Social media marketing is not a guaranteed revenue driver, which makes creating a social media budget one of the most difficult components of developing a social media strategy. But social media is a crucial component to reaching media and buyers. Social media marketing can generate a significant return for businesses that understand their audiences and develop a strong strategy around that information.
Here are three tips to creating a social media budget to help make sure you’re investing in the right places and increasing the likelihood of success.
1. Recurring and One-Time Expenses
Dividing constant and one-time expenses will make crafting a social media budget much simpler and more manageable. Start by considering your recurring expenses. These include compensation to your social media staff and any social media automation tools such as Hootsuite, SproutSocial or Sprinklr.
One-time expenses can include a new cover image, paid promotions and social advertising. Your one-time expenses will also provide leeway for testing social media initiatives. You may invest in running LinkedIn ads for a period of eight weeks. If this initiative doesn’t generate positive results, you may want to reinvest that budget to a campaign that is more effective.
The key is to not spend money where there is no return. The best way to ensure an ROI is to continually test your strategy.
2. Quarterly Budgets
The reason social media can be so tough to tackle is because you’re dealing with the fickle nature of people and social platforms. Something may be working really well, but then an update goes live that changes the nature of the social network and how people interact with it.
Instead of attempting to set an annual social media budget, consider creating a budget quarter by quarter. This will allow you to test particular social platforms and paid promotions without having to commit to a strategy for a full year.
3. Test, Test, Test
Your social media strategy will never be perfect. There will always be room for improvement, but don't let that discourage you. When something isn't working, take the time to evaluate why. Develop an altered update or posting schedule. Test the results to your current strategy.
It’s difficult for a lot of professionals to accept the uncertainties that come with using social media for business. That’s why we recommend tackling it in small, manageable steps. Constant testing and analysis will help you make sure you’re executing the best strategy possible.
On the flipside, try not to get too comfortable with your social media strategy. People really are fickle and social networks are constantly changing.
What are some things you've thought about in creating a social media budget?