Money can’t buy happiness, unless you find your happiness in marketing strategy unrestricted by budget. If that’s the case, you’re in quite the pickle. Luckily, a low budget doesn’t have to mean your business has to sit on the social media marketing sidelines. It only requires an even greater emphasis on organization and good ol’ fashioned ingenuity.
Here at CDG, we’ve worked with a variety of clients bound by all types of budgets, large and small. After narrowing in on goals and brand persona, it’s our job to allocate funds intelligently and ensure dollars are spent in the most effective way possible. Be savvy with your spend on social and your competitors won’t leave your business in the dust.
Find Your Focus
You’ve gotta get smart about spend when a small budget keeps that wallet closed tight. And getting smart means focusing in on the platforms most worth your while. Pinterest is there, people are pinning, but that doesn’t mean your restaurant needs to start up its own page ASAP. Get involved at first on the networks that make immediate sense based on audience and industry. After all, when pleading your case for increased budget, having a great start on one platform to back you up is a whole heck of a lot better than having an underwhelming start on three platforms.
Focus comes into play with regards to your business’ overall goals as well. Do you want to build a community? Increase brand awareness? Drive people to your website for sales? Your primary desired outcome needs to be the driving force behind the time and money invested in social, just as it would need to be for any other method of marketing.
Stock Your Toolbox
The minute social media began to prove itself beneficial for marketers, people began creating tools to automate and make process “easy”. With the amount of change that takes place in both the world of social networking and the world of shortened attention spans, launching your business into marketing through these channels is anything but easy. BUT, there are useful tools amidst all the clutter that can free up time (aka money) spent and allow for more emphasis on actual strategy. Here are a handful that have caught our eye, both past and present:
  • Hootsuite – One of the biggest players in social media management platforms for a reason, the interface is simple to set up, use, and change as needed. Use it to monitor pages and schedule posts – it integrates nicely alongside a variety of social networks, although we find it tends to work the best with Twitter. They offer a FREE plan, as well as other robust options at reasonable pricing.
  • Agorapulse – Agorapulse is another social media management tool that allows for monitoring, scheduling and analysis, with options for running promotions and competitor analysis as well. Plans start at $29/month ($19/month when billed annually) for the management of one brand across multiple channels. They also offer free tools/resources for Facebook here.
  • Onlypult – Most management tools have started offering scheduling for Instagram but the struggle is real. It’s difficult to find one you can truly set and forget. Enter Onlypult. Upload and schedule Instagram posts and track analytics starting at $12/month. Just be sure to select the right timezone when scheduling. Fun fact: 4PM CST is 1AM in Moscow.
  • Archie – Outreach is key to growing a following, especially on a platform like Instagram. If you don’t have the manpower to put towards it, test out some automation. Archie seeks out images on Instagram based on desired keywords/hashtags and interacts with them via “likes”. Plans start at $9/month but consider going with $19/month for the Explicit Content Filter functionality. Leave a robot to do all the work without boundaries and you might just get followers you’d rather not have.
  • Autopin – From the minds of Archie, Autopin functions along the same lines but on Pinterest. Cost comes in at $9/month.
  • Canva – FREE is always music to the ears. Create graphics for all kinds of posts across multiple networks. They provide a number of pre-made layouts to use as is or alter, as well as premium options starting at .99 a piece. Upload your own images for added customization, or start from scratch with intuitive functionality that’ll take your graphics to the next level.
Be Realistic
If you’re going at all of this solo, cut yourself some slack and realize results on social aren’t always overnight. Even with a team at your disposal, seeing immediate growth, sales, engagement, etc. takes time. And when your budget is minuscule, the odds are stacked against you right off the bat.
Learn how to make the most of what you have to work with, get in with the right tools, and maintain that focus so that the minute a little extra change is thrown your way, your business can appreciate it enough to make things happen. Or, even better, hire the right PEOPLE to make things happen. Hint…hint.
Copyright © 2013 Caldwell Design Group