How would you spend your first $200 on social media? Here’s how I would do it.

This is how I'd spend my first $200 on social media

Last week, the same question was asked to six experts and they weighed in with their opinions in this interview by Webquacker.

I found the question very interesting and some their responses rather surprising. So I asked myself the same question, “If I had $200 to start, how would I spend it?”

After spending some time thinking about it, here is my response. You should try writing down your ideas too, the results may surprise you!


Let’s clarify a few things first

Like Emeric, if I only had $200 for my entire marketing budget, I would not spend on social media and instead drive word-of-mouth referrals through tactics such as offering exclusive promotions for people who shop in pairs or more, disguising discount coupons as parking fines, hiring influencers and pitching to journalists to write about your products or other unconventional and eye-catching tactics.

But for the sake of relating the topic to social media, I will first assume:
1. You have some customers
2. Your business’ operations are able to coordinate with your social media efforts (this is really important!)
3. You have an email list of your existing customers

Post 74 Image 1 How would you spend your first $200 on social media? Heres how I would do it.

If I have $200 to spend on social media for a start, I’d take this strategy - developing customer advocacy among existing customers.


Why you should focus on existing customers

Whether your marketing goal is to increase new or repeated sales, leads, or awareness, I recommend you to target your existing customers first.

The most compelling reason of all is that your existing customers have already demonstrated their ability and willingness to buy from you.

I am sure that experts such as Jon Loomer and Francisco Rosales would also agree that your existing customers are more likely to convert than anyone else.


How I would spend the $200 budget

So this is how I would spend my budget of $200.

1. Bring a friend invitation

I would send exclusive invitations to socially-connected existing customers (customers who are also fans or followers) to bring a friend for a private sale or refer a friend to a gated online sale. At the same time, I would also send emails to my existing customer list and tell walk-in customers to connect with my business on social media (if applicable). These tactics serve to increase the number of socially-connected customers and deepen your relationships with them.

Estimated cost: $50.

  1. Use Canva to design an impressive invitation card
  2. Setup gated online sale using a simple password-protected gateway
  3. Send emails to your customers to connect with you socially
  4. Inform your operations department to tell walk-in customers to ‘like your page’ to get access to exclusive promotions. It is important for your operations department to support your social media efforts
  5. $50~$100 on Facebook ads to promote your page to existing customers using Custom Audiences


2. Reward customers for referrals

To spend within the budget, I would build a sweepstake app using Agorapulse or Circus Social and allow socially logged-in new customers to nominate their friend for the sweepstake.

Alternatively, your socially connected customers could also enter your sweepstake by submitting a photo of them and their friends who just bought your product.

There are several other ideas you may think of to get around the difficulties of qualifying eligible customers but if you are stuck, just hit me up at [email protected] with a brief description of your problem and I’ll help you out.

Estimated cost: $29/month for Agorapulse, a CRM for Facebook or $1/month/app for Circus Social and $100 to promote the sweepstake


3. Develop a micro-content calendar focused on heightening brand interest

Assuming that you are building a core fan base of your customers, you could shape your content towards increasing your customers’ interests in your brand. This could mean content that are as peculiar as the things your staff do at 5.00pm everyday, the preparation process you have in the morning before the shop opens, or introducing your staff and what they do to value add to your customers’ experience.

Whatever you choose to post on social media, you should ask yourself if that piece of content draws your customers closer to you, and whether it heightens their interests in your brand.

Estimated cost: $0 and many hours because I recommend you to do it yourself or work with a staff who knows your business well enough to prepare this.


Over to you

Do you agree with how I’d spend my first $200 or do you have other ideas in mind? Share with me in the comments below!

Jason How

I help social media teams and small business owners eliminate Facebook ads and content that suck. Brands that I have worked with include household brands like Seoul Garden and International Volunteer Day, an initiative of the Ministry of Community, Culture, and Youth (MCCY). When I'm not busy with numbers, I can become a real glutton.