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You’re not a social media person.

You don’t even like social media.

But you know you need to be there.

So you start looking for someone to help you out with it.

So with little idea of where to start, what should you be paying for someone to handle your social media account and marketing?

On average, in 2023, you’ll pay between $50 and $1500 a week to an Australian agency or freelancer to manage a small business’ social media presence, which is a big variation.

And there are some pretty clear reasons for this.

How much does social media management cost?

  1. Average cost is around $240 per week
  2. Range from $50 to $1500 per week
  3. Pricing factors include time spent, complexity of content created and the experience of those doing it
  4. Agencies tend to be more expensive than individual freelancers due to overheads being higher

Why does social media management pricing vary so much?

 

Firstly, you get what you pay for. While a 19 year straight of our high school may be happy to manage your social media for you for as little as $30, $40 or $50 a week, you need to be aware of where the average 19-year-old comes from. Your average 19-year-old hasn’t completed any relevant study short of their high school studies. They haven’t spent time testing and learning about what techniques work, what don’t, and how to weave that data into the next round of ads. Or how ads and organic posting can work together – or even how what you post on social media has to complement what you do elsewhere… not match it, but complement it.

The might have scored a viral TikTok video at some point, but one successful TikTok isn’t a social media campaign.

Price Comparison

I’m not saying that every social media manager needs to be 45 years old, but all social media managers should have some grasp on the basics of marketing; both online and offline. And not just social media marketing, either.

When you’re starting out, you have no idea how much to charge or what kind of hourly rate you need to sustain yourself. You just get started. And this is the danger of working with someone who has only just decided to start offering social media services to small businesses.

There is also the factor of social media advertising. This goes way beyond just creating organic content. And inexperienced social media managers charge for what they know, which is usually the number of hours spent on content creation and management. Not for complex marketing campaigns that aim for long-term social media impact.

New Freelancers and their impact on social media management pricing.

 

Secondly, a lot of the cheaper rates come from freelancers just starting out with social media management services. They are cheaper because they are desperate to get a portfolio of clients. Their rates are introductory and cannot be sustained for the long term. Especially given the amount of time that has to go into social media content creation.

I know this all too well, having done exactly the same in the past.

Freelancer working on a laptop computer outside

The lower you push the price, the less able a local in Australia is able to sustain that price. The only way they can sustain that price for you will be to outsource the work offshore rather than doing it themselves. Especially the content creation itself, which is the most time-consuming part. Which is probably not quite the social media management package that you signed on for. 

This occurred in 2018 when a group of retailers in Darwin engaged a freelancer to manage their social media properties. Once the contract was won, the freelancer decided to move overseas and hired a local photographer to handle things back in Australia. The result was disappointing to the client, who didn’t get the service they expected and ended in the contract being lost. It certainly wasn’t the right way to treat a new client expecting a much more personal service as part of their monthly package.

Pricing for any business is a complicated process. For a social media management agency or freelancer, you need to consider:

+ How may social media pages are being managed?
+ Are you developing a social strategy or just posting?
+ What is the cost of social media management software?
+ Are you creating a new social media presence or an established one?
+ What do you charge to manage communications on top of posting?
+ Are you likely to win other areas of their digital marketing?
+ What is the competition’s pricing like?
+ How many social media networks are they present on?
+ What is the right pricing to ensure that you’re profitable?
+ How do you leverage experience by pricing accordingly?

Pricing your services as anyone who offers social media marketing services isn’t about plucking a number of thin air, like “let’s charge 700 per month!” It’s a fine dance between appropriate services pricing for you to live on and what everyone else is out there charging in the world of social content management.

This is why you’ll see such pricing discrepancies between social media consultants.

The impact of systems use on social media management cost

 

Finally, the pricing plan variations can be due, often, to the systems being used to manage your social media channels. 

Simply posting on each individual social media platform you’re paying to be on, as well as having to go to each of those platforms to monitor, answer messages and generate reports, is not a particularly efficient use of time. It might be ok for someone who has only two or maybe three clients.

But when scaling an agency to handle dozens of clients across multiple networks, you need a more efficient way to post, monitor and report on what is happening on that channel. You want to be able to squeeze every bit of efficiency out of your client’s marketing budget and provide marketing services that are still effective.

Sociamonials social media management system

And that is done through systems such as Sociamonials, Sendible, Meltwater, Hootsuite, Socialpilot, or other social management systems. Not all these systems are cheap, so the cost of them will be factored into your weekly or monthly charge.

Along with any additional systems that may be used to plan your posts, create your graphics, or the costs of stock photos to make your content. The more work that’s required to make your posts, the more complex the pricing structure becomes and the more costly the pricing packages become.

The basic freelancer will be cheap (they are still working out how much to charge for social media management) but their content will often seem strange, irrelevant to your business and, in the long term, ineffective.

Social media marketing campaigns are not built on “Motivation Mondays” and “Throwback Thursdays.” Good social media marketing agencies build dedicated social media strategies that are made for the individual business being served. This means that could charge a lot more than the best social media pricing you’re seeing from smaller operators. Their pricing strategy is going vary wildly from others. As we’ve already discussed, freelancers charge less, generally because their overheads are lower. Social media agencies that are focused on account growth and who manage multiple clients and campaigns at once will charge clients more for that experience and expertise.

So while you’ll pay anywhere from $50 per week, up to $1500 per week to have your social media managed for you, be sure to find out what it is you are paying for. The social media pricing model you think you’re getting may not be quite what you were hoping you were gettting.

Is your social media person a fresh freelancer or an experienced marketer? Are they posting manually on your profiles, or are they using systems to manage it all?

And what guarantees do you have that they won’t just pack up and leave at some point to live their best life somewhere on a beach in Bali?

What can you expect to pay in Australia for successful social media management?

 

Social media management rates are going to average around $80 per hour. This will translate into around 3-hours per week. That’s $240 a week. But an ambitious person doesn’t want to just manage social media. They will determine how much to charge based on taking on more of your marketing load. So they are not just thinking of social media marketing pricing. They want to charge more for more of your work.

You can negotiate a good deal by packaging things together.

 

Often social media marketing packages are just the beginning. If you’re a smart operator, you’ll pricing your social media services as part of something more holistic.

Gold Coast Australia

Packages can include:

+ managing a number of social accounts for your different businesses
+ community management of your groups
+ setting you up on a new social platform
+ full social media marketing campaigns
+ creating and managing a social ad campaign
+ campaign management of Google and content marketing activity
+ working with other social media experts and consultants for greater results

How they charge for your social media posting, whether they charge hourly or based on results, or even how much social media posting they’ll do will vary from person to person. You won’t find out how much they want until you check their pricing page. And since most don’t have one on their websites, you’ll need to wait until they send you their pricing guide.

And always assume that, in this current inflationary economy, your social media person will want to raise your rates regularly. So if you’re not keen on new pricing or having them adjust your pricing after coming on at a low cost, negotiate a contract that either locks in a rate or allows for service changes that can bring the rate, such as “exclude Instagram social media marketing from the next period” or “don’t make videos, just use static images.”