Social Media Management Pricing: What Are the Costs in 2023?

Social media monitoring service
Sabrina Dougall

If you've ever wondered, “How much does social media marketing cost in 2023?” a standard social media management package will cost $750 per month and cover Facebook and Instagram. Getting a freelancer to manage your social media will cost between $285 to $795, depending on how many posts and channels you want covered.

Or, using a DIY social media management software tool, such as Planable, will cost you anything from around $5 to $170 a month (or even $0 for a very limited, basic free plan!).

The end price will always depend on exactly what you need. We've used data from the tail end of 2022 to guide you about social media management costs in 2023.

As businesses recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, and struggle through a recession, growing your sales is more important than ever. Social media outreach can be an effective tool for hooking new customers and strengthening the loyalty of existing ones.

In this article, we'll explain how much social media management costs, breaking down the price of various services you can afford with your budget, as well as the costs of DIY social media management platforms.

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Discover the most affordable way to manage your social media

Social media management platforms let you take control of your social marketing – Planable is our top pick, and you can try it for free


How Much Does Social Media Marketing Cost?

You have two options here. You can either work with a social media management company, which typically charge monthly, or you can hire a freelancer, who usually charge by the hour. Below, we outline the average cost of both options.

Social Media Marketing Company Costs

The services of a social media marketing firm can come in anywhere between $50-$300 per hour depending on the breadth of services you're looking for.

Taking digital marketing firm BrandLyft for an example. They've received five-star customer reviews from the majority of their clients. Let's look at some quick-fire stats from Clutch.co:

  • Hourly charge: $50-$99
  • Client focus: 80% small business (<$10M)
  • Cost of a four-month advertising and marketing project in 2021: $10,000-$49,999
  • Cost of a five-month digital marketing project including social media in 2021: <$10,000

Pricing may not always be on an hourly or per-project basis. Some social media marketing companies offer monthly price packages for a standard set of service. This can take a weight off your shoulders as you can easily plan month-to-month budgets this way.

Here are some examples of the lowest monthly costs for social media marketing companies we've found to be high quality:

  • Social High Rise responds to customer reviews and increases local search traffic: $249
  • Lyfe Marketing monitors your Facebook and Instagram, sending 12 posts a month: $750
  • Authentic Agency creates and publishes social media ads: $1,497

Social Media Marketing Freelancer Costs

These days it's easy to find peer-reviewed social media managers offering freelance services through platforms like UpWork and Fiverr. In researching these prices, we included top-rated and vetted freelance professionals endorsed by their respective platforms as reliable for quality and punctuality. You can always find someone willing to do the work for less money, but buyer beware of poor quality marketing which could actually harm your business rather than enhance it.

Here's an idea of standard costs of custom social media post creation (including research and creative content production):

  • Four social media posts with relevant hashtags and captions over two channels: $285
  • 10 social media posts across two channels: $395
  • 20 posts across three social media accounts: $595
  • 30 posts across four social media accounts: $795

[Prices correct as of November 2022]

Agencies like MarketerHire or Virtual Employee offer an even more thorough level of vetting and will match you to a specific pool of professionals according to your business' needs.

Alternatively, you can access Expert Market's trusted supplier network if you provide us with a couple of basic details about your social media marketing.

HubSpot social media marketing graph
Social media is the main marketing channel for companies this year. Graph: HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing Trends 2022

What Would it Cost to do Social Media Marketing Myself?

The first cost you've got to consider if doing social media marketing in-house is the staff time; the upkeep of one social media channel ideally requires an hour of concentrated work per day. If you're willing to commit the time to posting regular updates and monitor customer messages, it's a great way to maintain brand authenticity. Plus you can ensure each message is consistent in tone and information.

You can do this for free or relatively cheaply with professional-grade social media tools. Our top recommendation is Planable, which allows for clear channel oversight and makes it easy for colleagues to work together on making, planning, and approving posts. You can start for free, and plans for upgrading are $13 monthly per user or $26 for better features.

Alternatively, Hootsuite offers a free 30-day trial and a much more comprehensive set of tools. Pricing is $49 monthly per user; $249 monthly for three users or $739 monthly for five users. We'll go into tool pricing comparisons more at the end of this page in the section ‘Are Social Media Marketing Tools a Cheaper Option?'.

What social media services will I get for my money?

Here's the question you really want answered: “What exactly will I get in return for $X,000?” and it's important you can give a satisfactory reply when the finance department hears your figures.

Here's a list of basic social media management services you can expect to receive:

  • Optimize or create social media profiles from scratch
  • Develop a content calendar
  • Publish custom made content (i.e. posts and tweets) to increase brand exposure
  • Responding to customer questions, reviews and complaints across social platforms
  • Connect with influencers to broaden the reach of your content

Hm, do some of those seem a bit wishy-washy? You may be wondering whether clicks, hearts, shares and follows actually translate to increased sales, turnover and ROI. It's true that having more followers doesn't automatically mean more customers, and it's not a good goal to just “add more followers” in exchange for your marketing budget. You'll want to think more carefully about your benchmarks for success.

Before you go into your first meeting with a potential social media manager, you should draw up concrete business goals based on your particular industry. Here are some examples:

  • Increased website traffic of at least x% – consultancy and services
  • More customers through the door at lunchtimes – food and beverage vendors
  • Uptick in sales – ecommerce, designers, resellers and physical stores
  • More bookings – medical and personal services
  • Better attendance at events (x% more visitors than previous event) – hobby clubs or religious groups
leaders podium of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter icons

Instagram is the number one most used social media channel for marketing purposes, followed by Facebook and then Twitter. Statistics: HubSpot 2021

Don't forget, however. that there will inevitably be more intangible benefits to polishing up your social media presence. Although harder to measure, you may want to consider the potential knock-on effect of these when it comes to improved investment opportunities, hiring and retaining talent, and responding better to market changes. To name a few:

  • Widen brand awareness
  • Improve brand reputation
  • Increase opportunities to define yourself as a company (including beliefs and values)
  • Strengthen customer loyalty
  • Better communication with customers, building rapport and understanding
  • Manage customer dissatisfaction, concerns and complaints

It requires more creative thinking to see the wider brand value in the above, to be sure. If your business needs to focus on sales and conversions, you always have the option to invest more directly into social media advertising, specifically.

If you choose to pay for social media advertising services, these should entail:

  • Lead generation
  • Driving website traffic through paid-per-click advertising
  • Precise audience segmentation and targeted advertising
  • Run social media advertising campaigns
Social High Rise facebook ad campaigns prices

Social High Rise lists three types of Facebook ad campaigns, ranging in cost from $99 per month to $399 per month.


How Much Does Social Media Marketing Cost Per Month?

It's worth looking in depth at the various services you can afford depending on your monthly budget. Generally, the more you pay, the more social media channels your social media manager will cover.

To give you a clearer picture, let's explore the price plans, add-ons, and additional costs charged by two of the best social media marketing companies: Lyfe Marketing and Social High Rise.

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Planable offers premium plans for as little as $22 per month

Or, you can try for $0 per month on its free plan before you upgrade!


Lyfe Marketing Pricing

If you're struggling with the time commitment of responding to social media comments and uploading new posts, Lyfe Marketing will take this off your hands. They'll create original content for your brand, and respond to up to ten user comments per day.

If you only use Facebook and Instagram and you're happy with 12 posts a month, you can pay $750 per month plus a setup fee of $150. However, you'll pay more if you have bigger requirements and ambitions.

All plans come with an account manager plus one hourly consultation per month to ensure your campaigns are on track. The monthly catch-up is a great chance to ask nagging questions about your social media strategy and get expert advice on how to manage your public reputation.

Lyfe Marketing instagram posts snapshot
The Instagram feed of Lyfe Marketing shares pro tips for social media marketing.

Lyfe Marketing Social Media Management Pricing Plans

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Starter Plan

Growth Plan

Scale Plan

Custom

Price

$750 per month

Price

$1350 per month

Price

$1550 per month

Price

Custom

Features
  • 12 posts per month (images)
  • Facebook and Instagram
  • 10 comment responses per day
  • Sponsored posts
  • Reporting
Features
  • 12 posts per month (vertical video)
  • Facebook, Instagram and TikTok reels
  • 10 comment responses per day
  • Sponsored posts
  • Reporting
Features
  • 20 posts per month (vertical video)
  • Facebook, Instagram and TikTok reels
  • 10 comment responses per day
  • Sponsored posts
  • Reporting
Features
  • Variable posts per month (video and images)
  • Facebook, Instagram and TikTok reels
  • 10 comment responses per day
  • Sponsored posts
  • Reporting

Lyfe Marketing charges a one-off setup fee of $150 for social media management services.

Add-Ons

Add-onCost (per month)
Management of each additional social network (such as Twitter or LinkedIn)$150
Monthly 15-second animation videos$200

Social High Rise Pricing

One of the best social media marketing companies for small businesses, Social High Rise's core social media management plans are cheaper than Lyfe Marketing's, starting at $249. However, it's not clear how many social posts this cheapest plan entitles you to. Social High Rise also offers a variety of paid add-ons to bolster your Facebook posts and advertising, ranging from $25 to $399 per month.

Social High Rise Social Media Marketing Pricing Plans

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Customer Service

Customer Experience

Customer Delight

The Enterprise Plan

Price

$249 per month

Price

$349 per month

Price

$499 per month

Price

Bespoke

Features
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Local search engine optimization
  • Unlimited customer review responses
  • Online customer service for restaurants
Features
  • Reporting dashboard
  • 20+ posts/month on FB + Instagram
  • Local search engine optimization
  • Outreach potential customers
Features
  • Reporting dashboard
  • 20+ posts/month on FB + Instagram
  • Local search engine optimization
  • Unlimited customer review responses
Features

A bespoke plan for small to medium-sized businesses with two or more locations

Each plan comes with a one-off setup fee of $199.

Add-Ons

Add-onCost (per month)
Twitter add-on package:

  • 2-3 customized tweets per week
  • Build and optimize your Twitter page
  • Customer outreach
$99
Facebook Boost Posts (for quick exposure and targeting current fans)$25
Facebook Boost Posts+ (for reaching a wider audience)$50
Facebook Boost Posts Max (for customer retention or reactivation)$75
Facebook Ads Starter Campaign (small campaigns with a few ads per month)$99
Facebook Ads Builder Campaign (for growing your audience and promoting events)$199
Facebook Ads Growth Campaign (for promoting store openings, gift card sales, and online orders)$399
Note

All pricing on this page is correct as of November 2022.


How Much Do Businesses Spend on Social Media Marketing?

According to research by the Content Factory, the average company in the US spends between $200 and $350 per day on social media marketing. This means total costs can end up somewhere between $6,000 and $10,500 per month, equating to anywhere between $72,000 and $126,000 annually. 

The reason these figures are much higher than those we've cited is because they include all potential overheads, such as hiring in-house social media staff and training them up. These are things you don't need to worry about when you work with a social media management company or freelancer – so you can see how you might save money by working with a third party instead of managing your social campaigns in-house.

There's no denying that social media marketing can be expensive, but the results of an effective campaign will pay dividends; helping your business find new customers and boost sales. So, in the end, the rewards you’ll gain make it a worthwhile investment.


How Much is Social Media Marketing Worth?

The majority of businesses and marketers agree that social media marketing is a worthwhile investment. According to 2022 stats, 73% of marketers report that their social media marketing efforts have been effective, and 90% say it has increased their business's exposure.

We also know the popularity of social media marketing is trending upwards. It was predicted that $173 million would be spent on social media advertising in 2022. In fact, social media advertising is currently the second-biggest market in digital ads.

But how does that translate into meaningful figures for your business? One way to calculate the ROI (return on investment) of your own social media marketing campaign is to measure your quantifiable goals, such as the number of online form submissions or product purchases you gain, compared to the amount of money you spend on your social media marketing.

For example, let’s say you pay $0.97 – the average cost for Facebook PPC (pay-per-click) ads – for each time a customer clicks on your advert link. Now let's say you get 1,000 clicks. You’ve spent $970 in total. You’ll then need to divide that total spend figure by your average cost of acquiring a new customer in order to get your ROI percentage for Facebook PPC advertising.

Are Social Media Marketing Tools a Cheaper Option?

If your staff are skilled at social media, have the capacity to focus on this for at least one hour a day, and are in tune with the ever-changing industry trends, using social media tools could be a good option for your business. They allow you to replace the manual effort of tasks such as being online to post at desired times and logging into various accounts one by one.

As you're using your own or your staff's time, you'll only need to pay the monthly fees for tools. This saves you the agency's retainer fee. General pricing for social media management tools is dependent on the number of users and the number of social channels you're posting across. That's why costs are as wide as $0-$1933 per month.

Here's a summary of some top social media marketing tools:

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Planable

Buffer

SocialPilot

Sprinklr

Best for

Team collaboration

Best for

All round social media oversight

Best for

Overall audience engagement

Best for

Overall social media campaign tool

Price Range

Free-$22 per month

(Enterprise plans available)

Price Range

$5-$100 per month

Price Range

$25.50-$170 per month

Price Range

Pricing on request

Free Trial/Plan
Free Trial/Plan
Free Trial/Plan
Free Trial/Plan

A small business could pay $6 per month per social channel (eg, Facebook or Twitter or Instagram) for Buffer's Essentials plan. That'll take the hassle out of remembering to log in and come up with a creative new social post every morning. How? Well Buffer has a handy scheduling tool that lets you stack up a bunch of social content in advance.

If you're a bit overwhelmed by all the software, then we recommend Planable for easier cross-team social planning. Planable works out slightly better value than Buffer at $13 per month for four channels on the Basic plan. You can use the handy version history feature to craft slightly altered posts to see which one performs best.


Verdict

The lowest spend you can get away with for social media management is $249 per month with Social High Rise. However, that doesn't include any custom-created social posts with relevant hashtags and captions. For four of these per month you can expect to pay $285 to a freelance contractor. The services of a highly-rated social media marketing firm such as Authentic Agency start at $1,497 per month.

The easiest way to get a clear price is by comparing free, tailored quotes from social media experts themselves – why not join hundreds of businesses that have done so already using our free quote request tool? We’ll match your business with trustworthy social media experts, who'll get in touch directly to answer your questions and provide free, no-obligation quotes for you.

Remember, investing in an effective social media marketing campaign can bring your business more customers and sales, and attract online traffic to your website – making social media marketing strategy a worthwhile investment.

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Planable gives you control of your social media marketing for $0-$22/month

And you can try it for free before upgrading to an affordable premium plan

FAQ

What's included in the cost of social media marketing services?
Social media marketing includes updating or creating social media channels for your business, publishing custom content to your target audiences and responding to comments on your profiles. Social media marketing services largely amount to reputation management, customer care, brand voice curation and advertising specific products, services or promotions.

Additional services include publishing posts across a wider range of channels, as well as targeted pay-per-click advertising and sales lead generation. These may cost extra, depending on the terms of your particular provider.

How much does it cost to hire a social media marketer?
A top rated freelancer will charge $395 for 30 days of social media management across up to three channels. You'll get 20 posts including relevant hashtags and captions, which adds up to roughly five posts per week.

Alternatively, social media management agency Social High Rise will charge $349 monthly for at least 20 custom posts on Facebook and Instagram. This package also includes local search engine optimization, outreach to potential customers and online customer service for restaurants.

How much does it cost to outsource social media marketing on a small budget?
You can expect to pay $35 to $55 per hour for a top-rated social media management freelancer on a platform such as UpWork.com.

A basic social media marketing package costs $285 for four posts with relevant hashtags and captions across two social media channels. Delivered by a freelance social media manager over one month, this service includes channel evaluation, content creation and scheduling as well as reporting and an action plan.

Social High Rise charges $249 per month for unlimited customer review responses across Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor and Facebook. They'll also include local search engine optimization and online customer service for your restaurant but won't create content for you unless you upgrade to their $349-a-month package.

Written by:
Sabrina Dougall
Sabrina Dougall Web Marketing Expert

Sabrina is a business journalist whose career began in news reporting. She has a master’s in Investigative Journalism from City University London, and her work has appeared in The Times, The Daily Express, Money Saving Expert, Camden New Journal, Global Trade Review, and Computer Business Review. She specializes in writing about SEO (search engine optimization). Having run her own small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how critical digital marketing is to building a client base and local reputation.