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October 14, 2013

The Price of Social Media

By Izumi Mitsui

The Price of Social Media? Sounds like a contradicting statement right?

Social Media is free!’ is a statement that is thrown around a lot which is a source of confusion and frustration for many. Afterall, if social media is free then why are companies charging for these services? Is it another scheme pulling the wool over the heads of those who are less tech savvy?

This article is aimed at providing you the truth behind this popular statement and belief. If integration of social media is on the horizon for you read on as we unfold this topic on the real price of social media.

Whether its Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or whatever your preferred platform, the registration and membership for these channels are free, however that is about the extent of the statement ‘free’.

Consider the following major ingredients to make effective use of social media channels that benefit your business:

TIME

The only thing in life we get a limited amount of. Unless you consider you/your employees time as ‘free’ then you’ll understand already why taking on social media is in fact not ‘free’.

There is a significant commitment of time required for the maintenance and upkeep of your account(s).

For example, the commitment of time can be significantly larger when first establishing the accounts or when certain seasonal campaigns are run.  

STAFF COSTS

Since time is the major factor an intentional look at the people performing the task is essential. Does the person assigned have a good knowledge of your business? Does he/she understand the trends of your target market and able to deliver them the most relevant information to increase engagement and direct communication?

Remember the quantity of the noise isn’t as important as the quality.

EXTERNAL COSTS

‘If you build it, they will come’ is a myth in the digital landscape. Without marketing your products/channels your audience doesn’t know it exists!

If there is no internal staff allocated for marketing, costs for external sourcing of campaigns and advertising will need to be considered.

Also this external cost could extend out to equipping yourself with metric tools so you are able to track and manage these ventures and making sure your ROI is worthwhile.

 

So there you have it, while this article only scratches the surface of this topic the goal is to get you thinking before taking the plunge.  

Don’t be fooled into believing social media is free, otherwise when you’re elbow deep in multiple channels and lacking the time to keep them current, you could find the lack of consistency across the platforms to have a counter-productive effect on your business reputation.

Want more? Itomic loves to be social, lets talk!