When it comes to finances, business owners are always talking about paid search and SEO and all of the various costs that go along with both. However, as your business begins to grow, you’ll find that looking at your online marketing in even smaller sections is a great way to keep your finances in order. This brings up social media.
This is likely an area where you maybe aren’t spending some of the money you could be spending, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Spend some time asking yourself, “What’s worth the money and what’s better off remaining free?”
Top 3 Social Media Costs: Are They All Worth the Money?
Putting time and effort into a social media campaign can actually cost quite a bit of money when all is said and done. Although signing up for the sites initially is free, there are many costs that catch businesses off guard. The worst part: Many businesses keep trying to work against the need to spend any money on social media. After all, social media is supposed to be free, right?
The truth is that just because something is free at first doesn’t mean it is going to stay free forever, but this can sometimes be a good thing when your company becomes so successful that you have to start spending a little bit of money to keep it under control. This is an indication that your company is growing, and social media is no different.
Below are the three major costs associated with social media and whether or not they’re worth the funds:
Hiring a Social Media Consultant
Unless you really know what you are doing and you have a large amount of time to work with social media, it is a good idea to hire someone with some experience. Knowing how to manage social media on a company level is different than knowing how it works on a personal level, and many business owners learn this the hard way. If you do not keep up with social media and do not have a presence on all of the major networks, this can actually hurt your company, making an expert really worth it in the end.
Although I do not necessarily agree with hiring one person full-time to manage your social media efforts, it is a good idea to put someone such as an SEO director or content writer in charge of these efforts, or just hire someone part time. This is an entire subject on its own, so visit here  for more detailed information.
Advertising on Social Media Sites
The major social media networks have users counting into the billions, so advertising on these sites is a great idea for any company. Social networks are also unique because you can make sure that your ad is being seen by someone within your target audience. Social networking already segments users into age groups, genders, and even religious backgrounds, so you will know exactly where to advertise.
How you’re going to advertise will differ depending on the network you choose, so I recommend taking this slow and building up to advertising on all of the major networks (if it makes sense for your company). Start with LinkedIn, measure your results and start to understand what works and what doesn’t, and then once you master that network move on to Facebook or Twitter, for example.
Scheduling Tools to Help Companies Add Multiple Accounts
This is probably not worth the money because there are scheduling tools, such as SocialBro , available that allow you to manage multiple accounts for free. If you are an individual, a scheduling tool like Buffer  makes perfect sense because it doesn’t cost anything (and I highly recommend using it).
However, a company’s finances are better spent on things aside from scheduling tweets and Facebook posts through a paid service. Although Buffer and SocialBro do differ in the way they schedule your messages, it is still probably best to wait until you are extremely financially secure to consider spending money on social media scheduling.
The most important thing to remember is that social media is extremely important, plain and simple. If you are going to spend money on marketing campaigns, social media is something that should be put at the top of the priority list. Typically, your social media campaign will still be less expensive than your other marketing campaigns, so it’s not something to stress over.
What do you think about social media costs?
Republished by permission. Original here.
Money  Photo via Shutterstock