Managing social media can seem like a difficult task, especially if you don’t have the time to do it yourself. Social Media Management Pricing can make it cheaper and easier for your business to engage with new customers. Let’s discuss how much it would cost for me to manage your business’ social media pages and how high you have to set your prices.
Social media management is the hottest topic in digital marketing right now. But what does it even mean? And, who should you hire for such a task? Is it the same guy who runs your blog, or could it be a new one? This article will answer all of these questions and more.So, hold on tight as we take this wild ride into the social media management pricing world.
Social media pricing: How much do social media management services cost?
Social media sites continue to gain popularity, and they are extremely effective for marketing. With social media, you can connect with current and potential customers. It also allows you to develop relationships that encourage them to purchase your products and services.
When it comes to social media marketing, most people want to know how much it costs. The answer? It depends on several factors: the experience of the employees at the agency you hire, the plan you choose, the number of social networks you use to market your business, and more.
On average, however, most companies spend $4000 to $7000 per month on social media management, which generally includes a monthly ad spend, as well as a custom marketing and advertising strategy for one or more networks.
At WebFX, an award-winning social media agency, we offer numerous social media plans to help you customize your strategy and make the most of your budget. For social media services from WebFX, you can view our social media rates 24/7.
The 5-step process to determine how much to charge for social media management
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Some social media agencies are husband-wife teams who work with small, local businesses. Other agencies have 20+ employees and 100+ clients around the world.
It would be absurd to give you a number and send you on your merry way.
But ranges are silly too. Knowing that most social media management freelancers charge $200 – $1,000 per month and that most social media management agencies charge $500 – $10,000 per month doesn’t help you.
What you need is a process of finding the number that is right for you, your business, and your clients.
Step 1: Research what your direct competitors are charging
Not every competitor is a direct competitor. Don’t waste your time looking at what freelancers are doing if you’re a full-service agency. Your competitors are only your competitors if these factors are similar:
- Number of employees
- Client industry
- Client company size (again, # of employees is a good determining factor)
Some agencies offer influencer marketing and even paid advertising management. Others only offer organic posting, follower growth and engagement.
If you provide more of a boutique, customized service, then a company like WebFX is not a direct competitor to you. This company is built for scale and doesn’t have a specific niche.
Build up a list of 3 – 8 direct competitors and see if you can find out what they charge. They may not list pricing on their website. If they don’t, and it’s a small business, you might be able to make friends slowly over time and then work together on establishing similar pricing. Does that idea surprise you? The world is a big place and there’s enough work to go around. Getting to know your direct competitors on a personal level and becoming friendly is increasingly common in the digital work world. Try it out!
Step 2: Take stock of feedback to your existing pricing
Now it’s time to stop looking at what your competitors are doing and start looking at what you’re doing.
- For your last 10 sales calls, how many price objections did you get?
- For your last 10 sales calls, did anyone hint that you were far cheaper than other alternatives?
- When you discuss pricing with prospects over email, what reactions do you get?
- If you have your prices listed on your website, have you noticed an increase or a decrease in inbound leads lately?
Take a good hard look at the amounts you’re quoting people. A good rule of thumb is to have 50% of leads think you’re expensive, and 50% of leads think you’re a steal. If everyone thinks you’re too expensive, then you haven’t done a good job showcasing the results of your work (with case studies) and your rates might be higher than warranted. If everyone thinks you’re a steal, you’re most certainly undercharging for the value you provide and stunting your own business growth.
Step 3: Consider the needs of your best-fit clients
After you’ve looked at what your competitors charge and taken an objective view of what you’re charging, the next step is to brainstorm what your best-fit clients need.
- Who are your favorite clients to work with?
- Which clients have you gotten the best results for in terms of impressions, account growth, sales, and leads?
- What have you done in order to produce those results?
- Can you duplicate that into a monthly package for other clients?
Step 4: Create your preset packages and custom package pricing
Your discovery from Step 3 will make the perfect middle-tier package. Think of this as the package you hope new clients will choose, simply because it was designed for your best-fit clients. Then you’ll want to create a package that is smaller than this, and also larger.
See this example from Yellow Hyena:
Note that there is no pricing associated with these social media management packages. Just because you have packages, doesn’t mean you need to share your pricing. In fact, you can even customize your pricing within your packages for your clients if needed.
Here’s an example of a social media management agency’s pricing page that does include the price amount.
It’s important to create your prices and your packages whether you put them on your website or not. This way, you can provide quick and accurate quotes to your prospects. Later, you can test putting them on your site—or not.
Step 5: Test your new pricing with prospects and current clients
Lastly, it’s time to implement your new pricing. With new prospects, quote them your new rates. Tell them about your three packages and help them decide which is the right one for them, or if they have unique needs, customize a package based on your building blocks of flat rates. Similar to Step 2, you need to pay attention to the feedback you’re getting. You want to hit the sweet spot, where a few people still think you’re too pricey (this should always happen), but half or more of your prospects are a certain “yes.”
When you feel good about your new pricing, roll it out to existing clients and give them a one or two-month heads up. Their response, meaning how many stick around, will also put your new pricing to the test. So make sure you feel good and ready before you implement.
To sum up, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Use these 5 steps to determine what you should charge for social media management. When you experience growing pains in a year or so, start the 5-step process all over again.
How much experience do you have in social media management?
Prospective social media clients will want to know what relevant work experience you have, what results you have achieved for past clients, and what specialties you can bring to their business, such as content creation, social media strategy, account growth, social platform advertising, etc.). Your ability to communicate the value that your experience carries to your clients will often mean the difference between winning and losing a new account, so take the time to explain and market your abilities.
While years on the job isn’t the only way of determining experience, it can be helpful to compare your length of work experience to others. As social media managers gain more experience, they are able to charge their clients significantly higher fees.
According to the freelancer platform Upwork, the following are rates that other freelancers are charging clients for social media content management:
- Entry Level (social media posting, virtual assistant duties): $15-$50/hr
- Intermediate (social media posting, content creation, and community management): $50-$100/hr
- Advanced (brand and social media strategy, consulting): $120-$250/hr
Even though social media consultants and freelancers don’t earn salaries, it can also be helpful to use the salary data as a starting point when evaluating your fee schedule. According to LinkedIn, the median salary for a social media manager in the United States with 1-5 years of experience is $41,900. For that same role with 6-14 years of experience, the median salary jumps to $80,000!
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash
What do you know about the market you do business in?
Social media management rates will also vary by location. In an area where the cost of living is higher than average, rates will often be higher, too. The competition in your industry also plays an important role here in setting your freelancer rates.
Are there several social media management companies in your city? How much do they charge? While it can be difficult to find out the pricing of your competition, take the time to perform a competitive analysis anyway to make sure you’re setting yourself up to land a new client! Even if you can’t find out your competition’s pricing, you may discover what they offer and how they package their services.
What type of businesses are you working with?
Before you begin to price a social media management project, it is important to learn everything you can about a prospective client. While this information shouldn’t be the only factor in determining pricing, it is helpful to know when writing winning proposals and closing new business.
- Business Size. The bigger the business, the more they are able to spend on marketing. However, most businesses will only allocate a certain percentage of their revenue towards their marketing budget. In fact, the U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7-8% of gross revenue on marketing and advertising for businesses making less than $5 million in annual revenue. Keep this in mind.
- Industry. Factors like competition, pricing, and growth plans all vary by industry. For example, the restaurant industry is notoriously competitive, but profit margins are slim. The recipe leaves less budget for marketing expenses. Price yourself accordingly.
Most social media managers adjust their fees for each unique client and project. While that may seem strange to some, keep in mind that no two jobs will ever be exactly the same, and customizing your offering based on your clients needs and specifications is a smart way to gain business. Use your best judgment when presenting your rates – but do the research first.
Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash
What is the client’s scope of work?
How much support your social media management client needs is an important factor in determining how much to charge them for your services. Some clients require limited support, while others need 24/7 community management and creative planning not to mention execution of posts. Before sending a proposal, be sure you are clear on what your prospective clients’ social media goals are, and what they want to see on their social media channels. Below are a few key services and variables to consider that can help establish the scope of work.
- Number of platforms. How many social media platforms will the client want you to manage? Is it just their Instagram account, or do they have Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Yelp, and YouTube? Obviously, the more social platforms a client has the more you’ll want to charge to manage their social channels. Also, take into consideration whether or not the platforms have already been started or whether you’ll need to create and grow a new social platform from scratch. Creating a brand new social media account with no followers can be significantly more time consuming than taking over an account that is already established
- Paid vs. Organic. Paid social is becoming a bigger part of overall marketing budgets. Make sure that you are clear on where your duties will begin and end when it comes to advertising on social media, as social media advertising requires a unique skillset, and if you’re not well-versed in optimizing paid social media campaigns, this may be something you’ll need to learn, or farm out to another freelancer or member of your team.
- Content creation. Many social media managers and consultants also offer services like blogging, copywriting, or graphic design. If you’re expected to create the blog posts, the charts and graphics, or the memes, and tweet and post them, you’ll want to charge more. Alternatively, you may be required to do the research to find good content for the brand’s platforms, and social media content strategy adds considerable time to your job. Some companies may already have all of their content created by employees or other freelancers and ready to go – but find out first, estimate your required time accordingly, and outline your content creation and content strategy deliverables clearly when pricing your agreement. PRO TIP: Make some things optional – giving the client flexibility in how they leverage your services is always smart.
- Customer Service. Will you be in charge of responding to customer complaints and following up with them, or will you simply direct them to an employee at the company? Fielding customer complaints and inquiries can be quite time-consuming, and time-sensitive, especially as a business grows, so you’ll want to charge a significantly larger fee if you will be doing that kind of work and making that kind of commitment.
- Influencer Marketing. Another factor that may go into determining your rates for social media management is whether you’ll be reaching out to influencers who can advertise the business’s name, product, or service. It takes time to research, contact, and engage people who may be able to help the business grow their following, and any influencer marketing services you offer should be considered as a stand-alone service.
What overhead or internal costs do you incur?
What people, tools, and supplies will you need in place in order to provide good service to your social media management clients? All of these expenses should be considered and factored into your pricing structure so ask yourself questions to determine what your true costs will be.
- Employees and/or freelancers. Will you need to hire anyone to support you with any part of your contract? Can you increase the rate you charge by bringing on experts in other fields like copywriting, photography and graphic design?
- Tools and Software. What tools and software will you need to get the job done? A good rule of thumb is to add up your monthly fees and divide this cost out among your clients.
- Overhead. Will you need an office, photo studio, or coworking space? What supplies will you need? How much will you need to spend on your own marketing, and how much time will your administrative duties take every day, week, or month? All of these factors should be considered when pricing your services.
You’re finally ready to outsource your social media management and need the best price.