Basic Social Media Strategy
The numbers can be all over the map. Facebook app costs can range from as little as $60 to as high as $50,000 depending on your idea and what you want the app to do.
To answer this question in more detail, we need to take a look at what is involved in developing, marketing, and maintaining a Facebook app. While there are a variety of models used to price application outsourcing services, the most prevalent model involves the following components:
- A fixed monthly charge for application support
- A fixed monthly charge for a baseline number of application enhancement hours (typically included as part of the fixed fee for application support), with authorized incremental hours charged on a time and materials basis
- A framework for pricing significant development work on a project-by-project basis on a fixed fee, capped time and materials, or straight time and materials basis
Some developers want to be paid by the hour, and some prefer to be paid per project. The more accurately you can describe the project to the developer, the more accurately he can estimate the price.
For example, Bahndr, by Blue Label Labs, is a $30,000 social game built from scratch with completely custom graphics; it could have cost double that had the project been given to a larger shop.
On top of this, you can expect to spend $8,000–$30,000 on QA testing, depending on the app. The more changes you need to make, the more you will need to spend for your programmers to get rid of any bugs and improve usability.
Beyond development, there are costs associated with getting your app into relevant online stores and marketplaces:
- Launching the app: $99 on the App Store, $25 to register on Google Play
- Infrastructure, servers, and other backend support: $100–$200/month
- Social media integration: $500–$1,500
- In-app purchasing: $1,000–$4,000
- Game Center: $1,000
- Marketing: $1,000–$3,000 on initial marketing campaigns
Start with the free stuff. Maybe that’s all you’ll ever need, and maybe you’ll hit a limitation at some point and need to switch to a commercial alternative. Facebook and YouTube have free metrics built into their services. Use those to their full extent. Google Analytics is both free and effective, and can be implemented on a number of different websites. You can nab a ton of great information from this tool that most other web analytics packages provide only at a price.
The problem with measuring social media success, and why it’s often so difficult for business owners and marketers, is that we look at it in social media terms rather than in business terms. One of the top mistakes that businesses make is focusing on indirect successes like how many followers, fans, and shares they have, when really they need to be looking at the same old metrics that they use in traditional marketing: revenue, cost, and sales volume.
There are some metrics that marketers and business owners tend to pick up on and know that they have to measure, like the number of visitors you’re getting from social media and customer conversions. But there are other metrics that you should be looking at too:
- Lead conversions (both hard and soft conversions)
- Cost per lead
- Cost per click
- Cost per inbound link
- Cost per site visit
Segmenting your leads is basically taking the leads you have and separating them into groups. Segmentation allows for more exact and effective targeting, and enables you to send unique messages. For instance, you can segment by social behavior, geography, and website interactions.
Yes! If you want to run an effective online marketing campaign, and if you want to be able to accurately go about measuring your social media ROI, then you need to segment those leads. Segmenting your leads allows you to know not only what their motivators and problems are, but also what sort of content you need to produce and post to social media in order to move them along the sales cycle and increase conversions.
One non-intrusive way of following a post and its comments is to “like” it. This will give you any notifications of its changes. However, if you don’t want to make it known you are following a thread, click the small gray down arrow in the upper left corner. This will prompt a small dropdown menu beneath it. The first option, “Turn on Notifications” is what you want. This will have the same effect as commenting or liking, and will send notifications to you upon any change or update in the thread.
A few times per day is ideal for optimal customer engagement. Especially on time-sensitive social media feeds like Twitter and Facebook, people are going to see the fresh stuff, so you want to be sure that a wider net of social media users get to see that content.
My team has developed a social media calendar with a formula that we’ve found works for us. We use a combination photos, videos, polls, news updates, a funny quote, a customer feature, anything to change it up and keep the customer interested. By varying it a lot, you’ll eventually find out what speaks to your audience base the best. At the end of the day, this ideal formula is going to change according to your specific audience. Test it out and analyze the data.