I’m very much not going to be outraged or shocked by a recent report showing Chief Marketing Officers spend less than 10 percent of their budgets on social media efforts. Compared to other marketing channels, social media is pretty low cost, especially if you’re still in the experimental phase and seeing what’s going to work.
Consider the cost of running a Twitter program: Setting up profiles on Twitter costs nothing and you’re probably tapping into the time of employees who are volunteering to take part. So the primary cost would be in hiring a world class of communications architects to coordinate the program, monitor success and pull regular metrics and that’s about it. That’s an important step that shouldn’t be overlooked, but it’s a pretty simple one and one that will have long-term benefits if you trust their guidance.
Compare that to the cost of running a nationwide print campaign. Between creative agencies, media-buying shops and the internal people who need to approve everything the costs add up quickly and in big chunks.
Obviously there are social media programs that are more expensive, especially as you start to ramp up the scale and add things like blog design and development, but overall you’re working with a lot of existing assets.
So I’m not concerned about budget numbers right now. Dollars go where there are proven results and if, like we are, you’re showing those consistently with the programs you recommend and coordinate the budget will come.