The topic of social media is a mixed bag for many. I know, that seems hard to believe, right? Everyone has jumped onto the social media bandwagon – haven’t they? Not exactly. Especially when it comes to small businesses in particular. And for some, the cost of social media is too high. I know you’re scratching your head, “What do you mean, it’s free!” Again, not exactly.
I recently read some points regarding the costs involved:
“The cost issues are critical for a small business,” says Paul Verna, senior analyst with eMarketer. Larger companies can afford to hire an agency or even a team of people to handle the time-consuming chores of creating content, making regular updates and monitoring corporate social media pages. A small company may only have a part-time resource. “Even having one person dedicated to your social media profile better have an intense payoff at the other end,” Verna warns.”
Let’s face it, social media takes time – lots of it. And your time is valuable. Even after investing loads of time, sometimes the payoff just isn’t there:
“Most people go on Facebook to connect with people like family and friends or to play games, and they really don’t care about your ball-bearing company,” observes Mark Schaefer, a blogger and consultant in social media marketing.”
Having said that, there are enormous amounts of individuals with Facebook and Twitter profiles these days. If sites like Facebook and Twitter don’t happen to generate a lot of leads for you, they can be instrumental in efficient customer service.
Here’s an example I recently heard. It was game day and and a gentlemen just settled into his favorite chair to enjoy the event – and the cable service went out. He didn’t bother to telephone the cable provider, instead he jumped onto Twitter to vent his frustration. To his surprise, within minutes, a representative of the cable company who had been monitoring the Twitter account responded, sent a new signal to his cable box, and moments later – game on.
Now I don’t know about you, but if you’ve ever been trapped in a service providers automated system waiting for a representative to appear on the line – you can see the value here.
As with anything, pros and cons are involved. Check out this article, “Are You Wasting Your Time on Facebook and Twitter?,” where those pros and cons are touched upon along with some examples of how social media is being successfully used by small businesses – and how the time spent was worth the payoff.
After reading the article, come back and give us your thoughts – tell us, is the cost of social media too high for your small business?
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