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How to Create a Social Media Budget

Ryan Parlee

By Ryan Parlee

02/29/2016

Everywhere you look, there are tweets chirping, vines growing, links inning, instas gramming and faces booking. How in the world can you keep up? More importantly, how do you know which social media is worth your time, and not only that, but your precious marketing dollars? And, how do you know if all of your effort is paying off? Are your followers actually turning into customers, and are you driving traffic to your website from your social platforms? These are the questions that haunt marketers while they’re trying to divvy up their spending for the year.

The first thing to know is that increasingly, marketers are moving digital. In fact, 84 percent of marketers plan to increase or maintain their total advertising spend in the past year, and one in three (38 percent) will shift dollars from traditional to digital marketing. And, it’s been projected that social media spending will take up 29% of your entire marketing budget by 2019.

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Digital isn’t the only trend that marketers are turning to. Inbound marketing is also becoming a serious seat holder at the marketing table. So much so that:

  • 84% of small businesses are predominantly using inbound marketing.
  • Companies are 3x as likely to see higher ROI on inbound marketing campaigns than on outbound.
  • 3 out of 4 marketers across the globe prioritize an inbound approach to marketing.

KEEP ORGANIZED

Inbound marketing platforms like Hubspot provide you a clear distinction of where your traffic is coming from, easy-to-use social monitoring tools and a consolidated social inbox that makes keeping tabs on your social presence easier. With a tool like this, you will be able to validate your social media numbers, and make pivots and adjustments when something isn’t getting the results you want. Keeping your contacts organized with a system like this is much more effective too. Not only can you prove which contacts are clicking on certain links, but it’s also been found that “unsuccessful sales teams are 2x more likely to use Excel, Outlook or physical files to store lead and customer data.” When you have a social media management platform combined with inbound marketing efforts, you have a combination that’s better than the spork. And sporks rule.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE AND PURPOSE

But, even if you have a platform and you’re ready to roll, there’s still a big question on how much, or little, you need to be spending on social media. The truth is, you need to take a good hard look at your needs. You may think it would be awesome and fun to do an instagram campaign, but if you’re a B2B company, the reality is your campaign would probably perform much better on LinkedIn.

DOWN TO DINERO

When you get to the guts of it, hiring an agency to create and manage your social media accounts can cost anywhere between $3,000 to $20,000 a month. You might be saying, “why on God’s green earth is there such a large span?” It’s because you must decide exactly what you’re looking for out of your social strategy. Do you want to be blogging aggressively, with multiple posts a week? Do you want to create your own downloadable content pieces? And what about video and imagery?

Now you know the pricing of outsourcing your social media efforts, you should also consider hiring someone to manage your social media in-house. This could be an effective route to meeting all your content needs with the flexibility to change courses and pivot strategy quickly. The only downfall of this is that agencies have a whole team of creatives working on your account instead of just one creative brain.

So when the tweets are chirping, and the faces are booking, make sure you take a second to step out of the social media madness and take a look at your entire marketing budget. Then, you can determine what piece of the pie you’d like to slice up for social.

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