In part three of a series on why companies are slow to embrace social media, budget or lack thereof comes into play. While large companies seem to have money to burn, the same is not true with most small to medium sized business which comprise the bulk of clients we deal with. Because budgets are limited, SMBs try to squeeze all they can out of every marketing dollar.
So when you begin to mention things like “social media marketing” and social media optimization” the wall of defense immediately goes up and most often along the lines of “we have no money.”
The problem with this excuse for not getting involved in social media is that unless you are going to do a customized theme such as Starbucks, Blackberry and others have done on MySpace for example, or develop a custom widget for Facebook, it does not cost anything to set up and get involved in social media.
Most all social media sites I have run across allow you to not only set up a profile with your own URL at absolutely no cost, involvement is free as well. The only resource that is required is time itself.
And while some would argue that time is money, to set up a profile on Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and others requires little time in and of itself. It is when you decide to get involved in the community and participate that much time can be required and even then the payoffs can be phenomenal.
What would you do if the Yellow Pages offered you a free ad? Or if the local newspaper allowed to placement in a high visibility area at no cost to you? What about free radio and television spots? You’d be a fool not to jump at the offer.
Now consider the fact that many of the most popular social media sites have thousands if not millions of users and that you can have a free spot within that environment. It’s called a “profile” and because it costs absolutely zero dollars to set up, it seems like a no-brainer.
Sure there is more involved than just setting up a profile as one has to promote it and get involved in the community aspect of the social site. However you already do that with a web site and the last time I checked web sites were not free.
Therefore if nothing else, at least secure your branding on all the popular social media sites. It will cost you very little time and zero dollars. You can worry later about customized themes, widgets and the like that may eat into your marketing budget.
The next post in this series will deal with another common excuse I often come across – “corporate red tape.”