by Juan Robin II
Social media marketing can be a lucrative form of advertising — we mean, it must be when you consider that celebrities like Kylie Jenner can make as much as $1 million for just one sponsored Instagram post.
Fortunately, $1 million for one advertisement on social media is not the market average, though it’s true that the prices can range quite dramatically depending on the target audience of your business. The price is also likely to vary based on which social media platforms you use and which marketing firm you hire.
With an estimated 2.8 billion Facebook users worldwide, businesses have a chance to harness the incredible marketing opportunities that major social media platforms naturally provide — and at a relatively low cost, compared to traditional marketing.
So how much does social media marketing cost, and how can your business get in on the action without breaking the bank?
While prices do vary dramatically, this article will help you sift through the overwhelming range of costs.
Advertising Versus Marketing on Social Media
Before breaking down the costs of marketing within the major social media platforms, we first have to differentiate between advertising and marketing on social media.
While the two are obviously linked, the cost of a paid advertisement on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram is going to be different than the cost of paying a marketing firm to create content curated to your desired audiences.
Figuring out the cost for traditional advertising on social media is much more simple than wading through the varied costs of social media marketing, so we’ll start there.
Facebook and Instagram require a per-day minimum advertising budget of $1 for impressions and $5 for likes, clicks, and views. Twitter has no minimum advertising budget.
Obviously, your business’s priority is to get interested parties to click on your content, which is where figuring out the “cost-per-click” is important. The simplest way of calculating this number is by dividing the total amount you’ve spent on an advertising campaign (there’s no maximum) by the number of clicks back to your website that campaign has generated.
It’s a simple enough process to allocate a certain amount of either your advertising or marketing budget towards social media ads. You can start off small with your minimum daily advertising budget and slowly raise it as you see how your audiences are responding.
Facebook Versus Twitter, and Everything in Between
Have you ever visited the Facebook or Instagram page of a business that you might be interested in supporting, and you’re totally turned off by their lack of professionalism?
Their amateurish social media pages have you wondering whether the business isn’t a scam.
At that point, the company should hire a marketing firm to help them out with their social media channels.
As a small business, they’re wise to start with just two or three social media platforms on which to focus their social media marketing budget. According to Marketing Matters digital marketing, Facebook and Twitter are two of the most obvious choices. Depending on the service or product your business is selling, Instagram might be a worthwhile platform to pursue as well.
But let’s start by taking a look at the two most basic and popular platforms: Facebook and Twitter.
To set up and manage a brand new Facebook page, professional marketing companies will charge anywhere between $2,500 and $5,000 monthly. The same can be said for Twitter, where companies will charge approximately $2,000 to $4,000 monthly.
Combining the marketing of a few social media platforms at a time — say, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn — could be more financially expedient for your business, as a social media management pricing structure is designed to be cheaper the more platforms you use.
On average, the cost to have your Facebook, Twitter, and one other social media channel managed ranges from $4,000 to $7,000 monthly.
So How Much Does Social Media Marketing Cost, Anyways?
You should budget approximately 10% of your marketing budget on social media alone. (Remember, that’s excluding the cost of paid advertisements, including on social media channels!) And depending on the demographic you’re trying to reach, you might even want to allocate a larger portion of your budget to social media marketing.
But what if you’re a small business or a start-up, and the prospect of spending even just $4,000 a month makes you clutch tightly to your wallet as you see your life savings fly away before your eyes? Heck, what if your total budgets for advertising and media cost that much already?
A solution is to spend a lump sum on specific campaigns and seeing how they perform before committing to monthly payments.
And, while $4,000 monthly (at a minimum) may seem like a lot of money, consider your return on investment. While it’s difficult to determine how much of your social media marketing is responsible for sales, calculating your “cost-per-click” and looking at trends over time are effective ways of comparing your social media marketing costs with the financial benefits that marketing is providing for your business.
If you’re a larger business and you’re still questioning the value of these social media marketing prices, consider the Starbucks Coffee Unicorn Frappuccino Instagram campaign of 2017, that saw same-store sales grow by 4% in just one month.
You Could Have the Next (Theoretical) Unicorn Frappuccino
We’ve established that it’s not going to cost you $1 million to be successful with your social media marketing strategy. All the same, it’s safe to say that the cost of social media marketing can be steep — especially if you’re just starting off.
However, you also never know when a marketing campaign may take off. It takes work, and yes, it definitely takes money. But we bet you the folks at Starbucks are thanking their lucky stars they decided to spend the extra money on their Unicorn Frappuccino campaign.
You asked: How much does social media marketing cost? We answered: It depends.
As frustrating as that answer may be, as is often the case of business, how much you invest correlates with how much you get back — so long as you’re doing it strategically.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to up your social media marketing game.