Search engines have integrated social media optimization or SMO into general SEO, making your activity on Facebook and Twitter an essential element to your search rankings.
Marketers who are not up to date with Google’s search algorithm may easily overlook SMO, oblivious of the impact it has on their online visibility. For those who have a nodding acquaintance with the concept, the problem sets in when it’s time to lay the optimization blueprint and set the budget.
Social media optimization is one of the simplest ways to optimize your website and generate traffic to your website. It doesn’t require a lot of expertise and the budget is low compared to most conventional digital marketing strategies.
If you are planning to optimize your website, we will help you get some insight into what this means for both your business and pocket.
So how do you use and set up a budget for social media optimization?
Calculating SMO’s ROI
You don’t want to invest in an idea that will eat up 10 percent of your monthly profit and bring nothing in return. Estimating the ROI of the investment will help you create a sensible budget that is in line with your business’s objectives.
How to project your SMO success
Measuring the success of your SMO strategy is not as hard as it may sound particularly if you have invested in social media before. You can use sales volume or the number of clicks received from the optimized social media pages to estimate the fraction of your revenue to attribute to SMO.
If this is the first time you are trying SMO, you may find the services of an experienced expert useful. A good SMO expert will listen to your objectives and expectations, and review the performance of your business to come up with a reasonable budget for your business. They will explain to you the charges for paid promotions and how long you have to wait to see results.
How much is too much for SMO?
Since you cannot spend what you don’t have or set up a budget that compromises your business goals, it’s important to know exactly how much you are willing to part with.
If you are preparing a full SEO strategy, you will have to decide the amount to set aside for social media optimization. This should be proportional to its estimated contribution to your business success.
Most companies spend at most 15 percent of their revenue on marketing. Around 40 percent of the marketing budget is set aside for digital marketing with social media getting 15-25 percent of the digital marketing share.
Consider your target audience
Your target audience may determine how much your SMO campaign is going to set you back. Social platforms do not charge the same for paid promotions, and as you may already know, type of audience is essential in determining the best network to invest in.
It is about who you want to reach and how you want to reach them. Once you know the platform with the bulk of your consumer base, you can proceed with your budgeting plans with actual figures on the table.
Impact of creativity on a budget
Getting creative with the setting of your profile and posts is a proven way of increasing your engagement on social media, but will it swell your SMO budget?
Well, yes, unless you are the one creating and implementing the ideas. Find an artist or designer who knows a thing or two about social media optimization to help create your posts and profile.
Let them know what you expect and the objectives you want to achieve with their work. You can check some of their previous assignments to see if they can really deliver to your specifications before committing to a deal.
Albeit costlier, creativity promises a better ROI in the long run, and should certainly be considered as long as it fits in the budget.
Depends on who you hire
When it comes to identifying who to entrust your business’s SMO with, you have the following options to choose from:
- An intern. Hiring an intern or training one of your staff to optimize your social media pages is the cheapest SMO option you have, but you will have to put up with the potential mistakes of a non-specialist. Only consider this if you are operating on a very tight budget.
- A freelancer. Freelancers can cost you up to $900 a month or $45 an hour – a bargain compared to what you would have to pay for full-time employee services.
- On the flipside, freelancers are not loyal to your business and can ditch you anytime for better deals elsewhere. What’s more, you are reliant on one person, whose absence can deal your company a significant blow.
- A full-time employee. Social media managers earn an average of $35,000-$50,000 a year, which is around $3,200 a month. They expect health and retirement benefits as well and can be costly in several other ways, including downing their tools if and when the rest of your staff goes on strike.
- Its upside is that you can expect competent services without having to spend on training and oversight.
- Hire a digital marketing agency. Digital agencies are made up of a team of professionals and not just a single individual. The benefit of this is that business continuity is guaranteed as long as the contract is still in force.
Guest Post by Catherine Park