Post updated March 25, 2015.
It seems that most people in business are starting to realize that social media, though free, really doesn't do much unless you put a lot into it. Who has time to manage a facebook and twitter account, let alone setup a killer strategy?
Here's an interesting article that lays out some costs for social media. Prepare yourself – it's not cheap. And don't worry – I'm not in the social media game so I'm being very objective with these prices.
So if you are wondering: How much does social media cost?
…this post is for you.
Here's a breakdown of the prices
Get a blog built starting from zero, including design, and having someone manage all your content and customer relationships (comments and emails, etc) – $1,000-$12,000 a month, median of $4K. This will change if you want to write some yourself and handle any parts of the experience. But, be honest with yourself in terms of how much you are going to do.
Blog posts written on your behalf will cost between $50-500.
Blogging is one of the best ways to jack up your SEO efforts, so make sure you have someone who knows a ton about SEO. You'll need to balance keywords with originality to make it successful.
Who is not part of any social network these days? Chances are if you regularly use a computer, tablet or smartphone you have registered with any of the hundreds of social networks in the Internet catering to general or specific types of customers.
If you're interested in learning more about the world's top earning social networking apps and how do they make money, checkout this post Social Networking Apps Gaining Ground in Asia.
Start from zero, have a page designed, post creation, actively finding new followers, managing messages – $1,000-$4,000 a month. By spending a little time tweeting each day and selectively building up a targeted following, you can give your small business a big boost. Read more about how to use Twitter effectively with 5 Ways Small Businesses Can Use Twitter Effectively.
Start from zero, design, content, customer relationships, everything – $2,000-9,000 a month. If you're interested in learning more about how Facebook is earning money when registration is free, you may enjoy this post Facebook's Mobile Monetizing Strategies Paying Off.
Social Media Strategy
Full social media strategy, full outsourcing of content, design, maintenance, setup – $3,000-20,000 a month.
Social Media Consulting
Hourly rates – $50-$500/Hr
Most Charge – $75-$200/Hr
If you are interested, I urge you to read the full article here. It's pretty interesting. I also think these prices are pretty high for Maine and are more relevant for Boston or New York, but they're not completely off. You get what you pay for.
The Bottom Line
• More often than not, you get what you pay for, but make sure you don't pay for a brand name. Pay for results and knowledge, not someone who can tell you what you want to hear.
• Absolutely grill anyone you hire for this stuff. Don't let them hit you with buzz words and fluff. If they can't break down the entire process into 3 sentences, they don't really understand it.
• Negotiate and ask for proof. If they want you to spend $10K on these efforts, make them prove that it's a good investment. If they can't, think twice.
• Ask around. A lot of this stuff can be done by a college intern or your friend who even some of your best customers who want discounts. Get creative and you might save a ton of money.
If you want to learn more about how social media fits into a solid overall app marketing strategy, check out what my buddy Neil is doing (aka the best in the business).