Social media has undoubtedly become one of an essential elements of the Internet, if not one of an essential parts of our daily lives. It’s where we spend our time consuming our favorite content, share posts about things that matter to us, and where we connect with friends and family.
Since it is inherently a place ideal for social interactions, many companies are wondering how and if it makes sense to enter the social sphere to advertise their products and services. The good news is that social media has evolved quite a bit since the early 2000s. So here are six reasons why small business marketing budget should have a considerable about for social media marketing.
1- It’s Affordable:
Unlike traditional advertising, such as print ads and TV commercials, social media is much (much!) more affordable and has the potential to reach way more people. There are two main considerations you should make when budgeting for social marketing:
- Fee for a social media manager – either a full-time staffer or part-time freelancer, who can take on the daunting task of producing enough content and communicating with your followers and potential customers,
- Promoted posts – these are mostly the exact same posts that you would already put on your social “walls,” just that in this case you pay a small fee (as low as $1) to make sure that people will see your post.
2- It’s Easy:
You don’t have to have a marketing degree to understand and manage social media. In fact, the term “social media expert” became kind of a joke during the early days of social network existence because no one really knew what they were doing. Some people were better than others in making friends and building a following online, but you could not really call them “experts.”
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The important takeaway here is that social media marketing does not necessarily require a university degree in sales and marketing, but it can be acquired knowledge by applying the simple “trial and error” method.
The upside of investing into social media marketing, thus, is that you can immediately get a good understanding of why, where, and how the money should be spent – unlike a lot of traditional marketing, where complicated reports can be rather challenging to interpret and require a business degree.
3- It’s Effective:
Probably one of the most important reasons to consider investing into a social media campaign is that it’s simply effective. The world has evolved and people are now online and on their mobile devices; this won’t change anytime soon.
As the increasingly wide variety of digital screens only adds to the fragmentation of our media landscape, social networks are becoming the only places where you know for sure that people can be reached.
While SEO and PPC marketing is also helpful, it mostly relies on the fact that people will “find” you through search engines. With promoted posts and other methods, however, you can make sure that you will effectively reach your audience on social platforms.
4- It Provides Important Data:
Data is crucial. Without it, you would not be able to tell what works and what doesn’t. With it, you can make smart decisions on how to spend your marketing budget efficiently – in other words, stop campaigns that don’t seem to be working, and invest more money into those that show high response rates.
Since social networks were born out of the Internet, data measurement is built into their DNA; which is why Facebook Insights and Twitter’s Ads panel, for example, are such powerful tools for you to analyze your audience’s behavior.
5- It Gets You Closer to Your Customers:
Nothing, not even the best advertisement in the world, can replace the value of a human interaction between business and customers. It simply is the best way to build a relationship with potential customers and gain their trust in the long run.
Social media is the perfect place to start this relationship and communication with your existing and future customers. The best part? Not only can you reach people in your local community, but really anyone in the world who has a social media account. (This becomes especially attractive if you own and operate an ecommerce store, since anyone in the world could be a customer.)
6- Your Target Audience Is In One Place
Speaking of people and relationships; what social networks do better than anything else is bring like-minded individuals together in one, accessible place. That’s why LinkedIn, for example, is the perfect place for B2B businesses to advertise and do customer outreach in, because it is a social network that specifically attracts business professionals and entrepreneurs.
So are you ready to invest into social media marketing now?
About the Author:
Nick Rojas is a business consultant and journalist from Chicago. His writings discuss social media, marketing, and branding for startups, small businesses and medium enterprises.