Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tis The Season To Plan The Budget, Fa la la la la.

For many companies, January 1 is the start of the fiscal year, which means this is budget season. I know a marketing manager who recently called me and wanted to ask how much it would cost for her company to use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I was also going to possibly help them start a blog, so she wanted to know how much that was going to cost.

We talked about the design and my hourly rate. But that wasn't what she wanted to know. She needed to know how much to put down to join Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. I wasn't sure what she meant. "They're free," I said.

There is a lot of talk about the success of social media. A recent study by Comscore and GroupM now proves people who come across brands through social media are almost twice as likely to perform searches on them.

People also talk about consumer's hunger for more information. In his book, named Free, Wired editor Chris Anderson talks about how consumers not only want something for free, but now expect it. Mr. Anderson (spoken with a Matrix accent) talks about how the more businesses can give away, the more they can build demand for their paid-for products.

All this is true, but my friend and her budget reminded me why most small to medium sized businesses should be using Web 2.0 when budgets get slashed. IT'S FREE.

Another friend of mine asked in a Facebook update if he should use traditional media to market his board game, Loaded Questions. I commented, "Print ads cost. The reason you're doing social media is the cost/reward." His Facebook updates are free.

Here's my point, and my last example. I should probably move this blog to a self hosted site. I plan to. Right now though, having a free blog, is still a great way to expand my reach. This is in my budget. Is social media in yours?

No comments: