Whether you are just starting out or your business is expanding, hiring a social media manager or agency to handle your digital marketing may be a necessity so you can devote your precious time to managing your business.
But how much should you spend on social media management services?
The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends devoting 7 to 8 percent of your overall gross revenue for advertising and marketing overall. Part of that will need to go toward social media management.
However, a range of factors will drive your marketing budget, from how competitive your industry is, to the stage your business is in — ongoing budgets can be smaller, while new companies and new products will need a larger budget initially.
Whatever the case, you will need to do some calculations and research to determine your marketing budget.
Once you have this in place, it is time to develop a marketing strategy: What are your short-term and long-term marketing goals? What social media platforms will you use? Will you publish a blog to increase your authority and as a way to share new, relevant content with your target market? What is the timeframe for when you want to see results, and how will these results be measured?
These and other questions will need to be answered when setting your strategy and budget. Prospective social media managers will want to know this information as well to give you a cost estimate for their services.
The Value of Social Media Management
Once you decide what you can spend on your overall marketing, and what avenues you’ll be using, you’ll have a better idea of what you can pay for help in social media management.
To know the value of what a social media manager does, you have to know what the work entails.
Following is a partial list of the work that is done by a social media manager. The overall job needed depends on what your digital marketing strategy will require:
- Doing SEO and Keyword research
- Researching competitors
- Creating original graphics
- Producing original videos
- Brainstorming and coming up with campaign ideas
- Creating messaging for social media posts
- Writing blog posts
- Creating graphics for blog posts
- Researching and Curating content to share
- Scheduling and posting all content
- Networking with Influencers
- Following, liking, and commenting on posts
- Monitoring and responding to comments, criticism, and questions
- Email marketing
- Creating landing pages for lead generation
- Social media advertising
- Creating campaigns
- Creating ads (which involves all of the above from producing more videos, graphics and messaging, in addition to making unique interactive ads)
- Developing targeted audiences
- Continually fine-tuning creatives and target audiences to find the sweet spot
- Monitoring ads for results and spending
- Analyzing and Reporting
There is so much more that can go into a proper digital marketing strategy, but these are the basics. The work of a social media manager can encompass much more if you are looking for one person or an agency to handle all your digital marketing.
If your marketing plan involves any SEO work such as directory listing, link building, and PR work, like writing guest columns for other publications, writing and publishing press releases, the work hours of your manager will increase exponentially.
Typically small to medium-sized business can expect to spend between $1,500 to $3,500 a month and more for social media management services from an agency. It depends on how much reach and growth you want to see initially, and what methods you want to use to reach people online.
If you hire someone to work full-time to handle your social media management, consider the average salary for a social media manager reported by Glassdoor is $54,000 per year.
SEO work alone can cost from $2,500 to $5,000 per month, depending on the size of the business and the competitiveness of the industry.
It is imperative to set a marketing budget for your business before deciding how much you can spend on social media management. Once you have that set, you can hire a part-time freelancer if your budget is small, or hire an agency or full-time manager to get the results you want.