Social media integrated with traditional methods has proven to be an excellent tool when launching a product. Many people laude the technology as a way to reach out to a new audience and create a more advanced version of word of mouth advertising, among other things. At this point almost all businesses acknowledge these aspects that social media marketing provides.
Viewing social media as a useful marketing tool is important, however it is not a miracle technology. In order for a Facebook page, Twitter handle, etc. to be successful, it is important to understand that the necessary resources must be allocated to the campaigns. Social media emphasizes the connection between business and user, therefore social campaigns must be managed well in order to do so effectively.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when developing a social media budget for business:
- Research: Before creating any social media handles, it is crucial to spend the time to research where a business’s audience engages. Although Pinterest may be a hot topic in the news, it may not be the correct platform for a particular business. Thoroughly examining these platforms before going live can save a business time and money in the future.
- Education: Depending on the size of the business a social media team may consist of 3 people or 20 people. However large or small, this group must be educated in the business’s social media guidelines, social media goals, and limitations. The point of social media is that interaction occurs in real time. It is important for teams to know how to respond quickly and honestly when possible.
- Advertising: Once an educated team is in place and the agreed upon social media channels have been set up, advertising is necessary to get a business through all the traffic to the target market. Unlike traditional advertising, social networks have developed ads that take advantage of the unique aspects valuable on these platforms. Facebook, for example, introduced sponsored stories as opposed to regular ads. If a user likes a Facebook page that action, or story, will be highlighted in their friends’ newsfeed. This word of mouth advertisement is effective – ads that have social context increase recall of the ad by 50%.
- Technology: One of the benefits of social media is that these conversations and engagement about businesses are now taking place online. There is a huge amount of data that can be gained from monitoring these discussions both about a business and its competition. Luckily there are tools available to measure this information and cut through all the noise. In order to cut through that noise and build a larger community it necessary to think creatively with the information and develop unique campaigns that will garner positive attention. In some cases this could mean a contest and in others it could be a custom community platform.
- PR: A Social network is not just another channel to publish a press release. The actions taken on these platforms should be press release worthy. By taking advantage of these platforms, businesses should create new and exciting campaigns to differentiate themselves from the crowd. When that is accomplished, it is important to promote those efforts.
The beauty of social media is the vast amount of possibilities, but as always, they come at a cost. This technology has changed the landscape for business and marketing and will most likely continue to do so. The challenge is no longer to get involved in social media. Businesses need to focus on how to stand out in social media and to do so they must budget accordingly.
What are some other important aspects of social media marketing to keep in mind when budgeting? To develop a social media marketing campaign, contact Wild Frog Studio today at 914.428.4645.