When you’re managing social media for a startup or handling agency clients with limited budgets, you need to keep costs in check. Here are six ways to get more out of your social media marketing budget.
If you’re paying to create high-quality content, purchasing advanced tools, or launching ambitious advertising campaigns, your social media marketing budget can quickly get out of control.
But when you’re managing social media for a startup or handling agency clients with limited budgets, keeping costs in check while still getting results is essential.
Taking a lean approach to social media management lets you do just that: Eliminate unnecessary costs without compromising performance.
So, how can you optimize spend and do social media management on the lean?
Let’s look at six ways to get more value out of your social media marketing budget.
1. Get to know your audience
You want to create social media content with wide appeal or build a community that everyone wants to join. But when you design campaigns that speak to everyone, you waste resources marketing to people outside of your target audience.
To spend your social media marketing budget as efficiently as possible, get to know your followers.
Consider using built-in tools like Facebook Insights to learn what your audience likes. Then use templates to develop buyer personas. Then apply your audience research to publish content that appeals to your target market and helps you reach your marketing goals without unnecessary spending.
You may be tempted to use every available social media platform to get your brand’s message in front of your target market.
But as you research your audience, you’ll find that your followers select social channels much more than others.
To minimize wasted resources, focus your social media strategy on the platforms where the majority of your target audience is most engaged. This approach can help you save time and labor. Also, focus your effort on the platforms that matter. Doing so can also lead to achieving your social media marketing goals more quickly.
3. Prioritize organic engagement
As organic reach continues to drop on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, paying to promote your content starts to sound smarter.
Though creating ads can help you accomplish your objectives more quickly, paying to boost posts can easily drain your social media marketing budget.
To do more with a small spending limit, prioritize organic over paid engagement.
For example, host a giveaway that your followers will eagerly share or even partner with a complementary brand to create a contest that generates even more engagement.
You can also launch campaigns that encourage followers to create user-generated content. Doing so can increase engagement and loyalty while producing high-quality content at no cost.
You could easily devote most of your social media marketing budget to purchasing paid tools. Yet you can find free options that help you get more value out of a limited budget.
Native options like Facebook’s scheduling tool let you handle basic post creation and publication without adding an extra line item to your budget.
Third-party tools like Moz’s Followerwonk give you more insight into your Twitter followers and let you analyze audience demographics and look for influencers.
For hashtag research on Twitter and Instagram, Hashtagify assists with identifying trends and finding the right terms to attract your target audience organically.
To implement flexible scheduling, social listening, customer relationship management (CRM), and other advanced features, you’ll need a paid third-party tool.
But before you invest in a tool, make sure you choose one that offers the best value.
We encourage you to check out Ian Anderson Gray’s Buyer’s Guide. It’ll walk you through the steps of assessing what you need, what you want, factors you need to take into account, and more.
After all, sometimes, the best tool isn’t the most expensive. But sometimes, neither is the cheapest. When you read through the buyer’s guide checklist, you can see (at a glance) how different social media tools compare … and get on the path to choosing what works best for you.
(Of course, we’re partial to Agorapulse!)
6. Measure your results and modify your approach
Once you’ve found a social media strategy that works, you may want to set it and forget it.
But experimenting, testing, and modifying are key to a lean approach.
To put this technique into practice, measure your social media metrics regularly.
Track social media ROI and confirm whether you met, exceeded, or fell short of your goals each month. Then make small adjustments—such as posting at different times or sharing a new series of brand images—to see what moves the needle.
Keep modifying your approach to improve your metrics, and keep moving your social media goals forward.
7. Harness the power of user-generated content
One easy way to curb marketing spend through user-generated content is to repost content created by your biggest fans. You can do this is by downloading their Instagram videos and reposting them to your account with the proper credit. Most creators love to have their content reposted because it provides them a wider audience for their content and they receive an endorsement from their favorite brand. Remember to always ask permission to repost content before doing so!
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