Understanding the Costs of Social Media Marketing in the Philippines

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Social media marketing in the Philippines is a veritable minefield especially for those who are new to the game. I’ve started this blog to share to you the things I’ve learned over the years of continued learning and working with some of the best and brightest minds of my generation.

People almost always to struggle with wrapping their heads around the costs of social media marketing; between the biggest brands and the most popular social networking platforms, the barrier to entry has been reduced to a ridiculously low level.

Prices start at nothing.

In this day and age (especially in the first couple of years following the Web 2.0 Revolution); getting started with marketing your brand or your business is free. All you ever really need is a valid email address so these sites are sure that you’re human.

The costs of social media marketing vary from project to project. Where I work, we’re trained to constantly watch out for other agencies who list social media marketing packages on their sites. These people tend to employ templates, cookie-cutter solutions, if you will. I’ve been trained to work with how much the clients actually want to spend. From there, we work out the best social media marketing plans to roll out.

On paper, there really is nothing wrong about having a template, about having quicker and cleaner solutions to the daily production. For first-time clients, this is where they lose out on the opportunity to really grow their brands. I’d like how one of our brand managers puts it, “no one ever marches down the aisle in an off-the-shelf wedding gown.”

Should you pay?

Between small to medium enterprises and the mammoth businesses who’ve hundreds if not thousands of hands at their behest, the costs of social media marketing services, especially in the Philippines, is almost always a function of the time you’re likely to spend composing tweets, engaging Facebook users or chatting up your potential clientele.

When you think about it, David Ricardo’s Theory of Comparative Advantage really rings true. On some very fundamental level, he teaches us that brands and businesses should stick with what they know. We’ve all come to specialize in one thing or another. When businesses try to explore (and dabble in things they’ve no experience in) – they’re needless especially for the first few months.

If you’re in the business of selling brass fittings or chrome-plating mufflers, you’ll want to stick with that, rather than spend a lot of time learning and understanding an entirely new line of work – that of building your presence online using social media marketing strategies.

So what happens when you don’t?

Yes, I understand that that may seem counter-intuitive, almost self-contradictory but where I’m from, I can tell you upfront that brands and businesses do have a peculiar tendency to go great lengths to get something of value for free. But what they do fail to appreciate is that this brings about the perpetual tendency to become the best at nothing and mediocre at everything.

Remember, learning the best social media marketing strategies is free. It’s just that your time is best spent running your business. And as we’ve all been taught in business school, time is money you’ll never ever see again.

How much would you spend for social media marketing services? Do you feel you’re getting your money’s worth? Ask me your questions or share your experiences in the comments below.

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Between planning weddings and chasing pavement, Shandi Tan is a Community Manager for Pulyetos.com, one of the country’s leading resources for social media marketing in the Philippines. You can read more about it here.

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