That’s a question we often get asked by potential clients. Our answer? Social media marketing shouldn’t be used as a one-size-fits-all marketing tactic. It should be integrated into your overall business and marketing plan, and that could look different from one business and industry to the next. Before giving you an answer, a good potential marketing partner should be asking you these questions.
How much do you know about your core customer?
What does your core customer look like? How old are they? How active are they online? What social media platforms are they on? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, your outsourced marketing partner can help you find the answers. Your past interactions with customers can reveal a lot–the good, the bad, and the ugly! Combing through previous interactions will definitely help narrow your focus. Take time to go through some big wins. Whether it’s reading through testimonials or paging through old emails to find those accomplishments, your marketing partner can help you identify any common threads. Did all of those customers have the same pain points? Are they located in the same geography? Did they purchase similar products or services from you? The more information you know, the better your outsourced marketing partner can help you reach them or find more prospects who look like them.
What are the online habits of your core customer?
How active is your core customer online? Do they research products and services online? Have they been to your website? Did they make a purchase from your site? Have they left you a positive online review? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, your outsourced social marketing partner can help you find them. Installing Google Analytics on your website is the first step. You’ll be able to view what pages of your site are getting the most visits. You’ll also see if any social media platforms are being visited directly before your site is being visited.
Does your brand have any existing reputation issues that need to be managed?
Have you actively been managing customer feedback and reviews on your social networks? Do you know what your customers and prospects are saying about your business on these networks? Your outsourced marketing partner will be able to help you determine if you need do any type of damage control. If there are reputation issues, they will be able to either respond on your behalf or guide you on the best ways to respond.
Do you have internal resources allocated for managing social media?
How active or engaged will you or your staff be in managing your social media marketing? If you are looking for a complete outsourced marketing solution, that will require a different level of effort than if you are looking for a strategic partner or someone to just manage paid advertising on social networks.
What are your short-term and long-term social media marketing goals?
If your short-term goals are to generate awareness quickly, a paid strategy may be recommended. If you already have a large social presence, an organic strategy may be what is needed. That said, your outsourced marketing partner should ask you these questions before quoting you a price or delivering a strategy.
Do you have the right expectations for measuring social media marketing?
Your outsourced marketing partner should be very honest and transparent about the return on investment from social media. It’s tricky to measure because this channel often assists other channels in garnering leads or sales. You’ll be able to measure traffic and direct conversions, but it’s hard to accurately quantify the reputation value your brand has generated. In addition, there is such a wide variation between industries and the price of paid social media ads.
So, the bottom line is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the cost to outsource your social media marketing. That said, there are questions and conversations that should be had prior to quoting a price or delivering a strategy. A good outsourced marketing partner will be able to have those strategic conversations with you and guide you to the appropriate strategy, which consists of a deliberate positioning of your brand and value proposition.