Budgeting for Social PR
“How much does social media cost?” is a question we often get. Our answer might be broad because at More Cabbage, we also include SEO, content development and internet marketing campaigns that all relate to the synergistic outcomes of Social PR.
There are several factors used to determine the cost, which is normally equated to hours of work. These factors will include content production; industry; business model; current marketing effort; and quantity and quality of existing fans and followers. Other factors may include how many negative comments are online that need to be addressed, how much search engine optimization needs to be done (or re-done), how many and what kinds of campaigns can be built (twitter, foursquare, Google, QR Code, social video, events, etc.) Certain businesses lend themselves to more marketing effort than others, and generally those that require more social media communications effort, already have large marketing, pre-sales, and sales rep budgets.
Because social media is managing relationships with people, content cannot be automated. This will translate to tweets and blog posts written by hand. Managing your brand and potential crises in comments is critical and very high-level. Set-up is very comprehensive which will scale depending on the size of your company. It also means videos need to produced—many, authentic short videos. Graphics will need to be designed for custom tabs, pay-per-click-ads, email layouts, backgrounds, etc. A schedule and plan will need to be built preferably around a marketing calendar.
Your staff will likely need training, governance consulting and social media policies, research, and reporting. In the end, our goal is to help convert your organization into a social business too. If we can also engage your staff to participate with the Social PR effort, the outcomes are exponential, as you build more relationships with your prospects.
If the company’s web site is not social, it will need to be evaluated, possibly converted, or at minimum, modified by adding a blog to the site.
In the end the very basic start in Social PR will requires the absolute minimum of 35 hours per month. Much of this has to do with the many disciplines of: Strategic Brand Leadership, Social Media Management, Public Relations, Research, Art Direction, Video Production, Copy Writing and Programming. These disciplines are never found all in one person. It requires a team, usually of four to seven, part-time. The 35 hours/month is just a starting point, as some of our larger clients have requirements demanding hundreds of hours per month.
The length of the term depends on how long you want us to maintain relationships with prospects. Usually we build contracts into two-year commitments to allow for relationship growth, tracking, measurement and adjustment.
This concept of budgeting is better explained and collaborated on during custom Social PR Strategy sessions with our clients, which follow a complimentary Social PR Presentation.
Here is an infographic we found online on how much companies are spending. These numbers are much larger than our firm would charge.
- Chris Conant, Head Cabbage at More Cabbage