How to Spend a Social Media Budget

March 1, 2017

You’ve heard about those huge companies, who spend millions of dollars every month on marketing, right? You have definitely heard of others too, who spend almost nothing.

Regardless of how much you are planning to invest in your marketing budget, it’s obvious that you should spend it wisely.

What would you do if you had to spend $100 on social media marketing? I have some ideas for you so that you will get value out of every single penny you spend.

Option A: The all-in-one social media budget

Since everybody has a different niche and audience to serve, the thoughts below are put together with the idea of fitting the majority of the profiles.

$30 – Design/graphics/photos

According to Adobe Survey, visual design is one of the most important optimal factors in social media content.

You can:

  • Get a cover photo for your social media profiles
  • Get a professional profile photo (a logo for a business or a headshot for a personal brand)
  • Buy some icons and photos that you can use for creating new image in the future

There are 3 services that I use, related to artwork:

Fiverr ($10) – Whether you need to get a logo done or need help with custom made images, Fiverr is a place to go. All the services run $5 a piece. Since it’s a marketplace, make sure to look at the feedback and if you’re not happy with your project, you can always ask for a revision.
Death to the Stock Photo ($10/month) – You can get access to premium stock photos, which don’t suck. They look nice, and they are definitely not outdated like most of the stock photos out there.
Creative Market ($6)  – It’s a place where you can find website themes, photos, graphics, icons and tons more. It’s one of the most popular places for independent creators.
IconFinder ($4) – It’s a digital marketplace where people sell custom icons they make. The stuff runs for no more than $2 apiece.

Advertising/social reach – $50

If you don’t have a huge following yet, spending a few bucks on advertising can boost it greatly. Even for established brands, it’s really recommended.

Just start with a few dollars a day on Twitter and Facebook and see what works.

Facebook ads ($25) – Start with a few different campaigns, and set a limit to $5 per day. You can get targeted clicks to your website for less than 0.50 cents a piece.

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Moz found that if you spend only $1 per day on Facebook ads, you’ll be seen by an audience of 4,000 people. Facebook ads are really good targeting and require minimal commitment. Try it out.

Twitter ads ($25) – Again, start with a small campaign and plan to spend a few dollars per day for a couple of weeks. You might even get a higher click rate on Twitter.
You might find the comparison chart for Twitter and Facebook ads that Wordsteam put together interesting.

Social media scheduling – Free

There are so many great tools, that will help you save so much time on social media.

Buffer (free) – It will connect with your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest accounts and let you schedule posts in advance. If you want to get more accounts, you can pay extra. If you are just starting off, the free plan will do.

Audience research – Free

People are constantly talking about brands and people on social media, and you need some kind of tool to listen to what their problems and needs are. Basically, it’s called the audience research.
Followerwonk (free) – It’s a tool for Twitter that lets you dig deeper into your audience. You can find out who your followers are, where they are from, and when and what they tweet about. The basic version is free, and it will do most of the job.

Typeform (free) – If you want to create surveys and learn more about your audience, Typeform is the easiest way to do so. Besides that, you can tweet these survey links directly to Twitter and Facebook.

Analytics – Free

Most of your social media dashboards have a pretty good analytics dashboard on them (Buffer, Hootsuite etc). If you want to get even more data, then there are tools for that.

SumAll ($0) – It’s for reporting dashboards and emails. SumAll gives you the power to understand your audience and make better decisions about social media. You’ll get guidance and validation delivered directly to your inbox daily or weekly.

Sharing buttons – $10

As you have probably noticed, whenever you come to SVTMedia blog you can see sharing buttons on the left side, and when you’re on your phone, the same buttons are at the bottom.

Without these social media sharing buttons, I would never get the traffic and attention I’m currently getting.

There are so many different options to choose from, but I would recommend choosing from the list below:

SumoMe ($10/month) – Beautiful and responsive social media buttons with detailed analytics. You can use this with any CMS whether it’s WordPress or something else. (SumoMe is used on this blog)

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Digg Digg (0$) – If you’re using WordPress and are a fan of simplicity and minimalism, then Digg Digg plugin is the way to go. Buffer Blog uses this plugin as well.

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Monarch Social Sharing
(89$) – If you don’t want to pay a monthly fee and are a fan of ElegantThemes, then you could consider this option.

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Easy Social Share (19$) If your budget is limited, and you just want beautiful social sharing buttons, then this is the way to go. You have tons of different options and designs to choose from, and they all work on smaller devices as well.

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Option B – Educate yourself

It’s important to have all the tools, but it’s necessary to invest some money into educating yourself on social media.

If you’re not into reading books, you can always get an audio version and listen to it while you’re driving or working out, for example.

Amazing books to read – $50

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk by Gary Vaynerchuck ($15) – The book is about strengthening marketers’ “right hooks” on social media by providing value and high-quality content adapted to specific social media platforms and smaller devices.

Tribes by Seth Godin ($12) – The book argues that substantive change can most easily be effected by a tribe or group of people who are connected to each other by an idea and a leader. He uses real life examples to show how this unique idea has assembled movements of huge masses, and shows you how to get the tribe excited about your products or services online.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie ($11) – It’s one of the most famous people-skills books. It’s as useful now as it was when it was published in 1937. Carnegie emphasizes fundamental techniques for successful relationships with people without making them feel manipulated.

Copyhackers’s ebook: Headlines, Subheads & Value Propositions ($19) – The eBook provides hundreds of theories and practices about writing effective headlines, which will help you sell more stuff in non-scammy way. It’s ideal for startups, entrepreneurs, marketers and designers writing for modern audiences.

Blogs to Follow – Free

There are a lot of great marketing blogs online that I’ve learned so much from.

Mark Schaefer provides fresh and thoughtful list-based articles on being a better marketer. He is one the world’s foremost strategists, and will help you create a crystal clear strategy to transform your business.

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Jon Loomer is the guy for Facebook expertise. He knows a lot about advertising on social media and he provides detailed information about how you should segment your audience, how to spend your ad dollars and what the best practices are.

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SocialMediaExaminer – It’s the largest online social media magazine. It brings original articles from social media pros, expert interviews and reviews of current industry research and overall news to make you a better authority on social media marketing.

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ConversionXl – The blog provides actionable advice on conversion optimization and data-driven growth. Whether you want to have a higher engagement on social media or get more bucks out of your ad bucket, this blog will help you a lot.

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Great communities to belong to – Free

There are some great tribes of experts who share knowledge in small communities. It’s incredibly useful to be a part of these places, because a lot of the advice is shared by like-minded peers.

Inbound.org (free) – It has some of the internet’s smartest marketers hanging out there. Whether you have an awesome idea, want to post a job or want to interact, connect and learn from other marketers, then that’s the place for you.

Growth Hackers (free) – It’s a community news site for startup marketing experts and gurus. Most importantly it’s about establishing a community that lets people move forward together and build off of one another.

 

Option C: Advertising-focused

If you already know the importance of social media strategy, scheduling, your followup and so on, you might want to look into paid promotion and reach.

Facebook ads – $40

There are three main ways of approaching a campaign on Facebook. These three fall into these benefits:

Reach – You’ll expand the reach of your post to potential customers, who can interact with your content by commenting, liking, favoriting, etc.

Followers – You’ll build the brand visibility and awareness by increasing the amount of followers you already have.

Interaction – People see your piece of content on the homepage, and they can interact with it, like they do with every other piece of content on social media.

If your bucket is limited, the smartest thing to do is invest it to boost reach. You can get your content seen by more than 4,000 people with only $1 per day.

Twitter ads – $40

As with LinkedIn and Facebook, there are quite a few different paid routes you can go with on Twitter.

  • Get more clicks
  • Get more followers
  • Collect leads
  • Get more interaction (retweets, favorites, replies)
  • More engagement for your application

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LinkedIn – $20

Depending on your niche, LinkedIn may be the smartest way to go. This platform lets you create an ad or boost existing content.

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If you want to get more information about advertising on social media, Buffer has put together a great guide.

Conclusion

Advertising on social media should always have a direct connection to your main business objectives and goals. First figure out what you want to achieve, and then choose the social media platform that helps you achieve it.

Through experimentation on social media, you can generate more leads at a lower cost than most of the other marketing channels.


Podcast Sponsor:  Oscar Hamilton - Podcast Editing & Production services.

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