When our marketing team here at Socially Buzzing talks to prospective clients, one question that often arises is:
“Why don’t I just hire my own social media team or manager and handle things in house?”
This is a fair question and one that deserves an answer.
We have put together some relevant data as to what forming and maintaining a social media department could cost.
Social media is often touted as being free. While many of the tools such as Facebook and Twitter are free, social media is time and labor intensive. The cost of devising and implementing a successful social media strategy that gets results is anything but free.
A Social Media support group, Social Ally, led by Sally Falkow and Chris Abraham, has released figures that show what social media can actually cost. Social media is fast becoming more than just a part of the marketing and PR mix. Most savvy companies now considerate it essential and realize that in today’s competitive business community every tool must be fully utilized.
Companies are realizing they need to integrate social engagement into employee relations, hiring, customer service, risk management and product development. This means hiring social media savvy people in many roles across the organization, or putting a dedicated social media team in place to manage the integration. To plan and effectively implement a social media strategy would require the services of a social media strategist. Most social media strategy consultants charge between $100 and $300 an hour. If one were hired full time, a company would probably have to pay between $50,000 and $100,000 a year. A community manager will cost between $50,000 and $75,000 a year, according to: EConsultancy Social Media Salary Guide in the top 20 US markets . Successful engagement across the organization means staff has to be trained.
An in-house social media manual and online training course would be around $10,000 and hiring a trainer for on-site workshops will cost anywhere from $1500 – $10,000 a day, depending on who is hired. Companies could be looking at $250K Dashboard and monitoring tools could be another $30,000 – $80,000 a year. Technology costs — blogs, mini sites, video equipment, custom Facebook tabs and apps, online newsroom and mobile apps could be anywhere from as little as $5,000 to as much as $100,000. Take it all into account and a company could be looking at a quarter of a million dollars a year!
Yes, many successful programs have been done for much less, but when calculating ROI it’s wise to look at the big picture and include all the hidden time and labor costs, in order to get the real cost of investment and see the actual return. “These figures make outsourcing Social media support activities an attractive proposition,” says Falkow. “Engagement and conversation has to be done by people in the company. That’s what social media is all about — conversations between the people in a company and their stakeholders.
But engagement is only a fraction of the social media pie: “75% of the work is in the research, monitoring and content creation — and that can be outsourced.”
At Socially Buzzing, our expertise, along with our best in the industry techniques and infrastructure give us an edge that allows for affordable yet full time engagement with all major and many micro social communities. Call or e-mail us for a customized presentation or to pick our brains.