Despite everything going on with COVID-19, we've found a silver lining in getting to host our #SMTLive Twitter chats for you more often these days. This week, we discussed adjusting social media budgets due to recent Coronavirus-related changes. It was fascinating to see how everyone is innovating and improvising financially. If you were able to join this week's Twitter chat, we hope you learned something about adjusting your budget from the other talented social media marketers in this chat. If you missed it, not to worry, we've recapped the highlights for you below.
Q1 - Whether you’re a freelancer, an agency or part of an in-house marketing team, there’s a high possibility that the current pandemic has affected your marketing budget in some way or another. How has COVID19 affected your social media budget, in particular? #SMTLive pic.twitter.com/o8YzfpZjLi— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) April 7, 2020
Let's dive right in. Clearly many (many) social media budgets have been affected here, so we created a more specific poll regarding how #SMTLive participants' wallets have been impacted.
Q1 Poll:— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) April 7, 2020
How (if at all) has COVID19 affected your SOCIAL MEDIA marketing budget? #SMTLive
While it was encouraging to see that a lot of people haven't seen a change in spending yet, many users saw a decrease in funding for social as well.
Our focus now, at least on social media, is to share content that is helpful, accurate, timely, compassionate and/or human (the HATCH method). And, we're tasking ourselves to be proactive thinkers and planners and prep for content once this nightmare is over. #SMTLive— Travis Joyal (@TJMO) April 7, 2020
@TJMO, hats off to you for even attempting to manage restaurant-industry social right now. Wishing you the best!
Social media ads, particularly on Facebook, are cheap right now. If the budget and strategic messaging are there, I'd recommend increasing spends!— Travis Joyal (@TJMO) April 7, 2020
Pausing marketing services seems more common than not these days. However, @TJMO noted that ads have gotten a bit cheaper as a result.
A1. ????Finding it difficult to decide whether to keep ads running or not— Kofi Social Media Strategist???????? (@kofigramm) April 7, 2020
????Not knowing how much to budget for an ad#SMTLive
Yes. There has been a decrease— Kofi Social Media Strategist???????? (@kofigramm) April 7, 2020
Industry-wise we're seeing agencies with clients pausing across the board *except* restaurants. They seem to be better at changing strategy and adapting far better than some other industries. Their budgets are staying the same or increasing slightly. Most biz is panic-pausing.— VINE Collective Agency (@vine_agency) April 7, 2020
@vine_agency applauded restaurants and coined a useful new-to-us term: panic-pausing.
Marketing budgets everywhere are being cut. The impacts show as social media ad prices drop due to a lack of competition in certain industries.— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) April 7, 2020
Q2 - Is this a time to boost your ads or focus on organic? #SMTLive pic.twitter.com/F5KCcm76cm
Being that ads are now cheaper as a result of budget cuts, some businesses might be more inclined to dive headfirst into paid media. But, at the same time, there's nothing cheaper than organic content. #SMTLive participants were eager to discuss balancing where to invest time and limited funds in this new environment.
A2: If your ads are providing value, this could be a great time to establish a presence. You have to tread lightly and carefully. But I think that people will remember the brands that have some good during this time. #smtlive— Amanda Shepherd (@missamander) April 7, 2020
@missamander suggested that high-value ads could be worth the money right now.
@Nike may have hit the nail on the head with their (paid) compassion for the situation here.
Both. Everyone is now online b/c of WFH + the #quarantinelife but any good strategy is holistic. You can't just focus on one thing and hope for results. Know your audience & their pain-points, create helpful content, boost it so more people can see it.— VINE Collective Agency (@vine_agency) April 7, 2020
@vine_agency is tackling the paid vs. organic balancing act right now.
Depends on your brand, business and social media objectives but with both, being sensitive and empathetic to followers, customers and employees needs to be at the forefront.— Franca Cumbo (@LionStarSocial) April 7, 2020
#SMTLive I have found myself been putting a lot more effort into my organic social strategy this month. It can be tricky to find relevant, engaging content that applies to your audience base w/o bogging them down w more negative news.— Jill (@Jill_Messinger) April 7, 2020
A2: It’s key to focus on what matters: if your business isn’t doing well & you had to take actions like letting go staff then now isn’t the time to boost all content. We see that organic works for the right content: share useful info the user needs + invest time in customer care— Sophie Clarke (@clarke_sophie) April 7, 2020
Multiple #SMTLivers emphasized the bottom line during this chat: Budget doesn't matter to most social media marketers nearly as much as sensitivity to and awareness of the current situation.
Some businesses have the opportunity to cash in on relatively cheap ad buys right now, but how are they going about this strategically?
#smtlive I don't know much about this platform, but Tik Tok is absolutely killing it right now. Is anyone familiar with their advertising options?— Jill (@Jill_Messinger) April 7, 2020
@Jill_Messinger picked up on the quarantine TikTok trend.
Now might be a better time than ever to experiment with TikTok marketing. If you're interested, the above article offers further guidance.
A3:— SP (@Smita_DigiMarke) April 7, 2020
Depends on which channel your target audiences are using the most
B2C: Facebook, Tik Tok, Instagram
This depends on your audience. TikTok is populated mostly by Gen Z, Facebook is Xers +, LinkedIn Millennials +, Twitter is everybody but it's harder due to the massive amounts of content. Find out which platforms serve the largest segment of your target audience and spend there.— VINE Collective Agency (@vine_agency) April 7, 2020
It depends on who their audience is. For B2C we've heard from our members that performance has been low on Facebook, however, B2B has continued to generate great performance on platforms like LinkedIn. #SMTLive— AgencyVista (@AgencyVista) April 7, 2020
However, if your audience isn't on a platform, there's obviously no use in investing in it, no matter how trendy. That's one thing about social media marketing that will probably never change, pandemic or no pandemic.
Q4 - Now, for those of you with budgets to spend but still focused on organic content, boosting your posts may be the way to go. What are some best practices for “boosting” organic content? #SMTLive pic.twitter.com/xBDwvxvy9w— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) April 7, 2020
For those who have the funds, boosting those empathetic messages you've worked so hard to put out on social could be a huge value add.
Especially when boosted, I should add! #smtlive— Jill (@Jill_Messinger) April 7, 2020
It seems like this strategy is working for at least one of us.
It depends on your budget & your target audience but strategically boosting your native content to specific audiences can help save your budget & increase the quality of your leads. Facebook has the biggest reach less $, LinkedIn lets you get more targeted but for more $.— VINE Collective Agency (@vine_agency) April 7, 2020
@vine_agency offered some platform-specific advice for boosting important content.
This is what #SMTLive is all about! Love hearing everyone's advice. :)— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) April 7, 2020
Even users who aren't currently boosting their content offered advice.
Given today's topic is social media budgeting, we wanted to ask about management techniques. Hopefully, some of you have great systems/templates that you'd be willing to share with the group.— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) April 7, 2020
Q5 - How (and where) do you track and report on social media spend? #SMTLive pic.twitter.com/6v2oNy5FVH
Here are a few organizational techniques from #SMTLivers who have been there, done that regarding social media spend.
A5:Paid ads on LinkedIn and Google show you the spend within their analytics sections— SP (@Smita_DigiMarke) April 7, 2020
You can setup campaigns in Google Analytics and link it to your ads to calculate conversions
Databox is a tool I've used for a while. It's a bit of a pain to set up but it lets you aggregate all of your social/SEO/PPC/EMail, etc. metrics into one place and it updates every few minutes. It's mostly about data visualization which can make things a bit easier for clients.— VINE Collective Agency (@vine_agency) April 7, 2020
Whether you use in-platform tools like @Smita_DigiMarke or external tools like the one @vine_agency mentioned, staying organized feels rather important when your budget could change daily.
This is the final question of the day, but we're leaving time for you to jump in with your on questions.— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) April 7, 2020
Q6 - How can we help you? What content or resources are you looking for at this time to support your social media budgeting, spending and growth? #SMTLive pic.twitter.com/lIOAVL6YQ4
We wanted to know how we can help out our #SMTLive family during this time!
A6 - We finally have a little extra time to do things such as participating in Twitter chats, joining webinars, watching live streams, and listening to podcasts. Loving these chats and would happily sign up for any webinars etc. @socialmedia2day hosts during this time! #SMTLive— Hydrate Marketing (@HydrateMktg) April 7, 2020
We're so happy to hear that you're loving these chats. Please feel more than free to contact us with suggestions for them - they're here for you!
A6: any tools to support in tracking social performance - a lot are doing free trials right now so if anyone has any recommendations- we’re used to tracking paid, but would love some simple social data tools for organic #SMTLive— Sophie Clarke (@clarke_sophie) April 7, 2020
Other users were interested in how those free trials have been going regarding tools. We'll be sure to keep that in mind for future chats, but thank you to everyone who participated in this one. We know it can get a little lonely as we all try to navigate working in social at a time when more people are glued to their apps than ever, so we're glad these have been helping. Don't forget to tune in next week, same time, same place.