An effective social media strategy can do wonders for a brand.
So much so that now almost every business dedicates a portion of their revenue to social media marketing alone.
And this is where small businesses working on tight budgets find themselves waging an uphill battle against the bigwigs of social media.
After all, with a shoestring budget, a small business can only go so far to fund a social media marketing campaign for every possible social media platform.
But, fret not!
In this blog, we will guide you on how to create a social media strategy on a tight budget.
Table of Contents
What is a Social Media Strategy?
Before you even begin to devise a social media strategy, you’d need to first fully understand what it is.
A social media strategy is a well-sketched-out plan (preferably on paper) that outlines your objectives for your social media platform of choice, the techniques you would employ to attain visible success, and the indicators you should monitor to track that success.
Your “under-construction” social media marketing strategy must include a list of all of your pre-existing and proposed social media accounts, as well as individual targets for every platform on which you wish to get involved.
Needless to say, the more specific your strategy, the more successful it will be.
Keeping it short will help you achieve success sooner, especially if you are just starting out.
And the last thing you’d want is to abandon the proverbial ship in despair because your social media marketing strategy was too big for your plate.
Remember, you’re on a budget!
How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy?
Before you commit time, labor, and money (aka the budget aspect of your strategy that brought you here) to your social media marketing strategy, you might need to first figure out who exactly the intended audience for your strategy is going to be.
One of the simplest (if not entirely simplistic) methods for formulating your social media marketing strategy is to consider the following questions:
- What exactly motivates your brand’s purpose on social media?
- What is the demographic of your intended audience?
- What value will your social media presence bring to your audience?
- What type of content will you share?
- What type of content is your target audience likely to enjoy?
- At what intervals of time will you share your posts?
Your answers to the questions above will act as a crystallized reference point for formulating your strategy. Also, depending on the inputs from your research, you can further expand the list above to devise a strategy unique to your business.
After all, how can you demarcate and spend your social media budget if you don’t know what to spend it on in the first place?
6 Tips for an Effective Budget Social Media Marketing Strategy
1. Choose Your Platform Wisely
The thrill of having an all-out social media campaign is tempting, but it’s not financially viable for every company.
You may wonder that most social media platforms are free, so why not have it all?
Well, making an account is free and easy. But, maintaining and growing it requires moolah.
That’s the reason we suggest you research and pick only those platforms where your target audience is most active.
You can start by exploring some of the most widely-used social media platforms, such as Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and even Quora.
Learn more about every platform’s specifications and distinguishing characteristics to create an effective strategy.
Certain social networking platforms, for instance, provide options such as live video streaming, while others allow you to make excellent use of private groups and communities.
For your convenience, we have listed below several critical takeaways for 2021:
- Because of their high-revenue user engagements, Facebook and YouTube are both ideal venues for running ads.
- Millennials continue to outnumber older generations on Facebook.
- The bulk of TikTok and Instagram users are Gen Z or millennials, necessitating the need for bright, eye-catching content that radiates personality.
- Women on Pinterest outnumber men, which has the greatest average order value among social consumers.
- LinkedIn’s user base is highly professional, making it a repository for in-depth, market-specific content that may be slightly more sophisticated for the tastes of the typical audience of the aforementioned platforms.
Because you are on a tight budget, Facebook may not provide you with the greatest results. It’s possible that marketing on Instagram might provide you with a higher ROI.
The ultimate secret is to locate prominent social accounts that aren’t directly monetizable but are ready to advertise your business offerings for getting the word about.
That may appear to be too straightforward, but it involves more complex methods such as influencer marketing and brand outreach pertinent to the rules of conduct for each platform.
2. Segment Your Target Audience
The market has become increasingly specialized, and just knowing your target audience is not enough. It is essential to dissect them into different segments based on their demographics, likes, dislikes, and create groups.
As far as your target consumer is concerned, you should be aware of the following:
- Average income
- Typical interests
- Occupation/job roles
Doing this might sound counterintuitive to running a campaign on a tight budget, but it proves quite effective. By segmenting your audience, you can create super-targeted ads with high chances of conversion and engagement.
Trying to understand your followers, fans, and visitors as real individuals with actual desires and needs can help you cater and engage with them better on social media.
A positive user engagement will boost your brand’s visibility and overall reputation on the platform.
3. Monitor the Social Media Metrics
Superficial metrics such as the follower count and likes/reactions are easy to measure, but proving their true worth for long-term success is difficult. Rather, concentrate on metrics such as click-through rate, engagement, and conversion rates.
Each social media platform has its unique metrics that you may explore. For Facebook, you can check your account’s analytics by visiting the Insights tab. For Twitter, there’s Twitter Analytics.
And to check your channel performance on Instagram and Pinterest, you must have a business account.
Metrics tell you how well your marketing budget is performing on every front.
Hundreds of dollars spent on YouTube sponsored ads, but not receiving a decent CTR? It’s a signal for you to take a relook at your ad spend strategy.
Metrics show you the mirror and help you plug unnecessary monetary leakages. As a brand on a budget, tapping metrics is highly recommended to optimize your resource spending.
If you are just getting started with social media analytics and have a limited budget, in-built analytics, such as Instagram Analytics, might be a fantastic place to start. They are free and provide you with ample insights to optimize your marketing strategy.
4. Learn From Your Competition
A thorough analysis of your niche helps you to learn who exactly are your competitors and how well (or not so well) are they performing.
That way, you will gain some meaty insights into what is expected from your niche, that will help you define and demarcate your company’s social media goals.
Competition research will also assist you in identifying any latent opportunities and emulating what is already working in your niche.
You could perhaps discover that one of your competitors is more active on Instagram but not so much on LinkedIn or Facebook.
Gleaning some ideas from such behavior, you might want to pay attention to platforms where your brand’s followers are not being catered to, as opposed to tackling your competition on the platform where they already have a strong foothold.
5. Build a Strong Team
A motivated workforce is paramount for the successful completion of a social media marketing strategy, no doubt. You can perhaps manage your social media marketing alone for a couple of weeks, but not more.
One key element you should consider while hiring professionals for your limited marketing team is their experience with working in marketing campaigns for young brands.
Such experience proves valuable as they know where costs can be cut, tools that provide bang for the buck, and understand what running a tight marketing campaign entails.
6. Have Clear and Measurable Content Expectations
This one is arguably the most important strategy among all discussed so far. Content is the core element of every marketing campaign. The content quality dictates the success of every campaign. Therefore, never compromise on it.
To build your content strategy, you may choose to hire an internal content team or outsource it to an agency.
Both are viable options. So, how to save money here?
Ensure you set clear parameters of how your content should be.
Want SEO-centric content? Mention it in the content brief.
Want specialized content? Highlight your target audience and target customer.
Want ‘X’ CTR from an ad post? Mention it.
The point we are trying to make is that you should make your content brief so thorough and clear that there is minimal scope of rework due to missing technical details.
Revising content due to unnecessary oversights in giving instructions is not only time-consuming but also entails additional costs which are otherwise absolutely avoidable.
The fact that your social media strategy is crucial for your company’s growth cannot be overstated.
Although you might want to do it right in your very first attempt, given the constraints of a budget, the outcome may leave you learning for more.
As you begin to apply your strategy and analyze your outcomes, you may discover that certain tactics do not go as well as you had hoped, while others may perform better than you expected.
Planning and implementing a social media strategy can be difficult, but you are not alone.
SocialPilot has helped several marketers in their social media marketing efforts and continues to do so. With its scheduling and analytics features, SocialPilot is indeed the one-stop solution for marketers who want the most from their social media marketing budget.
Try its free trial to know how the tool can benefit you.
Frequently Asked Questions
🌟 What is the typical estimate for a social media marketing campaign?
While a confluence of factors dictates the budget for a social media campaign, such as the number of social media marketing services solicited, the size of the business considered, it has been estimated that the typical budget for social media marketing can lie within $1,000 to $20,000.
🌟 How much of the company’s revenues should be allocated for social media marketing?
According to an estimate, most businesses spend nearly 5%-15% of their annual revenues on overall marketing efforts, out of which, 15%-25% get spent on social media marketing out of the digital marketing budgetary allocation.
🌟 What is the social media marketing budget for small businesses?
The industry average for a day lies in the range of $200 to $350. This average is based on a study of the cost of outsourcing social media marketing services conducted by The Content Factory. They discovered that the industry average was $4,000-$7,000 for a month, which rounded up to the per-day expenses mentioned above.
🌟 How important is social media marketing?
Pretty much. Social media marketing allows businesses to interact with pre-existing consumers and attract new ones while promoting their brand.
🌟 What is the ultimate benefit of social media marketing?
Improved brand awareness. Social networking is one of the most cost-effective digital marketing strategies for syndicating information and increasing the exposure of your brand. Adopting a social media marketing plan will significantly improve brand awareness since you will be connecting with a larger number of customers than via traditional marketing means.