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An introduction to social media budgeting

This article provides an introduction to social media budgeting and covers the fundamentals of budgeting for social media campaigns.

Why do you need a social media budget?

Budgeting your continual social media and campaigns activity is vital in planning your spending, setting parameters and measuring the effectiveness of your social media activity.

Monitoring your Return on Investment (ROI) will tell you whether the money you spending is actually adding value. It can also be a useful tool when requesting additional investment to leverage the capabilities of social media for your organisation.

What are the hidden costs of social media?

Many companies see social media marketing as a low cost. And yes, owned and earned media are free, but there are additional costs to be considered: Content production Licensing of images or other content Social media management

In general, the higher-quality the content you need, the more it will cost. This is true whether you choose text, video, infographics or anything else.

Also, consider the amount of time you need people to manage accounts on a daily basis and how this will also affect costs. For example, 24-hour monitoring will be more expensive than a simple 9 am-5 pm working day.

Using paid media in social

Brands increasingly use paid activity to reach their audiences, but social advertising isn’t just about engagement. Remember, each network is different. Here, we’re going to focus the discussion on the main platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Because most network algorithms prioritise content posted by friends and suppress brand content, paid social is necessary to give your branded content the reach you need.

Examples of social media advertising

Brands can extend their reach beyond their owned social platforms -e.g. your Facebook ‘likes’ or Twitter/LinkedIn followers- to find a larger audience through paid social media.

For example:

  • A ‘how-to’ video, already popular with fans, could be shared with a larger audience as an introduction to your brand
  • Or, a positive write-up in the local paper can be amplified, by reaching more target customers using a Twitter ad targeted at local followers of that paper.

Positive product reviews, media coverage, blog posts and educational content like white papers and presentations can all add value to your brand. Paid social allows you to reach a larger proportion of your target audience with this content.

An introduction to targeting and bidding

Social advertising works via e-auctions. Bidding gives you the best possible placements, within your budget. Bids can be placed on keywords, geographical areas and more.

As the space available to advertisers is limited, the placements are auctioned between organisations competing for the same audience.

The success of the ad depends on how it ranks against competing bids. Lower bids may not appear at all. When adding keywords or audiences, the networks give an estimate of the minimum bid needed to make sure the ad appears.

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How to Develop Your Social Media Content Strategy

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