On trusting your “trainer” when it comes to social media…

I wrote a blog post last year about sometimes feeling like a personal trainer when doing my job as the owner of a Social Media Strategy. The post actually received some positive feedback and I wanted to get into the topic again. On this episode, I took it a bit deeper and added my thoughts via voice which is a more popular format it seems these days. However you choose to consume it, I think it is a simple yet important one to hear.

If you are hiring a trainer for something as serious as your health OR an expert for something as serious as your business’ marketing success, it is imperative to choose a good one and then let them do what they do. Dont second guess or undermine along the way, especially in areas you might not be super well versed in.  Remove the hedge, follow blindly and see what comes from it.

I know for certain it will lead to better results with Sircle Media…

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How You Budget For Social

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It is hard to believe that December is here and a new year is almost upon us. I have been in a lot of meetings lately and on a number of calls regarding planning for 2014 and the biggest question seems to be:  How do we budget for social?

In my opinion there are three categories to consider:

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1)  Social Media Management: The most important piece is the day to day community management for the brand. This includes design and development of content/assets that users/fans/followers of the brand will want to consume and engage with and strategy on how best to use the various social networks to your advantage. I believe it is very difficult to find a person internally that can do all of this effectively, especially at the price most will want to pay for the role. As a baseline you should consider this to be a full time position and you should allocate a junior level salary to it: $2,500 per month ($30,000) Outsourcing, at least to start, is a great option!

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2)  Social Media Marketing: This is the actual marketing component of social media and you will need to allocate a budget that is specifically marketing related. If you are looking at Facebook Ads, search marketing or even a blogger outreach program, you need to set aside a real budget to fund these initiatives.
For Facebook Ads we generally recommend a starter test around $500-$1000 per month to get a feel for the platform and to assess what type of CPL you can drive.  With SEO it is really hard to put a number on it as it varies by vertical, but I would say that if ecommerce is more than a 5-10% focus for your brand then it is a must have. A blogger outreach program is great for exposure/awareness as well as search relevancy. You need to allocate a budget for prizes, distribution/shipping and actual paid posts (if you are open to it).

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3) Social/Digital Strategy: This is how you will bring all of the pieces together. Ideally you have someone with a more senior level understanding of digital strategy on your team.  You need to look at this holistically and think about what you really want to accomplish. If you set some goals for your business as you enter 2014, then you need to sit down and make sure your plan and staffing is commensurate with that plan.

From email sequencing, to web development, to expansion initiatives (e-commerce, Wholesale etc.) there is a lot to consider and tie together.  You should allocate time and expenses to creating this plan or set of mini plans before you start the year. Once you have the plan(s) set, you can create a calendar for implementation based on your cash flow.  You don’t want to not take action on make sense plans, because you fear it is too cost prohibitive. Figure out what you want to see happen, and then put some real numbers behind each piece. Remember the worst action, is inaction!

 

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