SMBSS – Setting up a Budget for Social Media

I posted yesterday about the differences between Large and Small Businesses in social media. It was originally supposed to be a one off post. After letting it stew over night I realized, that each recommendations I made could be it’s own post. I am going to take them in order and give more in depth suggestions on how to do each step. The first part is setting up a Budget for Social media.

There several areas you can set up a budget for in social. They are analytics, tools, ads and graphics. You don’t necessarily need to spend in every category. It’s important to start small and expand as your social needs grown. The first two I would recommend focusing on are graphics and Ads.


It’s important to have good graphics in social. There are several services that you can use for little or no cost. The service that is the most comprehensive is Canva. It has apps for iOS and a web interface. It covers all social networks. You can go for the “At Work” service that will allow you to automatically resize your images for each social. Which is a big time saving feature if you have multiple social media accounts. If this isn’t important to you. You can open a free account and pay for items as needed. It has an amazing photo library that you can purchase for $1 or choose preset designs from free to $5. The last advantage is, unless its a paid project, you can save your graphics. Then you can re-edit them later or duplicate them. Most other apps don’t allow you to save it as a project file. They let you save it as a finished image.

Paid Social

If you are going to be on Facebook, a Paid Social strategy is something I strongly consider. Facebook is now a pay to play service. This requires you to pay to get good good traction on the site. You maybe thinking to yourself, “I can’t afford to do ads every week.” Luckily you don’t need to do them every week of a month. It’s best to start off with a few days . Set your budget for a few dollars a day and see the performance. Once you get some good ad performance, start running them longer. Start off with a week and then increase as you are able too with your budget. I have reported twice on how well a $25 ad budget can perform. This means you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars. A paid social strategy, done strategically, you can get a lot for a small amount.

Analytics & Tools

I will be doing more in depth posts on both of these later this week. Stay tuned for more on how to incorporate this into your budget.


A Small Business doesn’t need a massive amount of money to move the needle on social. Be strategic on where you spend your money. Do it on legitimate services. NEVER pay someone to find you fans/followers or likes. You can and will get penalized by the social network. If you have to choose where to spend your money. I would suggest graphics and a paid social strategy.

Tim is the founder of Element33. A social media agency specializing in education, management and strategy for small businesses. He comes from a traditional marketing agency but has embraced all things digital. He considers himself a marketing nerd and believes that all marketing is tied together. This means no matter what silo you are in, social, email, seach, etc, changes in one will affect the other!

Leave a Reply