03 Apr Social Media? You can afford it.
If you believe that social media marketing is cheap and cool but not effective for your business, consider getting specialists to help you.
Sherpa’s CEO Gary Hendrickse believes that right now is a good time for businesses to invest in social media marketing.
“Social media is a lot cheaper than options such as traditional, direct or popular digital media platforms but the big corporates have yet to fully grasp the space. Once – or, when – they do, I doubt that social media will remain a cheap option.”
Gary says that businesses should work with agency partners rather than try to do it all themselves in-house.
“It always makes sense to work with specialists, whether you’re developing a radio advert, PR release or direct mail campaign. With social media, people often think that just because you’ve got a personal profile and 200 friends, you know your way around social media and can therefore handle the company presence. We find this often creates the view that social media is cheap but not effective,” says Gary.
3 REASONS TO WORK WITH SPECIALISTS:
When you work with a good agency, you get the vital 3-in-1 mix. At least 3 skilled but diverse disciplines work together to make your social media post work for your business. Strategy. Design. Graphic. In an environment where just being adequate or good will lead to poor results, you need committed specialists in each of those disciplines to win on social media or simply compete in the space. Put it this way – if your competitor has these skills behind them, you’re going to get a hiding!
Let’s say you want to smack your competitors so you create an in-house social media team. If you bring in industry light weights with 0 – 2 years’ experience (see under the header Collective), it will cost you R50 000 – R60 000 per month for the team. Then you still have facilities cost and of course, you have not budgeted for any boosting (social media advertising). And if whoever the in-house team reports to is not an expert, how will you know whether that R80 000 – R100 000 per month (including facilities and advertising) is actually working for you? The other question you’ll need to ask is: “Have I got an advertising budget big enough to keep the team busy for the whole month?” In a small business, this is unlikely.
You need to know whether what you’re doing stacks up against industry standards and market expectations. Somebody needs to be able to say to you: “No, don’t go there. It doesn’t work / it will offend / it’s against Facebook rules etc.” As a minimum, you need a proof reader or editor to go through the content before you expose it to the world. The other side of reputation management is handling responses, often nasty and sometimes justifiably so. There are best-practices which are second nature to specialists. This scenario brings a fourth discipline to your table (see Collective for the other 3) – PR skills, with an ability to stand back without the ego that closeness causes and turn a bad situation around.
“The very fact that social media is still cheap allows business to use the skills of specialists to win in this space. The winner is always going to be the player with a trained, skilled team behind them,” says Gary.