How Much Do Local Businesses Spend on Social Media

How Much Do Local Businesses Spend on Social Media

August 8, 2022
(Reading time: 7 - 13 minutes)

Social media marketing techniques have become more prominent in today’s business landscape. Business owners have become more interested in the role that digital marketing plays in a business’s overall success.

One feature, mainly, is the cost of social media marketing that successful companies spend. To put things into perspective, Brian Dean of Backlink reports that about 4.48 billion users are currently active on social media worldwide. Not only that, the number of active users is expected to increase from here on.

As social media acts as the bridge between clients and businesses, a working foundation of this bridge would be necessary for businesses to solidify their presence, reputation, and sales in this digital age. Additionally, research shows that more consumers are slowly adapting to gathering their insights on a particular business digitally as opposed to traditional marketing.

As a result, most experts recommend that businesses strengthen their social media presence to reach their target audience and heighten their engagement easily.

In this article, you will find out about the current financial costs and time spent by businesses and the ideal amount you should invest, depending on the qualities of your local business.

The Benefits of Social Media Marketing

For businesses that began marketing using traditional print and televised advertisements, the prospect of shifting to social media marketing may come across as a strange and foreign concept. Still, according to Statista, research shows that advertisement spending will grow annually. By 2025 business spending is expected to be around $850 billion.

With this in mind, businesses need to take note of this new shift in marketing trends to keep up with how consumers and other businesses adapt to the demands of the digital age. Specifically, most businesses rely on both social media and content marketing to optimize their business sales through advertisements.

One can think of content marketing as the driving force that attracts consumers. In contrast, social media marketing is the method of delivering content to a business’s target audience successfully.

Nowadays, one of the primary factors that determine how a business can reach its audience is how much it can maximize its use of Search Engine Optimization. In simple words, Search Engine Optimization determines how likely your website can appear on a user’s web page.

This means your website can appear in the search results when users look up a product or service in your business’ niche. Search Engine Optimization is beneficial for businesses that are just starting and beginning to solidify their brand identity with their target audience.

Click here to learn more about successfully utilizing Search Engine Optimization for your business.

For instance, a study by the Content Marketing Institute says that about 71 percent of consumers who have a good experience with a particular social media platform will likely recommend that company to their peers.

One can think of social media marketing as a faster, more complex, yet ultimately more convenient means for advertising. While starting or shifting to social media marketing may be intimidating for some, research and data show that adequately investing in it will show exemplary results.

The Current Landscape of Social Media Marketing

Now that we have tackled the benefits of social media marketing, we can discuss its current role in helping businesses reach their target audience.

While there is a general budget for social media campaigns, it can depend on a case-to-case basis. For instance, companies that rely on social media as their primary marketing means can have a larger budget. This budget will undoubtedly be higher than companies that split their traditional and digital marketing methods.

In an analysis of the trend of digital marketing allocations of businesses in the United States, A. Guttman of Statista reports that $261.10 billion will be spent on digital marketing by 2022.

According to Angie Nikoleychuck, a Content Marketing Manager at Search Engine Journal, 2022 will see an increase in digital advertising investments. This increase is due to companies aiming to reach their target audience across various social media platforms.

With this prediction, businesses of a smaller scale and upcoming ones may have to allocate a more digital-centric means for marketing to keep up with the current business advertising strategies. Very few businesses allot their marketing budget solely to social media. While data shows that this budget will increase as time passes, the essential aspect of investing in social media marketing is how to maximize it to its fullest potential.

For optimum results, most businesses partner up with marketing agencies that specialize in helping businesses achieve their goals while keeping up with a uniform budget.

How Much Do Companies Spend on Social Media

Regarding finance, the Small Business Administration or the SBA recommends allocating 7-8 percent of gross revenue to social media advertising costs for businesses bringing in less than $5 million annually in sales.

According to an analysis by The Content Factory, average industry spending on social media marketing is about $200 to $350 daily. Meanwhile, the average marketing cost for small businesses may differ.

Local businesses, for instance, follow the average marketing costs for small businesses. This budget allotment can be lower—instead of the 7 to 8 percent, small businesses tend to lower it to 3-5 percent.

With that in mind, businesses of a smaller scale may aim for a monthly $20,000 budget allocation for both traditional and digital marketing budgets. If we focus on social media marketing only, most companies typically spend around 12-13 percent of their marketing budget.

In this scenario, businesses earning $5 million a year can expect around $2,000 to spend on social media marketing monthly. Businesses must budget their social media marketing allowance wisely to achieve successful results.

Some businesses can have a bigger spending allowance on marketing than their competitors, but having more does not always equate to obtaining desired results.

Small businesses and social media statistics are mainly helpful subjects in cost-effectivity. For instance, companies that do not have good marketing agencies to consult with risk wasting their allowance on outdated and under-looked techniques.

Therefore, it is wise to have proper consultants to help guide you on how to allot your investments and be fully transparent about what you are paying for.

The Framework of a Social Media Marketing Plan

Most businesses typically set up a digital marketing plan that can give them an idea of how they should spend their budget to maximize their marketing costs.

Marketing agencies can help businesses designate a specific social media marketing plan that adheres to their qualities. At the same time, businesses can also consult an existing marketing plan framework.

These marketing plans branch out into subsections that make a successful digital marketing process. For instance, you would need to accomplish the following to obtain a solid social media presence:

  • Produce the right content
  • Have the right software to distribute your content
  • Invest in social media campaigns
  • Target the correct influencers to hype up your businesses.

All of these essentials would then need additional staffing to operate successfully.

Setting up a monthly budget would be more than helpful in determining how much you can allot for a particular process.

When deciding how to allot your expenses, a good rule would be to research your niche to determine which social media marketing tactic would work best for you.

How Much Time Should I Spend on Social Media for my Business

Aside from financial budgeting, business owners also need to know how much time they should invest in social media marketing.

According to a VerticalResponse survey, 43 percent of small businesses invest up to 6 hours weekly on social media marketing. This time budget amounts to about an hour and 12 minutes a day on a five-day work week.

Your ideal social media presence also varies, depending on the platform. For instance, many experts recommend investing more time in Twitter marketing than on Instagram. Still, this depends on what your business centers on and who your target audience is.

Following the recommended amount of presence on one social media platform will not help you reach your clients if they are more active on another site.

Another time investment tip for small business owners would be to perfectly measure how to balance quality and quantity in your social media presence. This aspect of social media marketing traces back to how most sites rely on both how often you can post and how strong your engagement is from your followers.

For instance, most blog post websites count on how long a user stays to read your article. At the same time, they also measure how often users return to determine if they should promote your content with other users on their site.

How Much Does Social Media Marketing Cost as a Local Business

As mentioned, the amount businesses spend on social media marketing depends on multiple factors. These factors include their business size, target audience, and priorities for their business.

Here are some of the social media marketing strategies local businesses can easily invest on:

  • Social Media Platform advertisements
  • Analytics
  • Social Media Management
  • Graphics
  • Instructional materials on how to properly invest in social media marketing

Vendasta reports that 44 percent of business owners use social media as a marketing tactic to drive their revenue. Also, 46 percent of Google searches can generate physical in-store engagement due to users often having the intention to look up something within their area.

Suppose users search for services for a particular niche. In that case, they are most likely aiming to target one that can easily accommodate them. If your business finds its way on their search results page, this could easily translate into materialized sales for now and in the future.

However, your digital marketing does not have to stop there. While maximizing the use of Search Engine Optimization can garner attention, more clients await when you maximize the social media budget for your small business.

Aside from this, two more social media marketing strategies can generally show results in increasing social media and small business statistics.

First, local businesses can ideally invest in Local Search Marketing. This marketing technique is Search Engine Optimization, functioning on a smaller scale to reach local clients, as the name suggests.

Local Search Marketing primarily functions to help drive engagement, specifically to businesses with a physical location. This digital marketing service helps local businesses connect with potential clients that can easily access your products or services.

Local Search Marketing should also not be confused with advertisements that directly appear on a user’s web page when they look at something in the search bar. Instead, Local Search Marketing appears through “snack pack results” at the top of a user’s web page. This location enables users to be more inclined to see your local business.

On a similar note, local businesses can also use Review Marketing to solidify their brand if their business does appear on local search results.

You can think of Review Marketing as the middleman that connects you with your potential clients.

According to S. Dixon of Statista, about 19 percent of online users based in the United States trust online consumer reviews as much as recommendations made by their peers.

Similarly, about 38 percent of users in the U.S. find online reviews essential before deciding to purchase a particular product.

While these data do not trump the majority, they certainly impact how online reviews slowly receive the same impact as personal recommendations.

That said, Review Marketing is undoubtedly a testament to why users should consider purchasing from your business, even without ever hearing of it. While budget allocation is certainly a case-to-case basis even for local businesses, you can always follow a framework to maximize your investments.

How Much Time Should I Invest in Social Media Marketing as a Local Business

Finance is often the primary concern of local businesses in social media marketing. However, time is another social media budget essential that plays a part in obtaining a successful marketing campaign.

As the saying goes, “Time is money.” Nevertheless, it is also worth noting that money spent can cost you valuable time.

To familiarize yourself with where to allocate your time, most experts recommend that business owners take steps to understand their business goals. These steps include studying analytics and formulating strategies that adhere to their business’s needs and capabilities.

A VerticalResponse survey reports that 43 percent of small business owners allot six hours on a five-day work week for social media marketing. The six-hour rule of thumb can then be divided into subsections, depending on a particular social media platform.

According to the Statista Research Department, the social media platform most often utilized by markets worldwide was Facebook. Still, the social media platform local business should focus their advertising cost on can depend on several factors:

Type of product/service offered

Depending on the product/service your business offers, you can choose to focus your advertising investments on one particular site that can benefit you the most.

Target audience’s most used platform

While it is a well-established fact, all types of businesses vary in demographics. It is worth noting that focusing on the social media platform your target audience commonly uses would be a helpful technique.

Allocated advertising cost

The vast social media platforms also come with an even more extensive amount of marketing opportunities. Depending on your business’s allocated advertising cost, you may benefit more from investing in a particular social media platform compared to another.

While the social media marketing landscape cannot always be predictable, various methods businesses can use to determine their strategies’ effectiveness. Without the aid of advertising agencies, analyzing analytics and troubleshooting inconsistency with data may be tricky but not entirely impossible.

For instance, VerticalResponse has a post scheduler that can allow you to track your business’s online presence and engagement with your target audience. Remember, the essential aspect of client service is ensuring they are satisfied and interested enough to keep partaking in your business.

Your social media marketing techniques may result in an increased follower count. However, consistent engagement is the true driving force of your business.

While it may take time to see concrete results, other existing tools can help you determine how to approach social media marketing for your business. From the traditional method of printing advertisements to marketing opportunities on social media platforms, businesses have been slowly adapting to the increasing demands of the digital age.

Time and financial investment for social media marketing varies from one business to another. However, there are existing frameworks you can consult to give you an idea of how much you should ideally spend.

For those interested in consulting experts from content creation to social media marketing, you can partner with a suitable marketing agency to help you achieve your business goals.

With that, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation on how we can help with your business needs.

Loni Hickam

Written by:  |  August 8, 2022

Loni is our social media manager. She enjoys creating engaging content for social media to help small businesses grow their online presence. She has extensive knowledge of social media platforms and what works on each.