How Much Time, Money Can You Commit? – Part 4

In the last post of this series,  “Establishing Business Objectives Using Social Media,” we discussed the steps involved in establishing a business foundation for your social media strategy and establishing desired business outcomes as a result of social media. A good strategic program will also establish a financial foundation, a budget for your social media program.

Participation in social media is “free” in the sense that social media sites don’t charge for their service. However, costs associated with human capital and other resources can be very expensive if not managed properly.

To effectively establish a social media strategy, an essential step is to weigh the cost. Get started by a) establishing a process and b) calculating the real cost.

Define the process:

  • Strategy – activities involved in establishing your strategy.
  • Plan – analyze the strategy and break it down into tasks and a schedule.
  • Implementation – do the work defined in the plan.
  • Assessment – monitor, record and analyze traffic.

Calculate the actual costs:

  • Determine who will be involved in each step.
  • Estimate the hours needed for each step.
  • Estimate the rates for each person involved.
  • Calculate the costs by multiplying hours x rates.

The result of this process will give you an estimate of your program costs and the amount of resources needed to accomplish your goals. Either adjust your budget or adjust the strategy to fit your budget.

This is your starting point. Every organization should evolve their processes based on their resources, culture, etc. and adjust their programming as a matter of trial-and-error. As you gain experience, trial-and-error plays a smaller and smaller role.

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