The Actual Co$t of Social Media

Moving closer to an official pricing resource

Given the hundreds of blog and newsletter posts that cross our desk each week, yet another “How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog” article isn’t exactly a cause for excitement. But a recent article by blogger Mack Collier really caught our eye as fresh and useful content. Collier surveyed colleagues to come up with a much-needed guide of the sort we hadn’t encountered. We would love to see his article entitled How much does Social Media cost companies in 2011? expanded by an industry association into something similar to the Graphic Artist Guild’s Pricing and Ethical Guidelines handbook.

But for now, here’s a sampling of Collier’s findings:

Looking to launch a blog from the ground-up, outsourcing all content development? You can expect to pay $1,000 to $12,000 a month, with most firms charging in the $3,000 to $5,000 range. That narrower range sounds right to us, depending on scope of work, of course, since social media marketing isn’t a turnkey product with turnkey pricing.

How much does it cost to launch a new presence on Twitter, complete with ongoing training and consulting? Collier’s answer: $1,000 to $6,000 a month, with most firms charging in the $1,000 to $3,000 range.

How about launching a Facebook Page from the ground-up, outsourcing all content creation and customer interaction? Expect to budget $2,000 to $9,000 a month, with most firms charging between $2,500 and $5,000.

While Collier’s article is by no means scientific or comprehensive, we are happy to see the concept of a pricing guideline being explored. And, of course, these prices include the assistance of an experienced social media partner. If you choose to navigate the complicated waters of social media on your own, we recommend you read this nuanced article by Danny Brown: Why Your Social Media Strategy Sucks.