Building Your Social Media Marketing Budget the Right Way

Social media is a great tool for brands to reach out and promote themselves to more people. But to get the best results, these brands need to be ready to spend some money. Here is a guide to help you build an effective social media marketing budget.

Social media marketing budget: Have a strategy

Your social media strategy and your overall budget will be very much related to one another. Typically, brands spend 30% to 35% of their overall marketing budget on digital marketing. Of this amount, around 15% to 25% is set aside for social media.

Note that you can go beyond this allocation depending on the need of your chosen strategy. This will typically lead to cannibalizing parts of the budget already set for other digital marketing activities.

Reviewing your social media presence

The first step to determining your social media marketing budget is to do a thorough audit of your social media presence. See which channels have produced a significant amount of traffic and engagement in your previous efforts. HootSuite provides a useful template for doing your audits.

Taking a look at your competitors also helps in getting a better understanding of your current social media position. Study how they have implemented strategies similar to yours and compare how they used their own budgets and resources for these strategies with yours.

Defining your audience

When defining the audience you want to capture, remember that you are not just on social media to generate quick sales. You are also there to build awareness and trust for your brand. Marketer John Haydon provides a breakdown of the types of audiences that you will attract to your social media communities:

  • Standard consumers: They passively read and watch social media content, but are influenced by more socially-active peers. They’re typically about 49% of your social media community.
  • Multichannel consumers: These are the audiences that actively consume content on different social media channels and have some influence. They make up around 45% of your audience.
  • Engagers: Engagers have a significant social media following and are able to influence people they know personally. They make up around 5% of your audience.
  • Key influencers: These are the people whose content is widely consumed and shared by people. This group comprises around 1% of your total audience.

You need to create different types of content to capture each group. That variety of content will have a big effect on your social media marketing budget later.

Choosing your social media channels

When choosing the social media channels to be on, consider how each channel will be used to achieve your social media strategy. For instance, you might need to decide between Facebook and Twitter as your main channel for delivering information.

Now you have to start thinking about how many channels you can actually be on. Ask yourself if you have the knowledge to use the various platforms. If you plan on hiring a professional firm to handle your presence, here are the prices to consider according to Salesforce.

social media marketing budget example prices

Planning your content

Having a well-planned content strategy is essential for building and effectively spending your social media marketing budget. Develop a social media content calendar to determine the specific types of content to create and when to create it.

As mentioned earlier, the types of audiences you want to capture will dictate the kind of content that you should create. It’s important to do this as creating video is more expensive than sending text.

Digging deeper into the creative process

To better allocate funds for content development, you have to look further into the creative process. This will give a clearer picture of the overall costs involved in creating your content. There are three main areas:

  • Graphic design will be one of the biggest chunks of the content creation process. This covers everything from the profile logos you use to the images included in your posts. Graphic design typically takes around 40% of the overall social media marketing budget.
  • Video production is another important item in your budget, especially with the expected growth in demand for it. How much you would allocate for video production depends on a variety of factors, including the length and quality of the content you plan to make.
  • Copywriting is the text you create to accompany your visual content. Marketers typically allocate around 10% of the total social media marketing budget for this.

The content you want to create will determine where you budget goes amongst these three.

Getting tools and software

Having the right software will help you better manage your social media content production and publication, as well as oversee the entire marketing effort. Essential software includes:

  • Creative software like Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Social media management software like Hootsuite or Buffer
  • Analytics tools like Keyhole or AgoraPulse
  • Automated tools for streamlining social media processes
  • Project management tools like Wrike

Overall cost depends largely on the pricing of the individual tools you need. You can lower that cost by opting for software suites that integrate different tools into one package. There are also plenty of free tools that you can use if the priced options are beyond your budget.

Budgeting for promotions and paid advertisements

Promotional campaigns should also be a part of your social media marketing budget. These help create more brand awareness and generate potential leads. When setting aside a social media promotional budget, consider how many campaigns you want to run and what type. Contests and raffles, for instance, may require more resources than other types of promotional campaigns.

Another thing to consider when budgeting for promotions is whether to get a consultant or agency to create and run the campaigns for you. Typical costs for getting consultants start from around $2000 a month. Note that this covers the cost of running an entire marketing campaign that involves other channels aside from social media.

You also need to take the additional costs for promoting your campaigns into account. These include tools like Twitter retweets and Youtube views, which will help your campaign gain initial traction faster. When getting these services, see the added features being offered, like geo-targeting and service provider guarantees. This will tell you whether the service is worth its price.

social media marketing budget buy retweets

Doing paid advertisements on social media

Your organic social media marketing strategy can only do so much in making people aware of your brand. Social media advertising will support your initial effort and make it more effective. This should be around 30% to 40% of your total social media marketing budget. But you can adjust that to find a good balance between your ads and organic promotions.

Note that each social media platform has its own array of advertisement options that you have to look closer into before purchasing. Furthermore, remember that ad placement price is not the only factor that determines the cost. Look into the entire ad production process to get a clearer picture of how much you will actually spend on each ad.

Hiring social media personnel

The personnel that will manage your social media marketing operations are the final major consideration for building your budget. Here, you need to weigh between doing everything in-house or outsourcing the work.

In-house employees: Pros

  • Fully knowledgeable about your product and brand culture
  • Allows for long-term development of strategy
  • Flexible work focus

In-house employees: Cons

  • Higher cost due to salaries and equipment
  • Requires time for training

Outsourced social media marketing: Pros

  • Lower costs
  • Expert handling
  • Faster development of your social media presence

Outsourced social media marketing: Cons

  • Lack of personal experience with your brand
  • Outsourcing firms often require long contracts
  • Can be more difficult to communicate with

Keep in mind that both options still require you to provide support and oversight to ensure that operations go smoothly.

Getting a social media manager

Social media managers are important parts of any social media team, as they are the ones that oversee the entire operations. The cost of hiring a social media manager usually starts from $400 a month for basic account management work. That can go up quickly depending on the entire range of services you want to get. Decide which of these services you will need before settling down to negotiate with and hire a social media manager.

The cost of influencers

Influencers can help significantly increase the reach of your social media marketing efforts. But they can also cost significant amounts as well. Prices can range from a free product sample, to up to $500,000 for a single Kim Kardashian post like this:

#ad Little update for you guys. I’m on Day 9 of my Shake It Baby program from @flattummyco and I’m actually feeling so good. We had a massive Christmas this year and between my Mom's party, Christmas and New Years… I felt like it was impossible to fit in my regular work outs and eat healthy. But this program is giving me a kick in the right direction that I need. These meal replacement shakes are so good and it’s helping me get my tummy back to flat in the new year. The results I’m seeing and feeling are amazing and I’m so excited for the next few weeks. Because they’re all about getting women back on track… they’ve got a 20% off sale going on right now if you want to start 2018 off right… trust me, you’re going to want to check them out.

A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

Individual rates vary greatly from influencer to influencer, and depend on a variety of factors like:

  • Follower numbers
  • Engagement levels
  • Type of content to be created
  • Social media platform you are using
  • How long the content will be up

Use these factors to compare different influencers within your niche and see which ones fit your budget.

Create your social media marketing budget right

Whether you decide to spend $2000, or $20,000, a month for social media marketing, properly planning your budget will help ensure that you spend every penny right. To create your budget, you need to have:

  • A clear social media strategy: Plan out how you will use the various social media platforms and what kind of content to make.
  • The right resources: Study the various process involved in carrying out your strategy to determine which tools would best suit your needs.
  • A detailed promotional plan: Think ahead to the promotional campaigns that you want to do and how these will build your social media presence more. Plan out your social media advertising campaigns as well.

With all of this information on hand, you will be able to portion your social media marketing budget more effectively. Check out Devumi for the latest social media strategies and tactics that will let you spend that budget right, and help you continue getting great results.