One of the major questions asked by a prospective customer of an agency is “how much does social media marketing cost?”. Given that we’re in Australia, that question often gets narrowed down to “in Australia?”.
The question of cost and ultimately budget tends to be one of the major constraining factors in deciding to move forward or not with a social media agency.
So, exactly how much does it cost?
As with a lot of services, the answer to the question varies a lot. Based on the agency or consultants experience, the range of services they have, the range of services you require and the size of their business. In Australia, costs can range from as little as $400 per month right through to $22,000 per month.
Such a massive variance can make it impossible to decide which agency or service provider you should go with. What are the price differences and why?
Loosely speaking, in Australia, there are three different ‘levels’ within which a social media marketing company fits within. These are (NB: This list excludes freelancers or individual consultants):
- Volume Outsource Providers
- Specialist Social Media Agencies
- Full service marketing or advertising Agencies
You’ll notice we’ve excluded individual consultants or freelancers. This is because their pricing is highly specific, generally based on hours spent and vary based on factors that don’t easily align with a logical set of criteria.
What’s the difference between providers?
Volume Outsource Providers
Volume Outsource Providers have a presence locally in Australia but execute their work primarily overseas. Using staff overseas helps keep costs down and deliver a price sensitive offering to customers.
Method: Content and community management is delivered by staff overseas with limited account management executed locally in Australia. This keeps the cost down.
Output: Expect a high volume of content that loosely aligns to your brand and messaging. Often content is replicated between customers so you may well see the same content on other pages.
Pricing: Between $200 and $800 per month.
Specialist Social Media Agencies
Specialist Social Media Agencies typically consist of a number of people who live and breath social media, locally based and working across the whole range of services within client accounts. You get dedicated team members who know exactly what they’re doing and are focussed on your social media accounts specifically.
Method: Account management, content delivery and community management all delivered locally and often by the same person. This means you don’t have to repeat yourself and the quality of the work you get is exactly as you expect.
Output: You can expect bespoke content that is specific to your needs and delivers exactly what you need. Often also directly targeting specific KPI’s or targets, your Account manager knows you, your brand and your needs.
Pricing: Between $1,000 and $3,500 per month.
Full service marketing or advertising Agencies
A full service marketing or advertising agency has the ability to deliver all sort of services to you, from printed collateral, to websites, to social media right through to television commercials! This means you can really get everything you need in one place. The downside is, there’s lots of people involved which comes at a high price and a series of different team members you need to deal with.
Method: Having all the services in house means that full service agencies can deliver pretty much anything you need. They’ve got everyone on hand so a ‘we can do anything’ attitude often ensues. Often social media marketing is down their list of importance and is handed off to the intern.
Output: Typically your content will be beautiful, visually appealing and creative. It may not necessarily deliver upon specific KPI’s or have specific aligned messaging but it will look good!
Pricing: Between $4,000 and $22,000 per month.
Often if you’re debating whether the price you’re getting is good or not, the categorisations can give you an excellent guide on whether you’re getting value or not.
Looking to do it in-house?
It’s an option that a lot of businesses look at. Getting someone in house to look after their social media. Why wouldn’t you, it makes sense right? Well, it’s never quite that simple, firstly you have to actually find someone with the skills you’re looking for! Not so easy. A hiring platform such as Job Scouts can help with that.
Method: First off, you’re of course going to need to find the right person. Hiring a Social Media manager isn’t as simple as it looks. Often hirers are hiring for a role that they know very little about, so judging quality and experience can be hard. It’s worth using a trusted hiring platform like Job Scouts to help you find the right person.
Once you’ve found the person, setting KPI’s, expectations and deliverables is paramount. Tracking them to ensure you’re getting what you’re expecting is even more important! Using a performance management system such as Impeccably is a great way to make sure you’re getting what you need.
Output: You should expect everything to be exactly as you required, right on brand and to the point. You should expect daily posting with routine community management. Often design styling will suffer a bit as your team member may not have the resources that they require. Again, having a management system such as Impeccably in place will help this greatly.
Pricing: This is very difficult to predict as it depends highly upon the experience level of the person you hire. You can expect to spend between $65,000 and $120,000 per year.
Now that we’ve covered the different types of service providers, let’s have a look at how much the individual components cost.
How much does social media marketing cost?
Often social media marketing and management packages are all combined together which means you don’t end up paying for each platform on its own. It’s all rolled into one, as with the examples above where you hire an agency to do the whole lot.
However, the platforms themselves can be broken down into separate costs which, should you choose to, allows you to take each platform on it’s own.
Below we explore what each platform costs.
How much does marketing on Facebook cost?
Facebook is probably the most complicated of all the social networks to manage, owing to the fact that it has so much complexity in what it can do and how it works.
The other facet is, that in Australia it’s the largest social media platform by users. Around 16 million active users (as at May 2018). As a result, your community manager has a great deal more to do on Facebook than on other platforms!
Considering all the components involved which include things like content production, messenger bots, graphic design, live events, competitions, campaigns and so forth, the pricing can vary wildly in Australia.
Generally speaking, an agency or consultant will charge between $1,000 and $4,000 to setup and brand a Facebook page.
Training for the management of a Facebook page, should you choose to do it yourself, can run between $3,000 and $15,000 depending on the scope of what you’ve requested and the agency you’ve requested to have the work done.
Regular marketing and community management can vary for Facebook. Typically an agency will charge between $800 and $4,000 per month to manage a Facebook page.
Here at Aston Social, we typically don’t manage our customers Facebook pages on their own, we typically roll the Facebook page into a package along with other platforms including Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. We generally charge between $800 to $2,100 per month for the management of such a package, which includes all the artwork, content creation, profile setup, bots, community management, messenger marketing, Instagram stories and so forth.
- Setup: $1,000 and $4,000
- Training: $3,000 and $15,000
- Management: $800 and $4,000 per month
- Aston Social Package: $800 to $2,100 per month
How much does marketing on Instagram cost?
Being a super visual platform, Instagram can cost a bit more if you need to get your content produced. In other words, if you need lots of photography or videography work done then be ready to pay!
However, if you have a lot of visual content already, Instagram marketing can be fairly cost effective. Given it doesn’t have a lot of technical features yet, there’s not a whole lot you can do with it, thus keeping the price down.
The factors you need to take into consideration with Instagram pricing are:
- Do you need Instagram Live Stories?
- Are you going to be direct messaging other profiles?
- Do you have an Influencer Strategy that you wish to use?
- Do you have a lot of photography already?
- Are you selling products on a website that require linking
Generally these questions will help guide the cost of your Instagram marketing management very quickly.
As a range, generally the setup of an Instagram profile in Australia will cost between $200 and $2,000. Training on how to use Instagram is typically between around $800 and $5,000.
The real question is, how much does it cost to manage my Instagram profile? Generally, depending on your answers to the questions above, you’ll find a cost that ranges from $1,500 per month through to around $8,000 per month.
As with Facebook, here at Aston Social we typically combine the management of several platforms into a package which not only dramatically reduces costs but also gives excellent value and consistency for businesses. Our packages that typically include the likes of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter range from between $800 to $2,100 per month, depending on inclusions.
- Setup: $200 and $2,000
- Training: $800 and $5,000
- Management: $1,500 and $8,000 per month
- Aston Social Package: $800 to $2,100 per month
How much does marketing on LinkedIn cost?
Seen as the professional social media platform, the place for business, LinkedIn has come under scrutiny in the past few years for it’s general decline in quality of content.
The main reason for this is because people are using LinkedIn like they do Facebook. It’s full of personal content, funny content, and attention seeking photos (let see how many likes my bikini shot can get).
It could be argued that that’s not the right place for such content and that’s why the quality of LinkedIn is seen to have degraded over the years.
To stand out on LinkedIn, it’s generally about quality not quantity, and effectively using their advert system to give you the best reach.
The trick seems to be, target 3 to 4 posts per week to the exact right market and leave it at that.
Typically the setup of a LinkedIn Profile costs between $1,000 and $5,000 depending on a lot of factors, typically the photography involved and how intricate you want your sub-pages to be.
As with other platforms, training for LinkedIn can vary a lot, generally starting at around $3,000 and going all the way up to $20,000 if you’re training an entire sales force.
Marketing on LinkedIn can be either extremely cheap or extremely costly. The reasons for this include:
- Do you require your professional profile or your corporate profile managed?
- Are you doing outbound lead generation or is this just marketing?
- How many staff are part of your organisation?
- Do you have the interesting content or articles already written?
- How much photography or video work is required?
Answering these questions will give you a good gauge on how much you’ll need to pay. The pricing generally ranges between $2,000 per month to $15,000 per month depending on what you’re including.
As mentioned before, if you include LinkedIn as part of a social media marketing management package with Aston Social, you’ll be looking at a range from between $800 to $2,100 per month. Pricing in this range includes Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. The price range variance depends entirely upon how much is needed, how many posts you require and variables of that nature.
- Setup: $1,000 and $5,000
- Training: $3,000 and $20,000
- Management: $2,000 and $15,000 per month
- Aston Social Package: $800 to $2,100 per month
Having your Social Media done in house but need it done better? Click here see how you can get your team to deliver better.
How much does marketing on Twitter cost?
Twitter is declining in interest publicly but still remains relevant in some circles. Generally, if you’re news based or you’re a celebrity of some form you’ll find good use for Twitter.
As a result, Twitter is generally for people who have a lot to say quite frequently and it’s likely to be of interest to media outlets and the public more generally. It’s often more for broadcast than it is anything else.
To have your Twitter profile setup for you is not an overly difficult thing to do, as a result the pricing can typically be between Free and $3,000. If you’re willing to do it yourself then it’s free!
Training on how to use Twitter is again one that varies a lot. There’s not a whole lot to Twitter but there are nuances that you should get used too. Training therefore can typically cost between $3,000 and $8,000.
Twitter Marketing management costs vary greatly depending on a number of factors. Such factors include:
- Are you just broadcasting or are you engaging other Twitter profiles/users?
- How much do you really have to say? Is it high volume or just medium volume?
- Do you do events or visit events that require live tweeting?
- How much of the content that you’ll be referencing do you actually have on hand?
These factors usually define how much you’ll pay. Typically Twitter management costs between $2,000 and $15,000 per month.
If you choose to include Twitter in a package with Aston Social then you’ll likely pay between $1,700 and $3,500 per month. This price includes the management of a number of other platforms and includes the general management and engagement on Twitter.
- Setup: Free and $3,000
- Training: $3,000 and $8,000
- Management: $2,000 and $15,000 per month
- Aston Social Package: $1,700 to $3,500 per month
How much do other social media platforms cost to market on?
Whilst we’ve listed the typical top 4 platforms, there are other platforms available that can be considered by brands and managed by agencies. Generally brands get away with a combination of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram but if you want to add more then you need to be ready to pay for it.
It’s important however to consider what platforms are good for your brand and which aren’t. It’s not just a case of ‘be everywhere’ as it may well be a waste of money!
However, if you do want to add other platforms, you can easily be up for $1,000 extra per platform quite quickly, depending on your inclusions.
Cost of Pinterest Marketing
Pinterest is an interesting platform that hasn’t garnered quite the interest and engagement that you’d expect across Australia. It’s never really ‘taken off’.
That doesn’t mean to say it’s not good, it’s just not quite captured everyone’s imagination.
Some elements that you need to consider when pricing Pinterest management include:
- How many photo do you have on hand?
- Are you going to have to create more content?
- Is your photography actually of interest to people, really?
- Do you have an ecommerce website to link too?
Taking all this into account, you can find that adding Pinterest to your social media marketing mix can add between $600 and $1,200 per month to your overall budget requirements.
Cost of Snapchat Marketing
A comparatively new-comer to the social media world, Snapchat marketing has yet to properly take off in Australia. People are toying with the idea but few brands are really getting into it whole-heartedly.
The reason for this is the ‘instant’ nature of Snapchat. It’s very difficult to pre-plan Snapchat given the way the platform works. You can’t easily schedule content to go out and most of the photos used really need to be in the instant.
To that end, you need to budget quite a lot to have your Snapchat marketing outsourced because someone has to be on-site frequently to get the photos. Some questions you may need to ask:
- Is my content/brand/business/offering really that ‘timely’?
- Does ‘live’ content really make a difference to my brand?
- Is my target audience on Snapchat?
- How or who would manage Snapchat if I was not to outsource it?
Answering these questions will give you a guide for how much you’ll end up paying. In Australia you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 per month for the management of Snapchat marketing.
Cost of YouTube Marketing
YouTube is possibly the oldest social media platform, infact so much so that it could be considered not actually a social media network.
The management of YouTube is not a difficult thing to do, so there’s not a whole lot of cost in it. However, the main question is – do you have video content run with?
If you do have a lot of video content, then adding YouTube to your marketing mix may cost very little, as low as $200 per month. If, however, you do not have any video content to publish then you’ll need to get it made – and that’s a costly exercise!
How much does it cost to outsource social media advertising?
In the past year, Social Media advertising has gotten a bad wrap. Fake views, bad audience reporting numbers and just general lost faith have put a big dent in industries faith in Social Media advertising.
It doesn’t have to be that way though. Sure, some of the big brands may have been getting a bad deal (the likes of Unilever and P&G) but it could also be argued that this was because they weren’t using the platforms properly and making them accountable.
For most of us we won’t be placing $100 Million worth of adverts every year. We’ll be using maybe $1,000 per month, or $10,000 per month, a pittance compared to what the big brands pay.
The beauty about Social Media advertising though is the fact that you can still pay a lot less than the big guys yet at the same time you can play on the same field that they do. Just with less money!
The two main questions we get from customers regarding this cost of social media advertising are:
- What should I be spending?
- How much are your fees?
The first question is a difficult one because it’s very much a bottomless pit. You can spend as much as you like, the more you spend the more you reach!
Generally the numbers we end up talking about are between $500 per month and $10,000 per month. That’s the range that most Australian businesses seem comfortable with spending. This budget is often spread across platforms and isn’t limited to just one outlet.
The next question of how much our fees are varies as well depending on whether we’re making the creative or not. The typical answer is between 10% and 20% of the advert budget will cover the fees required for the creation, placement, optimisation and reporting of Social Media advertising.
How about Social Media Strategy?
Sure, you now know how much the management of your profiles cost. The updating of statuses, the publishing of content, the responding to your audience. That’s great, but what about your strategy? Sure strategy might happen intrinsically through the management of your profile but what about the development of a proper strategy for your social media presence?
Enter, Social Media Strategy development.
Some agencies have the opinion that social media strategy should only form part of your ongoing management and should not be a separate project, but that is only useful if ALL you want to do is ongoing management.
That’s not always the case though because a lot of businesses want their social media strategy developed first, OR they ONLY want a social media strategy developed as they intend to manage their profiles in house.
It’s important to cater for both needs.
In it’s more simple form, a Social Media Strategy is the strategy, the plan, the blueprint for what you’re going to do on Social Media. You wouldn’t build a house without some sort of plan would you? The same applies here.
Social Media Strategy typically includes the definition of your brand in social media terms, the outlining of your target audience, the structure of your content pillars, community engagement rules, fan acquisition tactics, and more.
How much does a Social Media Strategy cost?
The quotation of a social media strategy project in Australia is very difficult because it’s not only dependent on the brand and the number of platforms but also dependent on the size of your organisation. The size of the organisation differs the pricing because of the number of stakeholders involved. The more stakeholders you have, the more time and work is involved in including them all in the conversation, development and feedback process.
It’s not just a case of “they’re a big organisation, they can afford it.”
The creation of a comprehensive social media strategy in Australia costs anywhere between $3,000 and $20,000. The variance is based on the number of platforms included, the number of components of the strategy that are required and the size of the organisation. It’s very common for Australian agencies to charge between $5,000 and $10,000.
In some circumstances you can have a strategy retainer, this means that, even though the organisation is doing the management themselves, they may want strategic development and reporting to be done by external third-party experts. Something akin to an external auditor in an accounting firm.
In this case, a social media strategy retainer in Australia can cost typically between $800 and $2,800 per month, depending on inclusions.
- Once Off: $3,000 and $20,000
- Strategy Retainer: $800 and $2,800 per month
- Aston Social Pricing: $2,000 to $8,000
How much do Social Media Influencers cost?
Social Media Influencers are certainly a hot topic and a great way of growing your brand very cost effectively!
With the wide array of influencers out there and the even wider array of platforms or methods for engaging them, it can be confusing to figure out what the right approach is!
Generally speaking you need to take into account a number of different facets when engaging an influencer. These are, the cost of the influencer themselves, the cost of the strategy development and the cost of the management.
The cost of the influencer varies wildly based on how many followers they have, what their engagement is like and most importantly, whatever they feel like charging! Generally speaking, an influencer can cost as little as $100 per post, up to as much as $500,000 per post! In Australia it’s often the case that influencers will cost in the $1,000’s, with a good influencer engagement costing between $5,000 and $15,000 per year.
It’s great to have the influencer, but what about the strategy on how best to engage them, how to find them, who to find and the like? Typically an influencer strategy will be executed alongside an overarching social media strategy so it’s generally not considered an external component. That said, if you are getting a strategy developed in its own right, it may cost you between $1,000 and $5,000.
The management of an influencer is a challenge too. It must be continual, sharp and targeted to get the best out of the engagement. In a lot of cases the management of an influencer comes as part of your normal monthly management however sometimes there is a cost added per influencer if the scope requires it.
Costs for management of an influencer range from a few $100 per influencer right through to some large percentage (up to 20%) of what the influencer is being paid.
Questions to ask yourself before beginning a Social Media Influencer campaign:
- Am I likely to align with the right influencer?
- Am I willing to wear the cost of non-delivery?
- Is this really the right path for me or would straight out advertising be better?
- Do I have content or products that an influencer can actually test, use or promote?
If you can answer yes to the above questions then perhaps an influencer is for you.
If you engage Aston Social to manage your social media influencer for you, it will generally cost an additional $400 per month to your monthly management package.
How much does a Social Media Audit cost?
A social media audit is great way of getting a quick overview of how your social media profiles are ‘going’ and whether you’re managing them properly or not.
A social media audit however can end up overlapping a strategy and ultimately you’d be better of getting a strategy developed rather than a quick audit of what you’re currently doing.
To give you an idea, the execution of an audit can cost between $3,000 and $8,000 and the development of a strategy can cost between $5,000 and $10,000, so really you may be better off just getting a strategy developed because it’ll include the audit anyway!
Questions to ask yourself:
- Do I really need it?
- Is it better just to get a strategy developed instead?
- What platforms do I need reviewed?
- What am I expecting out of my audit?
If you’re getting a social media audit done by Aston Social, it will cost you between $3,500 and $14,000 depending on the number of platforms you’ve chosen to include.