Social Media Marketing: You Get What You Pay For

I started out in Social Media Marketing in 2008.  Back then, businesses had to be convinced that they needed to have a website; Social Media was something few businesses saw value in or even knew existed.  Times have changed.  Today, almost all businesses realize the importance Social Media.  However, many companies struggle to properly prioritize social media marketing in their budget.

You get what you pay for. 

The past decade, social media marketing was the wild wild west in terms of pricing.  Though, in recent years, prices have streamlined.  The average salaries and agency fees are:

Social Media Account Executive: $45,000-60,000

Social Media Manager:  $65,000-85,000.

Director of Social Media: $120,000-160,000.

Social Media Agency Fees:  $800-$1,200 per social network.

If your business understands the value of social media and wants to utilize it to grow your business, the salaries and agency fees above are what you should expect to pay.  Though, with ever millennial with a laptop and access to free Starbucks wifi, the market is over-saturated with social media marketers that are willing to work for less.  Buyer beware.

Yes, it is possible to find a diamond in the rough young professional that will manage your social media for $500 a month and absolutely crush it.  Though, the odds of that are very, very slim.  Social Media Marketing is not a job for the inexperienced.  While an organized, disciplined and professional person without experience can perform well, under proper training and supervision, in a roll within a social media department, it is not probable that they can be in a leadership position or manage all of your social media. Furthermore, the consequences for putting such a person in a position to manage your social media can have dire outcomes that can take months or years to recover from.

Budget for, and pay for, quality professional work. 

If you see someone willing to be a full-time employee as a Social Media Manager for 50k a year, or an agency offering to manage all of your social media for $500 per month, value and respect your business enough to pass on those people and instead pay market (or near market) value and hire a qualified social media professional that will represent your brand well, reach all of your objectives, and provide a return on your investment.   If you pay less, maybe you’ll find a diamond in the rough, but most likely, you’ll end up having to pay someone like me twice as much as you normally would to clean up the mess the cheaper option made.


– K.P. Kelly


*Note: When hiring someone to work within a social media role, don’t make the mistake of gravitating towards someone with a typical sales type personality. The “influencer” or “networker” is often not someone that will do well within a social media position.  Being successful in social media takes discipline.  It often takes an analytical mathematical mind.  When I look at the best of the best in social media, most come from a technical background.  The outgoing sales type personality person is not often willing to sit at a desk working on a computer for 8-10 hours a day, studying data, and doing repetitive, often mundane, tasks.   

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