Some of the world’s largest companies, from McDonald’s and Apple to Ford and Amazon, spend millions (even billions!) on marketing and advertising each year. Much of that budget is dedicated to digital platforms — especially social media. 

This spending obviously indicates the importance of supporting this area of a business. However, the overwhelming majority of businesses across the country aren’t big enough to put such a large sum of money into their social media efforts. 

Even so, you don’t have to throw gobs of dollars at your marketing plan to make it successful! There are many strategies you can take advantage of to build a low cost social media plan that engages customers AND saves you money.

So, small and medium businesses who might just be diving into the world of digital marketing, fear not! You can still effectively promote and grow your business online at a much lower cost.

Define Your Value Proposition 

The most basic question a customer has is “What’s in it for me?” — a crucial question when deciding if they’re interested in a product or service. In order for your business to stand out from the crowd, it’s important to clearly define your USP (unique selling proposition) — the thing(s) that put your business above the competition as the best customer choice.

A good method to figure out your USP is to list out the features and benefits of your service. Then, identify the aspects that your competitors cannot match. Maybe it’s your variety of products and services, your price point, or the convenience of getting the product (i.e. quick shipping or accessible brick and mortar locations). Following that, come up with some phrases about those unique factors that are clear and concise. 

By doing this, you will be ahead of the game in promoting your business because (surprise!) you’ve already specified the core and main idea of your low-cost social media plan. Having the plan is crucial to the direction you’ll go when creating content and establishing a target audience.

Specify Your Audience

Now that you know your why, you can better determine who needs your product or service! Sure, you could fill your social media accounts with all the posts you want. But then, what’s the point if it’s not reaching the people who will be more likely to become customers? 

Start by experimenting with the various business tools Facebook offers, such as Facebook Ads. This is a low-cost, user-friendly method to zero in on your preferred consumers. You can specify by location, demographics, interests and more. Check out this “How To” from Sprout Social for a crash course through the basics of Facebook Ads. 

Choose the Right Channels 

You should be strategic in choosing which platform you want to use to best spread your message. 

Start by thinking about the basic demographics of that audience you specified. Statistics on usage related to factors like age, location, occupation, gender and average income are all easily accessible on top social platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Secondly, take into account your own personal preferences for your business’ platforms. Consider how you can best leverage the features of different channels to promote your business the best. 

If you provide a service that you want to promote through video, try a platform that heavily supports that medium. For example, TikTok or YouTube are great possible choices. If you want the flexibility of added features like creating events along with photo, video, and text posting, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram may be the best choice for you.

If you’re a little digitally overwhelmed, no worries! QCM’s expert team of writers, social media specialists, and content creators can help you weigh the pros and cons of all these channels to determine what works best for your brand.

Create Dynamic Content

Videos, photos, snaps, Facebook Live, Instagram stories, tweets, oh my! When it comes to deciding how you want to present your content to your audience, the options can quickly become numerous and confusing.

And despite the previous tip, while it can be beneficial to start by focusing on a few platforms, you should have a variety of content for a multitude of viewers. This could be spread out across different social media platforms, from video testimonials from customers to interactive polls on Twitter. It’s highly unlikely that all of your audience will prefer to consume information in the same way, so you should provide options for everyone.

Again, our team at QCM is here to assist in case you get stuck! Whether you need help from start to finish with filming, editing, and posting, or just need some assistance to put the professional touch on something you’ve thought up, our team can work side by side with you to make sure your business can produce top-notch content.

Track and Analyze Performance

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the initial strategy and execution of your social media marketing plan! It’s now time for the moment of truth — did it work? 

Lucky for you, many social media platforms already have analytic tracking already built in for free! Twitter Analytics, Instagram Insights, and Facebook Insights (all of which you can find easily on your business profiles) provide straightforward, simple-to-read reports on how your pages are performing to help you monitor your low-cost social media plan.

The last and most important part of this process is to determine what is working and what isn’t based on the data you get from these analytic reports. As your business continues to progress, you should never stop checking the analytics. Numbers don’t lie, so it’s a surefire way to get the answers you need to point your company in the right direction and keep it going that way!