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Every week we speak to lots of business owners from all over the country and understandably one of the most common questions they ask us is: How much does it cost to outsource social media?

This is a great and very important question for anybody that is thinking about outsourcing their social media. It’s a big decision to make. In this article, I aim to show you the things that can influence the cost of outsourcing.

How much does it cost to outsource social media?Social media is free to set up but to make the most of it, a lot of time and effort is required. For busy business owners, that’s a big commitment and that’s why more and more businesses are turning to either outsourcing their social media or employing social media managers.

Social media marketing agencies will charge from as little as £100 per month to £10,000+ per month, depending on a number of things such as: number of pages/platforms to manage, strategy, what the client wants to achieve, the number of fans and complexity of campaigns. The answer that you’ll often find when asking how much it costs is ‘it depends’.

Here’s the process we go through when working with a new client. Our client base is predominately made up of SME’s, so the prices may be higher, depending on the level of fans/engagement you already have. This will give you an understanding of the factors that can influence social media pricing:

THE PROCESS

Step One: Initial consultation

When we start working with a new client, we always start with a consultation to find out where the business is with their digital marketing and what they want to achieve. The initial consultation is free.

From there we are able to see how much work is required. We often find companies have no content on their website and so we will work with them on their content marketing as well as social media. In the early stages, we are trying to get to know you and your business.

Step two: Strategy planning

After the initial consultation, we tend to have 2-3 phone calls/Skype calls/meetings to really get under the skin of the business and to develop our strategy going forward. The calls are essential. Depending on the length of the calls, we cost these at around £50-150.

A lot of the time, we work with businesses that aren’t on social media and don’t have a blog, If this is the case, we spend a lot of time explaining and educating what we want to do and why we’re doing it. It’s so important that we’re both on the same wavelength. In fact, it’s crucial.

Other times we’ll work with businesses that are already on social media, but they just don’t have the time to manage their accounts. If that’s the case, we still take them through the strategy calls, but chances are, we won’t need as many.

Step Three: Set-up

Once we have our strategy in place, we get to work on setting up the website and social media pages.

For businesses that have WordPress, we can set their blog up quickly. For others, with their own CMS (Content Management System), it can take a lot longer and will sometimes require correspondence with the clients web development company.

When setting up with a new client, we’ll often just have to take their accounts and re-design them. Other times, we’ll have to set them up from scratch. Our setup fees include all the design work that goes into the pages: logo sizing, cover images and all the relevant information needed. Social agencies tend to charge £20-250 per platform. We charge £50-£75 per platform, depending on the level of work/design required.

Step Four: Management / Ongoing support

The majority of our work is social media management based, where we manage the social accounts for our clients. We charge around £200-250 per platform, per month. With that, we do everything for you: daily posts, community engagement, replying to messages and managing paid ads. The lot.

You’ll find a wide range of prices for social media management, ranging from £50-£2,000 per month. I’d personally be wary of anyone charging as little as £50. The chances are the content they’ll post won’t be relevant to your audience and they won’t monitor the account daily.

When it comes to the content side, or writing blogs, we work with the very best writers. We charge around £70-£100 per blog article, but you’ll find people offering the same for as little as £10 per article. Like the social media management, I’d be wary of that price range.

Sometimes we find that our clients want to manage their accounts themselves, but just need a helping hand along the way. When this is the case, we’ll tend to have weekly/fortnightly or monthly calls where we’ll help them come up with ideas, review the strategy, plan content for the following month and generally help them along the way.

Conclusion

Add this to the strategy calls we like to have with our clients on a regular basis, you’ll see that social media and content marketing isn’t exactly a cheap gig. But if you know social media, you’ll know it requires a lot of time and effort. It’s not easy, and that’s why a lot of businesses outsource it.

As a social agency, its our duty to get to know your business and really work out what sort of voice you want to have online. It’s so important we get it right. We also like to look at your businesses online marketing as a whole (website, email, social media, SEO) and really try tie it all in together.

As always, you tend to get what you pay for when it comes to marketing. When you’re speaking to a social media marketing agency, ask to see proof of the work they’ve done already. Any good company will be able to provide you with examples of their work.

I hope that’s given you an understanding on how and why social media marketing agencies charge what they do. Have a look around and get in touch with different agencies. If you’re working to a strict budget, most agencies will be willing to talk and design a package that suits your budget.

Best of luck!

Gavin