Social Media Marketing is a specialty within the web, PR, direct and integrated marketing arenas. It is a professional niche that requires specific knowledge, skill and experience to make effective and efficient. If anyone tells you anything different, they are lying to you.
If you were a professional mechanic, you certainly wouldn’t skip steps, do things using free or borrowed tools, would you? If you were an attorney, would you use a free expert witness on the stand when your clients financial well being depended on it? If you were a professional athlete would you use the free limited gym in your high-end condo complex to try and save the $50 per month for the membership to the facility that has all of the things you need to maintain and improve your body?
If you answered yes to any of the above examples, you are not a social media marketing professional, but a dabbler in the social space. If you answered no to these questions and are using free, limited versions of the professional social media tools you really need to be effective for your brand or social media agency, you are also a dabbler. What’s worse? You are being incredibly foolish.
We hear a ton of “excuses” from people every single day as I speak and consult on social media. Things like…
– We use Tweetdeck because it’s free.
– Do we have to pay for the pro Hootsuite account to use Bundle Post?
– I have not signed up because it costs $50/$100 per month.
Seriously? Let’s be real here. You need a social strategy AND a business strategy!
The right social media tools are a requirement if you are a professional. In fact, if you are doing social media marketing for your own small company and are not spending $100-$200 per month on the proper tools, you are kidding yourself and wasting a lot of time. If you are a social media agency and not spending $150 – $500 per month on the proper tools, you need to evaluate your company profitability and client results, because I suspect you have some major issues on both counts.
If a micro-targeting follow/unfollow tool like Tweetspinner can grow your clients targeted follower base 250% + faster and more effectively, why are you not spending the $22.00 per month to get 5 twitter accounts smoking?
If Hootsuite can deliver more of the social media management, collaboration, analytics and content scheduling capabilities required to make social programs effective and profitable, why are you worrying about the $5.95 per month, or $15.00/mo per collaborative user?
If SocialStage delivers a much more effective fanpage customization solution for $20.00 per month, creating single tabbed micro websites on your fanpages, in a far more professional and customizable for way less cost than outsourcing or designing in-house. What are you making a fuss about? Do it!
If BundlePost , a social content management system, can save you over 80% of your back office social media marketing time, improve all metric results of your social media marketing programs, and give you 80% more time to drive ROI and/handle more clients, why are you worrying about $100 per month? Wouldn’t you like to have the capacity for 80% more clients or improved results with LESS overhead?
What is your time worth?
The point is this… “Social Media Marketing is NOT free. Access to the social networks is.” #quote @fondalo
If you are going to proclaim to be a social media marketer, agency, consultant, strategist or are conducting social media efforts for yourself or your brand, you are either failing to make good decisions about proper tools, or you are a professional and getting professional results using tools. The proper tools make you more effective, reduce costs and time. This frees you up to sign more business, have more conversations and build more relationships. = ROI (return on investment)
Think about what you are doing to “save money” and what that decision is costing you in time, effectiveness, revenue and additional business. Chose revenue and results over pennies every time!
Update: This evening I saw this commercial for H & R Block. You have to have the right tools. Made me laugh and connected well with today’s post, so I decided to do a little update/addition. :-) Enjoy a little laugh.