Why Your Business Should Increase Its Social Media Budget
It's natural for your company to have allocated a budget to keep up with and promote your social presences. But could it be time to increase your company's social media budget?
Corey Perlman, a digital marketing speaker, consultant and author of "Social Media Overload: Simple Social Media Strategies For Overwhelmed and Time Deprived Businesses," spends his day-to-day speaking to midsized businesses that are concerned about their social media spending. Perlman shares his advice to help businesses understand the importance of a social media budget and content along with leading strategies that make the dollars Perlman's clients spend on social advertising pay them back.
A New World for Social Marketing
"If you don't have an ad budget for Facebook or Instagram, you're doing it wrong," says Perlman. "Gone are the days where we can have an audience of 1,000 fans on Facebook and simply deliver content. The majority won't see it unless we pay to boost that content."
This means that it's no longer enough to simply invest internally in your social marketing resources. You must have a budget available to make sure that what you create gets seen by the people who need to see it most.
"The good news is your social media budget doesn't have to break the bank. You can boost for as low as $5 — and it goes up from there," says Perlman.
Start with a small investment and start getting your content out there where it can bring your fans and business. But where do you begin? According to Perlman, it's about creating content that helps you easily spin-off more content.
Creating Shareable, Ad-worthy Social Content
"I recommend starting with one piece of content per week. An article, a video, an infographic," says Perlman. "Get that posted on your LinkedIn personal page and across your other social channels. For the rest of the week, break that piece of content into bite-size pieces and share that new content via your other channels."
Perlman breaks it down even further. "[If] I were a Dentist, and I wrote an article about the '5 Ways to Avoid Bad Breath,' I'd create additional content for each of these tips throughout the week on social and lead them all back to my article on LinkedIn."
But how do you decide what to boost and where to boost it?
It's All About Strategy
"Only boost content that either has a strong call to action or is newsworthy enough to warrant the cost," says Perlman. Day-to-day posts meant to entertain and offer your audience some relief from the mundane is likely not the best use of your social media budget. Rather, consider investing your social media advertising budget in content that can drive a measurable result. This means email sign-ups, downloads, purchases and shares — all measurable actions through the vast data available wherever you choose to invest your social marketing dollars.
Now that you're ready with content, what techniques can your company employ for maximum returns on your ad dollars invested?
Remarketing, Boosted Posts, and Lookalike Audiences
Perlman has three social media advertising techniques that his firm frequently employs with clients to make the most of their social media budgets. The first he describes as "pay to play" on Facebook and Instagram.
"Our agency loves using remarketing to stay top of mind with prospects. With remarketing, a prospect will visit our client's website, and then we will use a Facebook pixel to run ads on their Facebook page. If there's any confusion on what remarketing is, just visit a few products on Amazon and then head back to Facebook. You'll see it live in action."
Next, Perlman's a fan of boosting important posts on Facebook. "We consider important content as an event invitation, a product promotion, an exclusive opportunity or something similar," Perlman says. By boosting posts like these, he can help clients reach people who are already fans of the brand and audiences who are predisposed to appreciate the post's content.
Finally, Perlman's agency uses Facebook Lookalike Audiences to round out their social media ad strategies. "We can give Facebook access to a portion of our client's existing leads or clients, and Facebook can offer us an audience with similar demographics. It's a powerful way to reach a new, but quality audience."
He also has one final tip for businesses using LinkedIn as a part of their social media advertising strategy: invest in your profile and a paid membership.
"If any part of your job is sales, being a premium member can be of great value. You have more prospecting opportunities and you can use your network to help turn a cold call into a warm lead. Profile photos now take center stage and less room is given for your professional summary. It's important to have a professional profile photo and background photo to give off a great first impression. I also recommend focusing your professional summary on how you can help clients and less about you and your history," says Perlman. After all, LinkedIn is the largest B2B social network out there. If you're driving traffic there, sprucing-up your LinkedIn presence is definitely a component of any effective campaign involving the platform.