I am often asked; how much should we spend on Social Media?
My view has always been that Social Media is, generally speaking, more about vanity than productivity and is a massive con job (think: Y2K), a waste of time, money and resources for a lot of businesses. To think that nearly all major companies now spend in the millions on this pursuit is truly mind boggling.
Woah, before you send out the lynch mob, hear me out. Despite my personal (old fuddy duddy) views, I believe that for some businesses, Social Media spend is not only appropriate, but essential. The trick is knowing when you need to allocate a budget to Social Media or not.
When you need to invest in Social Media
If you are in the business of say, publishing magazines for teenagers, selling skateboards, lip gloss or soft drinks, then yes, you'd better have a really, really good Social Media strategy because this demographic lives, breathes and demands Social Media interaction - all day, every day! Types of businesses in this category include (but are not limited to);
- Publishers offline/ online (with readers in the 13 to 35 age group, young, hip fashionable etc)
- Universities/ Colleges etc
- Fashion (obviously)
- Transport - personal (cars, leisure craft, scooters, bikes etc)
- Transport - public (traffic/rail updates via Twitter, forget all other forms)
- Music/ TV/ Movies
- Events (particularly events for the young, hip, cool etc)
- Retail - fashionable/ seasonal (only young, hip, cool etc)
- Energy (there's some argument for Social strategy here as the world becomes more environmentally aware - due in part to our young, hip & cool - pardon the pun)
If you are in one of these types of businesses, you need Social Media like you need oxygen!
When you don't need to invest in Social Media
Conversely, if you're a successful Fencing, Farming or Manufacturing business whose customers do not live and breathe (or even know about) Social Media, do you really need to employ teams of people to monitor and create content around Social? I think not. Chances are, your business became successful long before Social Media was even invented and I'm betting it will get by just fine without it. My advice; keep your shareholders happy and sack or refocus your Social Media team. You don't need it. Types of businesses in this category include (but are not limited to);
- Publishers (with readers over 35)
- Banks/ Finance (lets be honest, banks are not sexy, cool or hip, so banks, get smart and cut your spend on Social. It's shareholders' money you're pouring down the drain)
- Politics (see Banks - except it's tax payers' money they are pouring down the drain!)
- Government (some exceptions when dealing with youth for example, but generally, it does not warrant a blanket Social Media spend across all areas of government)
- Retail - staples (K-Mart, Best N Less, Dick Smith, Bunnings etc)
- Manufacturing (steel, concrete, plumbing, building etc)
If you'd like to discuss or review your Social Media Strategy in an unbiased, objective way why not give Metaweb a call. We can often act as the voice of reason when it's hard to get heard internally. We can also help by developing detailed data and analytics to support or refute your Social Media spending. After all, data doesn't lie.