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The Value of Quality in Social Media Marketing

business content marketing entrepreneur marketing social media Jul 13, 2016

Social media marketing is something many business owners struggle with.  At first glance, it appears to be something you want to take on yourself.  You think to yourself, “It’s social media.  How hard can it be?” This is the sentiment of many entrepreneurs and small business owners I have talked to over the years.

While on the surface, social media marketing appears to be simple, a deeper look reveals it is not as simple as many business owners think, and many waste countless hours doing low quality “social media marketing” that is ineffective and many times does not reach their ideal client avatar.  As many business owners quickly find out, effective social media marketing is a lot more than posting your products and services to your social media platforms.  That time has long passed.  Today, to be effective you really need to spend time creating content that provides real value to your readers, fans, and followers.  The problem most business owners run into here is that creating effective valuable content takes time, research, and effort that most business owners just don’t have if they want to sell anything and make a profit.

What happens is that many business owners “look into” getting help from social media “experts,” many of whom do not provide value through their posting strategies, and many of whom don’t provide quality service to their clients, leaving them feeling like social media is ineffective.  Allow me to clear that up.  

"Social media marketing is VERY EFFECTIVE when done right. Consistency and value-driven content are key!"
The problem with this is that neither consistency nor value is easy to provide for the time-starved entrepreneur and small business owner.  So what happens?  Many business owners fall short in providing consistent value for their fans and followers, leaving many believing that social media does not work for them.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  Many others reach out to social media managers who use ineffective, and sometimes unethical, ways to “market.” Some of these marketers provide NO VALUE  of their own to their own fans.

If someone says they can help you with social media or content marketing, you as a business owner have the obligation of making sure that person provides value themselves and can SHOW you they actually know what they are talking about through the education and content THEY PROVIDE to THEIR audience.  If they are not providing real value IN THEIR FIELD to their audience, how do you know for sure they can provide value for you or even understand that is necessary for marketing today?

Dissecting the Value of Quality in Social Media Marketing

What is Value?

Let’s start by defining value.  According to Oxford Dictionary Online, a value is defined as the regard that something is held to deserve importance, worth or usefulness.

Value in Social Media Posting

If we look at the above definition, we will notice that value can be highly personal.  We can all find value in different things.  However, for a business owner, providing value on social media is achieved through quality content that educates, informs and inspired one’s audience in their said field of expertise.

Value through Educating

Educational posts provide your audience with how-tos and real answers to their burning questions on how to be better at what they do.  This type of value is attained by teaching and showing.  It is basically giving little nuggets of what people actually pay you to do for them.  It is effective because it shows fans and followers that you know what you are talking about and you can definitely help them be better at what they do. If they follow you on social media they will see that you are a resource to help solve their problems.

Value through Informing

Informing is a little different in that it is keeping your audience up-to-date with changes and industry standards for your field.  It is not actually showing them how to improve as it is keeping them ahead of the masses.

Value through Inspiring

Inspiring others means you are helping them want to be better or be more than they are now.  Many business owners fall into the trap of ONLY posting inspirational quotes to inspire their readers.  While these quotes are effective, they should only be part of what you do to inspire others.  You see, posting quotes really mean that the people who said the quotes are doing the inspiring.  You are just sharing THEIR message. Truly inspiring others means that something YOU say or do makes others want to be better.  This can only come through your own content! YOU need to be the leader, not just share other’s quotes and content.

"Truly inspiring others means that something YOU say or do through your own content makes them want to be better."
Value of a Social Media Manager

It is the same for a social media marketer or social media manager.  If they have not educated you, informed you and inspired you, how do you expect they will do that for YOUR audience?  They won’t. They will provide low-quality posting strategies (if you can call them strategies) that will not convert fans and followers into paying customers.

"Value is NOT in the cost of a social media marketer but in the results and effectiveness."
Yet, because of low, or possibly no budgets, many small business owners try to find the “bargain” marketer thinking they will get some kind of results they could not achieve themselves.  Many are left disappointed and discouraged by social media results because of this.

Why Low-Cost Probably Means Low Quality

If you have a business, you know that social media takes time.  If you understand where social media marketing is today, and that it is content driven, then you also probably realize it now takes a lot of time! Creating valuable content that educates, informs and inspires does not happen in a few minutes.  When you hire a social media manager today, you should really be looking at hiring a content marketer who understands content marketing and can help you stand out and can really get you the results you deserve.

Content marketing is a combination of many forms of content from video and quotes to blogging and tips. The key is to find someone who understands this and has already shown you through their own marketing how important these strategies are.  A good marketer should have a posting strategy that you would want to emulate for your own business.

If a marketer is only posting what they do or promoting themselves, do you really know they understand marketing?  If they do not give you little nuggets of knowledge, how do you know they know anything that will help you?  If they do not create THEIR OWN content on a consistent basis, why would you think they would do it for you? You see, the value is not in the price a marketer charges, but in proven methods demonstrated through their own posting strategies that will be effective for your business also.

"The value is in the results!" #socialmediamarketing #contentmarketing
So, because we know that results-driven content marketing takes time, sometimes a lot of time, we can assume it will not be cheap.  That assumption is mostly correct.  There are plenty of marketers out there who offer low-budget social media management, but you really need to look at what you are getting.  If someone is posting for you every day and only charging you $100/month, you can be assured they are not spending much time on your posts, and the posts will many times be low quality and not consistently be value-driven.

To get good quality social media marketing that is content-driven expect to pay no less than $400/month and up to $1500/month or more.  Social media marketing can be anywhere from a part-time to a full-time job, depending on your expectations, and you are essentially paying a salary for that person to provide value and quality to your marketing that is above what you could do WHILE still servicing your customers and growing your business.  Sure, you may be able to do it, but it is usually at the expense of growing your business and providing your current clients with the service level they deserve from you.

Your Social Media Marketing Professional

Before Hiring a Social Media Marketer

Before you hire a social media marketer, you should look at their social media accounts.  Be aware that this does not tell the whole story.  Here’s why: If a social media marketer has too many clients, their own social media posting may suffer.  Remember, they are human and they run out of time, just like you do.  That being said, there should still be regular and consistent posting (daily) that adds some kind of value to fans and followers.  If they are only posting what they could do for you and are only selling, I would question how effective they could really be if you hire them.  Even if a good marketer is busy, they understand the importance providing their own content and value to their fans and followers, so they will provide something.   If you are not seeing this on their accounts, that should be a red flag.

Talk to them!

Even if you don’t think you can afford them, you may be surprised at how many will work with you and develop a plan to get you to where you can afford more of their services.  You also want to pay attention to the conversation when you speak with them.  They should be asking you detailed questions about your ideal client avatar, your past social media wins and failures, what other marketing you are doing, and a whole lot of other questions that will help them understand your company, your culture, your vision, your voice, your clients, and what your expectations are. If they don’t ask these questions and more, that should be another red flag.

A good social media marketer will also be honest with you when your expectations are unrealistic and explain why.  They will not promise you a certain number of likes or conversions in a certain period of time, although these should be goals that they should strive to meet.  If they promise hard numbers, then they may be obtaining them through unscrupulous means, and you should find someone else.

After Hiring a Social Media Marketing Professional

You should request at the least a monthly conference with them to evaluate expectations, challenges, and discuss any change in strategy that may be necessary.  Remember, social media marketing is a long-term investment in your business.  Results do not happen overnight and many times can take more than 6 months to a year until you start reaping the benefits of a good social media strategy.  Adding paid ads to the mix can expedite reaching the right audience and therefore, the results.

As you can see, there is definitely value in quality when it comes to social media marketing.  Value is not in the price, but how effective it is for your business.

Usually, when I write up a strategy report for a client, their eyes glaze over.  This is because a great strategy includes blogging, social media content, email marketing and other types of marketing.  It is essentially a full-time job.  Many business owners will try to pick and choose which part(s) of the strategy to implement themselves, which is usually not as effective as it could be if they implement the whole strategy.  The problem arises in that most business owners just don’t have the time, knowledge or drive to implement a full marketing plan for their business.  This is exactly why I offer a variety of services to meet business owners where they are and fill in any gaps in their marketing plans.

I meet you where you are and fill in those gaps for you.  From Blogging and Writing Services, Social Media Management, Strategy, Social Media Audits and Training on Content Marketing and Social Media, I want to help you to be your best and project the image you want clients to see!