The Value of Your Online Ambassador (Why It “Costs” So Much)

Social media managers are your digital ambassadors. That’s why it costs so much. You’re asking them to be you and speak on your behalf.

You’re a small business owner thinking you need to be on social media, not totally convinced of its worth (yet), but you know you need it. You may even realize you need help.

So, you find and contact a social media manager and get a quote. But now you’re in a coma because you had an entirely different expectation of the cost.

You think, “It’s just Facebook? Why is it so expensive?”

Just like in any line of work, there are people with experience and people who tell a good story. In my experience, I’ve run into very few truly good social media managers. I am very picky on who I will refer when I’m asked to take on an account.

Some thoughts:

  1. You don’t have time for social media. This is why you’ve sought help in the first place.  How much is your time worth?
  2. You don’t have the skills needed (yet) do do social media yourself. How much is it worth to you to get the accounts going?
  3. A good social media manager needs to brainstorm with you and come up with an overall strategy and ideas on how to tactically achieve that goal. Some people are naturals.
  4. A good social media manager shouldn’t be afraid to try new things, use humor, yet show discretion. This usually comes with age and experience.
  5. Many times social media managers are not permitted (because of non-disclosure agreements) to reveal their clients. Look at their Twitter and Facebook accounts.
    1. Is their account alive?  For example, when’s the last time they tweeted?
    2. Are they polite? Do they thank people? Do they retweet others? Do they respond to comments on their own brand’s Facebook Page?  This is known as “engagement” in the industry and “being a human being” in real life.
    3. Does their account feel professional to you. Read a sampling of the posts.
    4. Do they use proper grammar? Do they make a lot of spelling mistakes or overly rely on texting syntax?
    5. The truth is that you do what you practice.  If their own brand isn’t done well, then why would you think they’d do a better job on yours?
  6. A social media manager is your brand ambassador. They act in your place, as if they were you, online. This includes customer service, relationship building, passive (or active) lead generation, and public relations.
  7. When they meet you do they push their own agenda or have ideas that will specifically help your type of business? The truth is not everyone should be on Pinterest, for example. But if it’s good for your industry, you want to make sure the social media manager is competent on that platform.

When you consider these factors, is the price they quoted to you really too high?

If the price is still totally out of your reach, then start teaching yourself. Although, many of the people I refer offer scaled plans or coaching sessions to get you started. Additionally, have a list of “required reading” as well as my own “how to” posts scattered throughout my blog.

There is a Chinese Proverb that says,

“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”

Your competition is online. What’s holding you back?

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