Planning a budget is tough, planning for a social media budget is tougher. To try and hit that ROI on the nose, or come close to it, it is important to have some structures in place that will help you hit the budget target closer rather than farther from the bull’s eye. For a small business there can be little room for a social media budget but with a bit of planning and gathering of information in advance, the return on investment maybe easier to see than not.
Have a marketing plan first before you start your SM budget
Determining a budget means that you need to understand what your targets are and if you can do it yourself or if you need to hire someone or a group of people to meet these targets. Your objectives are critical in determining what you need, so build these out first and then attempt your budget.
Objectives for a social media plan need to look at dollars and profits as well as followers, engagement, reputation management and interactions. If you are super savvy you can include brand awareness and guest satisfaction.
Measuring these items takes time to collect the information and deliver the metrics.
But if you don’t have a plan, you don’t have anything to measure and you will not know where to go to measure this information.
Some basic goals and objectives could be the following:
1. Increase profits by 10% from xxxxx to xxxxxxxx
2. Increase fans by 15% from xxx to xxx
3. Increase followers by 15% from xx to xxx
4. Increase email database from xxx people to xxxx
Your objectives should correspond to the networks that you actually use. Measurement needs to be put into place as soon as you determine what it is that you want to achieve.
Measure your results AND review the information
Profits are easy to measure through accounting programs and your taxes. These numbers give you your profits but you still need to know what influenced your profits. Increased profits are what we are all looking for but we need to know how you have increased your profits so that you can duplicate and build on those successes
Measuring your marketing strategies, especially your social media marketing, will help you to see the value of your social media marketing efforts. Social media metrics are a bit more challenging but play an important role in the ROI of you travel business. Our good friend Daniel Craig calls there metrics Vanity Metrics and require outside assistance for tracking.
Hootsuit is a great way to measure engagement, interactions and shares of you social media content. Google analytics will show you more information and if you plug in your social media information, they too will measure your social media interactions, a new feature that will help you determine engagement, interactions and sharing of your information on social media. Google analytics will measure all of your digital media so you can determine if it is your website and blog that are your true marketing cash cows or if social media is responsible for your success. It could very well be both, but if you don’t measure you won’t know.
Other measuring platforms for social media include Facebook insights, Tweetdeck, and Social Oomph. Some of these platforms are a budget line in and of themselves so decide how much information you want and how much you are willing to pay for that information.
Every month make it a habit to record your Facebook fans, your Twitter followers, Google+ people and Linked in connections. This can be recorded easily on an excel spread sheet and can provide you with the incentive and inspiration to continue your efforts or hire someone to continue your efforts.When you combine this information with your editorial calendar for the month, you could very well see which posts increased your results or which strategies failed to gain the fans or followers you were hoping for.
Why track your results on social media
If you want to be able to finance your social media strategy, you need to understand if your business needs it. Tracking results of any marketing initiative is what marketers do. If the campaign does well and profits rise at the same time then you know that your marketing efforts had a financial return. If your social media presence is increasing and you can see your profits rise, it is a no brainer, it is time to invest into human, online and outside help for your social media marketing.
If you dont measure you don’t know. If you don’t know then how will you know which part of your business to invest into to gain more profits?
Read our review of Hootsuit and find out how this platform can help you measure your influence on social media.