Organic Social Media – How being wiser with your budget can increase performance
The role of the social media manager has adapted and evolved dramatically over the years. From the early days of keeping on top of your businesses’ timeline posts to what now seems like a minefield of stories, influencers, evaporating messages, automation, carousels and video to name a few, it can feel overwhelming to know exactly where you should be focusing your efforts.
Social media marketing is becoming increasingly more important to brands and businesses, as senior decision makers switch on to the results it can achieve for sales and awareness when done right. However, knowing what % of the marketing budget should be set aside for social media can be a stumbling block, with those running the social media strategy often short changed with what they can do.
It doesn’t always have to be the case, you can still achieve your main goals and KPIs through social media on whatever budget is thrown at you, it’s about being clever with your strategy.
Choosing the right channels
One thing that business owners often make a mistake with when it comes to social media marketing is thinking they have to be on every social channel, this isn’t the case. If you are hiring one social media manager, and you want your brand to be active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Snapchat, Messenger, Pinterest, Reddit and YouTube, then your content (and their time to focus on each) is going to be watered down and less effective.
You don’t need to be on every social media channel. Each channel has a different focus audience, so picking the right ones based on your target audience and product/service will have a much bigger impact and use of your budget than being on them all.
Does your brand create wall art for apartments? Head over to TikTok and showcase that living room before and after “glow up”. Financial certifications? You’re going to be drowned out with disinterest on Instagram so focus your attention on LinkedIn. This will allow you to build a community of the right people who get switched on to your brand through that social channel, and also allows you to invest more money into the right place, to be clever with your content and to try new things.
The importance of social listening
We can’t stress this enough, social listening is one of the most important things when it comes to your social media strategy. Understanding your audience, what their interests are, what is trending for them, what content they react to the best, what topics they are discussing and what is working from competitors can have such an impact on your success.
Getting this right, and investing budget into doing it properly right at the start of your strategy means you can go into your content plan with confidence in what those who would purchase from you will react to, rather than using your time and budget to create and publish content without that prior knowledge.
Of course, social listening is something you can invest in right throughout your strategy too, to ensure you always stay on top of the industry. This can be done through working with a social media agency to produce detailed reports for you, or through social listening software. You can also find some pretty handy insights through the channels themselves, such as top performing posts, who your audience are, their interests and month-by-month comparisons.
Invest in good quality content over quantity
Next up is your content. Once you have a more tailored approach to which social channels you are focusing on, and what your audience are interested in, it’s all about mastering the right content.
You don’t need to be creating 5 or 6 different pieces of content each week to make sure you are posting every day on social media. Again, this will create a watered down strategy, you are much better off producing one great piece of content a week, that is highly engaging to your audience.
Investing in video content is a great strategy for social media, with 53% of marketers saying video has helped them build awareness in the past, and 94% of marketers who have used video look to continue with it. On the other side of things, 66% of consumers prefer watching video than reading about a product.
Getting your content like this up to scratch, and seeing the results on ROI you are getting from it will be a much better use of time and budget. Creating video content for example, doesn’t have to be expensive either, social channels such as Instagram and TikTok, along with third party apps for mobile, is making it easier than ever for brands to create video content for their social media channels. This is also an effective strategy as posting too often on social media channels such as Facebook, can actually have a negative impact, as the more people see your less thought about content, the less likely they are to engage with it, meaning you could be dropped down people’s timelines due to the algorithm. It’s important to get that balance right.
Working with the right collaborators and influencers
Another area that can be easy to waste your money on is through influencers and collaborators, with marketers believing getting a feature from someone with loads of followers as a success. This isn’t always the case, follower numbers should not be the focus when working with influencers, due to the availability of purchasing fake followers. Engagement rate is where you should be looking.
Putting time and budget into picking the right influencers to work with will get you much better results. Getting featured from a micro-influencer with 10,000 followers and an engagement rate of 10% is much better than working with an influencer with 100,000 followers and an engagement rate of 0.5%, as the micro-influencer audience is much more dedicated to the content they are publishing, meaning there is more trust when they feature your brand.
There are certain influencer industries that are starting to get over-populated too, with brands starting to work more closely with niche influencers from areas such as flower arranging or woodwork as an example, working closely with them as to how best to fit in the brand using their speciality and knowledge. This can be a much more effective use of your budget, and a great opportunity to be memorable by thinking “outside the box”.
The rise in TikTok is not one to be missed when it comes to collaborators too. More brands are turning to the channel (when related to your audience of course), but here it is effective to give more artistic license to the collaborator, rather than a strict brief, they’re the experts on the channel and they know exactly what their audience would be interested in. Use their knowledge.
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