Right now you're probably sitting on some brilliant social media marketing ideas. The only thing holding you back from executing on them is money. Don't let that stop you.
Most managers like investing in good marketing ideas, especially ones that are innovative and position the company to be among the first to try something. I love hearing creative promotional ideas from my team and I'm sure I'm not the only one. That said, I also know if the social media marketing idea and/or plan you're proposing costs more than what your company is currently spending on social, it may take some convincing to get your boss on board with boosting your budget.
It won't be an impossible task if you follow these four pieces of advice:
Prove you know your stuff
People invest money in ... people, not in ideas. So whatever social media marketing idea you propose, let it be known that you are the right person to be put in charge of making your idea happen. If you're asking for an increased social media budget to put money into social advertising efforts, like Twitter and Facebook ads, prove to your boss you know how to use the ad platforms to create those types of ads. If you're asking for an increased social media budget to purchase a killer prize for a giveaway concept you have, prove to your boss that you know the steps required for creating and promoting a successful giveaway. Don't pitch your idea until you're confident you can execute on it. That way if and when you get approval and a budget, you can hit the ground running.
Make the case for time-saving tools
There are many tools out there nowadays that help social media marketers do their jobs more efficiently. Tools like Buffer, which allows you to schedule your social media posts at ideal times, Buzzsumo, which helps you find your industry's best-performing content and key influencers, and ShortStack, my company's product, which helps you build custom social campaigns (e.g., contests and promotions) for the web and mobile devices, are all worth investing in. Why? Because they make your life easier and save you time. Managers like investing in tools that they think will help improve their team's productivity and it's your job to let your boss know which are the right ones.
Create a strategy for tracking everything
Even though it's impossible to precisely track the return on investment of social media marketing, that's not going to stop your boss from wanting to know how you plan to measure the results of their investment. To answer this question, let him or her know that you have a strategy for tracking your efforts as much as you possibly can. So what's a good strategy that will put your boss at ease? Before you start implementing any new efforts, record all your "before" metrics, e.g., follower counts, average engagement metrics, number of email list subscribers you have, average daily website traffic, average amount of traffic coming from each of your social channels, etc. Then plan on using Google analytics, Bitly, Improvely, or another tracking tool, to create tracking URLs for everything from the campaign landing pages you intend to build to the social posts you intend to share.
Bring evidence of the changing social media landscape
The social media landscape is changing--and has been for awhile now. It won't be difficult to make the case for this as Facebook's dramatic hit to pages' reach recently became a hot topic to write about. Social is more competitive than ever and companies now need to spend more to get the same results they once got for next-to-nothing.
Money should be the last thing holding you back from bringing your awesome social media marketing ideas to life. You've got the creativity. And now you also have a solid plan for convincing your boss to invest in it. Good luck-- I'm rooting for you!