Getting your social media budget approved might not be the easiest thing to do. Depending on your company, your board of directors might not be aware of how crucial it can be to their business nowadays, and this is something still understandable.
Social media marketing is fairly a new thing and, if their business has been healthy and growing so far, they might not see why they have to add an extra line on the company’s budget.
But you know why it is important, and you are ready to fight for it. Good news is that you can make it happen if you have the right weapons at your disposal.
# 1 – Have your goals very clear
The first thing that you need to have clear in your mind is your goals. Why have you decided to invest in social media? Why now?
Above all, what will the company get in return for the budget that you are asking?
It will become mandatory that you can talk about it and to defend your point of view. So make sure that you convince yourself first, and that you have all arguments analyzed from all different angles.
Then you can put yourself in their shoes, and try to guess what else they might ask you, so you can have all your answers ready.
# 2 – Start small (6-month plan)
If social media marketing is a brand new thing in your company, you will have to start small.
If it has been tried before, but the results were disappointing, you have to start small.
If you already have a budget for social media marketing, and you want to increase it, you should aim for a small increase.
The thing is that you need to be realistic for several reasons. The fact that you are reading this article gives away the hint that you are in need to convince someone. And the best way to do is trying to get them to approve small steps, so to avoid major risks.
Plus, you know how social media changes fast and how hard is to predict your results. As a consequence, a 6-month plan will sound much more feasible for everybody.
# 3 – Evaluate your needs
One of the secrets of getting a budget approved is only asking exactly what you need and nothing else. No board of directors will be happy to approve a fat budget just for the purpose of playing safe.
It will also make you sound like you don’t know what you are going to do or what you need in order to create and share perfect content on social media and achieve the goals you proposed.
So go through all expenses that you might have and prepare a comprehensive spreadsheet with it. And don’t forget to connect each one of them to their specific goals.
Of course, it is OK to add an extra amount for last-minute needs. But it should be clearly specified on your budget and can’t be a high amount compared to the budget itself.
# 4 – Determine your key performance indicators
You might be facing a common problem here: the assumption that you can’t measure social media’s results, so you will never be sure if it is worthy or not.
But, as you know, this isn’t true. You can perfectly find out if the budget that you got is bringing something valuable to the company if you have your key performance indicators in place.
Here you will need to get back to your goals and check which indicators you can attach to each one of them. Is the number of your followers relevant? Or the number of conversions? Or both?
What you will be looking for is measurable goals that you can use to determine if you are achieving them or not.
Based on them, you will be able to create graphs that will make your reports tangible and more likely to be accepted and approved by your board of directors.
# 5 – Get people involved
The best way to get people to embrace your ideas is by getting them involved in the process. So if you want to have your budget approved, don’t keep your plan as a big secret only to reveal it during your presentation.
Ask around, including to your directors, what they think about the current social media strategy, and how much they think it should be spared from it. Listen to their concerns and really take them into consideration.
This way you will gather valuable information and also make they feel as part of your plan. It will create engagement and increase your chances to meet sympathetic ears during your presentation.
# 6 – Prepare a killer presentation
Now that you have all your ideas in order, it is time for you to create a killer presentation so to convince your directors to approve your budget.
The first thing that you will have to do is to write a plan, where you will explain our ideas and arguments. It doesn’t have to be long (actually, it shouldn’t be long), but you have to show up with something good in writing.
Then get everything organized for a 10-15 minutes’ oral presentation when you will defend your plan. Make sure that you analyze your audience beforehand, so you will know, for example, if you need to explain the basics of social media or if the figures are all that matter to your audience.
Also, consider the use of visual and auditory resources, such as videos and slides. They are usually great, but make sure that you test them before the meetings start, so you don’t waste the time that you have trying to get the projector to work.
# 7 – Final piece of advice: Don’t promise what you can’t deliver
So here is everything you need to know to get your social media budget approved. But, above all, you should have one thing in your mind: you should never promise what you can’t deliver.
It is very tempting to do so, as social media is so new and many people still don’t understand it fully. So you feel like you can say anything.
But it will backfire on you very quickly as you know, as social media networks are fast-paced environments – you can see very clearly what is not working there quite soon.
Plus, they are public places, so you won’t be able to hide what is going on from anybody in your company.
So make sure that you know exactly what you are doing and saying. It will demonstrate your confidence and expertise, and it will make much easier for you to have future budgets approved.
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