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How to Effectively Use Social Media Marketing on a Budget

Submitted by on August 15, 2014 – 6:47 pm

How to Effectively Use Social Media Marketing on a Budget

 

More and more marketers are dedicating their online marketing budgets to acquisition, engagement, and retention of their target audiences on social media.

But, what if you do not have a large budget to start with? Is there a way to squeeze the most out of social channels so that you can increase brand awareness and build a following?

social mediaSocial media is not free— a lot of time, strategizing and manual effort is required to build a successful social presence. However, a small budget should not restrict you from making the most of social.

 

Develop clear conversion goals for your social program

Many marketers lose a large chunk of their digital marketing budgets on ineffective social media strategies.

To see any substantial ROI from your social marketing efforts, you need to have very clear conversion goals. Otherwise, you will spend a lot of money on a strategy that does not work.

goals - for success What are your goals? To receive more likes and retweets? To grow your social community? To generate lead?

A great way to map out your social goals is to use a simple conversion funnel that focuses on the five funnel stages and the corresponding conversion events.

For example:

Funnel stage 1: Awareness– Some conversion events could be Likes, Retweets, Repins, +1, Follows.

Funnel stage 2: Recognition of need– Your social fans may participate in a giveaway, sign up for a newsletter, download an e-book etc.

Funnel stage 3: Consideration– Examples of conversion events include visits to your website, asking questions on social media, making comments and checking out your products.

Funnel stage 4: Real conversion– Consecutive visits to your website, interaction via more intimate channels such as email, and sales.

Funnel stage 5: Fan retention– Continued interaction with content, brand advocacy, frequent website visits, regular engagement with brand.

 

Leverage user generated content

Creating content for social media on a regular basis requires a lot of input in terms of manpower and dollars.

The truth is, there is no getting around content marketing if you want to build a presence on social media. However, with help from your existing customers and fans, there is potential to create content that draws in a lot of engagement.

Ask your existing customers and fans to share their stories, photos, or videos around a particular theme. This type of content generates much more interest on social media than any other type of content.

The psychology is simple: People like to see other real people do something before they can believe it or before they too can do it.

Allowing your fan base to participate in your overall social strategy by creating their own content can save you money and time.

 

Make use of turnkey social media apps

Automating some of your social media activities is an affordable way to reduce the amount of time you actually spend on each social site.

Many of these apps are inexpensive and some are free. From scheduling and sending tweets, analyzing social media trends, creating direct response messages, monitoring conversations, finding new prospects, discovering interesting content, to connecting with influencers—there is an app that can do the job for you.

While turnkey solutions will not make your social media strategy completely hands-free, they can help you to dedicate more time (and thus money) to core business functions.

 

Maximize your ad budget with precise targeting

 

Your Target MarketMake no mistake– social media is highly competitive right now. With so much content being distributed throughout the various social channels, it can be difficult to get as many people as possible to regularly see your content.

Inevitably, you need to allocate some of your marketing budget toward social advertising.

Twitter and Facebook allow you to set your budget on a pay per impression basis to promote tweets, posts and pay per click ads.

You can start with a budget as small as $10 to promote your content on any of these platforms. But, to get the most bang from your advertising dollars, you need to be very clear about your target audience and then reach out to them accordingly.

Targeting the wrong audience or failing to narrow down your target audience will lose you money.

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A small social media budget can work to your advantage. It forces you to zero in on the conversion goals that are unique to your business, before implementing a social strategy.

More importantly, a limited budget can encourage brand awareness and fan engagement, which results from user generated content creation.


Mike Conkey, Entrepreneur

Mike Conkey

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