By making an investment in social media management, you may raise brand awareness, produce leads, enhance website traffic, and encourage community involvement. Executives and stakeholders might think that’s fantastic, but they might not understand how social media costs relate to business goals.
This social media management costs guide can help you get started if you need assistance gaining support for your social strategy and creating your budget.
We’ll go through what is often included in the price of managing social media, how much agencies charge in comparison to independent contractors, and how much an average firm should pay
Social media management costs overall
There is no standard price for social media management. Depending on their specific objectives, brands will spend in different ways.
However, an extensive social media management program costs about $12,300 per month based on average prices. This sum accounts for all expenses linked to social media management software, advertising campaigns, and content generation.
- Content creation: $5,250 per month
- Social advertising: $5,000 per month
- Platform management: $2,050 per month
- Total: $12,300 per month
Here’s a breakdown of this figure.
Launching a social channel and creating content
Even while creating a social media account is technically free, maintaining it and planning content for it may run a brand anywhere from $500 to $10,000 each month.
The anticipated cost is based on variables like hiring talent. Do you employ in-house talent or contract out the creation of content? For instance, at Sprout, our internal team members manage our content and social media, but we also outsource content generation.
Here are average rates for both:
- Social Media Specialist salary: $6,000 per month
- Social Media Manager freelance rate: $14-35 per hour
- Creator compensation: $100-$425 per post or video
The cost is also influenced by which channels you use and how often you post each month. For example, you will invest more
resources into video content for platforms like YouTube and Instagram.
According to Maggie Anderson, manager of digital marketing at Sprout, you should budget at least $5,000 a month to conduct an effective platform-specific advertising campaign. She makes the point that this amount should just be viewed as a beginning point because frequently the price might be much greater.
As Anderson adds, “Determine your purpose, campaign duration, and demographic before deciding on your social media advertising budget. These variables will assist you in selecting platforms and targeting techniques that will perform best for your campaign, which will eventually affect your budget.
Expect the overall cost to rise if you use more platforms and conduct longer campaigns.
Leave room in your ad budget for flexibility because your campaign analytics will show you how you might need to adjust your strategy in order to achieve your intended goals.
You will spend between $100 to $4,000 each month whether you handle several networks using a social media management tool, an agency partner, or both.
The price is influenced by the number of profiles you manage, the volume of inbound messages and mentions you receive, the size of your community and the features you use.
Social media management agency costs
While some companies outsource all of their social media management activities to agencies, others utilize them to supplement their in-house social teams. Here are the price ranges you should budget for if you choose to deal with an agency.
We asked 440 agencies how much they’re charging for their social media services. About 24% of the respondents said they charge an average of $500-$999 per month while 15% charge within the $1,000-$1,499 range.
Interestingly, 28% of agencies said they didn’t offer hourly rates, but of those that do, a quarter charge between $100-$149 per hour.
Sydney Nielsen, Sprout’s Manager of Customer Marketing, says, “Working with agencies is an investment that delivers high return. Agency partnerships allow you to tap into marketing professionals with extensive technical expertise who can deliver multiple creative and innovative campaigns at the same time. They give you insight into what’s working, what’s trending and where your brand should focus your efforts—without requiring trial and error.”
While the services offered depend on the agency type, they often entail:
- Platform management
- Social strategy
- Content development
- Social analytics
- Running paid social campaigns
- Engagement and community management
Keep in mind the scope of your social media management needs will impact cost. Prices vary depending on your goals, service term and the number of tasks the agency performs.
Social media management freelancer costs
Other brands opt to work with freelancers to fill their social media management gaps. Freelancer costs shift based on their experience level and the extent of your project. On average, freelancers charge a few hundred dollars to $10,000 per month. Many freelancers also offer hourly rates.
Once you determine your goals and budget, search for freelancers with the skills you need who fit your price range. Here’s a list of marketplaces you can use to kickstart your search:
- Upwork: A freelancing platform and independent talent workforce that helps you scale faster and transform your business. Upwork is a great option for larger projects that require subject matter expertise.
- Fiverr: A global online marketplace for freelancer services. Known as a cost-efficient choice, Fiverr helps brands bridge gaps in their overall social media management and achieve platform-specific goals.
- The Mom Project: A freelancing platform specifically designed to employ mothers and help over 650,000 talented women stay engaged in the workforce. The Mom Project’s Maternityship® program provides companies with coverage for resource gaps created by parental leave.
If your team opts to work with freelancers, we recommend starting with smaller tasks. Make sure their work aligns with your goals and expectations before partnering on large-scale, critical projects.
Social media management software costs
Today’s social media managers know publishing, scheduling and reporting from the native platforms would be inefficient (and, in some cases, impossible). Social media management software simplifies the hard work of social media so you can focus on connecting with your audience and building insights-driven strategies that elevate your brand.
For a robust social media management platform, you can expect to pay up to $1,000+ per month to cover end-to-end needs. For less robust platforms built to support specific tasks, you can expect to pay the same amount or less.
Cost of other software that can help with social media management
In addition to a social media management platform, you might need other tools that can supplement your social media strategy. Here are two examples of platforms that can help you track your customers’ journey and generate new content ideas.
HubSpot’s integrated CRM platform helps you monitor social engagement in the context of your customer relationships.
The platform gives you a detailed understanding of your customers’ social interactions and how many marketing qualified leads you’re generating from specific platforms—which makes it easy for you to prove the ROI of your social campaigns.
Cost: $800/month (Professional)
Post Planner curates articles, images and custom content feeds so you always have something fresh for your followers. The platform identifies your most popular posts, and has automated features to repurpose and recreate top-performing content.
Cost: $39/month (Business)
Invest in long-term social media success
Designing your social media management budget requires thinking critically about the resources you need to reach your goals. While the upfront costs of social media might seem expensive, finding the right mix of tools will set you up for future success.
After all, growing your social media presence is a marathon, not a sprint. The investments you make in your management strategy today will accrue and deliver long-term gains.