Startup and small business marketers often face the same issue – an insufficient budget. Hiring a whole marketing team to work on raising your brand awareness would be the best marketing option, but also very costly. Luckily, there is social media advertising, which requires minimal investments while offering a great return. If your company can’t afford an expensive digital marketing campaign, social media is one of the best marketing channels you can focus on.
Choosing the most appropriate marketing channel is where the secret of marketing budgeting lies.
How to Determine Your Overall Marketing Budget?
Your company’s overall marketing budget is what your social media budget will be carved from. The size of it depends on the types of your expenses and how well profits are going, how long you’ve been up and running, the size of your business, and of course – your needs. Businesses that earn an annual revenue of $25 million spend on average 11% of their revenue on marketing, which can lead us to 10% as the magic number (the most commonly encountered marketing budget) for investing in marketing endeavors.
To restructure an existing Twitter account, you’d have to pay an average of $1,000-$2,500 per month. To create a new Twitter account costs $2,000-$4,000 on average, while setting up and running a Facebook marketing account can cost between $2,500 and $5,000 a month.
What You Spend Is Determined by How You Spend
Paying $5,000-$7,000 per month for a social media strategy with two social networks (at least) is what most small businesses find out of reach. On the other hand, most business owners can’t do it themselves as a truly comprehensive and effective social media presence is incredibly time-consuming and tedious. Writing and editing blog posts, managing pages (2-3 Facebook posts and 7-10 tweets a day), hashtag alerts, keyword monitoring, and gaining relevant followers is a lot to think about in addition to other important things such as finances, employee and project coordination, production, product placement, etc.
How to Optimize Your Social Media Budget (Bringing It Low-Cost)
- Choose the Right Channels. Think about the ideal customer and which age range they belong to. Then, find out what network your target demographic favors. For example, 66% of men and 76% of women use Facebook, which makes it predominantly female. Also, the most common Facebook demographic is people between 25 and 34 (nearly 30% of all Facebook users). On the other hand, 62% of all YouTube users are male, and more than half of YouTube views come from tablets and smartphones, which makes the platform ideal for targeting mobile users. When talking about baby boomers, we can see that there’s only so much that social media marketing can do. The baby boomer generation is not that present on social media, but you can’t ignore them if they’re included in your target demographic. Thus, you’ll have to employ other marketing methods as well, such as using corporate gift cards, handing out promotional materials, renting billboards, and newspaper ads.
- Schedule. What if you want to reach out to an audience in a different time zone or your specific demographic doesn’t fit into a certain mold? In the world of marketing, nothing is ever simple. A few years ago, you’d have to set your alarm and get out of bed in the middle of the night to complete the entire ordeal. Today, there are a number of social media automation software solutions you can use to simply schedule your Facebook posts and tweets, and automate the whole process.
- Best Time to Share. In order to know how to schedule your posts on social media, you must determine the right time for advertising. According to Hootsuite, the highest traffic on Twitter occurs around 3 p.m., on Facebook between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m., and on Instagram between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. This has both advantages and disadvantages because there is the largest potential audience present, but there’s also more competition. When plenty of users start spamming at the same time, will your Facebook post be the one to get the most attention?
- Customers Want Value. It is your job to bring it to them. Find a way to make your social media marketing campaign as subtle as possible in order for it to be successful. You’ll bring attention with a shameless self-promotion, but a more indirect approach often works best. For every post, upload, or any piece of shared promotional content, you should add a few more that really hold some value to your customers. This will give your relevance score a significant boost.
This list of tips for optimizing your social media is not definite, but it can be helpful nonetheless. Your choice of channel and budget depend on the type of consumers you want to target and on the products and services you offer. The service you choose may depend on what you can afford, but you should know that a limited budget is not the only determining factor of how much you can spend. Some corporate giants, like Apple, spend only 7% of their annual revenue on marketing, and just a chip of that on social media. Whatever campaign you choose to launch, make sure to start on a small scale, and increase investments only when it promises to provide a higher ROI.