Hiring a freelance social media professional is an excellent way to kick-start a new product or almost any business venture that can benefit from additional exposure. The average social media campaign will run for 1-6 months and can include everything from marketing strategy to writing services, graphic design, social sharing, social ads, client outreach and attracting large influencers.
With such a diverse set of options, it may be hard to decide which services your business needs or what will provide the best ROI. Sometimes you need to speak with a social media freelancer just to learn what will have the biggest impact on your business. However, this article will shed some light on what it costs to hire a social media specialist, what that person will do for your business, and the optional services they may offer.
FIVE THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUDGETING FOR A SOCIAL MEDIA SPECIALIST
1. Does the project involve existing social media accounts or setting up new channels?
There is a lot of work involved with the initial setup of social media channels, including the creation of artwork, branding, taglines and initial content. It is also more difficult to start generating followers as an unknown brand, so initial costs are usually higher in the beginning as the social media management freelancer will need to run both paid and organic campaigns to grow your following. Established accounts are more affordable since they usually require a quick graphical refresh before moving straight to content.
2. How many social media profiles will they manage?
While almost all businesses tend to gravitate towards Facebook and Twitter, certain industries actually see a greater benefit from channels like Pinterest, LinkedIn, or YouTube. Targeting each additional channel can raise the expected costs by $300-$2,000 per month for small businesses, and up to $5,000 per channel for enterprise ventures. Commerce sites like Amazon and review websites like Google+ and Yelp also fall into this category, which is discussed in more detail under topic #4.
3. Are you planning to target influencers?
One of the bigger benefits of social media marketing is the ability to attract influencers and complementary businesses to your channel. If they share you with their own followers, it can lead to tens of thousands of potential consumers discovering your brand. With larger budgets, social media managers can actively engage influencers to create these types of opportunities.
4. Will the social media professional handle customer service?
When a customer is unhappy about a product or service, they often turn to social media in order to vent their frustrations. Companies are realizing that they can turn these bad experiences into positive outcomes, but only if they are actively monitoring the most common review sites and reaching out to customers. Social media pros use specialized tools to track company mentions in real time. Their responsiveness to customer inquiries will depend on your overall budget and the timeframes that are negotiated before the project begins.
5. How will social media content be created?
Since popular social channels need fresh streams of content, blogging along with photos, videos, GIFs and other multimedia are a necessity in order to keep followers engaged. This may include content from 3rd party news outlets as well to ensure a steady stream of content. The type of content created and its frequency will be decided by an editorial calendar, which may be run by a social media contractor or the client. For those with limited budgets, it’s likely staff members doing most of the writing after a few quick training courses. Larger companies may have multiple bloggers generating content independently.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXPECT TO PAY?
|SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERT JOBS (Estimated monthly billing rates charged by intermediate-level, U.S. based specialists)|
|Small Business Rates||Average Project Price (Per Month of Campaign)|
|Account Mgmt.(2 Channels/All Services)||$400-$2,000|
|Account Mgmt. (Each Extra Channel)||$200-1,500|
|Blogging w/ Social Shares||$400-$1,200|
|Large Business/Enterprise Rates||Average Project Price (Per Month of Campaign)|
|Account Mgmt. (2 Channels/All Services)||$2,500-$10,000|
|Account Mgmt. (Each Extra Channel)||$1,500-$5,000|
|Blogging w/ Social Shares||$2,500-$7,500|
|Misc. Rates||Average Project Price (Hourly)|
|Social Media Training||$25-150|
Most social media consultants charge a flat monthly fee for the work they produce, although some do accept hourly rates for training sessions and smaller projects. Novice marketers may handle up to 6-8 small business accounts per month to keep their pricing competitive, while top-level professionals usually handle only 1-2 accounts at a time. Corporate accounts are often run by a small team of individuals with varying specialties. This can bring a lot more value to clients with better monitoring software, dedicated writers/artists and much more experience with impressing influencers.
Upwork is a freelancing marketplace where businesses of all sizes can find talented professionals across multiple disciplines and categories. If you are a business and are looking to get projects done, consider signing up!