When searching for an agency to manage your company’s social media, you will soon find that the options are practically limitless. But when it comes to finding a reputable, trustworthy company with a track record of results, you’ll need to research a little deeper. In this article we review the different social media options and costs associated with each service.
What do you look for? What social media packages are important? What is a fair price for social media management?
We’ve done the heavy lifting for you by exploring available social media marketing packages and pricing, and reviewing the pros and cons.
There are many options when choosing to outsource your social media marketing (which is why it can seem overwhelming). From virtual assistants who post an update on your Facebook page a few times a week, to full-service agencies that handle every aspect of your online branding and marketing, there are suitable programs for everyone.
Priorities: What do you want to get out of your Social Media Marketing?
If you are clear on your priorities and objectives, it will be easy to narrow down your search. Once you identify the outcomes you desire, you can begin to structure an appropriate social media program. First, let’s take a look at some of the key benefits that professional social media management can provide:
- A consistent, attractive, up-to-date presence
When anyone lands on your page, you want it to look current, and you want your posts to show you off as the brilliant expert that you are.
For this outcome, you may only need timely, relevant updates posted on your social media page(s) at least several times each week. A social media package that focuses exclusively on content development and daily posting (including posts that highlight your expertise, deliver current industry news & trends, and share value with your target audience) may be ideal for you.
- Increased awareness of your brand
You want your target audience to know your (or your company’s) name and think of you when they need your products or services. You want to be regarded as the expert and thought leader in your industry.
In addition to content development and posting on multiple platforms, you want daily “social outreach,” where an account manager is proactively engaging with followers and your target audience. Consistent, relevant posts will keep your name in front of your current followers, but to reach new prospects and increase brand awareness, make sure your social media package includes a strong engagement component.
- Stronger Relationships with Your Current Community
Your relationship with your network means the world to you, and you want to keep those connections strong.
Cultivating meaningful relationships requires regular and proactive communication. To achieve these outcomes, your social media package should include outreach, engagement, and rapport-building.
- Community Growth
Your current followers are not enough. You want a larger audience to connect with, but they need to be the right people.
To grow your followers, fans, and connections, you must perform persistent attention-getting tasks. Opt for a social media program that features intelligent community-building activities.
- Website Traffic
A thriving social media presence is great, but you have much more control over content and sales on you website. You want to drive traffic from your social platforms to your website.
Make sure the posts being published on your social media pages are strategic. Driving traffic to your website requires a deliberate approach, including useful, relevant, compelling content and thoughtful timing. If you aren’t posting regular blog articles to your site, you may want to consider including the outsourcing of this component in your social media package, as well.
Nothing matters to you except turning followers into leads or sales. (If this is your only objective, you’ll need more than just social media to fill out your marketing pie.)
Talk to potential social media agencies about your conversion objectives. They will help you decide what is realistic, and what is needed to reach your goals. For conversions, consider injecting social media ads to complement your organic campaigns.
Most social media management agencies offer several package levels, ranging from posting content on a single platform to a comprehensive, social management program that spans multiple networks. Defining your brand’s needs (see above) will determine how much you’ll need to spend. For most small businesses, a package containing one post a day of relevant content is the minimum needed to keep your brand fresh and updated.
You will often see package levels that include the following (in increasing price order):
Content only – posted X times / month, week, day
Direct interaction with your followers – X times / month, week, day
Outreach to attract new followers, media attention, potential partners – X times / month, week, day
Strategy – with monthly / weekly reports, research on analytics, tweaking and adjusting to constantly improve results
Why do some agency packages cost $100 / month (or less), and some cost upwards of multiple thousands / month?
Well, the pricing has to do with several factors:
- How much work are you asking the agency to do for you?
- Can any of the work be automated (vs. needing a human being to personally do the work)?
- How much of the work requires real-time activity vs. pre-scheduling the work for the week or month?
- Are you happy with general posts, or do you want custom-branded posts written in your voice?
- How much strategy and research is involved on a monthly basis?
- How often are strategic adjustments made on your campaigns?
We’ve seen prices as low as $50 / month or lower for generic posts. These are automated programs that spit out posts according to topics you choose. The posts are not specific to your company or brand and are not written in your voice, but they may give some value to your audience. Don’t expect any relationship building or increased engagement with these posts, and since the links don’t go to your website, you won’t see any web traffic.
For about $100 – $200 a month, you can have custom-branded posts written in your voice and posted once a day to one social network. These posts are terrific for keeping your pages fresh and current. If you add your own engagement, you can keep your brand top-of-mind with your community.
$200 – $500 / month will get you upgraded posting (more research, added visuals, strategic links), posting more often, or posting on more than one network.
Engagement and outreach to increase your network, build relationships, attract attention, and drive website traffic will usually cost you $600 and up / per social media platform. The investment depends upon the number of social platforms you want to be on, how quickly you want to increase your visibility, how much direct outreach is involved, and how often your campaigns are analyzed and tweaked.
Full-service social media campaigns will often come with an investment of several thousand dollars / month. A comprehensive, multi-platform social media program might include creation, implementation, and management of an integrated content marketing and social media marketing campaign, with the goals of expanding brand recognition and visibility on multiple social networks, attracting targeted prospects to value-rich blog content, and using Social Media to help build a growing pipeline of prospects and customers.
The bottom line
An experienced social media management agency has the time, tools, resources, and expertise to handle your social media accounts. When making your selection, it’s imperative to not only ask about pricing, but check out the company’s previous work and satisfied customers. No matter what you are paying, you must trust the agency with whom you are working.
Do you have any other questions about hiring a social media agency? Feel free to post below, or contact us here.