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How to Create a Social Media Budget

We live in a social media driven world, with new social networks popping up at every corner and more users registering on social platforms every day. Whether you’re building a personal or a corporate brand, there’s no denying that social media marketing should be a foundational pillar of your digital marketing strategy. 

But that doesn’t mean that long-term success is a guarantee in the competitive social media world.

If you want to produce the right social media ROI and achieve your long-term goals, you first have to create a smart budget that will minimize financial waste while maximizing results. Needless to say, you can’t risk wasting your marketing dollars on the wrong social tactics, or worse, take those funds away from your other marketing tactics such as SEO or content marketing. Taking part in an online SEO training program, content marketing course, or even a social media strategy course, can allow you to learn how to properly allocate your budget and ensure you have a balanced approach.

So, it’s important to combine your social media and content marketing campaigns, but it’s also essential to manage your financial resources wisely between the two — and other marketing campaigns, too. Let’s put all of that into perspective and talk about the essential steps you should take to create a strong social media budget for your business.

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Understand all your marketing expenses

First and foremost, do you know how much you’re investing in digital marketing on a monthly basis? Keep in mind that your social media marketing strategy and budget will depend heavily on your other marketing campaigns and their financial requirements. Remember, though, you’re not wasting money on those other marketing tactics, you’re investing in your company’s future in the online realm — and social media is one part of that.

This means that you should not halt your SEO efforts in favor of social media, or that you should stop working with your influencers, etc. Instead, you need to understand all your marketing expenses and the different investments you’re making, and then adapt.

Consider the budget for every marketing campaign you’re running. Analyze their performance and see how much leftover capital you have to do the following:

  • Create a consistent brand image on five or more social channels.
  • Create a posting schedule and automate posting.
  • Generate quality content, optimized for each social platform.
  • Engage with your followers in comments and DMs.
  • Do this consistently and generate meaningful reports.

Identify your short-, mid-, and long-term goals

As you can see from the previous bullet list, there’s a lot you need to do to get the social media ball rolling. All of that requires time, money, and effort, so if you don’t understand your immediate and long-term goals, you will waste all three and achieve subpar results.

After all, writing high-quality content, making engaging videos, and creating other types of social media posts requires cash flow. First, you need to figure out what your short-, mid-, and long-term goals are for each platform.

Remember, getting more leads is not good enough, as you want to get really granular with your goals and set them in a realistic timeframe. This will make setting up social media for your business much more cost-effective.

Here are some social media goals to consider:

  • Manage your online reputation
  • Create brand awareness
  • Build a loyal community
  • Improve traffic to your website
  • Boost conversions (on site or via social selling)
  • Elevate customer service and experience
  • Generate valuable data via social listening
  • Create a powerful recruitment strategy

The list goes on, so consider all the possible goals you want to achieve by having a presence on these platforms.

Consider the price of paid social media

Of course, social media marketing is not just about organic management and having a great SM content strategy; it’s also about the paid advertising side of things. You might buy advertising space on almost any social network to get your brand in front of the right people, at the right time, and try to target your niche group of consumers. To learn more, read this Facebook marketing guide.

But should you do it?

In a nutshell, yes and no. Paid advertising is a great option if you have that disposable social media income, but it might not be something you want to do right away if you’re a small business that’s just starting. The way digital marketing pricing works is that clicks cost money even if they don’t convert, and that makes paid advertising costly for small businesses that can’t cover the costs of clicks, especially when those clicks aren’t generating sales.

That’s why it’s better to work on building up a powerful brand presence on social media first, and then, when you have amassed a decent following, you can rest assured that paid ads will generate enough conversions. Focus on organic management first, and introduce advertising when you start achieving results. 

Create a strategy based on previous spending

Your previous marketing spend can tell you a lot about how much you should invest in your social media strategy. You can start by compiling your expenses from previous periods and dividing your marketing spend among your various digital marketing efforts. All of these expenses will play a role in shaping your social media budget. And remember, you can use social media aggregators when you’re managing different social channels.

However, your key focus should be on your previous social media spend. There are many advantages of social media marketing that you can only capitalize on if you draw data from previous quarters and optimize your financial investments.

If this is your first year on social media, then you will only look at your marketing budget and other campaigns. However, if you can tap into your previous social media campaigns, then use that data to figure out where you need to allocate resources and where you can cut costs.

Invest in your social selling strategy

Social selling is all about creating a thriving online community around your brand and its values, with the intent to improve lead generation and conversions in an organic way. As such, social selling should be an integral part of your social media strategy.

If you are new to this concept, then a guide to social selling will come in handy when you’re setting up your social profiles and content strategies. The key here is to allocate resources towards quality content and regular posting, as well as continuous interaction and communication with your followers.

By providing quality information that is both informative and engaging, over time, your followers will become your loyal brand advocates. This will, in turn, boost your social proof and inspire people to buy from and stay with you over the long term.

Include email outreach in your social media budget

Social media marketing needs to work together with other marketing tactics to produce tangible results and avoid engagement dips. When you’re investing in digital marketing, your goal should be to create a symbiotic relationship among all your campaigns to achieve better results.

For example, you will quickly realize that your social efforts are generating email marketing opportunities, which is why it’s important to factor the cost of email marketing into your budget. 

Having a robust email marketing tool like Mailbird at your side is a good way to minimize subsequent email expenses and quickly capitalize on email opportunities when you get new leads on social media. Email and social media go hand in hand when you’re nurturing leads and trying to convert high-quality prospects, so consider how your social efforts will impact your email marketing budget.

Work off a social media template to save time and money

As a business leader, one of your goals is to cut financial waste wherever possible. This means automating as much as possible, and fortunately, there are many social media processes that you can automate, at least partially. 

For one, you can work off a social media marketing template that will save you time and money whenever you’re launching new campaigns or optimizing your existing approach. Using a template that’s optimized according to your business type, industry, niche, audience, and goals is a great way to save time and allocate resources toward the right channels and social tactics.

Complemented by a social media scheduling tool, many other processes can be easily automated as well.

Combine social media with email marketing for maximum effect

We mentioned before that email marketing directly feeds into your social strategy, or at least it should. For example, a good Instagram marketing guide will tell you all about Instagram marketing, but it will also tell you how you can leverage valuable data and feedback to boost other campaigns, such as email and influencer marketing.

When you’re ready to reach out to new social leads via email, make sure to construct your emails carefully. Consider using an email subject line tester to see if your subject lines are catchy and engaging enough, for example. This is also an expense that you should factor into your social media budget, but make sure to look for free tools to save as much money as possible.

Remember, your social budget should factor in all the social media tools you’re using, but also the complementary tools you need to take social and other tactics forward. 

Over to you

In order for your business to build a powerful social media presence, you first need to allocate the right amount of financial resources to social media, and then manage your marketing dollars carefully. With these tips in mind, however, you should have no problem creating a smart social media budget that will help you build a devoted online community and drive customer acquisition and retention forward in 2022.

Curator.io is an easy-to-customize aggregator that lets you pull from over a dozen sources. If you'd like to give Curator.io's free forever plan a spin