You know you need to be on social media, right? It’s been pounded into your head enough. Everywhere you turn there’s a blog post or magazine article on the importance of small businesses having a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and increasingly, Google Plus. And a lot of these articles will tell you that the way to get affordable social media is to do it yourself, and it just takes a few minutes a day, so there’s no reason not to be using social media for your business.
Who has the Time?
But there’s more to it than that. Maybe it can be done in a short amount of time each day; however social networks have a way of sucking you in. Get on Facebook to post one update on your business page, and three hours later, you’re watching videos of babies and kittens, trying to remember why you logged on in the first place.
Who has the Know-how?
The other big challenge is that even though posting to your profiles doesn’t have to take a long time, you have to know what to post. If you don’t have a solid plan behind your social media posting, you might as well give it up. And there’s a lot to learn about posting the right content on social media. On Facebook, for instance, when you post to your business page, only a small percentage of those who have ‘liked’ your page are going to be shown that post in their news stream. So, how do you increase the likelihood that your followers will be shown your updates? Well, you learn all about Facebook EdgeRank, of course. And you read articles and tutorials on the best strategies for small businesses on Facebook – oh, and on Twitter, and on Google Plus.
At this point, you might be saying, “Hey, what happened to a few minutes a day? Now I have to become a social media expert just to make sure my business is relevant on social media? I want to do what I do best, which is to run my business – not manage my social media accounts!”
Good thinking. Focus on what you do best. But you still don’t want to neglect your social media pages, so you have a few options:
- You can have your admin, intern, or some other low-paid employee handle it;
- You can have your neighbor’s daughter’s friend’s nephew take care of it; or
- You can hire an expert.
The problem with the first two options is that the person you’re having do it for you in those cases isn’t likely to know much more about social media for business than you do. And let’s be clear on this: inconsistent or bad social media can be more damaging than no social media.
So that leaves hiring someone who knows what they’re doing – either someone in-house, or a marketing firm. Have you seen what firms are charging for handling a company’s social media? The average cost for managing content, just on Twitter and Facebook, is over $1,500 per month! And that’s cheap compared to the average salary of a well-trained community manager at $42,000 per year, before benefits and everything else that comes with hiring an employee. What small business owner can – and wants to – lay out that much cash every month?
A Real Solution
Ah, but there is another way! A friend of mine just launched $99 Social. It’s exactly what it sounds like: 99 bucks a month, and they’ve got your social media covered, including your Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus accounts. So the first question I asked was, “They’re outsourcing to India, right?”
But it turns out, they have well-educated, US-based, native English speakers as social media managers. Most of them have degrees, and all are well trained on how to post just the right content on social media. Also, they aren’t VAs with a million other things to do. Social media is what they do.
I actually got to meet a couple of their people, and they were really sharp. Well spoken, articulate, and intelligent – just the kind of person you’d want posting on your company’s behalf.
What’s the Catch?
So, then I really thought it sounded too good to be true. What’s the catch? But there literally is no catch. The company works on volume, and they have an air-tight system in place to make sure everything runs like clockwork. No setup fees, no contracts, and no foreign outsourcing. What more could you want?
I think this could be the next big thing – insanely affordable social media for small business – by experienced social media managers! Head over to $99 Social to check them out for yourself.
(Full disclosure: My brother and I loved this idea so much, we’re now principal advisors for the company!)
Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.
Follow Adam on Twitter: @thebizguy