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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