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Social Media Marketing On A Budget: How To Do It Successfully

Social media marketing is something most small and medium-sized businesses understand but don’t pull off too well. If you want to master social media marketing, and not break the bank then these are the tips and tricks you need to follow.

#1 Repurpose Your Content

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While you want to share a variety of social media updates, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time. In addition to sharing links to your blog posts, you can pull thoughts or ideas from them to create compelling images in Canva.com or a video with Adobe Spark. You can also share the same content on multiple platforms – just make sure you change the way you introduce it so it fits the social media network’s culture and voice.

Contributors: Emily Sidley from Three Girls Media, Inc. 

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#2 Remarketing campaign

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For the most e-commerce companies and businesses, we found out that the most effective approach is to build a remarketing social media campaign and to use the “lookalike audiences” targeting option. This can be done especially on Facebook Ads. With this feature, we generate a Facebook code snippet (the Facebook Remarketing Pixel) and put it on our client's site. This code will track and collect information for website visitors and we will create a lookalike audience list - people with similar interest who never visited that site before. For example, Facebook can target people with similar age group, interests, and other demographic factors, and so these people have higher likelihoods to buy your brand/product/service. With this remarketing campaign, we can target qualified prospects with a relatively cost-efficient and, essentially maximizing our ROI.

Contributors: Mike Khorev from Nine Peaks Media

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#3 Setting up an IFTTT recipe

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We all want to be consistent on Facebook but in reality, despite rumors that Facebook decreases reach with third-party schedulers, we generally resort to a scheduler service of some sort. But these can be expensive. So for people who want a FREE way of set it and forget it - bloggers are a good example of people who want to share their blog posts on a regular basis, be it every six weeks or so - I recommend setting up an IFTTT recipe.

Connect your google calendar and Facebook page to IFTTT. Choose Google calendar with a new event from search as the trigger. Choose a phrase such as FB BLOG POST as the search term. Then complete the recipe by choosing to publish to Facebook. Go to your calendar- I recommend creating a new one for your FB posts- add an event of zero minutes on the date you wish to publish. In the title make sure you have included your trigger search term.

You can also add an identifiable note as well so you know what is going out as long as the search term is in there. Use the location to add the URL of your image (for example the Wordpress media URL) The description is where you put your post text and link to the blog post. You can then set the event to repeat on whichever timescale you choose. It can also be dragged/rescheduled if need super easily. This can also be used for Twitter!

Contributors: Belinda Alban from Your Virtual Assistant Service

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#4 Know your audience

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When setting up a successful and profitable social media marketing campaign on a budget, the most important thing you can do is know your audience. If you have a limited amount of budget to work with, target the right audience that is going to engage and want to hear what you're saying, and the post will do all the work for you. 

Contributors: Lauren Petermeyer from Morethanglam

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  1. Love it, targeted and specific messaging is both efficient and personal. More effort made creating and organizing results in greater success.

#5 Facebook & Twitter can be your best customer service tools!

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Marketing can be the largest part of your budget, but thanks to social media, you can do a lot for your business at little or no cost. If you have time to invest or an employee that you can assign this task to, Twitter can be your biggest customer service resource. Many people head straight to Twitter when they want to compliment or complain about a service. Having an eye here gives you the advantage of a quick response which may lead to making that customer happy faster, turning complaints into compliments on your customer service department!

If you have less time to invest or limited staff, Facebook should be your best friend. As long as you manage your time wisely, you can strategically remind people of your business. The key, though, is to be social. Use big events in your “friends’” lives to send something via real-world mail. Take a few minutes each day to interact with people, about what they’re doing, and in turn, stay on the top of their mind. Remember to make social media about them, not you. 

Contributors: Cat Smith from Get Social with Cat

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#6 Combine free (or inexpensive) tools for the biggest impact

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For example, if you're looking to share relevant content from other sources, you can do so easily with 3 tools. Those tools are Feedly, Buffer, and IFTTT. Simply set up your sources in Feedly and set up an IFTT applet to automatically send to buffer any feedly item with a specific tag you designate. The once a week or so, go into feedly and look through the content, tag the items you want to share and your buffer is full.

Contributors: Catrina Carne from Messy Bits

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#7 Use Influencers

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Influencers are people who have a large following and can promote your business in a subtle way. Don’t think of this as an advertisement, because people will catch on to that and it will turn them off from your product. Find influencers who have a genuine interest in what you do and give them the opportunity to help it grow.

Contributors: Ryne Higgins from Peacock Alley

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#8 Use relevant hashtags

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This will help you become more discoverable to your audience. Of course, ad spending is more effective, but on a budget, you can be seen by your target audience through this method.

Make sure those hashtags are relevant. Yes, you may feel the urge to make branded, campaign-specific hashtags. That's ok. Those are totally acceptable and great for branding, but if you want to regularly be sought out, relevant hashtags are the way to go. 

Contributors: Secret Bridgewater from The Social Secret

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#9 Incentivize Engagement

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It’s all about engagement when it comes to getting the most out of your social media marketing, but if you’re immediately going for that sale— you’re never going to make those connections. Instead, try incentivizing engagement by hosting a contest or giveaway on your page that requires likes, follows and shares for entry. Buying a prize for your potential winner, or offering them a deal on one of your products or services, is a much cheaper way to get your brand in front of more eyes than loading major funds into your ad budget to increase your impression share.

Contributors: Paul Potratz from Potratz Partners Advertising

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#10 Use Chatbots

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Chatbots are the perfect example of how AI can really help sales, customer service, and the reputation of any business online. AI will give the best advice to the customer regarding the budget and what to buy. AI can really impact the way the customer experience goes. A lot of information is hidden from the standpoint of the first impression. AI can provide the company with great insight from the start like showing the business how the client found the business online.

Desktop, smartphone, or tablet, what campaign was used to get the person to show up. If the customer used a promotional code and if he left a survey. After the sale is when AI really puts in most of its worth finding the value of the experience. What kind of payment was taken? Technical Support helps the customer if he has any issues with the product or service. How the product was used and when it is used. Account Management is multiple users are using the same product.

Tutorials and logistics will keep the customer safely planted to the service or company. This can be the deciding factor of future prophecy. AI will soon be able to see if a customer will be a serious customer or just a bounce off. The biggest investment in AI is the risk of a malfunction and the cost to repair the issue. Once the bots get scrubbed or get infected by a bug one can really lose a lot of money, information, and reputation.

Contributors: Reuben Kats from Falcon Marketing, LLC 

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#11 Facebook groups

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Join Facebook groups relevant to your business, and become an active participant. You can share your website's blog posts on these Facebook groups once in a while as long as they're of a high quality, and as long as you don't spam these groups. This will bring substantial traffic to your website. Your goal is to offer added value to these groups with your posts and be a part of the community. You shouldn't hesitate to share content from other websites, comment on what people say etc. As long as you're genuine, people won't mind that you share content from your commercial website once in a while.

Contributors: Gregory Golinski from YourParkingSpace

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#12 Quality list

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A quality list will help reduce cost as Facebook removes partner category data Since Facebook is removing important partner category data from its ad platform it will be harder and more expensive to find your ideal customer. They said this would happen in October but it is already happening. This is where a quality list that you can upload into Facebook will help you reach your ideal customer instead of throwing away money on clicks from people who will never be customers.

For example, you used to be able to easily target homeowners in Facebook but now they are removing that category and making it harder to reach those people who just own homes and are not renters. However, you can purchase a list of homeowners in your area from a company like ListGiant, then upload that audience into Facebook and target them like you used to be able to.

Contributors: Siham Bourquia from ListGiant 

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#13 Focus on your best channel

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My strategy for social media marketing on a budget is to just focus on your best channel -- which for us is Facebook. And then, to just run remarketing ads, to only your past website visitors, on a CPC basis. The reasoning behind this is because social visitors tend to be higher up in the sales funnel, so you don't want to waste time and money chasing people who aren't even in investigation or decision mode.

By limiting your time and spending to those who have already visited your product pages, you reintroduce product only to people who are closer to the buying phase. The clicks tend to be much cheaper and the free impressions you get help to create what's known in advertising as effective frequency -- the number of ad impressions to which a prospective customer has to be exposed in order to reach the greatest likelihood of buying from you (theorists estimate this anywhere from 3 - 20 times).

Contributors: Eric Bryant from Gnosis Media Group

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#14 Focus on what outcomes and results you want

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It's easy to get caught up in jumping on whatever social network is in fashion at the moment, but the best way to get results on a budget is to focus first on the outcome you want to achieve.

If you want to drive purchases of a product, you'll want to prioritize a different platform and approach to building a brand and trying to raise awareness by going viral. Take note of best practice, and put the majority of time into it. If you want to try something different to stand out, reserve 20% of your effort and resources to play around. Budget is much less of a barrier than having the time, the people and the bravery to do something unusual and capture attention.

Contributors: Dan Thornton from TheWayoftheWeb

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#15 Start Small & Then Scale

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Often times, small business owners or people running low budget social media marketing campaigns can bite off more than they can chew right out of the gate. It sounds exciting to run Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and AdWords advertisements all at once, but you need to start small and learn what works. Pick a single platform where you will allocate your budget and where you can connect with relevant customers, and start there.

Spend your budget wisely, collect valuable data that is meaningful, and let the algorithm behind your advertising platform of choice learn how to optimize to drive conversions and engagement. When you find the platform that works for you, gradually increase your budget and consider scaling to other platforms once you're firmly in the black.

Contributors: Tom B. from This Online World 

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#16 Create & Syndicate

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Get the most from video via social media channels is to recycle! One 2 minute HD video can be turned into articles and blog posts (via transcribed text), still images (for Pinterest, Instagram and other platforms), audio (for podcasting) and of course multiple form factors in video (ideally a 30 second version on Instagram, 1 minute native video on Facebook and 2 minutes on YouTube). Syndication is a powerful tool indeed. One of the best examples I can give you is our own investment in video.

We posted the video to YouTube, then embedded and syndicated the video across our digital channels, including our website, email newsletter and social media profiles. We created the landing page for SEO AND for a limited paid media campaign to further maximize reach. The benefit of embedding YouTube videos is that you get the value of the visibility on YouTube and Google video search but also have the creative control of the content residing on your own website. The video itself stands on its own as compelling content, but the added benefit is the ability to rank for searches around Kathy Ireland and her show Worldwide Business.

Contributors: Kent Lewis from Anvil

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#17 Influencer Marketing

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Brands that spend tons of money on influencer marketing over social media make the mistake of thinking they need to spend their whole budget across two or three influencers. Often times it is better to target 15-20 influencers with a smaller following that engages well with their content. Additionally, smaller influencers are more flexible in meeting all of your needs and requirements. 

Contributors: Blake Aylott from Project Build Construction Group Inc.

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#18 More video & rich content

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In a mobile-first world, you have less time to grab people, attention spans are shorter than ever so video will be used, even more, show don¹t tell for maximum impact, rich content drives engagement.

Contributors: Paige Arnof-Fenn from Mavens & Moguls

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#19 Search Engine Optimization

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of all your social media accounts. Use location and keywords all throughout your website, blog, Yelp, Google Business, and all social media platforms. Be consistent across all channels. Wherever your company is based out of, or if it works in numerous locations, make sure you use the location on your website. It’s great to know what your company does, but the customer searching needs to know where your company is located. We advise all of our clients to utilize location in their SEO because it is a simple yet effective way to rank higher on Google searches.

Contributors: David Mitroff from Piedmont Avenue Consulting, Inc.

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#20 Enlist your followers to do promotion for you

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Create insightful or useful content that your fans will be inspired to share with others. Ask a question that will result in new comments, keeping your post at the top of the feeds. Suggest followers tag their friends who will be interested in a product or event. Run contests that require fans to share or comment on a post. Challenge fans to replicate a fun image or video. Countdown to special events or content reveals in order to drive up anticipation and keep fans coming back to your pages.

Contributors: Jana Fisher from Invasion Group

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#21 User generated content

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User-generated content is awesome. Especially if you're selling a visual product, then Instagram is your friend for life, but even a simple review from a client could bring you, new customers. Encourage people to spread the word about your brand with UGC through specific hashtags and tagged pictures/posts. You can design a specific UGC campaign around the core values of your brand which will emotionally touch people and encourage them to take part in it.

Contributors: Anna Bredava from Awario 

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#22 Free Game from the #Playbook

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Social Media marketing is imperative for the business arena of this digital era. The objective is to score a following on social media that gets you paid. Marketing in itself is an experiment, a game plan that needs to be tweaked to win. There many ways to tackle the social media game, and content is the key. The content dictates the flow; the content is you shooting your shot. To get your rhythm in social media one must find their ARC. 

  • Attract: Create content that attracts your community. 
  • Relate: Be sure that the content is relatable to the community that you attract. 
  • Contribute: Social Media is not just about creating content, you must engage the community to show that you’re there with them.

Contributors: Roy Browning from Great Deal$

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#23 Never spend less than $5 a day on your campaign

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Spending a minimum of $5 a day on your future social media campaign is a great rule to stick by. Whether you are aiming for conversions, engagement, or brand awareness, $5 will be the minimum to let you be in the running against other advertisements fighting to get in front of others faces. Keeping a low spend at the beginning is also a good tactic to not overspend on advertisements you are unsure about. Set your campaign live and reassess after a week or two.

Analyze the performance of your ads and ask questions like: Are they doing well? Are people engaging? Clicking? Are they meeting the goals? If they are not at the performance level you were hoping for, think about what should change. Should it be the ads themselves or the spend you put behind them?

Decide how much more you are willing to spend and increase where needed. Go through the cycle of waiting a week or so and reassessing performance, spend, and make sure always to be optimizing. No matter what, spending $5 is the best way to see if your advertisements are being recognized and achieving the goals and objectives you set out. After your campaign has been in the running for a while then you can see if it's valuable to put more spend behind your ads.

Contributors: Morgan Sydlowski from GetFused

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Written by Zak Parker

Article Writer, Pianist, Internet Marketing Enthusiast; I delve into a variety of creative mediums and take advantage of what they have to offer. With experience in SEO, Dropshipping, Affiliate Marketing and Advertising, I'm a plethora of general marketing knowledge and enjoy helping those new to the game get their foot through the door. I'm always excited to hear of the latest method, or if the chance presents itself, create my own.

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