Advertising and boosting social posts has become an important part of many business’ marketing strategies. But for those with little experience of managing social advertising budgets and running campaigns, it can be difficult to judge exactly how much you should be investing into social media advertising. There are various things you should be considering when setting your budget if you want to get the best return on investment and boost your sales effectively.
Here’s how to set the right social media advertising budget:
Set Your Goals
The first thing to think about will be very familiar to anyone with experience of running non-digital campaigns. You need to think about your goals for the campaign.
Think about what you want to achieve from your marketing campaign as a whole, and also think about what part social media should be playing in this. If you’re only just beginning to experiment with social media marketing, you may want it to form a smaller part of your campaign, measure return on investment and then scale the campaign up.
If your goal for a marketing campaign is to drive sales for a certain product, you can effectively measure how much you can spend on social media marketing per purchase, and set your budget accordingly.
Look at Past Results
If you have run social media marketing campaigns previously, using data from your past campaigns is essential for informing the direction of your current one.
Both Facebook and Twitter offer their own analytics dashboards that provide detailed information on your previous social media advertising campaigns. They allow you to assess how much you spent per click and track customers right through to conversion.
Looking at the performance of previous campaigns, and your return on investment from them will give you a much better idea of how your customers are likely to react to campaigns. You should also be able to get a better idea of your likely return on investment for a campaign and how much you would need to invest to give your campaign significant reach.
Consider Your Target Market
Depending on your target market, they may be more or less likely to engage with digital campaigns. Take a look at social media usage statistics such as these from Statistica for a general impression of the types of user for each social network. You should also be looking at the social analytics for your own accounts. Even if you have’t previously carried out any campaigns, Facebook Insights will give you a detailed picture of your viewers and followers, segmented by age, gender, location and many other factors.
Think about how all of these statistics match up with who your campaign will be targeting. You may have to pay more to reach more targeted segments of your market, so think about whether you can afford to reach these target customers and still get a return on your investment.
Facebook and Twitter allow you to target customers very specifically using everything from their age and gender to their interests. For example, you could target your ads specifically at users with an interest in fitness if you were promoting a sportswear brand. Alternatively, if you were a local wedding dress boutique, you could target only users in your particular area so that you only reach those who could actually visit you.
What Platforms Are You Using
Once you know which platforms best suit your target market, you need to think about dividing your budget between social media platforms.
Think about how much you are willing to allocate to each platform and set your budget accordingly. You may want to invest less in new platforms and more in established platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Some social media platforms may need more investment than others to provide a return, so run test campaigns on a smaller scale to assess the performance of your advertising and help you decide on a budget for each platform.
Once you have an idea of which platforms you would like to use, each platform also offers different ad types. For example, Facebook has boosted posts and more traditional Facebook ads. You may need to invest more in ads to attract engagement when compared to a boosted post. You could boost a post with as little as $2, whereas a Facebook ad would likely require closer to $50.
You can also use your social following on each platform to help determine your spend. See how followers react to your regular social activities. If you have a smaller following on Twitter with less interaction, you may want to focus on a platform that your audience seems more engaged in. Alternatively, you may want to direct your advertising budget here to help improve your following by targeting new followers – it all depends on your goals.
What Are Your Competitors Doing?
Make sure that you monitor the social media advertising activities of your competitors wherever possible. If any of their posts have an unusually high rate of interaction, this could be as a result of the post being boosted. You should also be keeping an eye out for their ads in your own social feeds.
See how active their advertising is on social media and use this to help you identify a niche. If it’s apparent that your competitors are investing a lot in social media advertising, you may want to increase your own budget in order to maintain your presence. Alternatively, you may want to reduce your spend in that particular area and focus on other niche areas that your competitors are not taking advantage of.
Monitor & Adjust
While you may have an overall social media advertising budget in mind at this point, it is important to continue to monitor the results of your advertising efforts and adjust the allocation of your budget accordingly.
Despite excellent planning, you may see campaigns under perform and others exceed your expectations. So be ready to re-allocate your budget based on the return on investment you get from particular social networks and campaigns.
Facebook gives you analysis of your social media advertising campaigns as they run so you can monitor them and react to how they perform.
You may also want to increase your overall budget to take advantage of a successful campaign. Social media as a whole is fluid and ever changing, so how you set and allocate your social media marketing budget needs to reflect this. Include contingencies in your budget to allow you to scale up a successful campaign or to mitigate the losses of a campaign that doesn’t quite have the effect you were hoping for.
There is no mathematical formula for setting the right social media advertising budget. You need to consider all of the variables from platform to past performance and use everything at your disposal to make a judgement about how to set your budget. The more you test and run campaigns, the better idea you can build of how much budget will be required. You could set anything from $3 per boosted post upwards, so be sure to experiment with the points n this article to find the budget right for you.
Have you been setting your social media marketing budget recently? Let us know about your process by getting in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter.