Ear­li­er this week, a prospec­tive client indi­cat­ed to me that he thought my pric­ing was steep for social media man­age­ment. He indi­cat­ed that for just a bit more, he man­aged to buy a radio ad that gave him cov­er­age over a region of tens of thou­sands of lis­ten­ers.

I imme­di­ate­ly saw that his atti­tude toward social media is that it is anoth­er mar­ket­ing stream. I’ve dis­cussed how social media dif­fers from tra­di­tion­al media before, but his reply prompt­ed me to touch on the sub­ject again.

How social media differs from traditional media

It’s tough to make a par­al­lel com­par­i­son between social media and tra­di­tion­al media. (I’ll use radio ads since this prospec­tive client did.) Social media is more labour inten­sive than, say, radio ads. A radio ad shows up at cer­tain inter­vals and its fre­quen­cy is vir­tu­al­ly auto­mat­ed. An effec­tive social media account, on the oth­er hand, requires man­u­al effort to research con­tent to share, engage with users, and par­tic­i­pate in con­ver­sa­tion.

Case study

For exam­ple, one of my clients had a Twit­ter account that was at 97 fol­low­ers when I took it over about 4 years ago. Since then, I’ve increased that num­ber to 23,000. It took me over 2,100 hours to get it there though.

Today, they see about 430,400 impres­sions per month (per day avg: 15,300) and an engage­ment rate of 1.2%: 853 link clicks per month (per day avg: 30), 1,800 retweets per month (per day avg: 65), 1,300 likes per month (per day avg: 47), and 136 replies per month (per day avg: 5).

In addi­tion, social media now accounts for 30% of their web­site traf­fic. Four years ago, social media bare­ly reg­is­tered in their site ana­lyt­ics.

You get what you pay for

Anoth­er thing to keep in mind is that I have been man­ag­ing social media accounts for 12 years and cur­rent­ly over­see client accounts that have a col­lec­tive fol­low­ing of over 120,000 (some­thing no oth­er con­tract social media man­ag­er in Leth­bridge can claim). This has allowed me to become effi­cient at what I do, and I can accom­plish more in less time than what a typ­i­cal full-time employ­ee could. And a full-time employ­ee man­ag­ing a company’s social media at min­i­mum wage here in Alber­ta would cost near­ly $2,000 per month. That’s near­ly 10 times the cost of my small­est pack­age.

I ful­ly admit that I’m the most expen­sive social media man­ag­er in Leth­bridge, but I believe I deliv­er a pre­mi­um ser­vice. So, while it does seem a lot on the sur­face to pay for social media man­age­ment, you get proven suc­cess, expe­ri­ence, and effi­cien­cy for that price. And qual­i­ty is always a good val­ue.

About Kim Siever

I am a copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

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