How Much Should You Pay For Social Media?
In a short span of 5-6 years, social media has become an undeniable presence both in our business and our personal lives. Despite the potential of such a platform, most social media marketers and businesses, hoping to grow their business, are still navigating and mapping out uncharted waters.
Unlike other established professions and industries, social media marketing does not have an established regulating body. Doctors here in Ontario, for instance, have The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Not only this, but the oldest story in social media marketing – social media and its ROI – makes it even more challenging to determine what to pay for social media. Despite this, here are some helpful considerations.
Education vs. Experience
Because social media management is a new field, we believe that experience in this field is crucial. While most universities don’t offer degrees in social media management, there are still established programs that you can look to to determine the ability of your candidate. Someone who has a background in business, writing, video production, photography, law and computer programming all have great skill sets that would lend themselves well to social media management. Heck, even if you brought someone in from a completely unrelated field, The Medici Effect says you may be able to come up with something completely new and innovative for your business!
Keeping in mind the aforementioned, what we are really concerned with here is finding someone who is analytical, creative and a problem solver.
What message does my brand convey to the passerby? To my engaged community? To my current customers? How do I adapt to the ever-changing landscape of social media? What skills can I leverage to communicate my brand effectively? How can I effectively use my social media data to improve my business? How does my social media differentiate my business? Whether someone is more educated or more experienced, your candidate must address these questions well.
By the Hour or Project-Based?
In the initial stages of establishing a social media presence, it may make sense to pay based on the project. Because this is generally where most of the planning of the social media platforms take place, a lot of time is needed to set up the foundations of your platforms (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Youtube).
The initial stages are where most of the creative effort it being put in. It’s not always easiest to put a time restraint on a creative process. What you are concerned with in the end is a job well done that reflects your business well. This doesn’t mean that you don’t set deadlines but knowing this, someone who is highly creative and understands your business well can do this in less time than someone who may be less creative or may need more time get a firm grasp on your business.
When you’re setting up your social media, you want someone who is willing to commit to the vision of his/her project as opposed to the hands of the clock.
Once your social media platforms are set up, paying hourly may be more sensible. Don’t get me wrong, maintaining social media and creating content is still a creative process. It’s just less creatively demanding. It’s more of a routinized process that can be easily managed by paying hourly.
As always, there are exceptions to the rule. Paying someone to set up your social media can still be done by paying hourly. At Twassistant, we set up our team members with our clients based on an hourly basis. Does this mean we’re shortchanging our clients the creative process in their social media management? Not at all. We extensively screen our employees to determine if that employee is a good fit for our client. If you’re able to get a good sense of the productive and creative capabilities of your employee beforehand, setting them up hourly can work as well.
So what do you charge?
Here are some prices quoted from Mack Collier, recognized by Forbes as one of the top 25 Social Media Marketers in the world:
Custom design and template creation – $1,000 – $5,000
Most Charge – $1,000-$3,000
Writing/Editing Content for the blog plus ongoing training – $500-$4,000 a month (Assume 1-2 posts a week at this rate)
Most Charge – $1,000-$3,000
Ghostwriting blog posts – $50-$500 per
Most Charge – $75-$200 per
Account Setup – $500-$2,000
Most Charge – $500-$1,000
Ongoing Account Management and Training – $500-$3,000 a month (For this service, the more content you need provided for you, the higher the fees)
Most Charge – $500-$1,500 a month
Initial Page Setup – $500-$2,500
Most Charge – $500-$1,500
Monthly Content Management and Curation – $500-$3,000 a month
Most Charge – $1,000-$2,000 a month
Facebook Promotion Creation
Short-Term (1-3 months) Contest, including branding for the app, limited promotion on other channels such as Facebook and Twitter to promote the contest. Fee doesn’t include prize and Facebook Ads to promote – $1,500-$20,000
Long-Term (3-6 months) Contest, including above, more elaborate promotion based on client’s needs – $25,000-$75,000
Note: These are the ‘Big Three’ tools when it comes to Social Media for business, and many consultants and agencies will offer companies a package deal on setting up and maintaining all three. For other tools such as Google Plus, Pinterest, MySpace (yes many entertainment and music-related businesses especially still use it) and others, assume that rates in general will be consistent for what you could expect to pay for similar services with Facebook or Twitter.
Hopefully this has given you some greater insight! We know firsthand that paying for someone for their time can sometimes be challenging because everybody values his/her time differently. Also, if you’ve hired a social media marketer before, what was your approach in paying him/her? Let us know in the comments!