One of the biggest issues I hear from business owners about being involved with social media and marketing as a whole is, “I don’t have time.” My answer is to take time to plan — which is three quarters of the work.
It’s all about planning.
This year, in an effort to help our clients focus on planning, we created a Marketing Calendar. It includes marketing ideas for a variety of focus areas: marketing with your clients or employees; marketing through social media, your website, through print and outdoor signage; and finally through networking.
Each month has suggestions for special events, holidays, and fun days during the month. We also have a planning page that emphasizes the need to focus on what must be done during that month as well as the next month.
Another favorite section of the calendar is the daily section to write down actual posts, ideas, or blogs. By planning ahead, you can be ready for columns such as this, which means that I will be ready much sooner with a column than I normally am.
It’s all about budgeting.
A part of planning should include budgeting for marketing as well. This is another area where, when asked whether you have a budget for marketing, most small business owners will say, “I don’t really have a budget.” When asked what a marketing budget should be, on the conservative side it should be anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of your budget. That may sound high for some but when you think about your expenses for networking and dinners with clients, you will probably be closer to 20 percent than you realize.
Looking at trends, it will be more necessary than ever to budget for social media advertising. As social media platforms tighten their algorithms to make necessary to reach your warm market as well as outreach to potential clients, it will be very crucial to include Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter advertising as part of your budget. A report from Forrester Research1 included information on the percentages of how you should slice your marketing budget into each sector of marketing. It wasn’t a surprise to me that 29 percent of your marketing budget should be allocated for online marketing. The other major area of spending was print advertising at 23 percent. I think you will find the article not only interesting but also helpful in planning how to budget and allocate your investments in marketing.
How to move forward with planning?
Now that you are motivated to plan your social media marketing campaign, here’s what you can do to work on your own marketing calendar. A Google Calendar can be used to easily create a marketing calendar. By creating an excel spreadsheet with the following fields: Date, Subject, and Description. Complete the information for your posts, blogs, and events that are coming up. Create a Marketing Calendar in Google and import the excel spreadsheet as a CSV file to the calendar. It’s that simple.
Alyse Mitten and the staff of Interlace Communications help small to mid-size businesses plan and implement their marketing strategies through their Pick Your Own Marketing Plan program. Give them a call to get starting with your marketing program for your business. Interlace Communications, Inc., 484.709.6564, gomaava.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.