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What will $500 buy you in social media advertising? Way more than you will get anywhere else

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With online advertising spend overtaking TV advertising spend for the first time ever, knowing your way around social media advertising has never been more important. The big question is, how much should you spend and where will it take you?

Social media campaigns are attractive for two key reasons – cost effectiveness and laser-sharp customer targeting.  In essence, each and every cent you spend will go to potential customers who are interested in your brand. No wastage.

For instance, 500 bucks in traditional advertising could buy a small print ad or perhaps a few radio ads which obviously come with limited ways to track your return.

It could also buy you a month of an entry-level SEO package or perhaps one to six weeks of Google advertising, depending on your market.

The same $500 in social media could be effective for up to 14 weeks and will result in an engaged audience, and on top of that, the return on investment can be tracked in real-time.

What will you buy with $500 on Facebook?

Facebook is the most effective social media tool to engage your business with prospects.

One new like will set you back between 20 cents and 40 cents, which in comparison to traditional media is significantly cheaper.

Importantly, your rate of spend will vary depending on the size of reach. For example, a page with 100 Likes may struggle to spend $5 per day, whereas a page with 1000 Likes may spend $15 per day, but with significantly better results.

What will you buy with $500 on Twitter?

Twitter charges on a Cost Per Engagement (CPE) system, so you only pay when someone clicks, retweets, replies to or ‘favourites’ your promoted Tweet.

Costing is usually between $0.75 and $2.50 per click. If you are promoting your whole account, Twitter will feature it on ‘Who to Follow’ more or less often depending on how much you bid. The average currently is $2.50 to $4.00 per follower.

What will you buy with $500 on Instagram?

Instagram started advertising in the USA in late 2013 and will surely soon debut here.

Just like Facebook, ads will target the most relevant based on Instagram and Facebook activity. Based on these numbers, $500 will last you somewhere between 6 and 14 weeks and result in 125 to 2500 clicks, impressions, retweets, replies, favourites, likes or followers, though the average is in the lower half.

Watch this space! This is predicted to be hot in 2014.

What will you buy with $500 on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn runs on minimum budget structure, although your daily spend may not be reached if competition is heavy or traffic is low. As a basic guideline, minimum daily budget is $10 per day, minimum CPC bid is $2.00 per click and minimum CPM bid is $2.00 per thousand impressions.

Why choose social media marketing?

Social marketing is the new word-of-mouth and is effective for all businesses alike – from start-ups to established multi-nationals. It has proven successful in building brand awareness, trust and a loyal community around your business.

It also allows you to test an idea, gauge a market or solicit feedback, with instant feedback available through open conversation with your prospect and customer base.

Social media is also important for small or new players in hugely competitive markets, for instance car loans. Competing head-to-head with pay-per-click advertising at up to $18 per click with less than 1 per cent of clickers converting to a sale is not viable for SMEs.

Social media marketing on the other hand can help the smaller players compete online.

For instance, Anyfin, a small car loan firm, began with 169 Facebook Likes in September 2013 and through Facebook advertising and Sponsored Stories gained almost 3,000 new Likes in 16 weeks.

However, while the potential for social media advertising is endless, it is important to start small and build up from there. Know where your market is, test and measure results.

Chris Garrett is a Director at KND Digital, a Brisbane-based web design firm that for over 11 years has been helping SMEs take their digital strategy to the next level.

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