Inside the Costs of Social Media

I’m sure you’ve seen the costs of social media management or consulting vary from a couple hundred dollars for a fanpage set up to several thousand dollars a month for regular maintenance.

The problem is social media is relatively new for a lot of companies, so knowing what services to pay for, and what costs are legitimate can be difficult at best. The vast range of prices, at best is confusing, and the language of services doesn’t give much more insight.

Costs of Social Media Management or Maintenance

This is when a company hires a person to take care of their social media accounts. You will choose platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) to cover and then decide on what exactly the person is responsible for doing.

The reason costs can vary so much is because of what the person is doing. Here are some explanations of the costs of social media activities.

Social Media Setup Costs

When setting up a fanpage or other social media profile, there are certain settings on each platform that the social media expert needs to know to give you the functionality you ask for.

They also must know the current terms of service for the platforms in order to make sure your profile isn’t violating any rules in place. If you do violate these rules you can lose your profiles.

This all takes time and education the expert needs to have to make sure you aren’t wasting your time and money.

In addition to each platform having different settings, and rules, they also have a variety of options to consider when setting up the profile.

Twitter Services

On Twitter you can use custom backgrounds, profile pics, bios with web links, and hashtags, following users in your industry, setting up a listening campaign, and choosing a user name that is short and related to your industry.

At first it might seem like it should be easy, but creating the images you want, researching hashtags to use, finding people to follow in your industry, and the keyword research and time investment for a listening campaign can take several hours.

Facebook Services

Facebook can take even longer than Twitter because there are more options to consider, and of course the more time it takes, the more it will cost.

The fanpage setup with take about an hour, but you may need a personal account to run the fanpage through, then you will have the options of graphics, descriptions, contact information, custom apps, milestones, photo albums, groups, documents, liking other fan pages, and several other options.

The services you are offered will depend on the skill of the social media expert, and the costs will depend on their time investment, education, and how advanced you want to go.

Each platform will have a variety of activities your expert CAN set up for you, and whether or not they do each thing will depend on your budget. This isn’t to say that each thing they do is necessary but when setting up a business profile or fanpage, you want it to look professional, clean, branded, and trustworthy.

It’s better to look at a profile as a puzzle, each piece adds to the over all complete picture and is therefore worth the time and cost investment.

Costs of Social Media Maintenance

Once your profiles are all set up, they will require at least weekly maintenance, though the more often they are given attention, the more return you will see from them. Here are some of the more common activities covered in maintenance or management:

  • Necessary changes based on platform upgrades (ex: facebook goes to timeline) requires ongoing education about platforms to keep your profiles within restrictions
  • Daily updates– giving your followers content to read and interact with
  • Comment responses– responding to comments, likes, shares, mentions, retweets and posts by others on your accounts- the time investment here will depend largely on the engagement rate of your profiles and the number of followers you have
  • Community participation– seeking out, and participating in conversations related to your industry on all platforms.

On Facebook this may be on other fan pages, on event pages, in groups.
On Twitter this includes twitter parties or chats, responding to people talking about your topic, responding to listening campaigns.
On LinkedIn participation in groups, answers and on updates.

This activity can include a full day of work even on the most inactive profiles, because there is no limit as to how much participation one can do. It is important to note that it takes more than spamming fan pages, groups and chats to get people to come back and like or follow your profile.

An expert should be comfortable seeking out conversation and building relationships with potential followers to get their trust and loyalty for your company.

  • Graphics– photos are one of the most shared and engaging updates on social media, but some people do not have the skills to do these themselves, social media experts may know someone or have access to their own tools to do these, but charge a higher price
  • Videos– the most shared posts are videos, but it takes time and skill to make them, these too may be additional social media costs


Other Social Media Costs

  • Blogging– a great way to bring visitors back to your website is through sharing web posts. This also increases SEO power for your website, and answers prospect questions. Experts charge more for this service, and it can include keyword research, asking the visitors to buy, fill out a form, or complete an action, it may include interviewing, researching a topic, and more
  • Guest Blogging– further increase your SEO power with posts on other blogs and share these links on social media too, again, this can be a lot of work, but is worth the investment because of the traffic and conversions it can bring back to your website

With so many activities involved in social media, the price tag can go up pretty quickly. Let’s look at some standard costs of social media work.

  • Fanpage or Profile Setup $200+
  • Custom Apps $100+
  • Graphics $200+
  • Bios & Descriptions $100+
  • Daily Updates $1-$5 each post, each platform
  • Responses $20-$50 per hour
  • Community Participation $20-$50 per hour
  • Graphics for Updates $20-$50 each
  • Videos for Updates $200-$2,000+ each
  • Blog Posts $30-$125
  • Guest Blog Posts $100-$200

These prices will vary based on the amount of time it takes a social media manager, their level of expertise, how quickly they work, how advanced you want each outcome to be, and more.

Even at the prices suggested social media can be very lucrative in driving sales or generating leads, and once you reach the point of seeing results, there is always room to ramp up your efforts and pull more from each platform.

It is our goal to help your company get the most from social media, if you have any questions about the costs of social media we have discussed here, please feel free to reach out in the comments below, by contacting me or calling 888.945.9229

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