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Planning a social media marketing budget

For the vast majority of small business owners, striking the balance between performing work and acquiring new business leads can be tricky. With limited finances and resources,e it can be a constant battle between filling up the sales pipeline and performing the work. Fairly frequently, business owners become so absorbed in the work on their desk that they neglect to prospect for more business, which can cause the inflow of work to stall or dry up completely.

Given that most companies depend on new and ongoing client acquisition to remain in business, not having a stream of leads or prospects can be problematic. However, if workloads exceed capabilities then turning attention to prospecting and calling potential leads may not be an option.

Creating a social media marketing budget

To keep the list of leads filled many companies turn to social media. There is no doubt that social platforms are an excellent way for businesses and organizations to connect with users who need service providers. Managed well, a social media channel can be an effective and powerful lead generation tool.

If you use social media to promote your own business then you will know that content can be shared in any number of ways and direct conversations with users and followers are commonplace. But to manage social accounts effectively, you will need to keep them filled and ensure that you are posting meaningful content on a consistent schedule.

Many of the latest algorithms across Instagram, Twitter, and even Tiktok are based on the amount of content you post and your level of engagement. Leaving your social channels laying dormant for days or weeks on end will mean that your accounts are deemed inactive and it will be harder to reach and connect with relevant people.

It can be helpful to design a social media budget to help you to understand what you need to spend to maintain accounts properly. This could include subscriptions to post-scheduling software or subscriptions to sites which provide digital assets.

If you decide to save time and outsource your marketing to an external social media management company, then you will need to specify the kind of monthly payment you can afford. Having an accurate budget can help you to decide who manages your social accounts along with things like how many platforms will be used and the frequency of posts.

How much should I allocate?

This is a question commonly asked at some time by all businesses that need to divert funds for marketing purposes and there is no one right answer. Availability of funds, how many social accounts are to be managed and the number of posts needed per day can all influence the cost of marketing services.

You should also be aware of costs for additional or add-on services and check if your marketing agency charges for things that you are not aware of. This will help you to avoid any nasty surprises when the invoice arrives.

If you are unsure how much you need to allocate to a marketing budget, here is a rough guide

  • B2B companies 2-5% of revenue to marketing on average
  • B2C companies allocate 5-10% of revenue to marketing on average.

Planning a social media budget will be influenced by how much you are able to allocate. There is little point in having a huge budget which is impossible to sustain. It is much better to plan for your marketing needs with a budget that is manageable. By the same token, trying to spend as little as possible is unlikely to bring results, and you will need to balance between what you want and what the business can realistically afford.

Marketing budgets may vary heavily depending on the industry, product, or service offered, and it should be noted that these numbers account for a business’s entire marketing budget including paid advertising, traditional marketing, and other channels.

Managing outsourced social media

Placing your social media management into the hands of an outside marketing agency removes the need for tasks associated with content creation and social post design. However, that doesn’t mean that the process is entirely ‘hands off’. There will still need to be some interaction and exchange of information between your company and your new social media manager, so this time will also need to be factored into your budget.

Digital assets may need to be shared or transferred and social captions might need to be provided if they are for specific events or announcements. With this in mind, larger companies may require a person dedicated to the communication and oversight of all social media activities, even if they are being done externally. Any time dedicated to the management, supply of information, or doing organisational tasks will need to be included in any budget planning.

Link outcomes to financial goals

Determining whether your marketing efforts are successful require some data analysis and depending on your goals, results should be monitored. Not all goals end in a sale and your business may measure success by one of these means –

  • Reach
  • Clicks
  • Interactions
  • Shares
  • Engagement
  • Likes
  • Conversions

For example, an organisation which is concerned with raising money for charity may gauge the success of their social media channels by shares and likes. While an online store selling fashionable products may measure success by clicks and conversions. It all depends on the type of business and the product or service offered.

Update your strategy periodically

To get the best return on investment or ROI you will need to monitor the social content that works best. Part of successful social media management relies on keeping accounts fresh and interesting, repeating the same six posts over and over again will not gain any followers or likes. Users can even ‘switch off’ if they see the same posts too frequently so you need to change it up regularly.

Social platform analytics play a large part in helping you to plot your social marketing strategy. Metrics and performance indicators help you to identify the type of content that works best. If analytical tools reveal that some posts hugely outperformed all others then it is worth digging in to find out why. This type of content may then be recreated in multiple different ways to drive even more follower engagement.

Find a good social media management company

Making the most of your social media marketing budget, especially if using a third-party provider will hinge on finding a good marketing agency. You will need to locate a company that can manage your content and create professional quality on-brand graphics on your behalf.

With a huge selection of marketing companies operating, sourcing someone to manage your social media accounts will be no issue. However, finding the RIGHT company to design your content may pose a bit more of a challenge.

Fees and costs cover all ends of the spectrum and price is not necessarily a guarantee of quality. Some marketing agencies are costly, but the work they provide may not be anything better than that done by a mid-priced agency.

Find a company that works within your budget and ask to see samples of work, if they can supply content which has been provided for similar industries then that can help to give you a clear idea of work quality. To be sure you are partnering with a reputable business, perform an online search to check for customer reviews.

Places like Yelp, Google My Business, and Feefo provide customer reports and ratings which can help to show how good your potential agency is at things like communication, responsiveness, and content quality.

Final words

Keeping within these parameters should help you maximise the social media marketing budget for your business. Working closely with a marketing agency that can design engaging posts on your behalf can help you to acquire leads and realise a positive return on your investment.

Visit Smarcomms today and browse our list of affordable social media management packages

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