Don’t sell marketing services unless you’re in the marketing business
Let’s say you’ve been taking your car to the same mechanic for several years. And your mechanic suddenly announces he is adding another service to his offerings — heating & air conditioning. He’s hired an installer (at lower than prevailing wage), and will begin installing furnaces and air conditioners for homeowners. What would you think? Would you take this car mechanic seriously? Would you hire somebody to perform a service that is completely unrelated to his/her core business?
I do consulting work for a client who manages IT networks for small businesses. They subscribe to a marketing program specifically for IT service providers. The marketing program provides webinars, direct mail templates, training — all types of marketing support, including monthly newsletters. It’s a great program; I learn something new every day. But an article in their recent newsletter that came across my desk last week troubled me. The title of the article: “How to add $10K per month from social media without adding a tech.”
The writer suggests that we can add another revenue stream to our managed services offerings to the tune of $10,000/month. Keep in mind that my client’s core business is managing IT networks for small businesses. (Services such as data backup/disaster recovery, SPAM filtering, network security, and cloud computing are just a few of the services that IT managed service providers offer). What is the new service he is suggesting? Cross-selling Facebook social media management services to existing clients, prospects, and new leads.
He suggests charging a setup fee which includes a company page, welcome page, custom banners, calls to action, etc.; as well as a monthly fee for the ongoing management of the page. That would include daily wall posts, and “all of the creativity that goes with this.” That would sound like good first steps to me if you were in the business of marketing.
He believes that you can hire a full-time “social media manager,” at $10-$15/hour (depending on your market) to manage up to 30 clients’ Facebook pages. He also suggests that this $10-$15/hour person can work from home, or even Starbucks!
I’ve been studying marketing and social media for the past few years, and I’d like to think that social media is a little more than putting up wall posts on a company Facebook page.
Before you even consider such a venture, I would ask you:
- Is your $10-$15/hour person prepared to discuss strategy on a weekly basis with the client? Will he/she be privy to the client’s overall marketing strategy?
- Does this person have a well-entrenched presence in, and know how to navigate other social networks such as Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube, and LinkedIn; as well as management tools such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck?
- Can this person integrate other social networks (if needed) into your client’s marketing mix?
- Is he/she capable of speaking on behalf of the client, especially when someone posts something negative about the client?
- Is the $10-$15/hour person willing to do a competitive analysis to see what the client’s competitors are doing, marketing-wise?
- How much time can this person spend getting to know each company’s customers through Facebook or other channels if they’re managing 30 clients’ Facebook pages every day?
You see, taking on a client’s social strategy involves a little bit more than Facebook wall posts.
Social marketing strategy
Facebook isn’t for every business. Just because “everyone else has a Facebook page,” doesn’t mean you should. And social media should never be done exclusively to your other marketing.
Whenever I meet with a prospective client who wants to do social media, I ask many questions, some of which include:
- What is your overall goal or objective? Do you want to build a community, generate leads, create awareness, customer service? What do you want to accomplish with social media?
- Who is your audience? Have you dug into the psychographics of your target customer?
- Is your audience online? Are they active on social networks? If so, which ones? If your customers are on Facebook, then it makes sense to be there.
- What are your competitors doing and how are they communicating with their customers in the social space?
- How will you measure your success in the social networks? Number of conversations about your brand, increase in sales?
- How are we going to integrate social media into your current marketing strategy?
Will your $10-$15/hour person be able to ask these questions of your client?
At the end of the day, social media is just another set of tools to communicate with your customers. But it’s more than Facebook. And it’s more than broadcasting one-way messages to the masses. For some organizations, it involves more than one department. Unless your core business is marketing, communications, or PR, social media should never be a service you upsell to a client.
Facebook, like other social media tools, can be a great business communications tool that should be incorporated into an overall marketing strategy, based on objectives and goals that you set for your company. Business owners, I recommend you stick to doing what you do best; and leave social media to the marketers and PR professionals.
Do you agree with me? Have I ruffled any feathers? I would love to hear your comments, pro or con.
Other places I hang out
What are you looking for?
Sneak peek from my YouTube channel
Comments from my fans
What I write about
TagsBilly Blanks blogging blogs brand awareness brand credibility branding business teams campaign building copyrights customer service Denise Austin Finger Lakes fitness Gin Miller Google healthy lifestyle holidays humor John Moore Kendra Ramirez LinkedIn LinkedIn groups marketing Mom Nate Riggs networking New Year's resolutions online reputation Pete Blackshaw QR codes sales SEO ShadowboxLive smartphone social media social media policy social media strategy social networks SummitUp video viral WOM WordCamp WordPress workout DVD review
Favorite social media tweeters