Are you having a hard time justifying your social media budget?
You might be having doubts about your social media campaign because you don’t know how to measure ROI.
After all, who doesn’t want to get the most results for the least amount of money?
But still, many small business owners don’t know if they’re getting the most out of their social media budget, and the numbers bear this out. According to the Direct Marketing Association:
Nearly 1/3 of marketers neither agrees nor disagrees if they’re getting a return on investment from social media marketing. In other words, they don’t really know if their social media budget is paying off.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t succeed with social media marketing! There are many statistics showing its effectiveness for small businesses.
Here are a few from Social Media Examiner.
- 50% of businesses who use social media for at least 2 years get more sales.
- 66% of businesses receive more leads doing only 6 hours a week of social media marketing.
- 72% of brands use social media to develop a loyal fan base.
As you can see, if you stick with social media marketing, you’ll see positive results in the long run.
Now that’s all well and good, but what if you’re a new business owner?
You’re on a tight marketing budget. You need results now to keep your business in the black. You need to get the most out of your social media budget in the short and long term.
So how do you do this?
Glad you asked! We’re going to review the 5 best ways that you can get the most out of your social media budget.
But first, let’s talk about some rules of thumb for setting up a social media budget.
Social Media Budgeting Rules Of Thumb
Setting your social media budget all depends on what you can and can’t do.
Some things to keep in mind…
- A creative person must write the daily posts.
- Someone must upload all the photos and videos.
- Someone must respond to customers’ posts, especially if they have problems or questions.
Nobody is a super human! So, you’ll have to budget for the things that you can’t do yourself, whether that means hiring another staff member or putting your social media marketing on autopilot.
As for how much money to spend on social media marketing, there are a lot of opinions.
But the number usually hovers around 7%-20% of your gross income. This number will vary depending on your industry and other factors.
Whatever you decide to spend on social media marketing, there are a few rules of thumb you should follow:
- Spend your budget on what you can’t do yourself. For example, if creating engaging paid advertisements is a weak area for you, then it’s smart to hire professionals.
- Spend your budget on the most time consuming tasks. For example, if it takes you too much time to manage your social media campaign, then it’s a good idea to hire a social media management agency.
- Only spend money on the things that are best for your business and will generate profits. For example, if you owned a retail boutique you wouldn’t pay to have ads on LinkedIn where mostly B2B companies and professionals spend their time. It would not be an efficient use of your social media budget. Instead, you could allocate your time and resources to paid shopping ads on Google and attract the right customers.
Now, let’s get into the heart of the matter – 5 key strategies to get the most out of your social media budget!
- Pick the Right Platform
The following graph shows the most popular social media websites in late 2017.
It’s important to consider the pros, cons, and requirements of each one.
For more information about the benefits of each social media network, you can read more here.
Below is a brief overview of the most popular websites for social media advertising.
(the numbers in parenthesis represents the estimated number of active monthly visitors)
- Facebook (2,130,000,000) – the largest and most popular social media network. The Facebook Messenger app, which must be downloaded separately, is another separate place (but is connected to Facebook) where you can advertise.
- YouTube (1,500,000,000) – the second largest social media platform. Video creation is a requirement.
- Instagram (800,000,000) – a mobile visual platform that’s best used for creative image marketing.
- Twitter (330,000,000) – best used for as-it-happens advertising. However, advertising can be more difficult to set up and track than other advertising methods, like Google AdWords.
- Snapchat (300,000,000) – fast growing and especially popular with millennials, but is more expensive to advertise on.
- Pinterest (175,000,000) – good for targeting female/smaller/niche audiences, and offers an advertising platform as well as buyable pins
- Yelp (145,000,000) – brand and reputation management is key on Yelp because customers often leave reviews here. Yelp is beneficial at growing brand awareness. You can also advertise and offer coupon for your business.
- Google+ (111,000,000) – the main benefit of Google+ is the unique features it offers (such as faster indexing of your posts).
- LinkedIn (106,000,000) – great for B2B. Targeted at professionals and decision makers within a business.
There are other social media sites as well. Here’s a simple size comparison made by DreamGrow which includes some other smaller sites.
After you’ve chosen your platforms, you’ll want to figure out how to spend your social media budget on them.
- The Power of Videos and Images
Visuals have always been important in advertising, and this is especially true with social media advertising.
According to a survey by Animoto, 4 times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product instead of reading about it.
Yes, video marketing is very effective.
But before you decide to invest more into it, you must first consider your target audience. Due to the nature of video marketing, it can be more intrusive than other communication methods.
For example, if the nature of your product is more sensitive or adult-themed, then you might not want to go overboard on video marketing. Especially if your target audience includes younger people (might be living with parents) or office workers (disturbing coworkers).
As for images, an analysis of 1 million articles by BuzzSumo revealed that articles with at least 1 image for every 75-100 words were shared twice as often!
That’s the power of visual marketing.
Since images carry so much weight on social media, we recommend that you spend most of your social media budget on obtaining quality images for your products, services, or team members. People trust companies with high quality images over companies with lower quality images or no images at all. This will include things like:
- Your cover photos for profile pages.
- Professional profile picture – a headshot for individuals or logos for companies.
- Icons/stock or product photos.
- Infographics – these receive 3x as many likes and shares compared to other types of content.
There are many types of visual marketing content. You should consider which ones will work best for your marketing plan.
First, come up with a list of ideas for visual marketing content. Then, come up with a list of different visual methods for presenting these pieces of visual content. Be sure to check out competitors, see what works in your industry and what doesn’t. Then use the best method(s) for advertising your visual content pieces.
It’s that simple.
- Paid Advertising – What You Need To Know
The main advantage of advertising on social media is that it’s much cheaper than other advertising methods. Therefore, you’ll be able to try out several different platforms and methods to find out what works best for you. In addition, you can also get advertising help directly from the social networks themselves!
So how cheap can it be?
Try spending $1 a day on Facebook for a couple weeks. Studies have shown that you can grow an audience by as many as 4000+ visits doing this!
Twitter also has decent click rates just spending merely $1 a day. And according to AdWeek, Twitter has a 1%-3% better click-through rate than Facebook.
In case you don’t know marketing jargon, click through rate (CTR) simply means the ratio of people who click the link on your advertisement compared to the people who simply view your ad.
More marketing jargon for the uninitiated:
- CPM means the cost per 1,000 impressions on one webpage. The “M” represents the Roman numeral for 1,000. For example, the average CPM for Facebook is $0.59.
- CPC simply means “cost per click.” No confusion here. This is how much you’ll pay when someone clicks your ad.
- RPV means “revenue per website visitor.” A simple formula is RPV – CPV = Profit. CPV means “cost per visitor.”
It’s important to understand these basic terms, and what goes into them, so that you can determine if you’re getting the most out of your social media budget.
- Social Media Copy Writing Tips
After visuals and advertising, this is where your social media budget should go. Content is king on social media.
You need creative writing to convince people to click through from your photos. You need unique, funny, witty and inspirational quotes, which becomes much harder than it sounds once you try your hand at it.
If you aren’t a creative writer, then this won’t be free.
For every special occasion that comes up, big companies often have a humorous comment to go along with it.
And somebody gets paid to write these posts.
One of the key things to understand about writing content for social media is that: you want to align your content with the kind of content that people on the platform expect. Or in other words, you want your written content on social media site A to align with the expectations of social media site A’s users.
This is why putting your eggs in too many different baskets (social media websites) is almost never a good idea for an inexperienced marketer.
Every social media site has its own culture, and it takes time to learn it.
Users and advertisers must adapt to their chosen platforms, or else face social rejection.
So the lesson is, when it comes to social media marketing, a “less is more” approach usually works out better.
- Measure Your Social Media Budget ROI
To conclude our article, here are a few ideas for measuring your social media budget ROI.
- Create social media exclusive coupon codes and offers that will allow you to easily track the resulting sales. If your company doesn’t do ecommerce, you could also make the codes redeemable offline at your physical stores. Technology is capable of doing this; you just have to set it up right.
- Setup multiple lead-generators through your website. These could be contact forms, webinar registrations, content downloads, email subscriptions, etc. It’s fairly easy to measure the impact of social media with all of these.
- Use CRM software tied to web analytics to track your lead generators. Don’t know which software to choose or where to start? Let us take the guesswork out for you.
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this article. But that’s because, if you want to get the most out of your social media budget, you need a strategy that encompasses all of the various aspects of marketing. This includes how you manage your social media accounts, as well as how you choose to spread your message on social media.
We are a full service social media marketing company, so we can help you in both of these areas. If you’re in need of a social media management system for all your social media accounts, then check out what we offer in our services. On the other hand, if you’re in need of good written and visual content for social media or other parts of your site, then take a look at our content marketing services. After you reviewed everything, feel free to schedule a conversation with us to see what plans work best for your brand and social media budget.