??????????????????????????As more consumers go mobile and more businesses recognize the power of having an online presence, social media advertising budgets soar. In a recent article, Eric Ingrand predicted that 2015 will see an increase in social media advertising budgets. Are you ready to make your mark on the digital world?

Ideally, you’ll want to use the latest technology and hire a social media marketing and strategy team to keep your profiles in line, your content fresh and your customers engaged across every available platform. Like I said, ideally you want all of this, but not everyone runs a multi-bazillion dollar company.

Whether you’re just getting started or looking to grow your social media efforts, these tips can help you narrow in on an effective budgeting strategy:

You Need People

No matter how you slice it, your social advertising strategy needs a human element. You can hire a team, a single leader or consult with a social media management company like EnVeritas Group. Though there are plenty of apps to post for you and read the numbers, you’ll need a smart brain to truly analyze your efforts, interact with your clients, create content and dream about the future.

Put Some Tools in Your Tool Belt

What apps worked in the past, and which ones weren’t worth it? What are others in your industry using? While free social media and ad management tools exist, the last thing you need to spend your year saying is, “I wish I’d bought the full version of the widget so it would analyze these important things.” One or two tools can make grueling work more manageable, ROI stats clearer and save you some stress so you can think about your next move.

Master the Platforms that Matter Most

Rather than devoting equal parts of your budget to every outlet you can find, figure out which social networks are best for you. Are you getting great traffic from Facebook? Are your customers going bananas for Pinterest? You want to purchase ad space in the areas that will be most effective.

Prepare to Spend Money on Time

It’s hard to put a price on the work you’ll do weeks and months before you see a concrete ROI. This is why you want to start with solid, creative human help and trustworthy tools so you don’t feel like you’re wasting cash before the results arrive. And when they do arrive, adjust: set new goals for each month, each quarter and the year as you learn from success and mistakes.

If you’re ready to start setting concrete numbers, I recommend Jenelle McCleary’s digital marketing budget breakdown. She also offers great stats about the success of social lead generation, which can help you win your company to a new social advertising budget.

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Harvin Bedenbaugh – Content Writer

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