If you follow my blog you know I am all about winning on social media regardless of how big or small your budget is.
I feel this way because I work with brands who have millions in their marketing budgets and brands who have a couple bucks to spare. And guess what? They both get awesome results.
Of course, when you have a gigantic marketing budget there is much more that you can do, but if you are a small brand you probably don’t need to spend huge amounts of cash to get results.
If you are a small brand like me then you probably struggle with the same things I do.
”Who are you? How are you different? What are you all about?” In this crowded marketplace we have to learn how to stand out and most of us don’t have large budgets to do so. We have to fight to make every penny count.
So for the purpose of this article I am going to assume that your social media marketing budget is $100 per month.
How Can You Get The Most Bang For Your Buck?
Although later on the article I will give you specific tips for every major social network, I do want to give you some general tips that will help give your brand and edge.
1. Create Original Content
Sharing other people’s stuff is awesome, but when you start going the extra mile to add value via a blog, podcast, video show (etc.) – that’s where the magic happens.
Not only are you able to draw people back to your website from social media, you’ll also be positioning your brand as a leader in your industry and giving your brand a voice your fans and followers will resonate with.
2. Post Consistently
I know, you’ve heard this one over and over again. But it’s crazy how being consistent can seriously impact your efforts. No matter if you feel like you are talking into the void and no one is listening, stick with it.
3. Spark Conversations
Respond to fans and follower and engage in conversations whenever possible. That means spending a few minutes every day commenting on other pins on Pinterest, reaching out to influencers on Twitter or responding to every comment/message that comes through via Facebook.
4. Go The Extra Mile To Help Out
Brands who go out of their way to answer questions, connect users with resources or just provide ”how to” tips and tricks win. Do a quick Twitter search for questions related to your niche or industry and use it as a tool to add value to people’s lives.
5. Experiment & Stop Whining
Yes, we all want to learn the right strategies to implement at the right times for the right business. But don’t be lazy. No one understands your businesses as intimately as you do. So do the work and experiment with different posting strategies, different content types and different messaging until you get it right.
Ask any brand with a huge following and chances are they will tell you that a lot of work and effort went into building their community online.
6. Do Your Research
If you want to get to know your audience you have to put in the work. Channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and so on provide a myriad of information when you do keyword searches related to your niche or industry.
But it’s not enough to just do a keywords search (duh!). You gotta click over to user’s profiles and get an idea of who they are, how old they seem to be, what types of content do they consume and whether they are your ideal client or not.
7. Use Paid Advertising
You have $100 to spend on your social media marketing. Use it on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest ads. They all are amazing tools that provide insanely targeted ad spots that you can utilize to your advantage.
Promote your blogs, your lead magnets and when it is appropriate share discounts, offers and promotions (do your research before you disrupt the space with a lame salesy ad that won’t get you real results).
You can get a ton of value from spending $100 each month on social advertising, but you need to educate yourself first and do it right. There’s loads of free information on the web, so there’s no excuse to not run a great paid campaign or promotion on social.
Of course, all of these activities take time and are expensive as you want them to be. Small businesses truly have an advantage when it comes to social because media is more affordable than ever before.
But enough about that. Let’s dig into the strategies.
A Few Tips To Stretch Your Budget No Matter What Network You Are On
There’s tons of strategies out there and while I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed, you can always find ways to win at social media on a tight budget. That’s the beauty of it all.
So below you’ll find specific suggestions for most of the major players in social networking.
You don’t need to implement all of them right away. Pick one of two and experiment!
- Video is hot. According to Tech Crunch the social network giant is generating over 3 billion video views per day. Facebook is giving video a huge push inside the news feed. At least that’s what I am seeing in the data across all of the 24 Facebook pages I oversee.
- Use Facebook’s Insights to do market research and learn about your ideal client.
- Play with your posting frequency. I’ve started to post 3-4 times per week on my personal page and a few of my other clients and noticed great increase in my engagement and reach.
- Pay to promote key pieces of content. Whether it be your latest blog post, a lead magnet or a recent discount, spending $5-20 per week to promote your content is well worth the exposure.
- But you have to get strategic and really learn how to use the Facebook Ads Manager.
- Use the advanced search functionality to enter keywords that will help you find your ideal client or customer. Then, engage with these users, learn more about them, and model the content they enjoy consuming.
- Take 4 minutes a day to engage with your followers and other industry leaders. That means Retweeting and replying to their tweets. Engaging in real, genuine conversations won’t take long and can really increase your exposure.
- Optimize your tweets with awesome images. Tweets that contain graphics get 313% more engagement. You can easily create these with the simple templates Canva provides.
- Test out different types of content. Experiment with short videos, graphics and images to see what your followers engage with.
- Take 5 minutes per day to comment on other people’s content.
- Increase your exposure by researching popular hashtags and use them in your posts strategically. Meaning only add hashtags that apply to the context of your post and make sure the ones you are using are hashtags your audience follows.
- Experiment with regramming other people’s content and always make sure to credit their posts to strengthen your brand’s affinity. I’ve been recently experimenting with Latergram’s new regram feature and it is super convenient to be able to schedule regrams as well as regular posts.
- Brand your Instagram account and make sure to develop a brand identity by putting your own creative spin on your high quality images.
- Use a business page, not a profile. Pinterest verifies your website when you use business pages and you get access to analytics and advertising features you wouldn’t have with a Pinterest profile. Plus, you can easily convert your Pinterest profile into a page. Use this tutorial.
- Make sure to optimize your pins with high quality images and classy text overlays. You can find loads of templates to play with inside of my favorite design tool, Canva.
- Comment on other people’s pins. This is something that is not super common and a quick way you can add value and stand out. Of course, make sure that the pins you are commenting on are relevant and the users you are interacting with are either influencers or prospects.
- Use video. This is probably the most under-utilized feature inside of Pinterest. My mos popular Pinterest board happens to be my #KimTV board. Every time there’s a new episode, I pin it to that board and it always drives traffic back to my blog.
- If you are freelancer, coach, consultant, writer or personal brand it’s always a good idea to start your own Pinfolio. Basically it’s just a board with samples of your work.
- Start a testimonial board. I love how HostGator organizes all of their client testimonials into one easy to access Pinterest board. You can then embedd that board on your site, so get creative with it.
- Experiment with Pinterest advertising. I’m a huge addvocate because I’ve been able to see some massive traffic to my site when I spend as little as $5 to promote my content. But remember, Pinterest is a high-class kind of place. Don’t use lame graphics, low quality content or salesly materials to lure people to your site. Keep it profeshhh (like Marie Forleo says) and you’ll see the best results.
- Finally, sign up for Rich Pins. Whether you are a retailer and you want to notify pinners when an item goes on sale, or you are a blogger who wants to make it easy for pinners to save your articles for later, Rich Pins provide 6 different features that help enrich the overall experience when your followers interact with your content.
- Make sure your channel includes a link back to your website.
- Experiment with the new YouTube cards to send viewers back to your blog or website. This is really neat because now you can use these cards to lure viewers on mobile to click back to your site.
- Embed your videos into your blog and use them to add value.
- Ask viewers to like, comment and share your video for additional exposure and ranking juice.
- Optimize your video descriptions with keywords and information related to your topic. This is also the perfect place to link back to your blog or provide additional resources for your viewers.
- Experiment with video ads! This is something I haven’t yet tried for myself but some of my clients have been using it very successfully.
Did I Miss Something?
What are other ways to win at social media on a tight budget?
I’d love to add your thoughts and insights to the list.
Catch ya next time!