Social Media Plan or Budget: Which Comes First?

With 2019 quickly approaching, we’re already taking steps to get our clients’ social media plans for the next year in place. As fresh produce marketers, we’re often building plans around budgets, starting with the budget and outlining what’s possible. However, when it comes to social media, we recommend taking the time to outline your ideal outcomes and a plan to achieve those outcomes first. Why? Because when you have an idea of what success looks like, you can identify exactly how much spend is needed for your brand to reach its goals.

How to Determine Social Media Budget Based on Annual Goals

Start with the Goals

When it comes to planning, the first thing to look at is your brand’s goals on social media. Are there SMART goals in place that can easily be measured month over month? Are goals set on a calendar year or fiscal year basis? Will these goals ultimately contribute to more sales for your brand? Once you have answers to these questions you can start to move forward with a concrete plan to decide which social marketing ads will best suit your needs.

If your brand’s SMART goals focus on growing social communities with new followers, you will want to set aside budget to run ads targeting prospective audiences each month. Before you begin, make sure there is a clear understanding of the types of audiences you want to target and convert into fans. It is critical to space this budget out throughout the year so you can continually target new audiences each month as older ones taper off. On the contrary, if you ran one huge follower ad for your brand’s platforms at the start of the year, just think of all the possible future social audiences you would be missing out on the remainder of the year.

Consider a Monthly Ad Spend

If you are a more mature brand with a stronger social media presence, it may be time to add in additional monthly spend to nurture your social communities and elevate your social content. These tactics can come as boosted posts on Facebook, retargeting ads to audiences who have visited your website or joined your database, promoted tweets on Twitter, sponsored Instagram posts, and even promoted pins on Pinterest. These tactics are best used when you have an up-to-date and active website presence to drive consumers back to. We recommend budgeting between $500 and $1,500 per month for social ads, depending on your audience.

Identify Content Needs

A critical piece of social media marketing and something that needs to be heavily factored into your brand’s social media budget is content. We’ve all heard before that content is king, and truly it is. Without content, there is nothing for your brand to showcase on platforms that are all about being visual and capturing an audience’s attention. Content can range from original content, shared content from others, photography, videos, etc. Determine what content will help you best utilize the ad strategies you’ve outlined already, and from there research and budget appropriately. We do always recommend adding in a little extra budget here to account for necessary content that could be needed if a social platform releases a new way to showcase content (a great example here being Instagram stories).

If you’re feeling stumped on where to start with visual content or want to discuss how DMA can help you with your 2019 social media plan and budget, reach out to us for a free consultation.