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Who Said Social Media Marketing Was Free?

By: Elaine Fogel


Whoever said that social media (SM) marketing was free is living in La-La Land. Even if your business has “free” SM accounts, content doesn’t appear by osmosis. It takes real, live people to create it, post it, and engage with it.

So, what does social media marketing cost?
As with most marketing tactics, the price tag relies on time and money. And, that figure is growing. 
According to a new survey of small business owners, social strategists, and C-Level executives conducted by Social Media Marketing University, companies are investing more time and money in social media this year as compared to last. In fact, over 73% of them have increased the time they spend invested in social media. Another 14% say it remained the same and 8% say it decreased.
Around 60% of respondents say that the biggest time investment is in content development. (Ain’t that the truth? I’m writing this at 8:30 p.m. while my hubby is relaxing.)
Time numbers drop considerably for strategy development (11.6%) and posting content (10.4%). (Do you think that’s because many of these companies don’t have a social media marketing strategy?)
The smaller time zappers include listening/monitoring, measurement, responding to fans and followers, and reporting results to leadership—the total of which comes to less than 18%. (Are they measuring and monitoring?)
So, exactly what are these companies managing?
The majority (almost 31%) are juggling between 3 and 5 social media profiles. And, over a quarter of them are juggling 8! A little over 22% are managing between 2 and 3 profiles.
So, are they increasing their spend in addition to their time?
Well, the two go hand in hand. The majority (over 54%) are increasing the money they invest in social media marketing. Almost 38% say they’re staying the same, and almost 8% are actually decreasing their spend.
So, where’s the money going?
Almost 37% say they’re spending more on internal staff compensation. (That makes sense.) Less than 18% say they’ll spend on social advertising; a little over 10% say external staff compensation; and a little over 7% say content.
So, why the increased investment?
Because almost 78% of respondents say it’s worth it! Yes, they say it’s worth the time and money based on their results. (What the report doesn’t say is how respondents evaluate what “worth it” entails. Oh, well.)
What do you say? Is your business investing more in social media marketing? Why or why not?
Social Media Investing
This article was originally published by Elaine Fogel
Published: June 5, 2014

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