Setting up the right budget for social media can be difficult at the best of times. I find that small businesses struggle especially with a social media budget. This could be because they don’t even know where to start or they think they don’t need to put money into social media. However, I can tell you right now that if you want to make a slash on social media, then you are probably going to have to invest some money into it!
Some businesses think that there are no benefits to social media so they simply ignore it. This type of thinking should not be tolerated! Social media provides so many benefits to the business. While these benefits may not be as obvious as a traditional advertising campaign, there is no mistaking the power and influence they have.
Social media can assist with building awareness of your brand and help connect you with your customers. While you can never control everything that is said about your business on social media, it is important that you are active to mitigate any potential damage. If you do not have social media then you aren’t able to defend yourself.
While it may seem pointless, you should always put at least a little bit of money towards social media. And if you really want this money to work for you and be able to stretch it as much as you can, you should put together a comprehensive budget.
I know what you are thinking! But how do I put together a perfect social media budget? It can be difficult to put together a great budget, especially if you are new to social media because you don’t really know what the components are and where most of your money should be spent.
Don’t worry! This blog post tackles the difficult task of setting a social media budget. Here I will provide you with the best tricks and tips necessary to create the best budget for your business’s social media.
Before you can jump right in and allocate X amount of dollars to one component and X amount for another, you will have to think carefully and establish your goals. Your goals will have a direct impact on how much money you are going to spend on social media as well as where that money is going to be allocated.
While goal setting for the online social media world can seem foreign, all you need to do is think of it as a non-digital campaign. The budget setting process is actually fairly similar; it’s just the actual components that are a little different.
When thinking about your goals you will need to take a holistic approach. Think of what you really want to get out of your marketing campaign in general. Then you will need to relate these goals to social media, i.e. how can you use social media to achieve those goals. I can tell you that social media should play at least some role in your overall marketing campaign and if you aren’t including social media in your goal setting you are certainly one of the few!
Understandably, I see a lot of new comers to social media only allow for it to take up a smaller section of the overall marketing campaign. This is totally fine! Being new to social media means that you may not fully understand how it works. This is why it can be important to start small, and then scale up once you have your footing.
So for example if one of the goals of your marketing campaign is to sell more of one particular product, then you can measure the amount you spend on your social media marketing per purchase of that product. This allows you to better set your budget.
Choose your target market
Choosing your target market for a social media campaign is probably one of the easiest steps. This is because when you first set up your business you already had a target market in mind. You have probably already have already chosen on a desired target market.
Your target market for your social media campaign is no different from that of your normal business target market. If 35-40 year olds males are not interested in your product and/ or services then you shouldn’t be targeting them on social media!
Establishing your target market for social media campaigns is so easy because you probably don’t have to do any extra research. You already know your target market and you should stick with it. Don’t go around chopping and changing things just for the sake of it!
Depending on the people you are looking to target, it can be easier or a lot harder to engage with them through an online social media campaign. However, just because it is a little harder to engage with a certain target market group on social media, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to invest in having an online social presence.
If you want to find more information about the types of people who use social media or just some information about social media in general, then Statista is a great place to look. As well as this social media tool, you should also be looking at you own social analytics for your social media accounts (that is if you already have one).
By looking at your own analytics you will get a better idea on the type of people who are most engaging with your page. I find that Facebook Insights is probably the greatest social analytics and it provides you with so much information about the type of people who are visiting your page (you can break it down into different age, general, location, etc.) as well as what posts are the most engaging.
It is important that you take all of these statistics into consideration (as well as your already established target market) when finalising your target market. Once you have a solid idea on who you are looking to target, you are able to adjust different variables accordingly to tailor your social media especially for the target.
When it comes to social media you may have to pay more to reach your desired target market. Here it is important to think and determine whether there will be a good enough return on investment or if it makes more sense to focus your funds on a different area of social media.
When targeting users, Facebook and Twitter allow for a more specific target (like their age, gender and interests). For example, you can choose to only target male 30-40 year olds that have shown interest in cars. This means that no matter your business, you will probably be able to specifically target those individuals that have some level of interest in it.
Review past results (if possible)
If you can, it is important to look at your social media results from the past. Reviewing past results is an important step as it ensures you make the necessary changes that will make your campaign stronger in the future. If you don’t learn from your previous mistakes then your business will never fully reach its potential on social media.
If you don’t have past results as you are just starting your campaign that is totally fine! You have to start somewhere, right? Instead of reviewing your non-existent past results, have a look at what your main competitors are posting on social media. By looking at their posts you will see the amount of ‘likes’, ‘comments’ or ‘shares’ and this will help you with your own business page.
As I said before, Facebook and Twitter offer great analytics and this will provide you with a detailed analysis of your past results. Here it will also show you factors that help determine how successful your past social media campaign and the budget was. You can analyse the amount you spend per click as well as track consumers through to a conversion.
If you have the ability to look a past results, it will give you a better idea on how your consumers are likely to react to your future campaigns. If your past campaign was successful, you should obviously stick to what you were doing before, and maybe make little adjustments to make the campaign even more successful.
Looking at past campaigns will also give you a better idea on what your return on investment is likely to be. As well as this, you will have the ability to analysis how much money you will have to spend to reach your desired amount of consumers.
When it comes to your campaign on social media, don’t be scared to take risks. If you don’t have any previous results to base your new campaign off then a risk or two is probably necessary! Once you have results to look at then you will have a better idea on what works well and what doesn’t.
Keep an eye on competitors
As said in the above point, it is important to look at what your competitors are doing. By monitoring their social media campaign direction you will have a better idea on what has the potential to work and what doesn’t. This doesn’t mean you should copy exactly what they are posting about, but it acts as a good guide for your future posts.
While looking at your competitors, if you find that one of their posts has an abnormally high level of interaction this could mean the post was inorganically boosted. By reviewing all these types of posts by your competitor, you will have a better idea on their social media budget.
You should also have a look at how often they are advertising is on social media. If you are constantly seeing an advertisement for their business, then they have probably paid more money for their campaign. If you think your competitors are spending a lot of money on social media advertising, and subsequently taking up a lot of the advertising space. Then you should also look to increase your budget to ensure that your presence is still felt on social media.
If you do not have the capacity to increase your social media budget, then that’s fine as well! You should then direct the focus of your campaign onto other areas where your competitors are not so commanding in. This gives you a better chance of being seen, especially if you lack the necessary funds to keep up with your major competitors.
Social media platforms
In order to set up the perfect social media budget for your business you will need to choose and understand the platforms you are using. Different social media platforms have a different type of user. So you should go back to Statistica and review the demographics for each platform.
After you have chosen the best platforms that suit your target market, you can then start thinking of how to best divide your budget. It is likely that you will be using more than one social media platform. So here you have to decide if you want to split the funds evenly between the platforms or if you want to focus your resources more on one particular platform.
You should always be investing more into well-established platforms like Facebook or Twitter; and less into new platforms that don’t see as much traffic. By using an established platform you are more likely going to see better results.
A good idea to base your funds for each platform is to have a look at your level of social following. So you should look at your level of reaction and engagement. For example, if you are seeing a high level of engagement on Facebook compared to your other social platforms, then you should focus more funds towards Facebook, as you should focus on areas that your audience seems to be the most engaged.
Although you probably want to be given an exact number for your budget, this simply cannot be done. All businesses are different with varying needs and consumers which make it difficult to give a generalised budget figure. Despite this, this blog has hopefully given you the tricks and some tips to assist you in deciding on a budget that truly works for your business.