The Imagination Factory

The Cost for Social Media

August 24th, 2012 by Ted Bailey

In an earlier post, I discussed the costs of SEO. Successful site SEO is much like a good cocktail; a few parts of this and a few parts of that, then stick an umbrella in it. Proper search optimizing requires both on- and off-site components. One such off-site component is, increasingly, social media. Just as with cocktails, we can mix our favourite drink, but handling multiple diverse drink orders is best left to the bartenders and mixologists. Or in the case of social media, SEO and/or social media consultants.

What will social media consultant cost?

I recently came across an interesting blog post from Mack Collier about the prices of social media consultants. Mack describes a range of services, fees and charges.

Mack has been reporting on these costs for several years and the ranges he quotes are very wide, so it’s a guide only and mainly applicable to the USA but it’s a useful summary for you to see the types of services you could be buying. Please note, Mack’s list doesn’t include services around social media monitoring and responding to issues. That’s becoming an important component in the cocktail mix.

Here’s some of what Mack has included in the 2012 update:

Blogs: Launching a custom blog, content creation, handling responses to comments $1,500-$9,000 a month
Ghostwriting: $50 – 500 per blog post

Twitter: Create and launch a new presence on Twitter, outsourcing all content creation and customer interaction – $1,000-$5,000 a month

Facebook: Launch a Facebook Page from the ground-up, outsourcing all content creation and customer interactions – $1,500-$6,000 a month
Facebook Promotions: Contests, branding, etc. – Short term (1-3 mo): $1,500-$20,000; Long term (3-6 mo): $25,000-75,000 (not including prizes, adverts, etc.)

Social Media Strategy: Comprehensive Social Media Strategy Creation (usually tied to an audit), assuming outsourcing of all content creation through all channels (minimum 2) – $3,000-$20,000 a month

Audit of existing Social Media Strategy including recommendations for improvement – $2,000-$25,000

Social Media Consulting: Hourly rates – $50-$500/Hr

In general, smaller businesses and non-profits can expect to pay prices that are closer to the low end of the price range, while large companies and organizations will probably see their quoted rates closer to the top end of the range.

As you’d expect, it all comes down to who you choose, what they can do and what you need or want them to do for you.

While we provide this service, in general we don’t advise clients to outsource their social media efforts for long term. Its easy to understand that some clients need to outsource and we’re happy to work with them. One of the questions we ask early on is if the client has the resources to keep and MAINTAIN a blog and other social media.

If you need to outsource some/most of your efforts at first till you get up to speed, that’s one thing. In the long-run, your own efforts will be more effective, and cheaper, the more you handle yourself.

Often an officer or staff have a great passion for their products/services, and their customers that use them. Unfortunately, PASSION is the one area that can’t be outsourced. We can show you how to craft content that will be more valuable to customers and show you how to encourage interaction, but we won’t be able to match the passion or understanding that YOU have for your business. Also if you hire someone to create and execute a social media strategy for you and outsource EVERYTHING to them, then you’re locked into them for as long as you use social media.

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