Author: Alfred Lua / Source: Social How big is your social media budget? I’ve heard of companies that spend millions on marketing and othe
How big is your social media budget?
I’ve heard of companies that spend millions on marketing and others who spend zero (we skew toward the zero side at Buffer).
Regardless of how much you spend, you aim to spend it well. That’s why a hypothetical situation like — what would you do with $100 to spend on social media marketing? — can be an extremely valuable exercise.
I have some ideas on what I’d do with the $100, ways to wring the most value out of every penny. I’d love to hear any thoughts you have also.
Giveaway: New Social Media Strategy Class + 2 Months of Skillshare Premium
We’re excited to launch our new social media strategy class on Skillshare this week. You’ll learn everything from expert content curation strategies to getting started with paid advertising, from our Digital Marketing Strategist, Brian Peters.
The class is free for all Buffer customers for the next 28 days. After that, you can access the class as part of Skillshare’s library.
Also, we’d love to offer our Buffer users and community members two free months of Skillshare Premium, which you can use for our class and over 15,000 other classes! Just click on the button below to get started.
The average social media budget
Before we get into some answers and ideas, I thought it’d be interesting to see just how much social media takes up in an average marketing budget.
The industry average settles between $200 to $350 per day.
This average comes from an analysis by The Content Factory, looking at the cost to outsource social media marketing services. They found that $4,000-$7,000 per month was the industry average, which works out to the above per-day costs.
As a percentage of the total marketing budget, The CMO Survey found that social media spending is at 11.7% in 2016 — a three-time increase since 2009.
How does this compare to yours? Is your budget higher or lower?
At Buffer, our marketing budget consists mainly of the tools we use. We have also recently started exploring Facebook ads to increase our brand reach and social engagement.
Imagine: You have $100 to spend on social media
Here’re the three possible ways to spend your $100:
Let’s dive in!
Plan A: The all-in-one social media budget
One of the first qualifications of spending $100 on social media is that the way you spend is likely to be quite unique: Everyone has their own specific niche and audience to serve, and most social media profiles are at varying degrees of completeness.
With this in mind, I’ve aimed to share some thoughts here that might fit the majority of profiles. Feel free to adjust as needed for your particular situation.
Graphics/photos/videos – $40
With visual design carrying such a large emphasis on social media, it feels great to put your best foot forward on the visuals front.
This can mean:
- A professional profile picture, either a headshot (if you’re a person) or a logo (if you’re a company)
- Icons and stock photos to use in the images you create for your social media content
We’ve written some fun tutorials on what to do with certain resources — how to turn photos and graphics into ideal social media images. It’s possible that you’ll be able to create these images for free with the great, free tools out there. Two of our favorites are Unsplash for free high-resolution photos and Canva for quick graphic design.
If you choose to spend in this area, here’s one direction that your money could go.
- Animoto for simple video creation ($8/month) – Quickly create short social videos with pre-built storyboards.
- Fiverr for quick, small designs ($15) – Projects on Fiverr run $5 apiece, if you need a little extra hand with a certain design. They have a complete section for help with images and logos.
- Add some funds to Creative Market or IconFinder or The Noun Project ($17) – Each of these sites is a digital marketplace for designers to sell the cool things they make such as icons, website themes, templates, photos, graphics, and tons more.
Advertising – $40
If you’re just starting out and looking to grow your influence on social media, advertising can help build an initial audience. Even for established brands, it can be a great option.
Social media advertising is a huge topic with lots to consider. To help you get started, we have written guides on Facebook and Instagram advertising.
The takeaway: Test and see what works! Spend $5 per day on Facebook or Instagram ads for a little more exposure.
- Facebook or Instagram ads ($40) – Run an ad for several days to see if it’s a channel worth investing more in.
A study by Nanigans, a Facebook marketing partner, found that while Instagram ads cost less for impressions and clicks, Facebook ads have higher click-through rate.