Paid Social Media V bootstrapping
OK so you are skint and the company down the road, your main competitors, have a $500 a month budget for online marketing, don’t pack up the business just yet, you have just as much chance with no budget.
You will pay with time and not money but it is achievable for those who know what it means to go the distance:
First of all we must understand what Social Media success is, there seems to be many differing views on this. For many analytical people it will be the ratio between; posts, likes and comments all displayed on a high definition dashboard. For me I simply ask:
How has your sales increased since you started doing your social media?
If a client ums and ahs well then I know, they had no starting point and they are at odds at how to work out what they are doing with the social media strategy.
Every good social media strategy starts with content at the heart which is you and your brand and why people should trust you and do business with you, which is the hardest part as you need to be consistent and be patient.
Half a dozen blogs after a few months and if you give up, like the vast majority of people who say it does not work at all do, then it is a fat waste of time!
The rest of your Social media strategy is about driving traffic to read about why you are the best person in your industry via the top social media sites, video sharing sites, and Bookmarking sites, and growing your business following on this media.
As a UK registered small business mentor I have yet to advise any start up to pay for social media, even when they have the cash! You have to have a firm grip on the difference between branding and advertising before you pay for any media.
The Coca cola company will around now; late November–early December be running their Christmas advertisement on UK television, this has been a genius move by the Behemoth business because they have started a feeling that Christmas starts only when the Coke advert is aired on UK television for the first time.
Old and young viewers alike, can start to feel that special ‘Christmas feeling’ when they are told to by Coca cola.
Do you think Coke’s executives would ever argue with the TV advertisers about the price for the advert, and when it will be aired? I reckon they struck a deal years ago for the time slot, give or take a few days, when Coke wants and how long their ad is. Coke’s Media executives have nailed branding!
When you get to that understanding of what a brand experience actually is, and that you will become responsible for directing public emotions and feelings, then you ‘get’ branding, until then; be you and let people get to know you by:
Starting your Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google plus (Because it’s Google!) and one of the image-based websites like Instagram and Pinterest especially if your product is visual. If you are a one man band this will be enough to go on, any more then you are starting to become more of an online marketing guy than the CEO of whatever you do. These are the very basics you simply must have to get anywhere online, and set them up yourself!! I have warned here the perils of asking a staff member/ web designer to set it for you!
Make a simple video from a smart phone and add it to You Tube, then embed it on your website within your blog and then share it on Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest/ Instagram. To do this, including creating a professional website, costs less than $100 believe it or not!
Consistency a few minutes a day is better than hours and hours once a week. Don’t give up or lose faith, it will work for you if you believe in yourself and what you believe you know over and above your competitors, don’t believe the failed masses because they gave up to early.
The math of Bootstrapping:
Time is what start-ups have more than money and it takes around 30 blogs shared to a decent social media reach over all your social media sites before people trust you enough to buy from you. If you were going to pay yourself say $10 an hour this would work out around: 30 blogs x 2 hours each to write and share =60 hours x $10 =$600
If you can send say 100 people to your blogs and 3% click your call to action then 1/3= 1 person buys per blog (This is after your initial 30 blogs) then 2 blogs a week gets you 2 new customers and you know what this will cost; so; 32 blogs for a sale or:
$640 time investment from start to your first sale.
The math of paying for ads or an agency
In the paid social media world you really have to know what you are doing again I have blogged about the time it takes to get to a level where you are proficient and the cost for this knowledge is around 30,000 U.S.D. or around 3-7 years depending on whether you work at it full time or not.
That aside; any kind of Social media success depends on what you are selling, I interviewed a Top Thai model and she is alarmed and starts worrying about her figure if she gets less than 500 likes in a few hours to anything she posts, whereas I write pure business blogs and I am very proud to get over 500 page views in a month for it. It’s about comparing Apples to Oranges. In the middle ground between Glamour and business is; simple consumer goods.
A rough average for cost per clicks across all industries in my research was about a $1.50 c although I did read that some car Insurance companies in the UK are happy to pay Google over 50 UK pounds for a click as they can easily get a few years insurance of a UK motorist at around 600 quid a year. So it really does depend on your average order value and on keyword competition, ‘Hotels in Bangkok’ as a key-phrase will be a lot more expensive than say ‘Holidays in Syria’ at the moment!
Once you have got your head around how to utilize ads effectively on the top sites, then if you are getting a click from an interested party for around $1.50 to an endearing, easy to understand and compelling landing page, and they trust you because they have read a few blogs about you and testimonials. Then you can expect around 1/3 to actually purchase something. Therefore: $4.50 per a client.
You have to add in the 30,000 U.S.D. time investment (3-7 years) in the knowledge to make this work for yourself,
$500 a month to pay an agent to do the P.P.C. (Pay Per Click) for you. You may get lucky in your first month and get clients, but most decent P.P.C. agents will ask for a month to do your keyword research and run your ads with A/B testing before you should expect clients.
Chief takeaway is depends what you are selling, for example; Pirelli Calendars are a lot easier to sell on Social Media than B2B Branding consultancy and If you don’t have the money but you have around 6 months then you can be as successful as any company spending a lot on agencies, and the added advantage is you will have gained a lot of knowledge in 6 months down the line whereas your competitors will still be at the mercy of the P.P.C. and S.E.O. agency!
Netmedia Thailand is a training consultancy that educates business on how to manage a successful online content marketing strategy and how to grow your social media as big as ours.
Contact Netmedia Thailand for an initial meeting and I will give your brand and social media a once-over for you.