In this internet-crazed, social media-addicted, mobile device-obsessed world, companies need to foster a strong digital presence. Whether your business is interested in entering the realm of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, blogging or any other online marketing tool, you will not only need to develop a plan of attack–you will also need to devise a method of funding it. And this means creating your very first social media marketing budget.
As a newbie to social media marketing or budgeting, itself, this may seem like an impossible feat, but it isn’t actually that complicated at all. Here are some of the things that you will need to keep in mind in order to create a comprehensive budget that will keep you in the black while enabling you to embark on an effective campaign.
Choosing Your Platforms
Before you can begin allocating funds, you will need to figure out which social media platforms you are interested in using. This will involve a certain degree of research–and the requisite man hours to do it. Once you’ve decided on one or several platforms, you will need to determine what sort of graphics you will need such as a Facebook banner, Pinterest Board images, and Profile images or icons, and factor in the costs associated with developing these. You will also need to create top-notch company profiles on each venue.
The whole point of any social media marketing effort is to supply an eager audience–filled with potential customers, of course–with awesome, share-worthy, and hopefully, viral content. And, unless you have a collection of volunteer modern day bards and witty wordsmiths, you will need to pay for it. Your content creators will need to generate mind-blowing blog posts, a-ha inspiring infographics, and first-rate photographs. As Social Hospitality’s “An Intro to Budgeting for Social Media Marketing” states, “all content must be done with a degree of professionalism, so commit to skilled writers, photographers, videographers, designers, and everybody else in between.” And, whatever you do, do not cut financial corners in this area.
Awesome content is all well and dandy, but when it comes to making conversions, you will need to incorporate special promotions, advertising, public relations, and other sales-generating offerings into your content mix. This involves hiring talent that specializes in digital marketing.
Promotions should have their own individual budgets in order to keep them manageable and to enable you to better measure their level of success. Don’t forget to factor in payroll expenses, advertising related to the promo, any graphics or content writing associated with the promo, and, if applicable, any prizes awarded to participants.
When it comes to your social media advertising budget, you will need to determine how many ads you will run, the duration that they will be running for, which platforms you will use and their associated costs, and the expenses involved with developing the ads.
You will also want to factor in the costs associated with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Assess and Revise
In order to avoid wasting your company’s time and money on fruitless endeavors, it is important to measure and assess the success of your various social media marketing activities. If an effort is proving futile, after all, it is best to re-route those fund into something that yields better results.
Thankfully, there are products that can do exactly that. According to “How to Collect and Visualize Big Data Insights from Social Media,” DMX, for instance, enables you to easily parse, filter, and transform data into something meaningful.
Creating your first social media marketing budget is not as daunting as it sounds. By breaking it down into these easy and doable steps, you can ensure that your company’s digital marketing efforts make fiscal sense–and that your balance sheets stay in the black.
If you’d like some advice on using Twitter to your company’s advantage, check out “Creating a Successful Social Media Strategy Part 2: Twitter.”
Freelance writer, avid blogger, social media addict, and creator of The Embiggens Project.
Image courtesy of Thinkstock.com.