The Cost of Hiring a Professional Social Media Manager

The Cost of Hiring a Professional Social Media Manager

Updated August 2, 2020
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Who Needs a Social Media Manager?

All businesses, large or small, could benefit from having a dedicated social media manager to help them reach their business goals. 

Solopreneurs, influencers, e-commerce stores, the list goes on and on of people brands and businesses who would greatly profit from a professional social media manager on their team to implement a social media strategy.

Whether that social media manager is a dedicated employee, is part of the team as a remote worker or is a freelance social media manager, the benefits of having a professional social media manager are many.

Anyone who needs to be found by search engines for both SEO and social media and wants to have a consistent online voice and multi-platform presence to build their brand should consider hiring a professional social media manager.

In this article, we will look at

  • the misconceptions surrounding social media management cost
  • how to find out if your business can afford social media management
  • 7-step process to hiring a social media manager for your business

What Does It Take to Hire a Social Media Manager?

Hiring a social media manager involves the same process as hiring just about any other employee. 

It starts with a job description, advertising the job opening, and finishing up with interviewing candidates.

Before you start this process, make no mistakes. Social media managers are professionals, and not to be confused with volunteers.

Let us start with these truths as we see them:

  • Social media is not free
  • Management fees will differ per person and per agency
  • Not every business needs all the social media bells and whistles
  • Every business will have a (slightly) different end goal
  • Social media management needs to be part of a marketing budget – not take up the total marketing budget
  • Social media should be part of an overall marketing plan, not be the marketing plan
  • Cheap labor does not always equal good labor and good results, or return on investment
  • Expensive labor does not always equal good labor and good results
  • Teenagers understand what social media is, but do not necessarily know how marketing on social media works
  • It takes time to build up a following, an online reputation and become an influential brand
  • Graphic design, copywriting, web design, blogging, digital advertising and digital marketing are all additional full-time careers in the online marketing industry

From experience and real-life stories told to us by professional social media managers, this is not what some business owners and CEOs think.

We hear that when hiring a social media manager, those who are hiring expect to also get an instant graphic designer, webmaster, and copywriter, just to name a few ‘hats’ social media managers are often asked to wear.

What Professional Social Media Managers Are Up Against

While trained professional social media managers can, and do, wear many hats such as customer service representative, community manager and video content producer, social media managers are up against all sort of preconceived notions about their career in social media and what it entails.

Here are a few real-life examples of proposals, questions, and thoughts from hiring and business managers as we hear them:

  • Can we barter for a product?
  • What do you do all day long, just play on facebook right?
  • I can't afford to pay you more than $10/hour
  • Can we meet for coffee and you tell me what I need to do?
  • Please tell all my employees how to post so I don't have to pay you.
  • What's the big deal about social media? Just whip something up.
  • I can't afford $1000 per month
  • I can't afford $500 per month
  • I can't afford $300 per month
  • I need you to start tomorrow
  • We don't need a contract

How do we bridge this obvious gap between what is expected of a professional social media manager, and what reality is like for many social media managers?

The obvious answer is education – and it starts right here!

become a social media manager

What Is the Actual Cost of Hiring a Professional Social Media Manager?

The cost of hiring a dedicated and professional social media manager who will create quality social media content, including both written and visual content, then implements a well-researched social media strategy all starts with the understanding that social media management is a profession!

A career in social media marketing takes an investment of time and money; all social media managers should be treated like any other professional, with due respect and adequate monetary compensation.

Social media managers have a specialized skill set; they should be paid according to the professionals they are.

Who Can Afford a Social Media Manager?

The question should really be rephrased to

‘Can you afford NOT to hire a professional social media manager?’

Here is why.

?Do you go to your tire store and bargain for free tires? I bet you have a clear understanding that in order to keep your car on the road, in order to keep yourself and your family safe, you will need to INVEST in their safety by preventative maintenance.

?Have you ever asked your doctor for a free months’ free of visits ‘to try them out’ to make sure you are a good fit? I am willing to eat my hat that you’d never think to even ask such a thing!

?Should you ever ask for free groceries in the store you choose to visit, arguing you’ll tell everyone how great their groceries are, giving them free exposure in exchange for food? Why then do business owners think it is perfectly alright to seek out a social media professional and ask them to work for free? I’ve never understood that logic yet it happens all the time!

Here is who can afford to hire a social media manager, part-time, full-time, freelance, in-house or otherwise engaged:

If you

  • run a successful business
  • are in the process of setting up a business
  • currently pay for radio, TV and magazine ads
  • employ a sales team
  • have a website
  • need new leads
  • want more customers
  • are active in the local community

…you can afford to hire someone to help you, even if it is for 2-5 hour per week!

How To Hire Your Next Social Media Manager

It’s a fairly simple, but a multi-step process.

  1. Decide you need help and what you need help with.
  2. Create a marketing budget.
  3. Allocate money in your marketing budget to pay for an expert.
  4. Put the word out on social media, and advertise your job here.
  5. Read resumes.
  6. Interview candidates.
  7. Hire a professional social media manager

We are here to help you navigate this process – let us know if you need help and join our 30,000+ strong Social Media Managers Facebook group

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