Budgeting for Social Media


Depending on your industry and your business goals, you may be active on several social media channels; each channel then having their own form of advertising, and then different types of ad options within the ads managers to choose from. It can quickly become overwhelming to decide where your advertising money is best spent, how much you should spend, and which types of ads are most beneficial to you as a company. That’s why I’m here to help you better understand budgeting for social media.

To first determine the platforms you’ll want to advertise on, you need to evaluate your audience and your goals. Are you a B2B industry geared toward selling products and services to other businesses? Or are you more consumer-based and interested in pushing products in front of specific groups of people? To better plan what platforms are best for your advertising budget, you’ll need to understand the channels and how their audience and reach aligns with your business goals. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest tend to be great for getting in front of consumers in B2C industries, whereas LinkedIn is heavily B2B.

Facebook has probably the most diverse advertising platform, and arguably the largest reach with the highest capability of reaching all types of audiences. With its refined targeting abilities and the endless options for styles of ads, most marketers will find an ad type within Facebook that can be targeted to their specific audience.

LinkedIn is strongly geared toward B2B with the ability to target by degree, job title, age, experience, industry, and more. The cost tends to be a bit more for these types of ads, however, the leads also tend to be more qualified.

Twitter and Instagram can reach younger audiences and Pinterest is a very visual platform great for companies that want to showcase their products.

Determine your advertising message and audience, and then you’ll be able to decide which platforms are worth advertising on for your business, and which ones would be a waste of time and money. You may find that advertising on Pinterest or Twitter is non-essential to your business, but you see great results on LinkedIn and Facebook. In those cases, play to your strengths.

One CMO survey says that when it comes to social media, B2B product-based companies spend around 8% of their marketing budget on social media while B2B service-based businesses spend closer to 12% of their overall marketing budget on social media. This shows it’s also important to take into account what you’re selling and marketing. Services perform differently than products in advertisements as well.

So when it comes to “how much” you should be spending on each platform, it really is dependent on your industry and goals. Are you striving for consistent page growth, wanting to expand the reach of a great piece of content, or trying to drive more traffic to your website? Or maybe you want a combination platter of it all.

To run every single type of ad on every single platform is most likely not best practice for your company and would end up costing you too much without being effective. Instead, set monthly budgets depending on what your promotion goals are for the time period.

For example, perhaps you want to run a general follower ad on Facebook and Twitter every month, but you also are going to be generating some killer pieces of content you want to boost the exposure on. You’ll want to set aside budget for your general follower ads, and also plan on boosting your content pieces or directing users to your site where the content is hosted.

Overall cost of advertising will be dependent on your CPC/CPM. Below is a graphic that shows average cost per click and cost per impression across various industries on Facebook ads. From there, you can determine how many clicks/impressions you want to generate and dictate a budget. This is, of course, an average and you will have to do some trial and error experimentation to determine what works for your company to produce the best results.


Basically, the less long-winded answer for how much you should spend on social media is: it depends. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all budget plan for advertising on social media. You can spend as little or as much as you want, but the best way to use your money effectively is to come in with a starting budget and a game plan of what you want to advertise, and do some testing.

When it comes down to it, there’s a lot that goes into social media marketing. It’s quite a bit of strategizing and management across several social platforms as well as their individual ad campaigns. As a result, you might consider setting some of your marketing budget aside to hire a social media management team to handle these things instead. With this option you will have a team of qualified and experienced social media marketers taking the guesswork out of it for you and making educated decisions based on their professional insight. They can suggest starting budgets, get the advertisements running, monitor for effectiveness, and adjust as needed.