Budgeting Social Media Management

Reading Marketing Profs Paul Dunay’s post regarding the company budget for social media I found it interesting specifically about the idea behind content creation. Paul states:

Ok but the real cost (again unlike the traditional media stuff) is in Content Creation to fill up those social media / new media channels – here is where the cost can get large. I happen to think I am very fortunate since I work at a consulting firm where many people are thought leaders – so we have no shortage of opinions ;-)

He does not get into the costs specifically as he does with pricing the actual tools of social media. The tools he itemizes are:

A Blog;

A Podcast;

A Video;

A Wiki; and

A Community.

I refer to these things as tools as I also believe that applications can be used in a social media planned budget as well. The applications are mostly free to very inexpensive. I did notice he did not budget for the activities surrounding the likes of Twitter or other which enhance the above tools. Basically, they are free. He is correct however when he states:

So unlike traditional media – Print, TV and Radio – which can cost big money. Social media’s upfront costs very little…

You have to read through his original post regarding the overall budgets to get an idea of the numbers, but I wanted to wrap my mind around the budget ideas first and foremost. The low cost of social media is right now making it a hot and much sought after way of accomplishing a company’s advertising, marketing and public relations strategy.

The real cost is the people that can manage this strategy, someone that can understand the uses of each tool and application and how to make it work for its intended use. This is where the budget has to be difficult to nail down. The person that is responsible for this doesn’t even have a job title or description these days. Is it the marketing person, the advertising person or the public relations person that handles this? What department do we charge for the implementation of this new way of handling our media? These are some difficult questions to answer. I am personally seeing many more job openings on job boards, and seeing recruiters provide the answers to the question of who to place in the position. The real question I have for Paul is the budget for the wage for this person. How much does your company expert in the leadership of social media get paid? Do you have a budget line item for a social media manager?

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