By today’s standards, the web is not only an online repository of the work of scientists, mathematicians, researchers, computer geeks, academics and the like. Ordinary people who know how to read and access the Internet view sites just about everything. When social networking and social media marketing emerged a few years back, a new paradigm was set for businesses. They make serious inroads as the use of these tools for marketing rose in popularity.
As marketing through social media is proven to be really effective, question is: “How much money should you put in and spend for this type of marketing?” In this article, we’ll tackle some tips on budgeting for social media marketing of your business.
1. How established is your business?
At the heart of all social media now perhaps are Facebook and Twitter, two giant companies that we use to update our status messages, pictures, and all others related to our everyday life. Businesses utilize our posted interests to match them with their offerings. They invite us to “like” their page on Facebook or “follow” them on Twitter for us to get a regular dose of their promotions.
While competition is extreme in these channels, as a startup business or novice marketer, note that building up your presence from scratch to win target customers in social media marketing takes time. Consider consistently working on your relationship with them with up to six months or more. You can allocate a fair amount of more than 10 percent of your sales each month—for freebies and giveaways, contest prizes, tickets and the like to get their attention. As months pass by, you can have a good analysis of your market online. Then you can cut back and place a more justifiable amount.
2. What industry are you in?
If you are in a high-budget industry, meaning that your investment in your business is larger than the usual small-to-medium enterprises’, then you might have to spend a bit more for social media marketing. This is because your competitors in the same industry have already achieved most of the market you intend to saturate into. As they have more experience and a heightened sense of how to handle potential and existing customers, you have to be more aggressive in pushing your own business, products and/or services to cater the same portion of market.
On the other hand, if you are in an industry wherein there’s only a few competitive forces in the social media scene, then you can spend less budget at the start but it’s still an added advantage if you can show customers your best foot forward by regularly giving them rewards and interesting content they will find useful.
3. How much can you really afford?
If you don’t have enough money to pay for traditional media like TV ads, newspaper ads, sponsorship in big events, etc., web promotions are the alternative. Each type of media channel has its respective cost, as follows. Email marketing, mobile marketing and blogging are the cheapest at $500 a month, as compared to the costlier ones such as marketing through social networking sites, search engine optimization and pay-per-click marketing which can dent your wallets as you need to shell out about $2000 per month.
4. Which channel will you be most comfortable in?
Consider the different types of online media marketing channels:
The most direct way to communicate with your potential and existing customers is by e-mailing them your offerings and related content consistently. The danger is when they deem your e-mails as spam and just put them right away to their Trash folder. So you must invest in hiring a professional writer or copywriter to get their attention, if you’re not confident in producing e-mail content.
The second-most easiest way to capture your market is through social media sites as mentioned—Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc. If you prefer small talk and reaching your audience by snippets of liners which can be published with a max of 160 characters, you can go to Twitter. If you prefer in-depth conversations, opt for MySpace or Facebook. Know the strengths and opportunities you can utilize in each of these networks to help gain customers.
If you’re willing to wait for three to six months before seeing actual results, you can go for SEO (search engine optimization), a marketing tactic that is slow but sure. How it works is that you’re like planting seeds first by “farming or building your links / content” to many pages online. Soon, your online presence will grow
If you want more immediate and qualified traffic and results to your website, implementing PPC (pay-per-click) is best. This is for those businesses which have shorter time frames for their marketing plans and have more budget to employ.
5. What’s the time of the year?
Identify the time when people are mostly bustling in and participating in social media. In most cases, it’s at the end of the year, the start of a new season or the last, or near the holiday seasons. This is the time when you need to tweak your original expectations of the overall scenario accordingly. When there are more people, you can spend more as you have a larger audience to supply info to.
Online interaction is really nothing new but this time it gets revolutionized as a more profound way of marketing. With a click of a button, we get customers’ attention, we get the sale, we get the profits but first we should make the investment. By answering these big factors here, you can determine how much money you can allocate for your social media marketing.
Author bio: Celina Conner is a Yoga Instructor, an alumna of Marketing Management at Martin College Australia and a mother of a beautiful daughter, Krizia. She has a passion in cooking and formulating vegan recipes. Follow her adventures on her Twitter.