SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

The question that we get most often about social media marketing is how much it costs — which makes sense. Like so many major decisions in business and in life, the major constraining factor tends to be your budget (that is, if it isn’t time). 

So how much does it cost to outsource social media marketing services? 

The shortest, easiest (and, admittedly, the least satisfying) answer to this question is this: it varies – a lot. 

Depending on the experience level of the social media management agency you hire, the size of your business, the suite of services you require, and a bunch of other factors, professional social media marketing can cost you anywhere from $1,000 per month to $20,000 per month. 

This kind of wild discrepancy in cost can make things extremely difficult for business owners and marketing managers who are contemplating outsourcing their social media marketing. The headache of trying to figure out which social media agency to hire, which services you need, and how much money you should spend can cause a lot of anxiety — and even decision-paralysis, which can be deadly when you’re trying to grow a brand. 

That’s why we wrote this guide: to give you a clear breakdown of all the information that you need to make the best decision for your business. Let’s start with the question that likely brought you here in the first place and we’ll try to give you a better picture: 

How Much Does Social Media Marketing Cost? 

Social media marketing can be broken down into different buckets, generally by channel and by services. Let’s take a look at each

How Much Does Marketing With Twitter Cost? 

Launching a new Twitter account, complete with setup and outsourcing content creation/consumer interaction (all 280 characters at a time), costs an average of $2,000-$4,000 per month – and that’s just for Twitter. With that said, the total price range was $1,000-$7,500 per month. 

What if you already have an existing Twitter account, but need some help to take it to the next level? Restructuring an existing Twitter account with “limited coaching” to achieve client goals is still going to cost you between $1,000-$2,500 per month, with some charging as much as $4,000 per month. 

We manage social media for several national brands and have developed some truly impressive case studies over the years (a favorite: the tweet that turned into a client being featured in Wired magazine). On multiple occasions, we’ve gotten hashtags we’ve created to trend nationally, and we are very familiar with the amount of customer service, outreach and PR work that’s required via Twitter in particular.

Long story short, we know what we’re talking about – and unless you’re a HUGE brand with a significant number of customer service issues that need to be handled via Twitter (think: an airline), there’s no need to spend $4k per month on Twitter alone. 

How Much Does Marketing With Facebook Cost? 

Facebook management pricing can run a bit higher than that of Twitter alone. To set up a new Facebook account and provide limited ongoing training to business partners, online PR agencies charge an average of $2,500-$5,000 per month, with some going as high as $9,000. 

However, for most businesses it’s a good idea to bundle these two together (and probably to add on a third and even a fourth channel), which will not only help you increase your audience, but can get you a deal on the price as well. 

At JTMC ENTERPRISE, we charge $4,000 to manage 3 social media channels, including custom graphics, hosting Twitter chats, live tweeting events, creating and managing Twitter lists, and more.

How Much Does Marketing With Other Social Media Channels Cost? 

When it comes to social media marketing, Twitter and Facebook are definitely the top two options for businesses. If you’re just getting started, or if you’re working within a tighter budget, we’d definitely recommend that you start there. 

Every business is different, but from what we’ve seen with our clients Twitter and Facebook tend to provide the greatest ROI, and customers in general will expect that a business has an active profile on both platforms. 

However, if you’d like to also do social media marketing on channels like Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and SnapChat, those additional channels can easily cost you $1,000 or more for each one that you add on. 

That’s a big investment, so you obviously want to be really strategic about which social media platforms you choose and figure out what your path to ROI will be by adding each additional channel. 

Insider Tip: Not every channel is a good match for every business, so when you’re making your decision, be wary of any social media agency that tries to throw the kitchen sink at you. Unless you’re a major, mass market brand (and honestly, even if you are) chances are you don’t need to be on every social media channel under the sun. Here’s a quick look at some of the things you should consider:

INSTAGRAM MARKETING 

Instagram is a highly visual platform that focuses almost entirely on images. 

If you’re a fashion brand, a company that restores classic cars, or any other kind of business that can consistently create visually compelling content, then Instagram should definitely be on your radar. However, if you’re an accountant, probably not so much.

Pinterest Marketing 

Pinterest is another image based platform that allows users to curate and organize images from all over the web in one place. 

We’ve seen this be a valuable platform for all kinds of different clients, but it’s not for everyone. One of the things that makes Pinterest unique is its demographic makeup, which is predominantly upper-income and female. If that’s your target audience, you definitely want to give Pinterest marketing a look.

Snapchat Marketing 

Snapchat is the cool kid on campus, and with over 100 million daily users, lots of brands and businesses are looking to leverage this platform as part of their social media marketing strategy. However, of all of the social media platforms, this one is by far the most idiosyncratic. 

Snapchat allows users to send out images and 15-second videos to their followers that disappear either as soon as they are viewed or after 24 hours — which is obviously not ideal for most social media marketing purposes. 

Also, without the more traditional methods of tagging, hashtagging, linking to content, and responding en masse to trending conversations, growing an audience on Snapchat can be a daunting task. While we’ve seen brands make it work with this platform, if you’re just getting started with social media marketing, this probably isn’t where you want to start. 

Make sure that you learn more about the social media marketing channels that you sign up for before signing on the dotted line. And if you feel like a social media agency is trying to push services on you that you don’t need, walk away.

Does My Business Need A Social Media Strategy? 

Our answer is an emphatic YES. Investing in social media marketing without having a strategy is like buying a car and not knowing how to drive. It’s like trying to use a gas grill without a propane tank. It’s like putting a sweet new entertainment center in a house without electricity. We think you get our point. 

Social media platforms are a tool that can help you market your business, but unless you know how to use it to generate tangible ROI for your business, you’re only setting yourself up to waste time and money. And the truth is that social media strategy is a lot more complicated and involved than you probably think. 

Why Does it Cost So Much to Hire a Social Media Management Agency? 

There’s a pretty common misconception that social media marketing is a quick and easy way to market business, because anyone can set up a Facebook page, right? But social media marketing is so much more than setting up profile and sending out some tweets. 

From audience and list building, to the right image sizes to use for each platform, to which kinds of posts convert the best, to leveraging your social media posts to create PR opportunities…there is an endless and ever-changing list of skills, tools and best practices that social media marketers have to stay on top of in order to consistently provide ROI to their clients. 

We could try to explain all of the incredible things that an expertly planned and implemented social media strategy can do for your business, but when it comes to this sort of thing, we’re all about the show instead of the tell. Here are just a few of some of our favorite social media marketing case studies that we’ve put together over the last few months, to give you an idea of what’s possible when you hire a social media agency that’s serious about strategy:

Why Does it Cost So Much to Hire a Social Media Management Agency? 

There’s a pretty common misconception that social media marketing is a quick and easy way to market business, because anyone can set up a Facebook page, right? But social media marketing is so much more than setting up profile and sending out some tweets. 

From audience and list building, to the right image sizes to use for each platform, to which kinds of posts convert the best, to leveraging your social media posts to create PR opportunities…there is an endless and ever-changing list of skills, tools and best practices that social media marketers have to stay on top of in order to consistently provide ROI to their clients. 

We could try to explain all of the incredible things that an expertly planned and implemented social media strategy can do for your business, but when it comes to this sort of thing, we’re all about the show instead of the tell. Here are just a few of some of our favorite social media marketing case studies that we’ve put together over the last few months, to give you an idea of what’s possible when you hire a social media agency that’s serious about strategy:

Social Media Marketing 

Each social media network is listed below, with details about what is included on a regular basis: 

Facebook Marketing 

Unique Posts – We will post 2-3 times on your Facebook page, on average, every day. These posts will be a combination of custom graphics, calls to action to visit the website and company-based news. 
Content Promotion – Every piece of unique content that we write for you will be promoted on social media. Not only will this increase the number of people who will read this content, but it will improve your SEO as well. 
Interacting with Other Pages – To help catch the eye of complementary, non-competing businesses. This will lead to more sharing of company content and status updates and introduce people to the brand. 
Creating Custom Images – Up to two custom graphics per week 
Customer Service – When people are unhappy or happy about a program or product, they’ll often head to social media to voice their opinions. We’ll respond to any feedback that’s received promptly and courteously. We’ll also answer any questions that potential users may have. 
Facebook Ads – A $150 ad budget per month is part of our social media services. This includes: 

Ad concept and copy 
Management of the campaign 
Analytic reports 
Graphic design/appropriate paid for stock photo 
Audience targeting 
Adjusting ads as needed to maximize results 
Determining what content is best to send them to 
A/B testing between multiple ads within the same campaign 

We can target whomever you’d like us to with Facebook ads, and if you want to spend more per month on ads we can accommodate that growth. If the campaign goes well and you want to expand, we charge a 10% ad management fee with a $250/month minimum fee. 

Twitter Marketing 

Daily Tweets – An average of 7-10 tweets a day. Approximately 20-30% of the content will be self promotional, the rest of the focus will be on providing value to the community and interacting with the company’s target audience. 
Hashtag Creation and Management – We’ll keep a close eye on trending topics, and when appropriate, jump in on the conversation using the appropriate hashtag. This will help increase visibility of the company, as well as lead to more followers and interaction. 
Interacting for PR Purposes – One of the most effective uses of Twitter is as a PR tool. Journalists are active on Twitter, and regularly use it to find sources to quote in their articles. We’ll create lists of journalists, bloggers and industry influencers to target on Twitter, build relationships and introduce them to the company. This is one of the fastest ways Twitter can deliver ROI. 
Content Promotion – We’ll continually share company content, which will help drive traffic to the site and raise awareness of the brand. This also sends signals to the search engines that your content is worth sharing, which can help improve the site’s SEO. 
Customer Service – We’ll monitor for people tweeting about the company, even if they don’t @them directly. If they have something awesome to say, we’ll make sure to retweet, favorite and let everyone know. If they have something negative to say, we’ll let you know immediately and respond to them promptly and courteously. And if they have questions, we’ll answer them right away. 
Keyword Monitoring – We’ll use Hootsuite to monitor for people talking about particular topics relevant to your company, and jump in and interact as necessary. 
Twitter Chats – We’ll participate in one Twitter chat per month on behalf of your brand. If no Twitter chats exist, we can create and manage our own (this isn’t easy, but we know what we’re doing). 

Google+ Marketing 

Updates – Studies have shown that daily updates on Google+ directly impact how well your site is ranked after 90 days. A percentage of these updates will link back to the company site directly, having an even greater impact on SEO. 
Communities – Many people use Google+ just for the purpose of engaging in the communities on the social network, and we’ll be active in all the relevant ones. We’ll check out what already exists and create our own communities when 
Adding Targeted Pages To Circles – Similar to Twitter lists, and effective in helping to regularly interact with the right people. 
Hashtags – We’ll include appropriate hashtags in updates. People use hashtags to search for posts that they’re interested in, so we’ll make sure that we’re using the ones that are the most relevant and popular. 

Pinterest Marketing 

Original Pins – We’ll create original pins that will promote the company and engage people who love what it offers, but don’t know it yet. Infographics with writing tips, humorous memes, etc. are all great types of content that will get repinned, and put the company in front of the right audience. An average of three per day is included. 
Engagement – Interacting and pinning content from other sites that have a “Pin It” button next to them will help to build the relationships you need to bring the company to the next level. This will also ensure that you’re not being viewed by users as being overly self promotional. 
Creating Boards – We’ll create an average of one new board a week, based on what your followers are interested in. 

LinkedIn 

Updates – An average of two posts on the company’s LinkedIn page, which will reach those following it. All blog posts, articles and press mentions will be promoted via the page. 
Interaction – Following other LinkedIn pages, focusing on thought leaders and companies that are related to your brand, but  are not your competitors. We’ll share their content periodically when it is the type of content that speaks to your audience. 
LinkedIn Group Involvement – Joining in and engaging with members of LinkedIn groups. This will increase engagement from those not already following the company page and drive traffic back to the website. We will join 5-7 group discussions a week. This includes promoting content from the site when appropriate. 
LinkedIn Group Management – Post once a week in each at least and jump into the discussions others are having when appropriate. 
Ad management – You provide the budget and we manage the targeting, monitoring and reporting. This will allow your posts to reach individuals and businesses who aren’t already familiar with your brand, who fit into your target audience and will convert into leads. (Additional ad management fee: 10% of ad budget) 

Images 

Copyright – We will only use images that we have the rights to. They will be stock photos, custom graphics (up to one per week) and photos that you provide us with, unless they are shared promoting another article. We always use the optimal images sizes for each social network.