Planning and Budgeting for Your Business’s Social Media
Focus your efforts on these four areas and reap the benefits of effective social media.
Having an active social media presence is great for your company’s marketing strategy, relationship building and your brand’s growth overall.
But do you find it challenging to figure out how much your small business should spend on social media? Don’t worry — you’re not alone. We’ve got some expert advice to help you out.
We talked to Jasmine Sandler, a New York-based social and digital media consultant with more than 15 years of experience in the field. Sandler recommends focusing on the following four areas to get your digital marketing efforts up to speed.
Mapping out a strategy. Hiring a media consulting firm to help you develop your business’s social media strategy could be a worthwhile investment in the long run. Make sure your plan pinpoints your target audience, including customers and key influencers who shape their buying decisions. It should also specify which channels give your message both buzz and maximum impact, and what content, including blogs, ads, tweets, and reviews, will produce results. Cost: $3,000 to $5,000, one-time expense*
Getting support. Writing and producing posts, handling responses, and then tracking it all takes time and effort. Consider hiring an outside consultant to handle your social media needs. “You want someone who understands public relations as well as the importance of design,” says Sandler. If you outsource your social media efforts, be very specific about your expectations in terms of the number and frequency of posts in different channels each month. Also, make sure you get regular update calls and reports to track progress. Cost: $20/hour to $75/hour*
Tooling up. You’ll need the right software to make the most of your social media expenditures by both streamlining tasks and helping you monitor and analyze trends. Social media monitoring and management tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer are a start. E-commerce platforms that interface with social media such as Shopify, or customer relationship management software with social integration, such as SugarCRM and Zoho, can also help you quantify your social media efforts. Cost: $1,250 to $2,000*
Advertising. Sandler says positioning starter ads on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media will help you build momentum. An effective social media strategy can bring in new clients and boost your bottom line, but you must be willing to invest in the effort. “You’ve got to think of social media as a serious marketing tool — one that will take three important resources: people, time and money,” Sandler says. Cost: A minimum of $200 a month*
*Cost estimates may vary depending on location, type of business, and level of service.