Social Media Marketing Pricing | How Much Social Media Really Costs

The Real Reason Why Social Media Marketing Will Cost More in 2019

Kris Ruby Social Media Pricing

THE MYTH OF ‘FREE’ SOCIAL MEDIA

If you’re a small business owner contemplating your next move in the changing social media landscape, remember this: the illusion that social media marketing is “free” is just that…an illusion. Using social media networks may be low or no cost, but what your company shares on them is as valuable as traditional advertising. As a result, real social media marketing takes time to produce content that can stand out in an already over-saturated market.

From the initial post idea to concept, execution, creative work, hashtag research, Instagram Story strategy, photo sourcing and numerous rounds of edits, a social media post is never just a simple “post.” A post with no meaning behind it is just a photo and nothing more. Your business deserves more.

WHY YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS A LARGER SOCIAL MEDIA BUDGET IN 2019

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.  If you are paying more for better creative, you are buying a more polished final product that will spread further in the digital ecosystem. Larger social media budgets help your social media marketing agency achieve the following:

1) Produce better creative.
2) Increase the visibility of the creative to a larger, targeted audience.

This is critical to fighting any new algorithm changes, such as the one that Facebook released earlier this year. You will be equipped with an arsenal of compelling content and media budgets to boost the content.

THE SOCIAL MEDIA ALGORITHM DEBATE

Every time there is an algorithm change in the major social media networks, including Facebook or Instagram, debate ensues between digital marketing experts. Some marketers believe that if agencies are creating great content all along, they will be immune to algorithm changes. Other marketers believe that with algorithm changes comes increased budgetary requirements for ad spend to have more visibility of your content. While creating great content will certainly help immunity, you can only fight an algorithm change so hard if you have limited-to-no resource allocation on ad spend for these platforms.

So, is it really about who is right in this debate, or is the larger issue how to define what great content means in the evolution of social media marketing. For example, a static photo post could have been considered great five years ago, whereas today, a video or GIF is much more compelling. In 2019, you need discretionary dollars to create what is considered great as content consumption needs change.

WHAT GREAT MARKETING CONTENT LOOKS LIKE TODAY VS. 5 YEARS AGO

In the old days of traditional advertising, companies spent weeks on one piece of creative that went into a magazine, newspaper or billboard. But then social media became the new magazine or the new billboard. However, with the advent of social media platforms, creative typically seen in print outlets is is expected to be produced daily and tenfold. In addition, videos were on the rise and social media platforms changed how viewers would see things and when.

Social media marketing experts tell people to just “create better content” by posting more videos daily, doing Facebook ads daily and creating more graphic content. This comes with an incremental price tag that continues to increase when many small business owners aren’t even sold on the ROI of social media to begin with. It is important to understand the cost associated with all of these recommendations for the labor involved to produce this level of content.

WHERE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING AGENCY RETAINER DOLLARS GO

Producing this level of content requires more labor and a diverse skill set that includes graphic design, copywriting, photography, video production, branding and so much more. However, not every social media marketer is going to be a specialist in each of these areas. Therefore, social media marketing agencies now have to bring on specialists to produce this type of content. Rising labor costs from the agency side have to remain in line with the fees to produce the creative required for social media.

The disconnect is that many small business owners believe a social media marketing specialist should possess all of these skills if they are hiring them. They do not want to pay a separate fee for the other services or specialists. This does a great disservice to photographers, videographers, writers, and graphic designers. All business owners need to understand that just because you or your social media marketing specialist own an iPhone, it does not mean you or they are a great photographer. The unrealistic expectation that you should be able to replace an entire industry to keep up with content output demands is hurting everyone across the board.

Using the same tool does not mean you have the same craft. You hire a photographer for their vision, intricate knowledge of lighting and ability to shoot something you may not see. You hire a social media marketer to put all of this together and build a brand for your business. When you believe that a social media professional should be able to be a photographer and a marketer, you are hurting your business. A social media marketer is skilled at taking all of these assets and creating a beautiful Instagram grid. Not all, however, are skilled at taking photos or having the same artistic vision a photographer has. Similarly, a great copywriter may produce excellent copy for Facebook posts, but may struggle with producing a visually appealing Instagram theme. But it’s all social media, right?

In addition to bringing on specialists to create social media content for each platform, there is also a great deal of manual labor that goes into the tactical side of social media. You may be wondering where all of your social media dollars go on a monthly basis to produce this content. At RMG, your social media manager does the following for you on a day-to-day- basis:

• Strategic Social Media Consulting
• Post Ideation/ Brainstorming
• Content Calendar Approval
• Content Edit Rounds
• Further Client Approval Edit
• Hashtag Research
• Tagging of posts
• Photo/ Video shoots to produce assets
• Grid Layout of content
• Live Feed Story Creation (separate content from feed content)
• Boosting Posts
• Creation of FB Events
• Creation of branded cover photos/ events/ graphics
• Responding to DM’s/ Comments/ Inquiries on behalf of the brand
• Favoriting comments

Many small business owners already think that paying for social media marketing is too expensive. On the other hand, many agency owners think that their services are way underpriced for what they are delivering. Essentially, two different ideas of what constitutes value for money in the social media landscape is the cause of the friction. As a business owner, you want your budget to stay the same, but the truth is that to compete in new social media ecosystem and stay ahead of algorithm changes, you need to increase your social media marketing budget. If a social media agency owner is to deliver the type of content that is needed for a business to stay relevant, they will most likely need to request a larger retainer.

WHY THE TRADITIONAL SOCIAL MEDIA AGENCY MODEL IS BROKEN FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

The traditional social media agency model for small business owners is simply broken. Expectations on content output continue to increase, while fees stay the same. But the changes were so gradual, it was hard to stop the slide. This meant that costs for social media marketing subscriptions, software and talent all continued to rise, while retainers did not. What is needed to make an impact on social media and what people are generally prepared to pay for that, is incongruent with market rates for these services.

Social Media Marketing agencies that primarily work with small businesses will struggle to deliver real results without raising retainer costs to allocate for media buying and increased content production. On the other hand, NYC Social Media Marketing agencies that are given budgets for the creative required to compete will rise to the top.

HOW TO FIGHT THE ALGORITHM CHANGES WITHOUT INCREASING SOCIAL MEDIA SPEND

So where does this leave small businesses, and social media marketing companies for small businesses? If you can’t pay increased fees to produce the creative necessary to compete on social media platforms, spend more time focused on long-form content or other outlets where you will see greater rewards on a limited budget. Those who produce great content will win in this social media economy. However, it would be negligent to say that content alone is enough. You do need to allocate resources for digital advertising if you want the content to be seen by a larger audience.

SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS ARE RENTED SPACE

At some point in the near future, social media platforms may charge companies to use their platforms. It is important to remember that social media platforms are merely rented space. Think about it this way- it is better to own than to rent property. The same is true for social media- invest the time in creating content that you “own” and if you get kicked out as a tenant of a specific social media platform (Facebook starts charging users), you can take your content and move it to another platform (Twitter) without feeling like your investment went down the drain. Diversify your social media assets so you are not putting all of your content into one network that may change at any moment due to algorithm changes, and always save a copy of your content in case the platform decides to remove your account or block your content.

WHAT YOU WILL GET OUT OF AN INCREASED SOCIAL MEDIA SPEND

When you invest in better content marketing for social media, you are getting so much more than a good post. You are getting content that can be reused and disseminated in so many different ways. For example, let’s say that you are a New York City physician who is investing in a social media content strategy, the content could be repurposed for:

• Imagery in an upcoming PowerPoint presentation at a healthcare conference
• Patient Collateral
• Blog Post Imagery
• Social Media Posts across several platforms
• Flyers

The trick is to learn how to leverage one piece of content in different platforms beyond just using it as a simple post to get the most out of it. There should be a plan for creating/producing the content and a secondary plan for the promotion and dissemination of the content so that it can reach your entire patient base in a way that builds your practice.

THE FUTURE OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING 

It is critical that small business owners begin to understand why they have to pay more for a similar level of social engagement as they received before. Similarly, it is also important to understand the bind that agencies are in when business owners decide not to increase budgets for social media marketing services. If a social media agency carries on without a proper budget for boosting posts and producing the required creative, a limited number of people will be viewing the content, and the ROI may be limited.

If you are planning on hiring a social media marketing agency in 2019, equip them with the proper resources to create the necessary content for your business to compete in a saturated digital ecosystem. This will benefit your business and you will see stronger results, better creative and a more substantial long-term ROI.


How Social Media Can Impact Marriage & Divorce

NY Social Media Expert Kris Ruby was recently on RT America with NY Divorce Attorney James Sexton discussing how Social Media Can Impact Divorce Proceedings. Can Social Media Harm Your Marriage? Click here to watch the full segment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3djIy5zgdYY
Social Media Contributes to Divorce

 

Social Media Cheating Signs

The impact of social media on relationships

Many people do not realize the role social media can play in breaking up a relationship. There are so many ways to micro cheat on social media today, which can ultimately harm the relationship. Unfortunately, people do not see it as cheating because it is not technically cheating in the physical world. It is imperative to understand what “micro-cheating” is on social media.

What is micro-cheating?

Micro-cheating is a term to describe any individual action on social media that can hurt your partner’s sense of security in the relationship. The definition of micro-cheating on social media really depends on both partners in a relationship and what they feel comfortable with. For example, are you comfortable with your significant other:

• Liking photos of the opposite sex
• Leaving comments on photos from the opposite sex
• Tagging friends of the opposite sex
• Friending/following members of the opposite sex that they do not know
• Engaging in Direct Messaging on Facebook and Instagram with members of the opposite sex
• Deleting messages from members of the opposite sex that they receive on social media
• Appearing in tagged photos with members of the opposite sex one on one

If you do not outline your social media expectations in a relationship, you are setting yourself up for disaster. Social Media has the ability to destroy your relationship if one person has very liberal views on these topics, while the other has very conservative views and isn’t comfortable with any of these areas listed above.

How Micro-Cheating Destroys Relationships

Social media can affect your relationship with your significant other by eroding trust and making one person feel uncomfortable if their boundaries are constantly crossed with what they feel is inappropriate digital communication. The only way to know this is to ask them and set up digital relationship rules. Yes, it may not be romantic and may feel like more of a legal approach, but it can ultimately save the relationship long term from hurt feelings and eroded trust and insecurity.

Social Media Cheating Red Flags

Social Media apps are a mixed bag when it comes to spotting a cheater. On the one hand, you used to be able to go through someone’s text messages and easily see if they were talking with someone else. But now, most cheaters are social media savvy and would never think of having these conversations via iMessage. Instead, they carry on full-blown conversations with others via direct message on Instagram or disappearing messages on Snapchat. They also typically have their phones locked and password protected, making it more challenging to spot.

Facebook Cheating Red Flags

Periodically check the Friend tab on Facebook for “recently added” friends. If your partner continues to add members of the opposite sex weekly, this could be a red flag. Where are they meeting these new virtual friends from? Networking? Dating apps? Also, be on the lookout for “Facebombing,” which is the equivalent of love bombing when you meet someone new. If your partner starts obsessively liking every single post of a new Facebook friend, this may indicate a deeper romantic interest. You can also search the Facebook tab for “photos liked by profile name.” Insert your partner’s profile name to see what photos they have liked if all of their activity is not coming to the top of your feed.

Snapchat Cheating Red Flags

Does your partner have a snap streak with someone that you have never heard of? This is a clear giveaway they may be cheating. Also, pay close attention to Snapchat points. Whenever you send a snap to someone, your points grow. If your partner doesn’t have that many friends on Snapchat and isn’t Snapping with you that much, they may be snapping with someone else.

Instagram Cheating Red Flags

The easiest way to tell if your partner is cheating is by looking at their user activity. Pay close attention to who they are following, the posts they like, and the comments they leave. If they continue to like photos of someone you have never heard of, that could be a giveaway they may be up to no good. Additionally, pay attention to who likes your partner’s photos and leaves comments when they post. Pay attention to whether or not they allow a photo tag on Instagram when you tag a photo with them. Partners who are cheating are usually very discreet and will not allow photo tags on Instagram because they don’t want the other person to see they are dating numerous people at once. Instagram DM (direct message) seems to be where everything is going down these days in terms of dating. If someone is cheating, they may be carrying a full conversation with the other person via Instagram DM so you may want to check there.

Another new feature of Instagram is the ability to see when someone was last active. So if your partner has turned off read receipts on iMessage, check Instagram DM and see when they were last active. If they are currently active on IG DM, they are most likely ignoring your messages and speaking with someone else…

Instagram Story Stalking

If you have access to your partners Instagram account, look at who is viewing their stories. If you notice the same person repeatedly viewing their stories, this is cause for concern. Also, pay close attention to who is viewing YOUR stories. The same person is probably stalking your every move and watching your Instagram stories. Periodically check the people who are viewing your stories to see if they are unfamiliar. Sure, everyone gets random Instagram viewers from time to time checking out their stories, but if you see the same unknown person stalking your Instagram stories for weeks, its suspicious.

Many ex-partners lurk on social media and do not realize users can see who watches their content.
For example, some ex’s watch your new partners Instagram story from their personal Instagram account not realizing the new girlfriend or boyfriend can see it. If you are going to engage in Story Stalking, create a burner account not linked to your name!

 

SOCIAL MEDIA CHEATING RESOURCES

Kris Ruby quoted in Elite Daily article on Social Media Story Stalking trend. “If your boyfriends parents watch your Instagram stories, Experts say thats significant.”

Kris Ruby quoted in Rewire article. “3 Ways Social Media May Be Hurting Your Love Life” 

Ruby Media Group. “Are you digitally compatible? How social media destroys relationships”

Observer article by Kris Ruby. “10 Dead Digital Giveaways You’re Dating a Player” 


PR For Startups: The Power of Public Relations For Your Startup

Public Relations Expert Kris Ruby recently lead a special training for Propellant Labs: The Power of PR For Your Startup. In this interactive webinar, Ruby shared tips on how to earn media coverage for your startup.

Propellant Labs is a global launchpad for startups.  The online community of entrepreneurs and investors helps entrepreneurs build, launch and grow their ventures. Startups participate in remote demo days with Silicon Valley and Southern California investors. Ruby spoke to over 35 Founders of the incubator cohort on how to leverage media exposure to build your business.

ABOUT PR FOR STARTUPS: GUEST SPEAKER/ KRIS RUBY/ PUBLICITY STRATEGIST 

PR for Startups: Public Relations for Startups and Entrepreneurs

 

How Can Startups Get Press Coverage?

As a publicist, one of the most frequently asked questions I receive from entrepreneurs is, “How do I get PR for my startup?”

There are a few times when every business has something notable to share with media- starting your business is one of them!

One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when launching a business is never actually utilizing PR when they first start their company.

Maybe they read an article that said not to use a PR firm or to try it on their own with DIY methods.

Most of the time, DIY PR efforts leave media opportunities on the table for entrepreneurs that could have been leveraged when they first launched.

I see it all the time.. people come to my agency years after starting a company and say, “We started a few years ago and we now want to do a launch.”

Unfortunately, we have to say that’s no longer newsworthy and you should have done a media launch when you first started your company.

You can’t turn back the clock.

PR For Startups-How to Get Press

Entrepreneurs– do not make the mistake of skipping out on press when you first start your business.

This is one of the few times you will get a pass from the media as having something truly newsworthy to talk about. Use it!

As an entrepreneur, your time is valuable. Why waste it pitching yourself when a PR pro could do it for you?

PR FOR STARTUPS RESOURCES

Webinar: PR For Startups: How to Earn Media Coverage for Your Startup.


Instagram for Business: 5 Ways to Make Your Next Brand Activation More Instagrammable

Branded Activation Unicon

When it comes to showcasing your business, you want to make sure you stand out from the clutter and have something that is Instagrammable.

Marketers are taking a cue from the success of pop-up experiences such as The Museum of Ice Cream to Rosé Mansion.  The new trend? Creating Instagrammable experiences on a micro level for small to mid-size businesses for branded activations.

As publicists and social media marketers, we are asking clients, “where do people want to take photos?” prior to launching any new experiential business activation.

Figuring out how to make something more Instagrammable for social sharing is now built into the initial business or launch plan. It is no longer an after thought. If it’s not memorable enough to share on social media platforms, did it ever even exist?

However, if you can’t hire a Westchester Public Relations firm to create press-worthy activations for you, steal these tricks from us to make your corporate brand activation Insta-Worthy:

Leverage social media for corporate event ideas. If you have already chosen an event theme but need more ideas to bring the activation to life, search relevant hashtags on social media. For example, search “Corporate Event” on Pinterest, #CorporateEvent on Instagram or the full phrase on Facebook. If you are going with a unicorn theme, try searching under #unicornparty and create a mood board of everything you find to pull inspiration from.

Make it experiential. Think about how you can make the event more Instagrammable with user-generated content. Turn the brand activation into an experience that people want to share on social media. Add visual elements to make the activation pop, such as a flower wall, a balloon wall or even a colored background. People crave shareable social experiences, so think about how you can create this for them.

Create a custom hashtag. One way to capture photos is to create a custom hashtag that attendees can use on social media. Be sure to make the hashtag visible with signage at the event. You can follow the hashtag on Instagram to keep up with all of the tagged images so people can view the images post-event.

Think visually. Sometimes the greatest ideas come from visual elements that are trending in pop culture. For example, we recently did an activation for Crowne Plaza White Plains for ‘Best of Westchester,’ which included a pop-up bar and over 3,000 unicorn drink floaties. We promoted the drink floaties on social media before the event and during the event. Everyone wanted photos with the unicorn floaties and they were the hit of the event! Plus, people kept them after the event for pool parties, which was an added bonus! Think about how you can create a branded visual item that people will want to put on their own Instagram feed, and that they will want to keep long after the event has ended.

Don’t forget the swag. The best part of any PR event is always the swag bag. You can create custom swag bags and include branded items with the name/details of the event. For example, if you are planning a corporate event, you can give guests custom branded cookies with your logo.

Last but not least, don’t forget to invest in a good photographer!

Do not make the mistake of spending money on swag and branded activations and forgetting to photograph all of your hard work. These branded assets can be leveraged for other marketing materials long-term if you capture them on camera.

If you want to compete in a saturated Instagram market, you need a high volume of fresh content, which comes in the form of branded images. Sure, you can take some of these yourself on an iPhone, but if you want to make your feed stand out, you will need to heavily invest in a photographer quarterly for branded assets.  The photos can be distributed across all of your social media platforms.

More marketing dollars are being deployed for traditional photographers than ever before.  In fact, there is a resurgence  of hiring traditional photographers for Instagram marketing because having strong visual branding and fresh creative is key.  Photographers working alongside social media marketers can help your business by creating a professional agency appearance on your social platforms without paying agency fees.






NY Social Media Marketing Agency Founder Kris Ruby Shares How to Use Instagram Stories for Business

In this 15-minute video, Kris Ruby of NYC Social Media Marketing Company Ruby Media Group covers:

-What social media channels are better for B2B vs. B2C.
-How to determine your target audience on Facebook.
-Why influencer marketing is a growing trend.
-How to tell if someone has fake followers.
-Why the role of the traditional media gatekeeper is obsolete.
-Why engagement trumps the number of followers and vanity metrics.
-3 steps to take to become an influencer in your community.
-3 ways to leverage Instagram Stories to build more followers for your business.
-How to conduct hashtag research to increase visibility.
-Instagram feed posts vs. Story posts: the # 1 mistake you are making.

-PLUS: Live Social Media Consulting with TV News Anchor Shannon Lanier

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56HXjciLK5U

 


How To Pitch The Media Taught by Kris Ruby

Ruby Media Group Founder Kris Ruby recently taught the CSU Long Beach Department of Public Relations & Journalism students Media Relations Fundamentals. During the interactive Facebook Live teaching, students learned how to create a newsworthy pitch, how to secure press coverage and how to break into the Public Relations industry. Click here to watch the full media relations training.