Yes, social media sites are free to use. The software to use them, the computers to access them we have already, and high speed Internet connections are common.
What do I mean by budget for social media?
When you are “doing” social media for yourself, you are on your own time. You are relaxing and connecting with your family and friends.
When you are “managing” social media for business, your time has a cost. If you are doing it for your own business, many owners feel that the extra time they spend is free since it is their time to use.
Nothing is farther from the truth. As the owner of the business, there are many activities you could be doing. You have to choose the one that will bring you the best results. If you are spending time on social media, you are not doing other things.
When a business assigns one of its staff members to manage social media, this time is wrapped up in what they do. This use of time needs to be accounted for. If you are spending staff time, this is not free either.
While there are many tools that help you manage your social media presence, you are still investing your time into getting results.
The easiest way to track how much you are spending on social media is to hire an outside company to manage it for you. Then you have a solid grasp of how much social media costs you. Go Social Experts offers social media management as one of our services.
The other part of the budget is money you have set aside to use to extend your reach on social media.
Many of the services have the option of extending the reach of your messages for a few dollars. As long as you are promoting posts strategically, this is a fast and inexpensive way to reach many of your clients and prospects.
Yes, you can reach many people using only the free options on social media. However, you will dramatically speed up your success when you set aside a budgeted amount to be used on the social media platform of your choice.
The amount of money you set aside for this doesn’t have to be large. A budget as small as $30 per month will get you results.
“If you can’t afford to spend money to grow your business, you don’t have a business” is a quote I heard at a presentation I attended a few weeks ago.
Keep this in mind as you are planning what you want to do with social media as you are growing your business.