Budget is a big word in business. As a business owner or manager, you have a budget for everything. Although many companies hope to save money on marketing by using social media, what they don’t understand is that you will need to allocate some money to make this growing host of platforms worthwhile to your company.

Spend the money to hire the pros

We have seen it time and time again: companies are unwilling to hire social media professionals to do the work and, instead, hope to rely on their own internal employees to market their brand via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikToc, etc. We understand that it may be all in the name of saving some money, but because social media has become such an effective form of marketing, and maybe THE most effective way to reach certain demographics, it goes without saying that you need to be on point with your message and branding.

So, while Rachel in accounting may have a few Instagram followers and know her way around Facebook, or Brittany-your-niece is under 20 and can navigate TikTok, it’s unlikely they understand the intricacies of each social platform as well as the importance of branding and communicating appropriately to reach your desired target audience. Thus, setting aside a special budget solely for the purpose of reaching your business goals revolving around social media, and even hiring professionals to help you along the way, will lead to much more growth and ultimately driving sales in the long run.

How much money is too much?

So, the next question you may be asking yourself is how much exactly you should be expecting to spend on your social media marketing. The first rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t spend more on your social media budget than necessary. You don’t want to drown your earnings by throwing money at campaigns across all platforms. Instead, you will need to focus on what will be beneficial to you in reaching the SMART goals you have set.

According to WebStrategies, companies tend to spend about 5-15% of their annual revenue on marketing, with about 35-45% of the marketing budget dedicated to digital activities. And, just to bring you through the maze of money further, approximately 15-25% of the digital marketing budget will need to be allocated to social media. These numbers are of course changeable and may be tailored to the target market you are trying to reach. For instance, if you are going for Millennials, who spend a good portion of time on social media, your budget will be at the higher end.

You may think that this budget is just how much you spend on boosting ads and creating campaigns. However, your social media budget will need to include other important behind the scenes work, such as strategy development, project management, design, graphics, photography and video, copywriting and tracking the results. Yes, you could use someone internal to your company, but you may not be getting as much bang for your buck as if you are hiring a professional team who knows their way around the ever-changing landscape of social media (insert shameless plug for Pickett & Associates here). Alternatively (another shameless plug), P&A offers a “DIY Digital Marketing Kit” for a one-time charge of $3500 that includes:

  • A template for a strategic marketing plan with suggested tactics
  • 12-month (industry specific) content calendar, including suggested posts and relevant “celebration” days
  • Four branded social media “meme” templates
  • Social media checklist
  • Branded email template
  • An SEO Cheat Sheet
  • 12 hours of support/training

Regardless of the size, age or client served by your business, social media has emerged as one of the best ways to access customers. By forming a budget specific to this highly profitable and growing part of the marketing scene, you will be able to create a marketing strategy that will help you to reach your goals.

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