Now try naming another form of media where that’s possible. HBO doesn’t want to give you some free air time? The New York Times won’t give you a free half page ad? How old-school. But this is why many brand mangagers have a hard time understanding that you have to invest in social media to make it effective.
There are literally thousands of companies out there today who have a presence on the major social networks. (In fact, a new survey reveals that a whopping 37% of the pages on Facebook are either for brands or local businesses. Think about how much competition that creates for attention.) The vast majority of these businesses have employed a person or two to post, monitor and respond. They talk a lot internally about social media. But they’ve failed to fund the ingredients that are vital to any successful marketing program:
2) Strategy (based on the research).
3) Innovative tactics to encourage evangelist participation & sharing.
4) Social (primarily Facebook) advertising.
5) Monitoring & adjustment.
The true mission of any marketing program is to increase sales. And even though many social ‘experts’ will tell you it’s all about engagement and building community – ultimately the cash register needs to ring. And in order to make that happen today, you have to invest. Just like with all other types of media.
So, just to keep it honest – we’re often asked: ‘How much do we need to spend to have real impact?’ Of course, it depends on total revenue. If your sales are over $10M per year, we believe you should be spending at least $5K per month on social over a one year period. Large brands, naturally, spend considerably more.
We still feel that social marketing is a relative bargain at this budget level. No other marketing program allows you to give your evangelists the tools they need to spread their enthusiasm. And just like they say at Visa, that’s priceless.