If you live in America in the 21st century it is almost impossible to escape the presence of Facebook or Twitter. Every time you turn on the television or radio, or use your mobile device, you are likely to run into them. This ubiquitous social media presence offers an important benefit for businesses promoting themselves—namely, billions of potential customers. However for many businesses eager to take advantage of social media marketing there is a pressing issue: what is the true cost of social media marketing?
The short answer is that it depends. Like many forms of marketing, you are likely to get more out of it, the more you invest. So if you only need a minor amount of social media optimization, you will pay a minor amount. There are also a number of other factors involved, including the expertise of your social media marketing firm, which social media platforms you want to target and what kinds of online marketing you want to utilize. But in general, the cost of social media marketing can vary from $1,000 up to $20,000 a month.
The Basics of Social Media MarketingConsidering the enormous variability in costs, it is important to approach social media marketing with some basic understanding of it. First of all, you should know that social media is relatively new—only a decade ago, Facebook didn’t exist—and it is rapidly evolving. Like many other technological platforms, social media is changing to meet the needs of users who are changing their interests, tech savviness and enthusiasm for online apps almost minute by minute.
Secondly, this mercurial nature of the public makes social media marketing highly complex and challenging. Many social media marketing firms are likely to boast that they have a firm grasp on what social media users want, but be careful when they promise you the moon. Most social media marketing agencies can produce solid results over time, but very few can make your company into an overnight sensation.
The Cost of Social Media MarketingWhile it is easy to get hung up about the upfront costs of a social media campaign, the true cost of social media marketing is related to not implementing a social media strategy. Take for example a few of the most high profile Facebook ad campaigns by major corporations: McDonald’s spends $150 million on social media marketing and earns $310 million in return; Coca-Cola spent $120 million in return for $190 million; and Nike earned $205 million for an expenditure of $83 million.
These businesses recognize that Facebook and other social networks are important platforms that can yield enormous returns on their investment. They understand that social media users are extremely loyal to these services and the information they receive through them. According to one survey, almost 28 percent of Facebook users are more likely to continue using a brand than non-users, and that Facebook users are 41 percent more willing to recommend a brand than non-users. The enormous consumer loyalty that social media users exhibit, not only produces immediate dividends, but also fosters a long term relationship that will produce profits for the foreseeable future. It is therefore, usually a wise investment to hire a reputable social media professional.