What’s Wrong With $200 A Month For SM Content?
I have a client who recently asked if I would manage his brand’s social media accounts for a small retainer – $200 a month. He mentioned he had seen several small business SM consultants in his area offering content services as cheap as $95 per month and was surprised I wasn’t interested in offering anything similar.
He’s right. There are plenty of self-proclaimed social media “gurus” that do that kind of work. It’s rude to name names, but we’ve all seen “consultants” happy to fill your company’s Twitter account with inspirational quotes, engaging questions and blow-by-blow breakfast recaps. But I’m not one of them – it’s precisely that type of social media content that gives all of us in the biz a bad name.
The truth is, $95 a month doesn’t come close to the labor cost of maintaing a half decent web presence. The only way to earn a profit on a small SM retainer – even at $200 or $300 a month – is to crank out generic, trite updates. Posts like “What are some recent compliments you’ve received?” or “Dream on! You’ve got to have a dream, if you want to have a dream come true. – Dennis Waitley #quote.” Does anyone think these posts are an authentic reflection of a brand’s message?
For both a brand and its followers to benefit from an SM account, the content has to be genuinely interesting. Share insider tips, updates from the skunkworks, conversations you’ve had with customers. Every business stumbles across insights worth sharing, daily. The thing is, who has the time to learn so much about a brand for $95 a month?
Social media works best when the updates are coming from a voice that lives and breathes a brand. Someone who can act as a direct channel to SM. It’s possible to gain followers, and build a community with a content stream of platitudes, but that doesn’t serve anyone. Only fans who care about your brand will become customers.
So – how can a small business with limited resources take advantage of social media? Choose your channels carefully. Don’t try to maintain accounts everywhere. Observe your competitors and your clients. Are they on Facebook? Pinterest? Inspiration is everywhere – make sure an employee gets in the habit. Try your hardest to integrate SM into your current routine, instead of thinking of social posting as a separate chore. Don’t farm out your brand’s voice to someone who doesn’t understand what you do.
And if you’re interested in optimizing your audience engagement to best deliver branded messaging content, you ought to follow me on Twitter. For free.