Is your business struggling to achieve social media success?
Is your company thinking about taking the plunge into social media advertising?
Are you getting beat by competitors and looking for a new social media strategy?
Every business—small, medium, or large—should have a social strategy, and every strategy should be backed by a social media budget.
When it comes to advertising on social media, it’s best to proceed with caution and with a very specific budget in mind. Never forget that spending more money doesn’t necessarily equate to greater success, and it’s quite easy to waste money on social ads.
Budgeting helps you ensure you’ll have the funds to achieve your goals, whether that’s promoting a new business or driving sales on a new product. Plus, without an accurate social media marketing budget, it’s impossible to know the true ROI of your work.
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all social media budget.
Every company has different resources and different priorities. But whether you’re working with a shoestring or cushy budget, these are the key components you should figure into your calculations.
How much money should you spend on social media?
Social media marketing is crucial: Nearly one in every two people on the planet has a social media account—and that figure is growing. But remember, your social media budget should be one piece of a larger marketing pie.
So how much should social media marketing cost? Before deciding how much of your marketing budget to allocate to social, research your customers and determine how social media will help you achieve your marketing objectives.
For instance, if a significant percentage of your sales come from the Internet, it may make sense for your brand to spend more on social media than print, broadcast, direct mail, or other marketing channels.
6 areas to include in your social media budget
These are the core components you should include in your social media marketing budget.
1. Content creation
Content is and always will be king. And as such, it should account for a significant portion of your budget. Many social marketers spend more than half of their social media budget on content creation alone.
Here are some of the line items you may need to include in this section:
Photography and graphics.
The importance of high-quality visuals can’t be understated, which is why setting aside funds to hire professional photographers and illustrators is worthwhile. If your budget is tight, consider free stock photo sites.
From cameras and equipment to videographers and editors, production costs range depending on the project. For high-production shoots, directors, producers, location scouts, stylists, and other staff may also be required.
From actors, models, and extras, to social media influencers, be prepared to compensate your stars.
Factor in related production costs, from travel and meal expenses to props and location rentals.
Copywriters are paid by the word or by the hour. A good guide for rates can be found on the Editorial Freelancers Association website. Depending on the material, it may be necessary to budget for a fact-checker and proofreader as well.
If you’re a global brand or serve customers in multiple languages, be sure to budget for a translator. Like copywriters, translators are typically paid by the word or hour.
2. Software and tools
Equip your social media budget with these tools and platforms.
SEO and keyword research.
Use Google AdWords to research and bid on relevant keywords. This can also be used to inform your social content strategy.
Your website, microsites, and landing pages will need to be hosted. Some of these hosting providers include domain names, but if not, that will need to be purchased, too.
Creators deliver brand assets, but it’s useful to have tools such as Adobe Creative Cloud in-house for various editing needs, from image resizing to applying branding.
Project management systems.
Platforms like Trello or Wrike can help to streamline production and project management behind-the-scenes.
Social media management platform.
We’re obviously partial to Hootsuite, especially thanks to its time-saving scheduling capabilities.
Tools like Marketo and MailChimp can help with email marketing and more.
Track your social media campaigns with tools like Hootsuite Analytics.
3. Paid advertising
All social media strategies should include organic content and paid advertising. Every social media channel offers marketers ways to boost posts or run full-fledged campaigns, here are some that you might consider including in your social media budget:
From slideshow to Instant Experience ads, Facebook offers a variety of formats, campaigns, and targeting capabilities.
Facebook Messenger ads.
Placed in the Messenger inbox feed, these ads can be good at starting conversations.
Backed by Facebook’s campaign capabilities, use Instagram ads to reach its community of one billion monthly active users.
Reach a professional audience with sponsored InMail, text ads, and more.
Pinterest’s promoted Pins will help you reach its DIY network of planning Pinners.
Drive website clicks, Tweet engagements, and more with Twitter’s suite of ad options.
Formats on YouTube range from non-skippable video ads to TrueView ads to boosting your own videos.
Branded filters, story, and collection ads might be right for your next social campaign.
The popular-with-teens video app has opened things up to advertisers with full-screen ad placements, hashtag challenges, and more.
4. Paid partnerships
From influencer marketing to co-branded campaigns, pad your social media budget with room for paid partnerships, if they’re part of your strategy.
Social media influence rates can vary, but you can use this basic formula as a benchmark for your budget. From Instagram’s partner tag feature to YouTube influencer partnerships, there are many collaboration possibilities your company should budget for.
They may not require more funding for content than a typical campaign, but they will demand organization and planning time from the appropriate personnel.
There are lots of free social media training resources out there, but it’s always worthwhile to invest in training for your team. Depending on your team’s skill levels and campaign needs, these are a few training options you should consider including in your social media budget:
If LinkedIn’s community is a target demographic for your business, these online courses may be worthwhile.
While Facebook’s one-day workshops are currently invitation-only, keep an eye out for sign-up options in the future. Meanwhile, consider Blueprint certification courses or free Blueprint e-learning classes.
From single courses to certificate programs, Hootsuite Academy offers a catalog of courses taught by industry pros and tailored for businesses.
While there are tools or outsourcing options for social media management, it’s good practice to have at least one person in-house supervising social at least part of the time.
Social media managers or teams must oversee:
Social media management (scheduling, publishing, listening, engagement)
Audience research and growth
Strategy and analytics
Campaigns and promotions
Looking to hire or become a social media manager?
At Videomedia.co.za, we keep telling your story in different ways until you get your lead and conversion.
Together with you, we keep the interests of your business AHEAD of your competitors.
By changing the way you advertise and target, you can get dramatically new results.