Social media marketing on a budget

Do you already have a firm marketing budget in place? If so how much of that should you be putting towards social media marketing? We explore the budgets that small to medium businesses should be investing and what response you are likely to get from it.
According to Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, marketers are allocating close to 10% of their budgets to social media marketing. This means if you have a budget of £10,000 per year for all your marketing then at least £1000 of that should go to social media, but this is not a lot when you split it up over monthly amounts. To get someone to work on your social media profiles you will probably have to look at putting at least £150- £200 a month towards it to be able to get some results. Too little budget will simply be lost and may give you very little rewards. If you are going to be doing the social media marketing yourself then you may be able to allocate this budget to just use on paid for social media ads rather than accounting for your time. Some experts suggest that it should be more like 25% of your total budget is invested in social media marketing especially in business to consumer industries.
Social media networks have evolved, from being platforms where you meet new friends – to a business hub – a way to promote brand awareness, share blog posts, encourage user content, and increase income.

Building up traffic to your site through social media marketing

Social media is being used more and more by businesses who are wanting to increase their presents online and also to get referring traffic to their website. One of the many advantages of social media is that it is free but if you want to go the extra mile then you may consider doing some paid for advertising such as Facebook ads.

The great thing with the paid for advertising is that you can tailor your ads to create a specific group of people to show it to. This allows you to keep control of your budget and ensure your ad is only showing to people it may be relevant to. If for example you had a product that was most relevant to people between the ages of 18-35 then you could create them as your target group. You can also narrow it down to only show to certain geographical locations.

When using social media to build up traffic to your site, you need to give people a reason to click on a link that is directed through to a page on your main website. This may be a competition where people have to complete their details on your site or you can give someone a few lines of an article and allow them to read the rest of it on your site.

Calls to action on your website

A website can be created to do many things such as to give more information about your company or as an online shop. Some sites are there purely for information and to inform visitors of the products or services your business sells, whilst others allow visitors to purchase off the website or login in to carry out certain tasks.

Even if you are only trying to gain enquiries through email, contact forms or telephone, every website needs to have call to action placements. The purpose of a Call to Action or CTA’s is to get the visitor to complete an action based on your recommendations. Some call to actions are simply a “click here” button that takes the viewer through to an enquiry form, whereas others will be stronger and require the customer to complete a purchase.

How a CTA is displayed can differ vastly from site to site and even from page to page with some being created to look like an advert you may see in a magazine to others simply showing a phone number to call or a live chat button to click on. It is important to give your visitors direction on your site so they find it easy to do what they came to and CTA’s are a great way of doing so.

Choosing effective keywords to market

When it comes to online marketing and in particular search engine marketing it is all about the keywords and phrases that you are focussing on. You need to think about what someone may type in to a search engine to find your business. You would expect to come top for your own company name but if they had never heard of your company but were looking for a product or service that you sell, think about what they may search for. Once you have a list of these types of phrases you can then check where you currently rank for them. If you are down the bottom of the first page or a few pages in to the search results the chances are you will be receiving very few visits for that term. If you believe that term is an important one then you need to try and work on improving your placement to get in to the top 1-5 places. The higher up you are the more clicks you will get but also the harded the competition becomes. Make sure that you have the keywords on the relevant pages of your website and that you have enough unique, relevant content on your site that the search engines will recognise that you are able to offer the viewer what they are searching for.

Why you are missing out on not doing social media marketing?

If you have decided that social media marketing is not something you want to do for your business then you could be making a huge mistake. Social media marketing is often a very cost effective and successful way of marketing and if you chose not to partake in it then you may be cutting yourself off from huge number of potential customers.

Many people now search online to find companies that offer the services and products they want or need. You may be advertising through Google, Yell or your own website but if you have no presence on the social media sites then you have no way on connecting with these people.

You may want to have a profile and try and build up a community by getting others to share your page and posts or you may decide to do a bit of paid for advertising on social media and gain followers that way. Paid for advertising often gets you quicker results but you do need to have knowledge of how the paid for ads work and how best to set them up to get a good return on your investment.