Recently, a subscriber asked the best methods for charging for social media management services. I want to make it clear that this article is for individuals who manage social media services for private clients. Larger marketing firms may have an entirely different process that leads them to determine what activities have what specific values. However, for the individual freelance social media manager, there are a few standards to comply with that should make the services provided worth the time and money made and spent for all involved.
It is important for you and your clients to understand that managing a social media campaign will have different requirements and accordingly, a different pay scale to begin. Obviously an empty Twitter account, LinkedIn profile and Facebook Fan page are going to need some very basic management to begin with. I have found that the best way to charge for start-up social media management is by setting a fair hourly rate. Early social media management can require:
- Profile Completions
- Landing Page Content
- Increasing Fans and Followers
- Posting Questions/Comments/Products on Twitter and Facebook
- Minor Engagement
If you are launching into new accounts, the above requirements will not require as much time, energy, or effort to pull off as will some of the more time hungry requirements
that will later be a huge factor.
The best way to determine your beginners hourly charge is to consider your currently hourly charge for social media management, and slice that in half, or even down to one third. Simply put, clicking through friends and followers software or websites, and posting a product or service or two per day will not be the time sink later campaign issues will be.
Even more important, you shouldn’t be barraging any new social media accounts with endless links, photos, or blurbs anyway. As your fan and follower bases grow, your required activities will increase, thus making an increase in pay a very legitimate need.
If you are managing a relatively large social media campaign with plenty of followers and fans who regularly communicate with you via a social network, you also have a very strict sense of responsibility that you must adhere to when it comes to being a singular source of real-time engagement.
Because you are now spending loads more time searching for and creating compelling tweets or Facebook share material, and because you are likely working at a more continual rate, it is legitimate for you to charge your normal hourly rate. Your normal hourly rate should always include that all-time management that is required on busy social media networks.
In place of all those beginner activities, come those that are far more time consuming. They can include:
- Scouring social networks for users who are looking for what you are offering
- In-depth networking that includes keyword and mention monitoring and its management
- Social listening is an all-time element. Users should not have to wait until your ‘clock in’ time to get answers. This means that when request, questions, or issues come across one of the businesses social networks, you have that vital responsibility to reply as quickly as possible
- Online customer service management
The best thing you can do for your client and for yourself is to be sure to include all of your social media management activities in the price of the hourly rate, regardless of what that is. This means that because SMM is not a part-time job, nor a full-time job, but an all-the-time job, you should take into full consideration the fact that because you may find yourself replying to tweets thirty seconds before you fall into bed, you are in essence a 24 hour employee, and your price should reflect that. However, your price should also reflect your experience and effectiveness or you are simply overcharging a client who will soon see the lack of value and likely re-evaluate your position.
How to Deal with Clients on Social Media Management Proposals
There are a few important tips to keep in mind when it comes to keeping your clients secure about your wages, your effectiveness, and your work ethic.
- Even if the employer does not require it, always record your man hours and any specific accomplishments achieved during them.
- Let employers know ahead of time about price increases such as what factors will contribute to increases in your hourly wage.
- Be willing to show your work and don’t wait until you are questioned to do so. Take the time once per month to write up a bit about the methods you are using, complete with screen shots, as well as the impact they have had.
- Do not charge your clients for reports, fixing errors, or taking the time to consult with them on a regular basis about their SMM campaign.
If you are new to freelance social media management, feel free to shoot me a message if you have a specific question not answered here and I will try to supply you with the best information for educating yourself on your topic.
Joy Lynskey is the owner of JRL Solutions, a copywriting and content management company based in Bedford, Virginia. JRL Solutions hosts a Freelance Writers Education Blog that is managed by direct and guest posting. Joy is the consent manager and editor for Puglisi Consulting Group at Digital Brand Marketing Education. Joy has most recently begun freelance consulting private clients with their social media campaigns as well as freelance writers and business owners who are seeking personal and business growth through Social Media Marketing.
- How to Charge Clients for Social Media Services
- Charging for Social Media Services
- Social Media Marketing and Management Rates
About Joy Lynskey
Full-Time Freelance Writer and Content Manager for Puglisi Consulting Group, Joy Lynskey specializes in Technology, SEM, SMM, and other elements of Digital Marketing.