How to Create a Successful Budget Social Media Strategy

Spread the love

Oftentimes when I’m discussing startup strategy with founders, the conversation often goes into how they plan to successfully get out there in the world with no budget and very little time or money. Leveraging social media always emerges as a primary marketing tool with any budget-conscious founder. The tricky thing about planning a social media strategy however, is that it’s hard to know the right way to start. Especially when you have no expert staff on hand, and little or no budget to spend.

There is hope though, to stand out from the rest and turn likes, or Retweets into sales with very little to begin with if you nail these handful of tips right from the get go.

Stay focused on what your company is about, and only invest in social media channels and content that relates directly to your product or service. Likes and re-tweets don’t matter if the activity doesn’t translate into conversions, so don’t worry about your total reach. Instead, stay focused on what methods translate into the most conversions on each network. If your business is making flower bouquets, investing in Pinterest and Instagram make a lot more sense than spending time on Quora.

Come up with a posting schedule that’s realistic for you and will help you easily keep content up to date. Once a social media follower is gone, it’s not very easy to get them back. If you are someone that likes to post to blogs every day, great! But if you do not plan on posting regularly, don’t invest the time, resources or advertising dollars to a blog. Same goes for any social media channel you decide to start, and brand. It’s far better to have no social media presence at all, than a neglected social media presence that leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths.

Aligning your message across channels is crucial to ensuring meaningful outcomes for your social media efforts. If you have an Instagram site, a Facebook site, and a blog – would I see a pattern of consistent messaging on all three sites? For example, say your company sells air filters. On your blog I read an article about the 3 things to check on my air filter to know if it needs to change. Would I then be able to find a video on your Youtube channel demonstrating those steps? Would your Flickr site have pictures of clean vs dirty filters, or your Quora site doing QA about air quality issues?

At the end of the day, every channel you invest in needs to complement each other in such a way as to lead a user to dig deeper as they click through your various channels. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are all different social media platforms with a very different content type and audience but ensuring brand consistency tailored to the platform and the audience based on the social media channel in particular is key with any channel you’re engaging on. Good quality content takes time, and the experts will say doing it right takes real effort. When done successfully though, the outcomes are exponentially better.

When it comes to costs, don’t spend any money to start and only spend money to scale once you’ve found a strategy that works for you. The best way to know if it’s time to hire someone is where you either can’t keep up with content. Another sign is that the user engagement you’ve started to build beings to drops off. It doesn’t take much to get started down the social media path, but it takes a good deal of talent and ability to master it. However, getting good at the basics will get you pretty far on your own. Executing your publishing schedule consistently, focusing on the right networks, and posting material directly tied to your company’s main focus area is all it takes to get off to a great start.

There is a right time to hire a social media expert, but be intentional about learning the rules of the road yourself initially. That way, you get smarter about the digital side of your marketing strategy before hiring someone else to handle it. Eventually you will need to make social media management someone’s full time job, and spend on areas like advertising to scale accordingly. However, getting your hands dirty to start means you’ll be more informed about the right investments to make vs blindly taking someone else’s advice. If you’re spending a lot of time on content, with no real growth at all, it’s not time to give or throw in the towel. Instead, consider hiring an expert for just an hour or two to audit what you’re doing and give you pointers on where you might be off. You could very well be a couple of changes away from good consistent engagement.

There’s a lot to learn and understand when it comes to stepping out into the social media space, but these tips should certainly help get you off to a great start. Don’t worry if you don’t have an instant following on day one. If you make a consistent focused investment, you’ll have a strong consistent following before you know it.