Your money is important to you, so planning how to spend your allocated budget is important before you spend anything at all.
The industry average spends around $4,000 – $7,000 per month, which amounts to around $200-$350 per day. As a percentage of the total marketing budget, social media spending accounted for approximately 11.7% in 2016 – a 3X increase since 2009.
With your social media budget, you generally have three possible allocations:
- The All-In-One Social Media Budget
- Invest in Education Budget
- Advertising-Focused Budget
The All-In-One Social Media Budget
The All-In-One Social Media Budget incorporates all of the core components of social media advertising, but doesn’t place emphasis on any specific component. With the All-In-One Social Media Budget, you can include graphics/photos/videos, advertising, social media management, analytics, audience research, and sharing buttons.
Visuals are crucial for any social media strategy as they carry large emphasis and visually appeal to your audience. Graphics, photos, and videos can include anything from cover photos, professional profile pictures, logos, icons, and stock photos to use in the images and videos developed for your social media content.
Whether you’re a young or established brand, advertising can help build and develop your audience. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram offer advertising options for as little as $5 per day. Test and experiment the various social media advertising options to see what works best for your company and brand.
With Facebook and Instagram’s similar advertising options, it can be difficult to select which option is best for you. To make the selection process easier for you, consider what your focus is – Instagram ads may cost less for impressions and clicks, but Facebook ads have higher click-through rates (CTR). So, consider whether spending a few more cents is worth the results for you.
Social Media Management
Using a tool or application to manage your social media platforms will save you some significant time. Being able to manage multiple social media accounts on one platform will simplify and streamline your life, schedule, and posts. These tools will also be able to schedule your posts ahead of time and follow up with full analytics.
While your social media management may have some analytics already built in, as previously mentioned, it’s never a bad idea to invest a little more into it. After you’ve put in the effort to perfect your posts and social media personality, seeing the data-driven results will equip you with the information that you need to make your social media presence better.
To make your social media presence as successful as possible, it’s important to understand and listen to the people you’re communicating to. Consider what their needs, problems, and favourite things are. Many audience research platforms are free for your business, so there’s no need to spend any money.
For your website and/or blog, you can program a “share” button to allow your visitors to easily share your content – boosting your social media marketing. While there are some premium “share” button options, most are free and won’t consume any or much of your budget.
Invest in Education Budget
As opposed to the All-In-One Social Media Budget, the Invest in Education Budget focuses on investing in your education which will lead to the development of your own online marketing strategy. Sometimes, it’s better to invest your money on educating yourself. You can invest in your own knowledge through books, e-books, blogs, communities, and other miscellaneous resources.
If you’re in a situation where you are already established with your social media marketing workflows, perhaps paid promotions are the route that you would like to take. Companies that are developed with their scheduling, content, follow-up, and reporting may not need the offerings that the other two strategies provide. An Advertising-Focused Budget can focus on Facebook ads, Twitter ads, LinkedIn advertising, and other advertising options.
With Facebook, there are several different methods of approaching an ad campaign and these methods have 4 potential categories of outcomes:
- Reach: Expanding your reach to new potential customers who can interact with your content
- Interaction: Placing your ad on the News Feed to encourage interaction with it
- Followers: Increasing followers by increasing brand visibility
- Traffic and leads: Using ads to drive traffic to your landing pages/blogs or generate leads directly
These 4 potential categories of outcomes are also applicable to Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn ads.
Similar to Facebook, Twitter provides a number of ways to deliver your content to your audience. The following are just a handful of ways:
- Drive website clicks/conversions
- Get more followers
- Maximize brand awareness
- Increase Tweet engagements
- Promote your video
- Drive app installs or re-engagements
Like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn gives you the options of:
- Sponsoring existing content (like boosting a post)
- Creating a text ad (which appears at the top or right side of many LinkedIn pages)
- Sending InMail directly to your target audience
Which Budgeting Strategy Works Best for Your Company?
Throughout your entire journey in deciding which strategy to select, consider the following questions:
- Which social channels should you focus on?
- What will your organic and paid social marketing mix be?
- Who will publish content and engage in conversations?
- How often will you post and when?
- Where do you want to direct social media traffic to?
- How much is social media engagement worth to your business?
With these questions in mind, think about which budgeting strategy works best for you depending on your personal and company needs, and go from there! If you know you lack expertise in a certain area, allocate your budget to get some help in that field. Conversely, if you know something consumes more of your time than it should, consider spending some of your budget to find a faster solution that won’t take up too much time. Whenever you’re stuck on which strategy to approach, select the path that makes you more money to spend!