Did you know there are now more than 4.89 billion social media users on the planet?
That’s more than one in every two people alive today.
Because of this, it shouldn’t be surprising that social media recently overtook paid search as the world’s number one advertising channel.
Figures from Statista suggest it’s now worth more than $137 billion a year, more than search’s mere $135 billion.
This growth means enormous demand for social media management services.
Companies, entrepreneurs, and influencers are desperate for social media managers who can help them exploit their target markets and increase their impact.
Working out how much to charge for social media management services can be tricky, though. (Trust us, we know!)
There are so many factors you need to consider.
That’s why we’ve written this post.
By the end, you should have a clearer picture of how to set prices for social media management packages and the mistakes to avoid.
You’ll also learn about helpful AI-powered tools, like Optimo, that help you do more and charge extra for your services.
Social media management services refer to outsourcing social media tasks to a specialized agency or individual who can effectively manage and grow a company’s social media presence.
These services typically include content creation, posting, engagement, and analytics tracking.
By using social media management services, businesses can save time and resources while maximizing their online visibility and engagement with their target audience.
The main differences between social media management and social media marketing services are budget and goals.
In a nutshell, social media managers focus on writing, communication, and design skills and leverage their deep understanding of social media platforms to get results.
By contrast, social media marketers use analytical, advertising, and strategic skills to design social media advertising that delivers their clients’ campaign objectives.
It’s a subtle difference, but it’s there!
Getting your pricing model right is critical for several reasons.
First, you want to ensure you’re paid fairly for your work as a social media manager.
Providing social media services requires developing and deploying skills that can take months or years to build.
Hence, adequate compensation is essential.
Avoid the temptation to overprice yourself, though.
Charging customers $1,000 daily because an online influencer said so might not be the best idea.
It could discourage leads.
Getting your pricing models right is essential for another reason: remaining competitive.
Social media management is a highly saturated industry.
Over 50 million social media management and marketing companies, agencies, and freelancers exist worldwide.
This fact means your prices need to reflect the value you offer.
The more you can improve the price-to-value ratio for your customers, the more they will seek your services.
Getting your pricing model right is also required for accurate budgeting.
Social media management costs can vary dramatically between clients and projects.
Charging too little could leave you out of pocket with less to invest in new resources or services.
Lastly, your social media management pricing needs to take your business growth objectives into account.
Only charging enough to cover costs prevents you from investing, scaling, or targeting different markets.
Figuring out social media management pricing isn’t as challenging as you think.
Plus, modern tools, like Optimo’s AI-powered solutions, can help increase your margins and get more done in a day, affecting how much you can charge for social media management services.
But what are the steps for deciding how much to charge for social media management?
Here’s your answer.
Start by looking at what other social media managers in your niche charge their clients.
You can usually find this information on their websites or by filling in a form.
You can also compare freelancer rates on Upwork, Fiverr, and LinkedIn.
When comparing, consider your rivals’ niche, location, and expertise.
The price you can charge will vary according to where you are, what you specialize in, and how much skill you have.
For example, social media managers operating in New York can charge higher fees than those in Delhi, India, thanks to the higher cost of living in their location.
Similarly, those with twenty years of experience can ask for more than those just starting because of the confidence they inspire in their clients.
Your niche also matters.
Social media managers in medical niches, e-commerce, remodeling, and the legal sector tend to make the most money.
You don’t have to follow the crowd, though.
Here’s a video that explains how to find profitable niches that chime with your clients’ industries:
As a final reminder, ensure you evaluate your direct competitors, not agencies with a different market or client base.
Also, avoid comparing your rates to social media marketers who do a different job.
The next step is to observe what makes you stand out, whether you run a social media marketing agency or operate as a freelancer.
Ask and answer the following questions to get a clearer picture of your unique selling point (USP):
Once you have answers to these questions, your value proposition should become clear.
Don’t worry if you don’t like some of your answers to these questions.
They will still provide important information on how to price your social media services.
For instance, if you offer the same services as the local social media management agency (and don’t do anything differently), price similarly.
Likewise, if you aren’t communicating your value yet, consider charging less for now.
Step 3: Calculate Your Costs
The next step is calculating your costs.
This step is critical for working out how much to charge for any social media marketing package.
That’s because you need to cover your expenses and make a profit.
Start by considering your essential overheads and how much they will cost annually.
These could include:
Next, consider the cost of providing your time, energy, and effort.
How much is it worth for you?
You can do this with the help of the following equation:
Hourly rate = (Desired annual income + annual expenses)/ billable hours per year
This equation tells you how much to charge for social media management hourly to meet your expenses and personal compensation requirements.
All you need to do is choose a desired annual income and calculate your annual expenses.
The next step is to consider your pricing model for social media management: how you will charge for your services.
You could explore various options, including:
Only you can decide which of these pricing models works best for your business model.
You might prefer a monthly price for generic services or performance-based pricing packages if you offer something more bespoke.
The last step is to communicate your value to your audience.
They should know why they should pay the prices you charge.
Aim to be confident and transparent about your pricing.
Ensure it reflects the provable value you offer.
For instance, you could advertise:
As you can see from the above steps, there isn’t a definitive answer for how much you should charge for social media management.
However, you should ensure your hourly rate adds up to an acceptable yearly income.
The average social media manager makes $70,300 annually, according to Zippia.
Therefore, you can plug that figure into the equation above to see how many hours you need to work to make an average salary at your current rate.
You can do the same if you operate on a retainer, flat-fee basis, but the calculation will be more complicated.
Most social media managers charge between $40 and $60 per hour.
However, feel free to charge more if your perceived value is higher.
Your pricing model depends on how many hours you work on social media pages and content creation.
Therefore, look for solutions that let you spend less time on ideation and menial tasks and more on giving customers what they want.
AI-powered Optimo offers various tools to help you get your job done faster.
For instance, the AI’s Marketing Campaigns Ideas tool can help build a social media strategy in seconds.
Just describe your business model to get five marketing campaign ideas you can use immediately.
Here’s an example of how it works for a hypothetical pizza restaurant:
Here, it provides relevant campaign ideas this business could use immediately.
Optimo’s powerful AI-powered social media tools also let you save time on content creation.
For example, you can get it to:
One of the biggest time-savers is Optimo’s TikTok or Reel Script tool.
Just describe your topic and provide it with notes, and it’ll do the content creation for you, saving you a massive amount of time.
Using our hypothetical pizza restaurant, Optimo is creating a script for its TikTok or Reel account, discussing how it uses only the healthiest, hand-crafted dough in its pizza bases.
Here, the AI did in seconds what would usually take the better part of an hour, while delivering exceptional results.
These time-saving tools can have a profound effect on your pricing model, letting you:
Ultimately, AI tools let you scale, helping you win more clients and increase your margins, whether you’re a social media management freelancer or an agency on a marketing budget.
It’s a win-win!
Now you understand the steps involved in figuring out how much to charge for social media management, you’re ready to put them into action.
Charging the right amount helps you expand your business, compensate yourself fairly, and control your social media management costs.
Tools like Optimo can’t help you decide what to charge (that’ll depend on your niche, location, and expertise).
However, they can boost your margins by automating tasks that used to take hours.
So, what are you waiting for?
Join the ranks of social media marketing agencies using advanced AI tools to improve profitability, and supercharge your marketing campaigns for multiple clients.
Far quicker than humans
People using Optimo
Tool generations to date