The Actual Costs Of Social Media

18% of TV campaigns produce a positive return on investment. That just doesn't taste so well does it?
Social Media Cost and ROI

I remember when I briefly worked at Live Nation about 2 years ago. A scary experience that I haven´t even included on my CV since I ran away from there like a terrified cat just after 3 months.
I´m not gonna get into the details but basically I found myself in a company where thousands and thousands of euros were going to magazine ads while ZERO euros were going to social media campaigns.
It just didn´t fit me, a surprise to anyone? Didn´t think so.

This post is about what all of this stuff really costs. There are some very different opinions about this depending on who you ask.
Some people say it free, gratis, zero cost and a questionable ROI. They are mistaken.

A social media campaign CAN be exactly as expensive as an Audi TV commercial in prime time Superbowl channel 1. Or it can be extremely cheap and you can end up in the anti-prime-spot 5am on a tuesday on channel 754. It´s up to you!

If you look at This example of social media campaign costs you could easily be scared away. BUT keep in mind this is just for you to get an idea. Then you can pick whatever parts that fit your campaign best. All of this is definitely not necessary.

I just read an amazing book called The Now Revolution (already read it twice!) and an important chapter speaks about where you are on the Humanization Highway as a company entering into social media activities.

The first stop on the road is to start listening to what the people are saying about your brand. You can do that with various tools (free or paid-for tools) and that´s a whole other blog post speaking about that. Secondly is the interaction part. You decide you want to join the conversations, influence and steer some of the subjects that are being spoken about. Facilitate for people to do business with you.
Then comes the third step and thats when you are actually participating in an active, professional and social way. Creating a firm team to provide and create content, create stories, map out a social media marketing plan e.t.c.
The two first stops can be pretty cheap. The costs would basically be the time of a person to dedicate to the job and some basic tools to be able to pull the information you want.
The third step is far from free, but will undoubtedly bring you some type of ROI. Whether that be turning bad sentiment into good, selling a new product or creating a loyalty program and having customers return to you over and over again you will see something good coming out of it, and isn't that why we´re in business in the first place?

The biggest costs will probably be your own or employees time and graphic design/application costs. Oh and advertising of course. A Wildfire or Strutta campaign can easily cost you thousands of dollars but they also have free basic polls that can be a good start.
Start small and watch it grow. There is no reason to jump into the big swimming pool if you don´t know how to swim. Take it step by step.

Below is a link to an article talking more about this subject that I found interesting.
The cost of a Social Media Campaign

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