketing Consulting is a results-driven boutique consulting firm that specializes in providing clients with practical and pragmatic solutions to their business and marketing challenges.
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