Companies throughout the world are warming up to Social Media Marketing (SMM) and trying to find ways to promote their brand(s) via social channels. Some have success while others unfortunately fail. Those who couldn’t make the leap, or companies looking to further their social fame, are forced to seek out social media consultants to get the job done. But the question is: Are the costs of Social Media consultants inflated or realistic?
I feel that a consultant’s pay should be commensurate with their experience and the consultant should be able to prove not what they can do, rather what they’ve done. A top shelf consultant should be able to furnish loads of previous work and show they do in fact know what they’re doing. Or, as I like to say: Proof resides in the pudding.
When looking at the actual costs of a Social Media consultant, whether it’s hourly or on a retainer, consumers/businesses must understand what actually goes into social marketing. From my experience, around 65% of Social Media is research, not implementation. No, connecting with influential Twitter members isn’t difficult, but understanding exactly how to do so is. Writing a blog entry that attracts 100+ Retweets is no walk in the park. Gaining thousands of “likes” on Facebook is a mountain to climb.
Let’s say there’s a very rare, complex computer running a 5,000 person operation and one day it decides to act up. Nobody knows a fix and all YouTube instructional videos have been exhausted. Then, someone at the office decides to call a person who has expertise in the particular type of computer being used. He arrives, gets out a small hammer, and slightly taps the computer on the side. Then, voila! Things are back up and running. The computer technician hands the business owner a bill for $10,000 and he responds with: “What the heck is this? That took you one minute and you’re charging me $10,000?” The computer tech responds by saying: “Yes, you’re correct, that was one minute of work but a lifetime of learning how to do it.”
Social Media Marketing is a tough cookie requiring precise ingredients that combine to form a decadent dessert. Learning the ropes and getting a feel for social marketing, then actually being able to put such knowledge into action takes time, and this is what determines the cost of a Social Media consultant. The more time invested, the better knowledge one has, the higher the cost. It’s as easy as that.
I hope this article has been helpful.
Aaron Schoenberger is Founder of The Brainchild Group — a digital advertising agency that specializes in revolutionary Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing strategies. He’s known for his work with celebrity clients, top restaurants, professional athletes and Fortune 500 companies.
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