Quite often here at LYFE Marketing, we receive emails from our website visitors about the cost of our social media services.
About two weeks ago, we received this email from Carlos…
The email said:
“I want to know what packages you have for social media management and what services they include”
Needless to say, we were interested.
So, we proceeded with setting up a meeting.
Turns out Carlos (like many) had no idea what the average cost for social media marketing was…
He wanted to truly understand why the cost for services ranged anywhere from $299 – $15,000 per month. That’s a huge spectrum.
So for people like Carlos, who want to know how much the social media marketing cost is, we decided to write this blog for you.
And so, here’s the deal:
If you’re serious about hiring the right company for your business, there are 4 general services you need to know.
1. Content Creation
The first step for any brand is to post and be active on the best social media platforms. This is a service every social media company will provide.
2. Follower Growth
In order to get your post to be seen, you must have fans/followers on social media. It is important to check if this is included in your package.
3. Social Advertising
To truly tap into the power of social media, you must advertise. This allows you to pay to reach millions of people who use social media every day.
This is where you will find the discrepancy in the cost for services in most cases.
4. Strategy & Employees
The sheer number of employees that a social media company has working on your business can highly affect the price.
It can be the difference between paying $1,500/mo and paying $15,000/mo for social media management.
Corporate agencies often have:
…and more to all work together to create an effective social media marketing strategy and serve the client’s needs.
And that’s it!
As many of you know, these make-up social media marketing services are for most SMBs (small or midsize businesses).
But if you’d like a more in-depth understanding of these services, no worries.
We recorded a video that walks you through the entire scope.
In addition, if you would like to know how much does social media marketing cost with LYFE Marketing, then visit our social media management pricing page.
Now that you understand how social media marketing services work, let’s dive into the meat of this blog.
When deciding to outsource your social media needs, there are several options available to you.
You can hire an intern, freelancer, employee, small marketing company, or corporate marketing agency.
Each partner has its own average price and set of pros/cons.
That’s why it is important to note that no company is exactly alike and will have minor differences.
We will take a look at each partner individually.
Let’s start with the classic…
The problem with hiring a social media intern is that they have no business experience.
Yes, it’s true, interns do know how to post tweets, and can update Facebook posts.
However, most interns do not have the knowledge to organize marketing and generate results for the business.
Keep in mind that people who take social media intern positions are people who are trying to learn.
So instead of you maximizing your time on other important business operations…
…you’ll most likely be answering intern questions, and constantly correcting or reviewing their work.
Interns cost you a lot of time, and time is money.
Pros of Hiring an Intern:
Cons of Hiring an Intern:
2. Social Media Freelancers
A freelancer is often referred to as a consultant.
Typically, freelancers charge an hourly wage to render services on a project basis.
Social media freelancers with 3+ years of experience, on average, will cost $45/hr.
Alexis Grant also shares some great insight on this topic in her blog on What to Charge for Social Media Work as a Freelancer or Consultant.
Now, let’s do the math.
If you want real results to come from social media, you will need to be active and post daily.
Assuming it takes your freelancer one hour per day, your cost could be…
$45/hr per day x 5 days a week x 4 weeks a month = $900/mo x 12/mo = $10,800 per year for a freelancer.
Pros of Working With a Freelancer:
Cons of Working With a Freelancer:
One last thing to note about freelancers is that experience matters. Hiring an inexperienced social media manager can be like hiring an intern.
3. Full-Time Employee (In-house)
The great benefit of hiring an employee is that you control the employee’s quality, time, and activity.
You are able to build a position or team for your social media marketing department.
However, adding a new position is not always an easy task.
You have to develop training, day-to-day process, and oversight for the employee.
This means it could take months before you are ready to play on social media.
In addition, you will have a long-term commitment with your new employee, so be mindful of the possibility of failure.
Now, let’s do the math.
On the low end, you can expect to pay $35k per year in salary. This is about $3,500 per month when you include taxes and benefits.
$3,500 per month x 12 months = $42,000 per year for a full-time employee.
Pros of Hiring an In-house Employee:
Cons of Hiring an In-house Employee:
4. Small Marketing Company
A small marketing company is one that typically caters to small business owners.
Most of these companies try to provide as much value to the client at the best cost possible.
This gives you a hybrid of hiring a freelancer and a full-time employee.
So, Freelancer + Full-Time Employee = Small Marketing Company.
You get the best of both worlds.
Since most small marketing companies want to grow clientele, you will find that they will be committed to helping your company grow as well.
And perhaps that greatest benefit is that it’s not reliant on one person, compared to freelancers and full-time employees.
In addition, they have several packages to fit your social media budget and needs.
Now, let’s do the math.
The cost for a good small marketing company will range anywhere from $400 – $1,500 per month.
At the lowest package, you will spend $4,800 per year.
$400/mo x 12 months = $4,800 per year
At the best package, you will spend $18,000 per year.
$1500/mo x 12 months = $18,000 per year
Pros of Hiring a Small Marketing Company:
Cons of Hiring a Small Marketing Company:
Now beware, there are plenty of unreliable and inexperienced small marketing companies on the web.
That’s why it’s important to ask if the company has in-house social media managers.
You do not want to work with a company that is simply outsourcing their work to freelancers.
This way, you will know exactly what to expect from your provider.
5. Corporate Marketing Agency
These agencies typically work with other corporate companies like Fortune 1000 or Inc 5000 entities.
They are known for being full-service and providing a large range of marketing services for their clients.
So naturally, they have a lot of employees who work together on client campaigns.
And this is great, especially if you have a big complex business.
That is because every employee is able to thoroughly strategize and execute their portion of the client’s digital marketing campaign.
However, most corporate marketing agencies are known for being slow and unresponsive.
Now, let’s do the math.
For a good corporate marketing company, you will pay $15,000/mo.
$15,000/mo x 12 months = $180,000 per year for a corporate marketing company.
For most SMBs, you will not see a positive return on this type of social media investment.
Unless of course, your social media content goes viral.
Pros of Hiring a Corporate Marketing Agency:
Cons of Hiring a Corporate Marketing Agency:
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And, that’s it! We’ve covered every group.
Now, let’s do a side-by-side comparison and breakdown of key pros/cons.
How much does social media marketing cost?
|Intern||Freelancer||Full-time Employee||Small Marketing Company||Corporate Marketing Company|
|$$$||Free||$900 / mo||$3500 / mo||$400 – 1500 / mo||$15000 / mo|
|Cons||No Experience||One person||Cost||Oversight||Cost|
|Use||Anyone||Anyone||Based on experience||Small businesses||Fortune 1000 & Inc 5000 Companies|
Every partner is different and will yield different costs.
However, on average, you can expect to pay the prices above depending on who you are talking to.
Here are some tweetable takeaways.
It’s only right that we end this blog with a pitch.
If you are looking for a small social media marketing company to manage your campaign and get real results, then please contact us today.
Check out what some of our clients have to say about us on Google.
You may also want to download our infographic on how much does social media marketing cost.