How to Calculate the True Cost of Social Media Marketing for Your Business

When it comes to setting a social media budget, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. However, these tips will help you understand the true cost of social media marketing and how much to spend on your business.

Social media plays two key roles in most small businesses who leverage it correctly: an advertising channel to get the word out about your business and your promotions, secondly it’s a great way to provide enhanced customer service. Most business owners are now aware that social media is becoming more of a pay-to-play form of advertising than it was a few shorts years ago. But how much do you need to spend in order to succeed?

That’s a common question, and I will try to help you set your business’ social media budget.

Let’s face it, social media marketing can be free or cost millions of dollars and the cost of social media marketing varies widely depending on needs, budget, objectives and business goals. For most small businesses it’s not likely that a small business would have to spend a lot, but you should closely monitor your marketing budget to make sure you’re getting the most bang for a few bucks. I recommend you set your business goals and budget before starting to do social media marketing and review your return on ad spend regularly. As in any form of online marketing, it is most important to have the necessary conversion tracking in place to measure your success.

Social media marketing has two potential costs: hard costs (dollars spent) and soft costs (time spent by staff). I recommend starting off with as little as $5 a day promoting posts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn but don’t forget all the time you spend interacting with followers and responding to customer comments—those hours can add up.

social media will cost you time and money

When calculating costs, it’s important to first determine who will be responsible for publishing content, and who will be responsible for handling the ongoing communication with your audience. Track not only the advertising dollars spent promoting your content but also the labour cost of associated doing social media yourself.

If your business is new or cash flow is tight then I recommend budgeting wisely and try to do as much as possible yourself. Your time will soon become more valuable and you will be able to consider outsourcing either all of your social media marketing or at least the time-consuming content curation to an expert like Java Logix.

Lastly, do not spend a lot until you know what’s working. Get on a regular schedule posting content to your social media profiles you will see what your audiences engage with and do more of that. Start small, make some tweaks, and go from there, if a promoted post performs well, invest more money in it. If another post doesn’t do well, try promoting something else. Even big brands with lots of expertise, switch things up and use trial and error to find the best results, whether with an ad or the audience targeting.


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