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:
Social media marketing can be broken down into different buckets, generally by channel and by services.
Let’s take a look at each.
TikTok was relatively slow off the block in implementing a formal advertising program. For this reason, brands had to find alternative ways to advertise on TikTok. This is one of the reasons that influencer marketing has thrived on the platform.
TikTok started experimenting with advertising in late 2018, although it didn’t take off until well into the following year. There was much discussion in the early days about the high cost of TikTok ads. It can cost brands $50,000 to $100,000 to take over a popular TikTok channel, for instance, and the cost of a hashtag challenge has a flat fee of $150,000 for six days, with firms spending additional dollars on promoting the challenge.
However, now that TikTok has introduced short native video ads, things are now much more affordable for brands wishing to advertise on TikTok.
Obviously, some of TikTok’s best-known advertisers, such as Nike and Disney, have deep pockets when it comes to advertising. They are highly unlikely to quibble about cost unless there is a vast difference. It can seem more expensive than the more familiar Facebook / Instagram advertising, however.
Ads on TikTok are still new. This means that TikTok can afford to charge a premium rate for them, knowing that advertisers aren’t going to abandon TikTok to compete with their competitors for prime Facebook/Instagram advertising space.
TikTok ads start at $10 per CPM (cost per 1000 views). Also, they require you to spend a minimum of $500 on a campaign. So you aren’t going to use formal TikTok ads for a cheap and cheerful viral marketing campaign.
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 SMS, we charge betweem $1,250/mo to upwards of $7,500 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 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.
Instagram advertising costs depend on your bidding model, like cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impressions (CPM). On average, companies pay $0.20 to $2 per click, $6.70 per 1000 impressions, and $0.01 to $0.05 per engagement for Instagram ads. Keep reading to learn more about Instagram ad costs!
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.
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.
When you start your advertising campaign, it’s important to know how much Pinterest advertising costs. With Pinterest, the price for your campaign will depend upon your campaign goal.
There are three main goals you can set with Pinterest ads: Building awareness, boosting engagement and driving web traffic. The average cost of these methods is as follows:
- Building brand awareness: $2.00-5.00 for 1000 impressions
- Boosting engagement: $0.10 – $1.50 per engagement
- Driving web traffic: $0.10 – $1.50 per engagement
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.
The last thing you want to do is overspend on social media marketing services that don’t provide a good return on investment.
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.
The cost of social media marketing varies depending on the platform and the scope of the project. For example, a business that wants to run a Twitter campaign would likely spend less than a business that wants to create and manage a Facebook page.
In general, businesses can expect to spend anywhere from $500 to $5,000 per month on social media marketing services. The exact cost will depend on the size and scope of the project.
Some businesses choose to outsource their social media marketing to an agency or consultant. This can be a good option if you don’t have the time or resources to do it yourself. However, it’s important to make sure you find a reputable company that offers quality services at a reasonable price. Otherwise, you could end up spending more money than necessary.