The time has come. You have established a presence on social media for your company and already have fans and followers on multiple platforms. However, to continue growing your digital marketing efforts efficiently and effectively, it’s time for a realistic and dedicated budget.

Having a budget to outsource your social media management is practical and realistic. Your annual company budget for marketing should earmark a percentage for social media. The amount to dedicate will be divided between labour and paid ads.

Many companies, and particularly smaller businesses, have limited financial and human resources. These two things can seem like roadblocks to taking the next step. While setting up accounts and using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are free, the experts who develop a strategy and effectively represent and promote your brand using social media need to be considered in your social media budget expense.

So, what do you need to know to determine that increasing your marketing efforts in social media management is the right step? These are some considerations to make when developing a convincing and realistic digital marketing budget.

#1. Look at your competition.

Scoping out the competition should be the first step you take when planning your social media budget. For example, take time to assess what advertising methods and tools your competitors employ, as well as how successful they are with them. You should be aware of your competition to determine how you can make your business stand apart from them. Taking that close look at the social media efforts of others in your industry will aid you in this endeavour. We call this our audit process when we embark on a new client relationship.

#2. Your time is money.

Bottom line: by investing in social media outsourcing, you will be able to do more “real-world” activities to make a profit for your business. Acknowledging how much time you will save to spend on other revenue generating activities by outsourcing will help put the value of outsourcing into perspective. Not only that, but the time spent by the experts who are focused on your goals, strategy and marketing plan should yield better results.

Digital marketing is a long-term investment. And, because there are so many different platforms to manage and so much content to produce, it is time-consuming to do well. Time is money!

When you clearly define the in-house cost being spent on social media management and compare to the cost for outsourced social media management, you’ll realize the potential of saving time and the value of investing wisely with experts.

#3. Compare what you are doing now with your wish list.

When developing your social media budget, consider what you are already doing for digital marketing and then take time to learn as much as possible about the social media management outsourcing options that are available for your company’s needs. Make a “wish list” and consider the following:

  • Managing social media platforms by creating and scheduling great content
  • Managing your social community by responding to and engaging with followers
  • Creating and implementing a social strategy, including online advertising
  • Handling negative comments/reviews in a timely manner
  • Gaining new leads
  • Growing your online reach and brand awareness

Understanding the digital marketing goals of your own business will help guide you as you prepare this list. We discuss this with new clients in the consultation phase. With this knowledge, you will then be able to determine the scope of activities you want to outsource.

#4. Create a sample campaign plan.

The next stage in planning your digital marketing budget is to demonstrate how much social media marketing already benefits your business. To develop a budget that allows you to reach your goals, you must first determine exactly what you want to achieve.

Consider the following activities (and the average costs) in your sample campaign:

  • Content creation
  • Scheduling content
  • Monitoring your results which includes responding to notifications and timely responses to comments (under 12 hours is a good target which would require monitoring twice a day)
  • Advertising costs

Other considerations for your social media campaign include:

  • ROI (Return on investment)
  • Traffic to your website from your social media posts
  • Lead generation and conversions

What time are you spending in-house to track the measurable results of your efforts?

How often are you reviewing your marketing strategy? Maybe it’s time to change from brand awareness to increasing website traffic from social media.

#5. Talk to the experts.

And now, it’s go-time! Arrange your consultations with the social media companies you would like to work with. You’ve determined your in-house expense and your wish list and marketing goals. Request a detailed proposal including platforms, posting frequency, advertising budget and strategy and then choose the company who can focus on what makes your business great!

We’re here to help.