When it comes to social media marketing, much of it can be done on a limited budget—or sometimes even for free. It costs nothing to create an account and start posting, but there are other aspects of social media that will likely require an investment. And whether you’re working with limited funds or you have a much broader budget at your disposal, choosing the right areas of social media marketing to dedicate the bulk of your budget to can help ensure you’re set on a path toward success.
To narrow down which areas you believe deserve the most attention, consider the following recommendations by the members of Young Entrepreneur Council. Below, they share 10 areas of social media marketing they believe deserve the bulk of your budget and why.
So much of social media marketing is visually based, with Instagram being the most notable example of a photo-based social media platform. Good photos that show your company’s competitive advantages or your pleasant work environment can do more for your business than a page of customer testimonials. When you do want to use testimonials, make sure that they are accompanied by a good photo. A well-written photo caption is a potent marketing tool, and it should complement the quality photo it's centered on. People don’t read social media so much as they browse it, so you really have to visually engage users, and then use almost poetic photo captions to drive home the message. No one has the time or inclination to read a long essay about your business. -Kyle Michaud,Carolina Dozer
Companies are brilliant when it comes to social listening, automation and social tools, but most of them take social engagement lightly. You can only reach your customers on social media when you communicate with them, sometimes in real time. Customers respect this and feel much more aligned with your brand when you are easy to reach and communicate with. There are other areas to spend money on, like content creation, management tools and design, but all of these efforts only count when you are ready to engage with your customers on social media. Authentic communication is far more influential on your customers than good social content. -Vikas Agrawal,Infobrandz
If there was one thing I would prioritize in a social media marketing budget, it would be analytics tools. It's important to know how your company is doing in terms of what does and what does not reach your target audience. Analytics can help you determine the direction you need to take to evolve your marketing strategy and stay relevant to your audience. If businesses don't track where their success or failure came from in a marketing strategy, then they won’t know what steps they need to take to continue to appeal to their audience. -John Hall,Calendar
Most of the other areas of social media marketing can be dealt with using fewer dollars. Spending on advertising is not a realm where you want to skimp. The impact is more exposure if you execute your strategy correctly. -Andrew Schrage,Money Crashers Personal Finance
So many companies only focus on new customers and making new sales. Your loyal customers are the ones who keep coming back for more. Making them feel special and valued will do more for your campaign than focusing on new customers only. Your trusted and loyal customers are the ones who love your product already and will be more willing to share it with their network than a new customer who hasn't tried the product yet. They will rave about it, show others how to purchase it, allow them to try theirs and speak highly about the company. Be sure you are dedicating resources to showing appreciation to your current customers as well as earning new sales. -Mary Harcourt,CosmoGlo
If you're wondering where to put the bulk of your social media marketing funds, I would say live events. Webinars, giveaways and AMAs (Ask Me Anything) are all helpful for growing your lead list, building trust and securing sales. What I like most about live events is they give you a unique opportunity to amplify brand awareness and engage with users in real time. I believe the impact of these strategies far outweighs other potential uses for your social media marketing funds. -John Brackett,Smash Balloon LLC
Nowadays, videos are easier to digest than copy on paper, as highlighted by the growth of social media platforms like TikTok. Our short attention spans benefit from clips that give information in a quick, succinct manner. Investing in someone to take quality videos of you, transcribing those videos and then leveraging the content across all your platforms will help you reach your audience and provide valuable information that can be viewed by the consumer when the time is right for them. Evergreen content (information that stands the test of time) is even more valuable via video on YouTube. Or, you can also comment on current events by tying them back to the types of services you offer and your take on the events as a professional. -Givelle Lamano,Lamano Law Office
I'd dedicate the bulk of my social media marketing budget to partnerships with mid-tier influencers. Influencer marketing is one successful social media marketing strategy that's growing in popularity. Mid-tier influencers generally have a following anywhere from 50,000 to 500,000 on their social media pages. Because these influencers aren’t huge celebrities, people can relate to them a bit more. Partnerships with them boost the brand's reach exponentially and help it gain traction via social media. People rely on the reviews and recommendations of others to make certain buying decisions—especially if these recommendations come from the people they follow. -Stephanie Wells,Formidable Forms
One thing I think you should dedicate your social media marketing budget to is live support. You may be surprised to learn that many people will contact you on social media but won't bother visiting your website. However, if you have a happy and energetic team to help users with their questions or problems, you can win over a large percentage of these people and convince them to check out your product or service. -Chris Christoff,MonsterInsights
I'd dedicate the bulk of my social media marketing budget to creating content best suited for the social media platforms my company is active on. Each social media platform has a different audience and different dynamics; therefore, not all content types perform well on all social media sites. So, I would prioritize sourcing tools and resources needed to create relevant content of higher quality. For example, if I'm active on YouTube, I'd invest in a top-tier camera, audio equipment, editing tools and more. The same goes for other social media platforms. For me, quality content would always be a priority. -Jared Atchison,WPForms