27 July 2012 14 Comments

7 reasons why social Media is not free

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

http://voices.yahoo.com/the-social-media-revolution-impact-social-networking-2203608.html?cat=35Social media is now a wonder in this generation as it gives voice to the voiceless. Everyone who has something to say now has a platform as long as they have access to internet. Social media revolution has brought a lot of changes to the way we communicate, market and conduct our affairs. Those who are still expecting the fad to go out soon need to wake up to reality.

 Social media is the fastest and emerging tools which have helped to build strong connection, quality business relationship and thrown –up unknown people into stardom through unequalled dedication and commitment. It has influenced many decision makers on the way to go. Many are careful of what they say or do now than ever before because some ‘citizen journalists’ with mischievous intention can cause some troubles.

 I have heard different arguments with regards to the fact that Social media is free. My question is ‘to what extent is the media free?’  To start participation, one needs internet access. In some countries, that is a real deal. Even with a smart phone, one needs a minimum of ten US dollars to stay connected for a month. In some countries where some do not earn up to a dollar per day to spend, is that that not a cost?

But let us assume that is not point is carried to the extreme, here are some facts which show Social Media is not totally free.

Time: A man’s time is his life. To build anything credible or impactful on social media, one needs to commit a considerable time into it. What is the value of you man-hour?

Team: Even if one has all the twenty four hours to spend, real and effective social media requires more hands than what a person can offer. Building a team for the social media effort is not a joke.

Real Social media strategy demands more: real social media strategies will demands creative insight, product knowledge, management and communication. Creative insight distinguishes efforts on social media and that cost something.

Social monitoring: real social monitoring requires some investments. It is true there are free platforms one can engage, but paid software work better and if you really care about your brand image, you must be ready to invest.

Online Advertising: We have heard of free adverts online. We also have free directories among others. When it comes to real and effective, measurable ads online, a brand cannot escapes from spending a few dollars.

Content creation, publishing and marketing: Ask those who are involved in content marketing online, they will tell you stories. They may need to start somewhere but along the line, they will have to learn how best they can do it better. This includes writing for the web, SEO, copy writing skill etc. It is true one can learn this online but those who want the best attend paid- for trainings and conferences which can enhance productivity.

Feedback Management: Managing Social media feedback mechanism is task, several options that will make this easy need little investment.

What we can say then is that social media may be cost effective but not a free of charge platform. What do you think?

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