How Much Does Social Media Marketing Cost?
There is frequently a lot of confusion between Inbound Marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing. What are the differences? Are they the same? Which one do I need for my business? How much is it going to cost me?
Believe me, we understand the confusion. The marketing industry has been changing very rapidly for a while now and we don’t see it slowing down any time soon. So before we dive into the nuts and bolts of social media marketing, let me clarify what we mean by each one.
During a study done in late 2014 by Hubspot, it was determined that content marketing is a subset of Inbound Marketing. Content marketing really refers to the development of quality content that delights and engages prospects and builds connection and community. This in turn leads to a more loyal customer. At BEACON, we use content in our Inbound Marketing efforts, in fact quality content is one of the cornerstones of our dynamic and effective marketing efforts.
Likewise, social media marketing is a subset of Inbound Marketing. Typically it refers to the process of publishing, monitoring and analyzing content on various social media channels (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.)
But let’s get back to the focus of this blog: The cost of social media marketing. We want to give you some big picture numbers and then show you want to expect from BEACON’s team.
Let’s start by looking at some national averages.
Facebook: If you need your your Facebook presence built from the ground up then expect to spend between $2,000-$9,000 per month depending on your location in the country, your goals, and even on the size of the agency. At this price tag, you should expect to get design time for timeline covers and post graphics, custom content creation and strategy, a dedicated account/project manager, regular publishing and monitoring. Basically everything.
Twitter: Again, to start from zero and build everything including: having a page designed, custom post creation, managing messages, responding to comments, actively increasing followers, and engagement management, you can expect to pay between $1,000-$4,000 a month.
Pinterest: Pinterest is a relatively new social media channel, but it is proving to be a powerhouse for retail clients especially or businesses with a primarily female target audience. To set up an account, curate and post content, manage boards, repin material and respond to comments expect to pay between $500-$2,500 per month.
Social Media Strategy: Many companies will charge an upfront fee of anywhere between $3,000-$20,000 for the initial strategy. The strategy should include research, buyer persona profiles, editorial calendars, branding profile and strategy, a publishing schedule, a commenting and messaging response plan, as well as goals and identifiers for determining the success of the strategy. The strategy should be reviewed and refreshed if needed at least quarterly. Many companies do it monthly. Expect to pay between $3,000-$10,000 for each review.
We think these prices make sense if you are in LA, New York, or London. However, when we work with companies, we encourage them to allocate approximately 7-8% of their gross toward marketing in general. According to recent data from a Forrester survey, on average, companies spend 32% of their marketing budget on Inbound or digital marketing. In our experience, when the annual marketing budget is under about $15,000 a year, companies see the greatest ROI when they spend approximately 80% of their budget on Inbound Marketing. This supports HubSpot’s findings that Inbound Marketing costs 60% less per lead than outbound marketing.
At Search + Marketing, we focus on keeping our prices consistent with what the local market will bear and what is effective for us and our clients. With that in mind, here is a summary of our social media marketing rates:
Facebook: Our monthly packages include custom content creation, posting 5-8 times per week, monitoring and responding as needed, monthly contests to increase engagement, custom content strategy, management of Facebook ads and promoted posts, monthly reporting on results and analytics, and design services for custom post content and timeline covers. You can expect to pay approximately $1,100 a month for these services.
Facebook Extras: As dynamic as custom content can be on Facebook, it is not enough all by itself. Facebook ads, promoted posts, and promoting the page are all techniques that are critical to a successful page. Based on our experience, we encourage clients to spend at least $200 per month on these extras, but many clients spend between $300-$500 each month. We charge $250 for the initial strategy and then $250 each quarter when we review the strategy.
Twitter: For most of our clients in Alaska, we find Twitter does not have a good enough ROI to recommend its regular use. For those that do, we charge a $250 set-up fee and between $500-$1,000 per month to maintain it. The cost difference depends on the number of custom posts and responses needed to maintain an effective presence for that client.
Pinterest: Many of our clients find this social media channel to by a very effective source of traffic to their website. We charge $300 to set up a Pinterest account and $500 per month to maintain it. Our packages include pinning content from your Facebook page and blogs as appropriate, pinning custom information consistent with the overall social media strategy and goals, repinning content, and responding to comments and messages.
For us at BEACON, effective social media marketing must dovetail with the other pieces of an Inbound Marketing plan to drive traffic to your website. When your website is set-up to pull in visitors and convert them from leads to actual customers then you have the most cost effective marketing system working for you. This is our goal for all of our clients. If you want more information about our websites, check out this blog: How Much Does a Website Cost?