4 Things to Consider When Planning Your Social Media Budget

By Hannah Baker

A budget isn’t just reserved for those low on casheven the high rollers of the world can’t spend more than they have. The same goes for your businesses. A budget allows you to prioritize and track spending so that you stay within your means while still achieving your goals.

A good rule of thumb is to spend at least 20 percent of your revenue on social media marketing, though knowing where to put that kind of cash isn’t always easy. Here are some key things to consider while planning your social media marketing budget.

1. Goals

Before you start with any financials, it’s best to look at the big picture. What are you trying to accomplish? Who is your audience? How will you measure success? The answers to these questions don’t come with a price tag, but it’s unrealistic to set any type of financial expectation without knowing them. Clearly define your purpose, goals and strategy before moving on to costs.

2. Content

Social media is heavily visual, so make sure to bulk up your budget with ways to produce, or at least access, visual content. Will you be using stock photos or custom images? Who will be producing the custom ones? Are you prepared to create video? Depending on your goals and preferences, you’ll need to account for stock photo subscriptions, staff wages or outsourcing, all of which come at a different price.

3. Platforms

With organic reach diminishing, it’s important to pay for promoted advertising. Only time can tell which platform is best suited for your brand, but when you're not sure where to start,  it's best to divvy up your budget on a few of the following platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • Vine 

Don't go overboardspreading yourself too thin can do more harm than good. Also, if possible, save a little cash for new and emerging platforms, just in case they’re something your business would like to try.  

4. Analytics

Analytics are a key way to understand how your business is performing. When just starting out, it’s best to take advantage of the free programs that the software offers. However, as you grow as a company, it may be worth paying a little extra to delve deeper.

Plan for these four areas and you can create a budget that works, regardless of whether you are strapped for cash or have plenty to spare.

What else do you consider important when planning your social media marketing budget?