What they wish you knew: Social Media Consultants

Yes, social media is all the craze right now. “Oh, if you’re not using Twitter or a blog, then you’re WAY behind of the pack.” Though this statement is true, you have to realize why this is true before you jump onto the social media bandwagon.

The most important question I want you to ask yourself is this: If you could advertise for free on TV commercials and magazines, would you do it? Of course you would! That’s a no brainer. Well this is exactly what social media does for you. You have the ability to advertise for free online using tools like blogs, Twitter, and Facebook.

The follow up to this is that nothing is truly free. Social media marketing takes a lot of hard work and a deep immersion in the community; that’s why a lot of companies outsource social media work to consultants.

So here is the most important part of this post: what the heck do social media consultants really do? And how much should I pay for it?

What we do

Social Media consulting consists of the following:

1. Blog consulting
The superficial level of blog consulting is design and development. This is the easy part. Make sure that the consulting firm uses WordPress! I can’t stress this enough. Also, make sure the consulting firm uses Google Analytics and Quantcast to track your site’s analytics and that they give you access to all of your metrics.

Design and development should cost about $1000 for a high-end blog.

Now here comes the deep, meaningful stuff. Blog consulting consists of driving traffic to your blog, building community around your blog, writing content on your blog, and analyzing the web for news about your industry. In order to accomplish all of this, your blog consultant should utilize Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning, and StumbleUpon.

A complete social media presence should cost about $2500 a month for high quality work. This includes all of the social network and bookmark sites I listed and the blogosphere as well.

2. Twitter Consulting
So few companies know about Twitter that they’re afraid of paying for it because of uncertainty.

Here is what we do with Twitter Consulting:

  • Drive followers to your Twitter account
  • Design your Twitter profile page
  • Initiate conversations with Tweeples
  • Use tools to consistently monitor your company’s Twitter presence
  • Track keywords online to respond whenever someone Tweets your keywords
  • Update followers about recent industry news related to your company and expertise

How much should you pay for this? A good Consulting firm should be able to easily do high quality work for $1000 a month.

3. Facebook Consulting and the rest
I group Facebook with the rest because though effective, the blogosphere and Twitter are the highest points of ROI. The majority of people on Facebook just want to communicate with their friends and DON’T want to join the new Facebook Group of Fan Page for Colgate or Doritos.
With that said, the right kind of push targeted to the right kinds of people on these networks can definitely help promote your brand. A good consulting firm can lead your Facebook presence for $700 a month. The same for Ning, Stumble, Digg, or any of the other social network and social bookmark sites.

What I wish you knew:

  • I wish you knew that branding on the blogosphere and on Twitter can potentially be more effective than branding through TV or magazines
  • I wish you knew that writing an effective blogpost for your company takes a very long time: industry research, competitive research, hyper-links to relevant sites
  • I wish you knew that it takes until the end of the second month to see a concrete increase in traffic from the consulting firm’s efforts
  • I wish you knew it takes at least 3 solid posts a week to create a community around your site

This post was written by Jun Loayza, who is the CMO and Co-Founder of Future Delivery. You can find out more about him at his personal blog or reach him by email at Jun.Loayza [at] FutureDelivery [dot] tv.