Sail Through 2025 Social Media Budget Planning with Ease

Sail Through 2025 Social Media Budget Planning with Ease



Let’s put all the cards on the table: Creating a budget for 2025 is not easy. Geopolitical conflicts, the upcoming election, and Gartner’s prediction that consumers will continue to limit their social media interactions in 2025 create a challenging environment for social media teams and departments. As a result, organizations must be more strategic, thoughtful, and focused than ever before in how they budget to reach their audience online. For any organization’s social media plan to succeed, it needs a strategy to chart its path and a thoughtful budget to move it forward.

So, how do you do that? Luckily, we’ve put together some simple guidelines to ensure smooth sailing ahead.

Start with Budget 101

Social media budgets come in all shapes and sizes. It depends on your organization. For an entrepreneur running their own business, a social media budget could be a few hundred dollars a month to boost posts. Enterprise-level companies with team members scattered around the globe have much larger and more complex budgets. As you consider the unique needs of your organization, start by deciding what’s needed to ensure your budget covers:

  • Content creation
  • Engagement
  • Software and tools
  • Advertising
  • Influencer and partnership marketing
  • Professional training and development
  • Strategy and management

What you need and how you divide your budget will rely on what we explore in the upcoming sections, but here’s a starting point: According to the Spring 2024 CMO Report from Deloitte, marketing accounts for 10.22% (on average) of a company’s overall budget, and of that marketing budget, 11.02% (on average) is typically spent on social media. However, these numbers could look much different depending on the type, size, and goals of your company.

Review past performance

Now that you know the buckets you might need to fill and how much money you may need to have available, it’s a good time to look at the historical performance of your social media efforts. By analyzing this data, you can evolve your strategy and determine how to maximize your budget. To see what’s worked (and what hasn’t) with your social media,  ask questions like:

  • What channels are performing best?
  • What type of content resonates with your audience?
  • Were there seasonal trends in your performance?
  • Which campaigns received the most engagement and why?
  • Did certain influencers or partnerships help achieve your goals?
  • Where did you see a positive ROI?
  • Where did you see a negative ROI?
  • What positive trends do you want to replicate?
  • What negative trends should you try to avoid?
  • What platforms and tools are being used most often?

Review your target audience

You know your target audience. But… do you? People change. Depending on a variety of factors, like your industry or economic trends, your audience may not look the same as it once did. Its members may also not be where you assumed they were. Take a look at your social and digital analytics:

  • Do you notice any new trends in where your audience is engaging?
  • What platforms are generating conversions?
  • What new industry trends are impacting your company?

If anything comes as a surprise, ensure your budget reflects that change.

Plan for what’s next

You’ve gathered solid budget benchmarks, audience insights, and historical guidelines to support your budget planning. Let’s broaden the lens and look at the industry and competitive landscape. What’s changed since you last set your social media budget and strategy? Does everything still have the same name (we’re looking at you, X)? Is Threads worth it yet? And on which platforms are your competitors finding success? Here’s a chance to consider:

  • How have algorithms and trends changed on the platforms your company uses? It might be time to shift channels or content.
  • What new channels exist? With the current state of microblogging, it’s important to see if your audience has moved to a new location.
  • What are your competitors doing, and where are they finding success? Imitation is the sincerest form of… trying to remove every advantage a competitor might have.

Your budget should reflect the most up-to-date approach for effectively reaching your target audience.

Align to goals

Your budget should account for how social media aligns with marketing goals. During a panel discussion with, industry leaders recommended companies use business updates and the annual report to guide social media plans and ensure strategic alignment. Temeka Easter Rice, Vanguard Head of Social Media, said,

“You want to hear about the business updates and what things are coming down the pipeline, so that you can tie your social media objectives to those key priorities.”

You’re likely being asked to do more with less, so your strategy and budget must support high-level initiatives. If you can’t show how social media supports your organization, your social media budget may decrease over time. Be sure you’re budgeting in a way that clearly supports organizational goals. And speaking of doing more with less…

Define the role of AI and technology

Where can you create and find efficiency using artificial intelligence (AI) and similar technologies? There’s no replacing the human element for things like strategy, vision, and design. But as you review your budget, are there opportunities to automate processes with technology or use AI to support growth?

If it’s not already a fixture in your budget, now might be the time to add AI to assist your team in working at scale. Ask yourself:

  • Could AI support social media copy development?
  • Is there data analysis that an AI tool could streamline?
  • Are there basic design templates that AI could help develop or use to free up bandwidth for higher-value work?

There may be cost and efficiency savings right under your nose.

Integrate paid social

As you create your social media budget, how much will be dedicated to social media advertising, and on what channels?

By reviewing past performance, understanding your target audience, and accounting for industry changes, you can prioritize paid social on the channels that have the best ROI for your company.

Determine fit for influencers and partnerships

Depending on your organization, influencers and strategic partnerships may be key to expanding reach, building brand awareness, and driving conversions. If so, make sure to carve out room in the budget. For brands and products where visuals help sell, leveraging an influencer to share a post on your behalf can be a big win.

Before investing in influencer marketing, do your research: Ensure influencers and partners resonate with your target audience and budget enough money to reach your goals.

Analyze social media software, platforms, and tools

What platforms are utilized by your social media team daily? Weekly? Are there any that no longer meet brand needs and are seldom logged into? Onboarding platforms is easy. Getting the full value out of them is harder.

Budget planning season is the perfect time to audit the social media software, platforms, and tools you’re using. Ask questions like:

  • Can anything be sunsetted?
  • Are there any functionality gaps that need to be filled?
  • Is any functionality duplicated?

If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, there are changes on the horizon for the marketing technology stack line item in your budget.

Identify where agency partners fit in

For small teams or where companies lack expertise, an agency partner can help plug holes to keep your team moving forward. Ensure you have the answers to questions such as:

  • Where have agency partners supported in the past?
  • What gaps in expertise exist within the social media team?
  • Where does a lack of team bandwidth create bottlenecks?

Armed with an understanding of these answers, you can determine how to budget for partners and expect smoother sailing for your social media agenda. Consider how your team scales for different needs or projects. Community management is an area where a partner could be a cost-effective answer to the question, “Will our team be able to handle that?”

Analyze social media performance

You’ve determined your 2025 social media budget; what’s next? It’s not a set-it-and-forget-it type of exercise. Sprinklr recommends regularly reviewing your social media budget to make adjustments quarterly and annually. Be sure that you have the data to review:

  • How is social media impacting key conversion metrics?
  • What’s the click-through rate (CTR) on organic and paid social?
  • How does the cost per conversion compare to historical performance?
  • Which engagement and conversion metrics make sense to benchmark over time?

Remember, it will take time to see results and understand where to make adjustments. This makes it essential to keep a close eye on metrics and refine your approach and budget planning throughout the year. By following the above guidelines, you can develop a budget that meets industry changes head-on, is optimized to target your audience, and analyzes performance in the pursuit of improvement.

Happy 2025 planning! If you need an agency partner or have questions about how Social Factor can help, reach out at:

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