4 Ways to Get a Bigger Social Marketing Budget

4 Ways to Get a Bigger Social Marketing Budget Kevin Shively Blogger Extraordinaire Simply Measured

The 2015 State of Social Marketing Report

Last week at =LIFT(Social, 2015), I gave a talk called The State of Social Marketing.

In addition to a lot of self-deprecating jokes about my unfortunate use of Myspace in the early 2000’s, the talk dove into the increased focus on social media as a marketing function, punctuated by some quick stats about the growth of social marketing.

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These stats include:

  • Social media ad spend is more than $23 billion in 2015
  • There are an estimated 76,000 social media professionals worldwide
  • 54,000 jobs on Indeed.com include “social media” in the description
  • Social media’s share of the digital marketing budget is expected to grow by 126% over the next five years

Why is the industry growing? Over 2 billion people use social media worldwide, and in the US, we spend almost two hours per day social networking.

The 2015 State of Social Marketing Report

As marketers, the opportunity to gain traction on social is growing at a breakneck pace, but first, we need to convince our CMOs why they should invest more than they already have. Whether that investment helps us secure software or more staff, this will take work.

In this post, I want to walk through a few quick tips for getting the budget you need to make the biggest impact you can.

1. Bring More to the Table

As a social marketer, you have the ability to make a massive impact on your greater marketing team. You know what your customers are doing at this moment, and are sitting on a gold mine.

To do this, you have to think like a marketer, so start with your personas.

What does your email marketing specialist need? 

Have a conversation. Find out what their pain points are. Can you A/B test subject line effectiveness on Twitter, or take a quick poll of your audience to see what topics they’d be interested in?

What does your paid media specialist need?

Advertising can be a scary thing. Media buyers spend a lot of money promoting content and posting ads across social and the web. As a social media manager, you have the ability to test content that your media team plans on promoting, saving money and time on content that might not be the most valuable.

What does your content team need?

Content teams are focused on producing assets that your audience will find interesting, and will ultimately serve your brand. You know what your audience is interested in, and have the ability to research trends, new personas, and competitive tactics to supply them with a constant stream of options.

By adding value to other marketing programs, you become an indispensable part of the team. This HAS to be step number one if you’re looking for more budget.

2. Create a Common Language

Your CMO doesn’t care about a Repin or an Instagram comment. He or she wants to know how social is impacting the business beyond that. You need to report to your CMO in a more meaningful way, and you can do that by leveling up your social KPIs to marketing objectives.

In his talk “Defining Social Success”, our Senior Director of Marketing Uri Bar-Joseph  shared the following map that will help you do just that:

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3. Create an Action Plan Based in Data

In order to get buy-in for a bigger budget, you need to explain what you’ll do with it. This is a relatively easy formula:

  1. Outline what you aren’t doing now because you don’t have the resources.
  2. Set a goal. What do you want to do with your program?
  3. Create a plan. This should include needs, and a commitment. What will you be able to accomplish if you get the support you need?
  4. Back it up with data. What aren’t you able to do, and what will you be able to do with more budget? This means cold, hard numbers.

4. Do What You Can

If your proposal has something that you can do with limited budget and use as proof, do it. Find one component that allows you to move the needle, and make it happen. This will only bolster your argument when you ask your boss for more resources.

Example: If you need budget for an analytics tool, sign up for a free trial or use free reports.

  1. Reporting: Create an easy-to-consume executive report so you can show your CMO what they can expect each week.
  2. Optimization: Use those analytics to make decisions, and share the impact it has with your boss.

Learn More

Social marketing is a growing industry, and in order to make an impact, you’ll need increasingly better tools and resources to do the job. Check out our guide below on how to define impact, and communicate performance across the social marketing organization.



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Kevin Shively

As the head of content marketing at Simply Measured, cohost of the #SimplySocial podcast, and generally delightful person, my job is to tell stories to the internet...You're welcome internet.