The hidden costs of having the Top Services from Social Networks

by Rudi Gabriel Bedy

Every time, now and then, one of the major social networks advertise with a mega super cool feature for brands, everybody is discussing it, writing about it, being and expert in it and dreaming about it. Some of you with the wish to implement it also for the company you work at or own, might start searching about that feature and how to get it implemented.

And then it comes, you contacted a representative of the social network and found out that this feature is only for some companies which are big or that you should start discussing more about your plans on social media. Well, actually after several discussion if not in the first phase you will find out that there is a hidden cost for something free, that means the service is free but the condition is to get a paid plan. In some cases the price starts from small amounts per month but in other cases the price is high and few companies can afford it.

By limiting the feature to high spenders, it stimulates the companies into doing more expenses on a monthly basis. After all, the services are free for the consumers and they have to get the money somewhere. It’s kind of unfair for the small companies which can not afford such big expenses, but which have some expenses on those social networks.

Let’s go over 3 main examples: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Twitter

To have this shiny verified account image on your twitter account, you must:

  • be in one of those categories: “highly sought users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, advertising, business, and other key interest areas”. But don’t think that a business needs only to be a business, you have to do expenses with Twitter, this becomes clear when you read this Twitter statement: “Twitter isn’t verifying business accounts yet unless they’re part of the alpha testing program.”
  • spend at least 15,000 $ over 3 months in twitter.  Most probably this is when you enter the “alpha testing program”.

I am also taking into consideration what happens if you keep up with the 5000$ per month for 12 months and then after 1 year you start having expenses of just 1000$ per month because you had a lot of  Promoted Tweets/Promoted Account statuses and your strategy changed. Would they remove it as fast as you got it? Could be, maybe on a case by case basis. The issue with Twitter and not only, is that they don’t play fair and explain everything publicly.

More about the verified account on the Twitter Help Center, keep in mind that there is a cool feature on twitter that you can have and it costs nothing, it’s called Twitter Cards and you can read how to get them in my article Twitter Cards, simple steps to get them for your website . An interesting article on this can be found also on TweetSmarter.

Facebook

Let’s take a look at Global Brand Pages, remember there was a hype around this? I thought I should dig in a bit more on this and see what is necessary to get it.

The requirements to get the Global Brand Pages structure according to a Facebook representative are:

  1. A very strong brand
  2. Several regional Brand Pages and a global one
  3. 20.000$ minimum spending on advertising per month
  4. An account manager in the Corporate Facebook Office in Dublin

To find out how it does help and details on it, I recommend reading further in my article named Facebook Global Brand Pages, you want them but can you afford them?

YouTube

Custom Brand Channels, we know them, they are cool. The customization limits don’t exist, you can have a custom design, links on the channel, external links in the videos and much more. YouTube says this extra customization is free. It is, because you are not paying actually for the brand channel but for the Ads.

The above screenshot is from Ray William Johnson’s YouTube Channel, he’s one of my favorite fun video aggregators online, his videos have millions of views. Even in this case, he could have paid for some kind of advertising on YouTube, taking in consideration the number of video views and the income from ads on his videos.

Unless you are an non-profit organization or any other organization that could get them some benefits for giving you the options above, you have to do expenses for more that 120.000$ (some say 250.000$). Could be else in other conditions, that’s why I highly recommend to contact a YouTube representative.

Let’s say we want those 3 services.

A simple math for one year would be:

Twitter ($5000 x 12 months) + Facebook ($20.000 x 12 months) + YouTube (120.000$ assuming it’s per year) = $ 420.000

So it’s a total of $420.000 and I’m asking myself how many companies can afford this? It’s just the lower limit of the expenses that have to be made to get those services. It’s not necessary all the companies use all of those services, but every social media responsible dreams having them.

Help me make this article more complete, send me over the requirements for other top services from Social Networks which don’t advertise at first as being conditioned by expenses with their company.

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