Saw a pretty interesting post on a Social Media Managers group on Facebook the other day. A new community manager was asking if $300 a month was a good dollar amount to charge for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest management. Everyone in the community quickly chimed in in agreement. The dollar amount did not justify the skills needed and the work that would be necessary to fill that type of contract. Many newer community managers undercharge, not because they aren’t experienced, but because they cannot properly explain the value proposition to their client. Today I am going to lift up my skirt and give you some advice on how to educate and train your clients, as well as how to better manage your time so that you can charge $2,000 for Social Media AND have incredibly happy clients. Without further ado…
How to Charge More for Social Media
Set Down Clear, Measurable Goals
This is better understood with an example. Let’s say that your client calls you to tell you they’ve been losing money and they need to cut back and want to break their contract. So, you look at Google analytics and you see that you’ve been driving plenty of traffic to their site. Then you go in and do a deeper dive to find their customers aren’t converting because their shipping fees are too damn high. If you set clear, measurable goals at the beginning can point back at your contract you will be able to deter the client from leaving. After all, you made your goal of increasing their web traffic by x%. In this case, you can let your client know the reason why they’re not making money and have them redirect funds to where they need to go.
Always Have Clear Contracts
One of the biggest mistakes new social media managers make is not having contracts with their clients. Contracts are there to protect both parties, as well as clearly outline the scope of work and the things that will be part of the scope. A few items your social media contract should include are:
-Length of contract
-Total payment, the frequency of payment, late fees
-Tasks that are included in the contract
-Tasks that are not included in the contract AND pricing for said items
-Hours of availability
-The stipulation on who the contact will be at your client’s place of business
-Your needs from the client, for example, monthly images, list of events, etc…
Always have a lawyer go through your contracts. You can work with a lawyer on your first contract and then save this as a template going forward.
Pricing for Social Media management is affected by many things including geo-location, experience, industry, and scope of work. Before you jump into this industry, you need to create a social media manager budget. This will help you to estimate how much you will spend and how much you can charge for social media management. Keep in mind that you are building a business that needs to scale so that you can use the best social media tools, help your clients grow, and still have time to yourself. Depending on your level of experience, you may want to offer:
-Geo-targeted audience growth
Focus Heavily on Analytics & Reporting
Numbers don’t lie. Numbers are your friend. Become a master in analytics of all types: social media, Google, etc. When you first pick up a client, set an hour of your time to educate them on analytics. Show them sample reports and explain each metric and what it means to them. When you send reports on a monthly basis include an easy to understand explanation of the results. Social Media reporting lowers client churn. This task can be made easier with a social media reporting tool such as Socialdraft.
Analyze Your Client’s Target Audience
You may think you know your customer’s clients, but do you, really? Start off by sitting down and figuring out who you client’s audience is. Create a persona. Questions to ask when doing this:
- 1. Is your person male/female/both
- 2. How old is this person
- 3. Where do they live
- 4. What do they do? Are they employed? What are their hobbies?
- 5. Why do they need you/your brand/product?
Figure out Where The Client Audience Hangs Out
Contrary to popular belief, not all brands need to be on every single social network. If you understand your audience/client, you will also understand the social site they frequent. Build your strategy around this. If you’re targeting to moms, you should probably be on Pinterest, if you’re marketing to college students…Instagram is where you should focus. Make sure to ask yourself every month “where is my audience”, “have they moved”, and “where are they going next”.
Content marketing is incredibly effective. It achieves various goals. Content marketing consists of two parts for me: original content, influencer content. I’ll break down how I work my content and how I schedule it to social media using our dashboard. If you have any questions on this drop a comment on the bottom of this blog.
1. Original Content is content that you (or your writers) create. This content needs to live on your website or blog and needs to be of value to your audience. If your audience has a need, you need to give them the solution. This sets you apart as someone they can trust, an authority, and it helps you with SEO juice on the all mighty google. There are sub-sections under your original content
2. Evergreen Original is content that will last forever (or at least a really long time). This is AWESOME original content. Why? because if it is done correctly, you can schedule this content to come out on social media over and over again. There is a caveat. You need to be smart about how often, and in which way you present this content. Change up the social networks, the days of the week, and the images attached to the shares. Update the content whenever there are changes…this will allow you to once again share that piece of content while highlighting the update. This is my favorite type of content because it allows me to fill up my content calendar and free up time for interactions. I usually create 4 images for each piece of evergreen content. Then I create 4 original write-ups for these pieces. I schedule them to social media using Socialdraft both with a CSV bulk upload or with the recurring post feature.
3. Time Sensitive Original is content that is highly relevant to your audience but will not last long. Make sure to leave a little wiggle room in your content calendar so that you can share this content as it comes out. I usually schedule this content via Socialdraft using the TrueTime feature which figures out at what time I get the most interactions.
4. Influencer Content is content created by other influencers in your space. This is content curation, first, you need to identify the influencers, find out which pieces of their content are relevant and resonate with your audience, and share them on social. I use CSV bulk upload for this type of content to fill up quiet times on my social media accounts. This achieves various things.
- You’re building on that influencer’s follower base.
- You are servicing your audience by sharing valuable, helpful content
- When properly shared (always make sure you cite the source and thank them for their content) you are creating an initial connection to that influential.
Promotional Content is content that helps you overtly achieve your goals. This can be something such as a discount on your items, a promotion, or sharing a review. As strange as this may sound, you want to keep this content down to 10-20% of your content marketing. Everyone wants to purchase, nobody wants to be sold to.
It’s called social media for a reason. Never in the history of the world have you had so much unfettered access to anyone in the world. When I first began in social media I was a nobody. I have gone on to meet people such as Gary Vaynerchuck, Andrew Warner, Jacques Pepin, Paul Bocuse, and Joel Robuchon. All this took was a cup of coffee to get my mind in the right mindset and a tweet. Seriously. I’ve tweeted the most unlikely people, and with a few interactions (some may call it stalking), I’ve been able to ask people to join me for coffee or a glass of wine. This is just one way to interact. Again…you need to keep your goals in mind. If you are selling something, then you need to interact with your potential customers. If you are a brand and you want exposure, then you need to interact with bloggers in your space. It changes on a case by case basis…but the technique is the same. I hate to be trite here, but social media IS THE BIGGEST PARTY IN THE WORLD…and you were invited. Don’t waste the invite by being the crazy guy talking to himself. I work on my content marketing one day a week…my social media calendar is scheduled out 2 months in advance with evergreen content. This allows me to spend the rest of the week interacting. This is where the value is at. Tools like ours are built to save you time so you can interact. If you’re merely broadcasting or answering inquiries instead of creating conversations, you’re losing out.
Transparency (aka reporting)
This is mentioned twice because this is so ridiculously important. You may be a social media expert, but your client is probably not. This is why it is so incredibly important for them to know what you do for them. They probably think you just play on Facebook all day. Outline (in your contract) clearly what you are going to do for them. Outline how much time these tasks take. Communicate weekly via email with both a recap of the week’s highlights and always a call to action…make them work. Trust me! Finally, you need to show results. You’ll want to do monthly reporting comparing your results month over month.
Use the Right Social Media Tools
Every craft has its tools. For social media managers, the best tool is Socialdraft, an all-in-one social media tool. With Socialdraft, you and your team will be able to:
- Schedule posts to multiple Facebook pages, Instagram & Twitter accounts, LinkedIn Business Pages, and Pinterest Boards.
- Have multiple people create and post content w/ different permissions
- Search Instagram hashtags and repost to all connected social media.
- Engage on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn via the feed
- Manage your online reputation
- Assign tasks to team members
- and much more