The idea of coming up with a social media budget can be very ambiguous, and even ridiculous to many people. After all, why would you want to spend money on social media marketing when making posts on Facebook and Tweets on Twitter are free? Well, there is really more to social media marketing than Facebook and Twitter. A lot more…
Let’s start with your own website. To construct a site that allows you to generate leads, utilizes user-generated content, provides user interactivity, and maybe even integrates e-commerce is quite an expensive feat, as experienced web developers can understand. Granted, there are free content management systems (CMS’s) which provide you with these elements (i.e. WordPress, Joomla, etc.), but then you have to consider the times it takes to keep your site socially-friendly, so to speak (moderating user content, creating and publishing your own content, protecting from spammers and bots, etc.).
Then there is the idea of actually leveraging popular social media channels. Making posts on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, and posting videos on YouTube can be very costly. It is true that you don’t have to spend a cent to utilize these networks for traffic, but it will conversely cost you in the form of time. As many people have come to realize, managing social networks can be very tedious and time-intensive.
To really make the most of social media, it is imperative to work with someone that not only understands your own business and objectives, but also the strategies needed to reach them successfully. This is really one of the (if not, the) main factors why so many businesses fail with social media: they think of it as nothing more than an experiment. Having this kind of mindset will likely not motivate you to invest any time, money, expertise, or any other resources into creating a multi-tiered and multi-channeled strategy. Since you do not put in any resources into your social media marketing, it will produce little to no results, thus providing the false assumption that social media marketing does not work.
When it comes to achieving business objectives (social media or otherwise), it is paramount to allocate all the resources required or else you will never succeed. This includes tangible resources like money and intangible resources like time. If you are not willing to do this, then your social media strategy will more than likely result in failure.
Granted, it can be intimidating to diversify your resources to new ventures such as social media, but it can very well be worth your time and money. The important thing is if you plan on pursuing social media, be sure to take it seriously and not with the “experimental” mentality. Spend the money, dedicate the time and of course, always track and test your results.