In fact, it’s very very labor intensive.
It’s not even close to free. Yes, you spend less on traditional ads, but you spend way more on labor. It feels free from the outside. From the inside it could mean several full time employees.
Depending your goals and your product(s), social media marketing could cost you $25,000 or more a month in labor. There’s a lot to read. A lot to know about, even to get started as a social media marketer. As social media marketing genius Gary Vaynerchuk pointed out on Medium last week, there’s a very good reason to use an agency: this is what they do all day.
I wish I could hire Gary Vaynerchuk’s agency, Vaynermedia, but Quote Cards is a content creation and distribution platform for personal expression on social media. To farm it out, we’d essentially be farming out the operations of the entire enterprise. Fortunately, for the past two years I worked on a social media app for college students, Erodr. I learned quite a bit about social media marketing on their dime. Erodr was a start up with just a little institutional angel money, so I learned as much as I could before the dimes ran out.
My assistant Sean and I just spent the entire weekend preparing for the launch of Quote Cards on social media in three weeks. Because Quote Cards is three sites in one (Famous Quotes, Movie Quotes and Music Quotes), it requires three separate social media presences that have to be managed across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pintrist, Tumbr, Linkedin, and Google+.
Sadly we can’t just jump in and focus on the fun stuff (making content). You have to draw a crowd. You have to create ways for people to find you. If people like you, they will help people they know to find you, but it doesn’t happen overnight. You have to keep pitching yourself, making friends, and expanding your circles. You have to admire others so they will admire you. You have to set yourself on fire. It is a shit ton of work. No one ever talks about this.
Later this year, we are going to launch three or four more music sites (Rap, Country, Rock, etc.) targeting different genres and demographics than our more generic (but very beautiful) Quote Card hub (below). The addition of three new brands will mean we are managing 6 products. Yikes. Well, hopefully by then we’ll have some help. Early traction is going to make or break us.
The new music sites are going to add to the social media marketing burden that the company organically creates. This is the game we have chosen to play. The field upon which we will compete. The ecosystem in which we will grow. And there are competitors, lots of them, in the meme creation business. Some will consolidate. Some will shut their doors like Erodr. And some will absolutely rock the universe. We are fishing where the fish are, the first step toward effective marketing.