Social media marketing is crucial to a successful business these days, that’s hardly refutable. In fact, over 9% of marketing budgets on average are spent on social media. However, you still need to put time and effort into your business itself, so running your Instagram account can’t be too life-consuming. Luckily, there are plenty of tools to make your job easier, but some of them will cost you. Here’s what you need to be investing in if you want to see results.

Make money

Scheduling services: If you’re busy (and you should be, you’ve got a business to run) you can’t be bothered with remembering to post at specific times of day now, can you? Luckily, there are plenty of programs that let you preschedule posts for specific times of day so that you never have to worry about keeping your accounts updated and active. For around $10 per month, you can do a week’s worth of posts in one sitting without having to touch the Instagram app for the rest of the week.

Facebook/Twitter ads:  Rarely does advertising come without a dollar sign, but if you want to really increase your results on social media, ads might help more than you think. For about $1 per days for two weeks, your audience could grow exponentially, potentially gaining significantly more clicks on Twitter and views on Facebook.

Analytics: Knowing who is active in your community, what time of day is optimal for posting and what posts will get you the most hits can only be to your advantage. These services pay for themselves and you’ll see results fast; not investing in them to save money is actually going to cost you more in the long run.

Design: If design isn’t your thing, you’re better off just outsourcing or consulting. Save yourself the work and the headache and you’ll end up with far better results.

Of course, there is a ton you can do on social media for free. These platforms are generally set up so that you can partake free of charge no matter what your place is on the social media totem pole. How you spend your social media budget depends on how big your business is and how much time you can devote to social media, so don’t make the mistake of paying for services you don’t actually need.

Save money

Research the programs: If you need a simplistic program to create images and stock photos, it probably exists for free or far cheaper than the more expensive ones with all the bells and whistles you don’t actually need. Make sure you’re getting the program or service that’s right for you so you don’t end up over-paying.

Images: Today’s online world is largely visually based, making photos and images crucial to the success of your social media experience. Services like Canva allow you to create images with stock photos, many of which are available for free. Make use of public domain and stock photos available across the magnificent worldwide web on sites like iStockPhoto or with Flickr’s public domain search option.

Audience research: Knowing your audience is key in any facet of business, but it’s especially necessary to your social media success. Read your comments. Get to know your clientele. Like photos you’re tagged in. And if that’s still not enough, send out surveys with free services like TypeForm or make use of Facebook’s Audience Insights tool to identify your demographic. All of these methods will make a huge difference in your social media experience completely free of charge.

GTECH Designs is a Baltimore-based digital marketing agency that is committed to helping impact-makers spend more time doing good. For more information, contact us at 410-775-4011, email us at [email protected], or get in touch with us via :

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About The Author

Bola Olonisakin

Bola Olonisakin

Bola is the founder and principal at GTECH Designs, a digital creative agency that helps small and mid-sized businesses launch, grow and succeed. Her research and work in web design, social media and strategic communication have been published in numerous books and articles, and she’s regularly seen on stage at events around the country. She’s responsible for teaching GTECH clients how to blend strategic goal-setting with great design to create effective online marketing strategies. You can reach her at [email protected]