In 2016, 11.7% of marketing budgets were spent on social media. According to Forbes, digital marketing spend in the US will near $120 billion by 2021. You really need to get your slice of the pie before your competitors do. The industry average is around $200 to $350 per day, and while you may not need to spend that much, you should have some sort of budget.

But it’s hard! How do you know where you should be spending your money? That’s a great (and tough) question.

There’s a few ways to approach this. First, consider the current stage of your company. If you’re just starting out then you need to get things set up. If everything is all set up then you can consider advertising.

Setting Up Your Social Media Profiles

Even in 2017 we see plenty of businesses that have social media profiles in varying degrees of completeness. What we have below should work in general for all platforms, but feel free to adjust or reach out about your particular situation! We’ve provided a lot of free tools here for convenience, but many of the paid versions are well worth the money and we happily pay for them. You’ll have to decide for yourself what you have for a budget.

Graphics, Photos and Videos

Visuals are SO important, especially for social media. You should try to have:

  • Cover photos for each of your social profiles
  • Professional profile pictures (whether it’s a logo or headshots)
  • Icons and stock photos for your social media content
  • Videos for high engagement

There are a lot of resources out there for you to use, like:

  • Canva – This is one of our favorites. It allows to quick, beautiful graphic design. Plus, it will format dimensions for commonly used photos, like Facebook cover photos.
  • Pixabay, Unsplash – These sites (a quick Google search will turn up a lot more) are a great place to find photos that you can use for commercial reasons, without needing to cite a source.
  • Animoto – This is a paid tool, but this tool allows you to create simple videos quickly for your social media.
  • Fiverr – This is a freelance marketplace where you can get logos, photos, videos and all sorts of things done. Just be warned, you’ll get varying levels of quality, so be sure to look at reviews. Your mileage may vary, but we’ve gotten some great stuff for 5 bucks.

Management Tools

If you’re managing more than one social media profile (and you really should be), there are tools out there that will save you a lot of time. Depending on your business, you should consider Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+, among others.

We are a big fan of Buffer, because they offer one social account per platform for free! It’s easy to upgrade and even their paid plan is not too expensive at $10/month. You get to schedule your posts ahead of time and batch them and trust us, it’ll save your sanity.

Sharing Buttons For Your Website

When people arrive on your website, you should take advantage and make it easy for people to share your social media content. At the very least, you should have your social media links on your site. You should also use a tool like SumoMe that will take it to a new level. And you can use it for our favorite price of free.

Spending On Advertising

Okay, now your social media game is strong. You’ve got content scheduled, you’re having conversations with your audience and you’re on top of your reporting too. Let’s spend some money on promotion!

Let’s talk about 3 major platforms: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Facebook/Instagram

There’s a lot of things you can do with Facebook, and basically you can:

  • Push your content to new potential customers so they can learn about you
  • Setting up an ad that will show up in people’s feeds
  • Boosting your brand by paying for an increase in followers
  • Using ads to drive traffic directly to your website or blog or to get more sales

Instagram Ads is a little newer, but it’s very similar to Facebook Ads. Twitter and LinkedIn ads have the same types of objectives.

Twitter

Twitter is very similar to Facebook. With Twitter cards, you can pay to:

  • Increase engagements with tweets
  • Increase followers
  • Promote your social content

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is also similar to Facebook and Twitter. You can pay to:

  • Boost your content to new potential customers
  • Setting up an ad at the top or right of LinkedIn pages
  • Using InMail to directly message your target audience

Good luck. If you have any other questions, or you find yourself wanting to outsource these tasks to someone because you want to focus on your business, drop us a line!

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