Social media marketing services – costs, comparisons, and how to get started in 2021

16 minutes to read • Last updated 10 June 2021 • Published 7 June 2021 • Marketing, Social media

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How social is your business? In the 21st Century, a social media presence for any brand is not just nice to have. It’s critical to remain at the forefront of consumer thinking. Social media should form a key facet of your wider digital marketing plan.

But how can you get it right for your specific business circumstances? How much should you be spending on social media marketing? And what kind of agency should you hire to help you along the way?

This guide will explain how you can use social media networks to increase conversions and brand awareness, both of which will have a positive impact on your bottom line.

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Social media marketing services

What is social media marketing?

Sometimes simply referred to as SMM, social media marketing involves building a buzz and brand awareness through social media platforms. Effective social media marketing will increase sales and conversions, whether directly or indirectly.

What social media platforms are best for marketing? 

This depends on a wide range of factors. The most notable is what you are trying to achieve through your social media marketing and the core demographic of your target audience.

Social media marketing benefits: is it right for your business?

It would be too simplistic to say that social media marketing is right for every business. It would certainly benefit almost all brands, though. The internet is omnipresent in the modern business landscape and should be seriously considered as part of your digital marketing strategy

What makes for good social media marketing services? 

So, you’re looking for an agency to help with your social media marketing. A wise choice – it would be remiss not to mention that this is a service that Creative.onl can provide. Whichever agency you decide to go with, ensure they meet the following criteria.

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What types of social media marketing services are there?

Social media marketing is a broad church with plenty of approaches. Attracting attention from users without any advertising spend is known as organic social. If you bring in an agency, organic social will likely be used in conjunction with pay per click advertising, aka paid social.

What questions to ask your potential social media services agency?

Before bringing a social media marketing agency aboard to work with your business, you should prepare a handful of questions. These will help you determine whether this agency is the right fit for your needs.

How much do social media marketing services cost?

All social media agencies will have a unique price point for content creation, scheduling and management. Discuss this with the business and come to an agreement that suits your marketing budget.

How to get started with a social media marketing services?

Once you’re ready to enlist the expertise of a social media marketing agency, follow our 7 steps to ensure you enjoy a fruitful relationship.

How to calculate the ROI that your social media marketing services are delivering?

To measure ROI on social media marketing, you’ll need to assign ‘value’. This means asserting whether you consider likes, page shares, interactions and enhanced brand awareness. Tracking metrics will be required here.

What is social media marketing? 

Sometimes simply referred to as SMM, social media marketing involves building a buzz and brand awareness through social media platforms. Effective social media marketing will increase sales and conversions, whether directly or indirectly.  

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Many platforms offer the opportunity for pay-per-click advertising. This, naturally, will lead potential customers straight to a sales funnel. Encouraging potential consumers to interact with your business can be just as important for inbound marketing, though. 

Whether you are operating a B2B sales model or appealing directly to consumers, mastery of social media marketing is essential. However, it’s a tough market and an ever-changing landscape. To this end, enlisting the services of a specialist social media marketing agency is advisable.  

What social media platforms are best for marketing? 

This depends on a wide range of factors. The most notable is what you are trying to achieve through your social media marketing and the core demographic of your target audience.  

Let’s review each of the ‘Big Five’ social media networks, and how they may be able to aid your business. 

Social networkWhy is it important for marketing?
Facebook Facebook is popular with older generations, who primarily use the platform to see photos of family. It’s also the most popular social media platform across the world and offers the opportunity to market directly to consumers. You’ll need a savvy PPC strategy to make Facebook cost-effective, though 
Instagram While Facebook is popular with older consumers, Instagram is the social media network of choice for Millennials – especially young women. If this your target audience, you should master the art of visual marketing through Instagram. It can be costly, but you’re likely to see results 
Twitter Marketing through Twitter is a great way to build a fast buzz. Arguably more than any other platform, Twitter offers a great opportunity to go viral. There are countless examples of brands that have built a reputation through a memorable Twitter presence. Just be aware that Twitter users have fleeting attention spans. Expect your campaigns to burn brightly but briefly 
YouTube  More and more, consumers look for engagement and an emotional connection with brands. Video is the easiest way to achieve this, and YouTube remains top of the tree when it comes to video networking. Whether you’re simply using video for direct marketing or creating an explainer video for a product or service, start with YouTube and share  
LinkedIn LinkedIn may not be the first network that people think of for making sales, but it has amassed an increasingly positive reputation as a great place for B2B marketing. The niche nature of LinkedIn makes it ideal for capturing the attention and imagination of a captive audience 

Of course, there are plenty of other platforms out there. Snapchat and TikTok, for example, are hugely popular with Generation Z and below. Consider if these audiences will have the appropriate disposal income to make a marketing campaign worthwhile, though. You’ll need to ensure that your social media marketing campaign is accumulating more than you speculate. 

See also →  Getting started with mobile app marketing funnels

Social media marketing benefits: is it right for your business?

It would be too simplistic to say that social media marketing is right for every business. It would certainly benefit almost all brands, though. The internet is omnipresent in the modern business landscape and should be seriously considered as part of your digital marketing strategy

See also →  Marketing consultants – everything you need to know about finding and hiring

If you’re wondering why, consider the following:

  • Social media is an effective way to build your brand awareness, enhancing your likelihood of conversions
  • Effective social media marketing is essentially free market research. You can assess how people are reacting to your campaigns, especially when you interact directly with consumers
  • Social media can help demystify and humanise your business, creating a bond with consumers
  • You can use social media to immediately – and publicly – address any consumer concerns or questions
  • Viral social media content will rank on Google, increasing the efficiency of your SEO
  • Social media content is at the heart of topical authority, which in turn can greatly improve your returns on content marketing
  • As many social media platforms allow users to join niche groups, you can target your marketing to those that are likeliest to be interested

Perhaps above all, social media can be cost-effective. We’ll discuss the financial implications in more detail shortly, but effective social media marketing does not need to break the bank. 

Key statistics about social media marketing 
There are a handful of social media statistics that you should be aware of before launching a marketing campaign. These apply whether you are outsourcing to an agency or handling your social media marketing in-house.

Facebook is the largest social media platform worldwide, followed by YouTube

• The average person spends a little under two-and-a-half hours a day on social media

• 34% of UK consumers only use a portable appliance, such as a smartphone or tablet, to access social media

71% of consumers are influenced by social media when considering a purchase. 29% of will make an impulse decision exclusively based on social media

• Younger audiences are increasingly guided by social media influencers, considering them trustworthy peers. Use this tactic for good, not evil! 

As you’ll see, social media is about more than pictures of what your friends ate for dinner, or snapshots of a child’s first day at school. More and more consumers are heavily inspired by social media when making decisions. This makes it an essential weapon in the marketing arsenal of any business. 

What makes for good social media marketing services? 

So, you’re looking for an agency to help with your social media marketing. A wise choice – it would be remiss not to mention that this is a service that Creative.onl can provide. Whichever agency you decide to go with, ensure they meet the following criteria.

  • A clear strategy is in place, designed to reach your target audience, that can be explained in less than a minute
  • Goals and targets are in place, with evidence that these are realistic – and proof that similar results have been achieved elsewhere
  • A way with words. Social media posts are not blog posts. They need to be short, sharp and snappy. Check the social media presence of your agency of choice and ensure each post does not resemble the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • An understanding of the importance of timing. The Facebook feed of somebody with 999 friends is going to be crowded. Paid social adverts will be muscled out before long. An agency needs to demonstrate that they know when to post, not just what to post
  • The ability to communicate with consumers. The whole point of social media is to connect with an audience. Ensure an agency captures your voice is acting on your behalf

Be mindful of an agency that promises spectacular results overnight. Social media is essentially inbound marketing, and that involves plating the long game. If something sounds too good to be true, it likely is.

Types of social media marketing services 

Social media marketing is a broad church with plenty of approaches. Attracting attention from users without any advertising spend is known as organic social. If you bring in an agency, organic social will likely be used in conjunction with pay per click advertising, aka paid social. 

Here at the most common ways that social media marketing is used to build brand awareness and bolster sales. Review each of these and assess whether they would be of benefit to your business before committing to a package through a marketing agency. 

Type of serviceGood to know…
Channel-specific Every social media platform is different and attracts a diverse range of users. Decide which platform is host to the majority of your target audience and focus your efforts on this particular network. Choose an agency with direct experience in this platform 
Strategy Just like any kind of marketing, competition on social media is stiff. Request a strategic approach to social media marketing, focussing on keywords, SEO and getting ads in front of the right eyes. After all, there is little point in marketing fashionable women’s clothing to middle-aged men 
Content creation Will you be writing your own social media posts, or would you prefer to outsource this? The latter approach can pay dividends. Social media agencies know what posts are likely to go viral and what will be ignored. An experienced agency will also know when to post for maximum impact 
Campaign management A viral post is great, but it will not last forever. Social media users are always looking for their next fix of likes and shares. What attracted attention yesterday will be old news tomorrow. Consider an agency that will continue to nurture and grow your social media presence and campaigns 
Community management  Interaction is a major part of social media marketing. A reputable agency will regularly correspond with users, reacting to comments and complaints and building an emotional bond. This is a cornerstone of successful social media marketing 
Types of social media marketing services compared

You may not need an agency for all these facets of social media marketing. You may be happy to complete your own posts and manage your profiles but are seeking advice on strategy. Alternatively, you may be seeking full service from a professional business. There is no right or wrong answer – every case is different

Questions to ask your potential social media services agency 

Before bringing a social media marketing agency aboard to work with your business, you should prepare a handful of questions. These will help you determine whether this agency is the right fit for your needs. 

Key questions to always ask a social media marketing agency include: 

  • What platforms does the agency specialise in? Beyond the so-called Big Five, will they also market on lesser-known networks? 
  • How often will the agency post on social media if they are handling your marketing? 
  • Does the agency have direct experience in your industry niche? Do they understand how your target audience thinks? 
  • What tangible evidence can the agency produce to show that its social media marketing strategy sees results? 
  • How does the social agency define and categorise success? 
  • What engagement rate does the agency enjoy with their campaigns? 
  • Will the agency manage interaction with social media users, or simply make posts and walk away? 
  • Does the agency create content for their social media marketing clients? What tone do they use? 
  • Who will be managing your account – an experienced expert, or will it be farmed out to an intern? 
  • What software does the agency use to schedule and moderate social media posts? 

Perhaps the biggest question of all, however, is whether the agency manages its own social media presence. You should only approach a business with a strong social media presence. If they achieve this by outsourcing, it is hardly a ringing endorsement of the abilities of the agency to manage your account. 

How much do social media marketing services cost?  

All social media agencies will have a unique price point for content creation, scheduling and management. Discuss this with the business and come to an agreement that suits your marketing budget.

In addition to the agency fees, you’ll also need to factor pay per click costs into your campaign. For the Big Five, these are as follows:

Social networkPrices
Facebookexpect to pay around 25p per click, and about 10p per like
Instagramcosts could be as much as £1.50 per click, or around £5,000 for 1,000 impressions
Twitterup to £1.50 per promoted tweet, or up to £3 for a promoted account. A promoted hashtag can run into four figures. Fees will also be incurred if your ad results in follows, likes and retweets
YouTubeset a daily budget and your ad will accrue a fee every time a user watches it for 30 seconds or longer
LinkedInagain, a bidding model is in place. This can be expensive, though. Expect to pay up to £3.50 per click – though these will be solid leads
Cost comparison of social network advertising

As always, these are ballpark figures – especially as these platforms charge in US$. You will be able to set a weekly spend for your PPC advertising. The more you spend, the greater priority your ads will be given on social feeds.

How to get started with a social media marketing services provider

Once you’re ready to enlist the expertise of a social media marketing agency, follow these steps to ensure you enjoy a fruitful relationship.

How to get started with a social media marketing services provider

  1. Build customer profiles

    Build a customer profile for the target audience that you’re hoping to reach. Remember, different platforms attract different users

  2. Establish your goals

    Assess what you consider to be good value from your social media marketing spend. As we’ll discuss in a moment, this is how you’ll measure return on investment. Value is not just monetary in this instance – it could also be brand awareness and interaction

  3. Work out what you can spend

    Decide upon a budget that you’re willing to spend. Outside of the agency fees, PPC costs can start to add up

  4. Explore the type of service you might need

    Decide what level of service you will be looking for from a social media marketing agency, and how much involvement you wish to retain

  5. Make a shortlist of social media service agencies

    Research potential agencies. Social media is a great way to do this – ads and profiles that catch your eye will surely do the same for your customers

  6. Interview your potential favourites

    Meet with the agencies in question, asking them the key questions that we discussed and confirming they will meet your needs

  7. Study the reporting delivered by the agency

    Constantly review KPIs and ensure that your social media marketing is not a false economy

How to calculate the ROI that your social media marketing services are delivering 

Social media marketing return on investment is not quite as simple as looking for enhanced profits. As an inbound marketing strategy as much as an outbound approach, social media marketing could be measured in leads and interaction as much as turnover.

To measure ROI on social media marketing, you’ll need to assign ‘value’. This means asserting whether you consider likes, page shares, interactions and enhanced brand awareness. Tracking metrics will be required here.

Ultimately, all businesses are looking to make money. If you are spending big on social media marketing and seeing little movement of the needle on your bottom line, reconsider your approach – or agency. Just remember though, social media marketing is never likely to double your profits overnight. Patience is a virtue that will be rewarded.

If you would like to know more about the social media marketing services offered by Creative.onl, do not hesitate to get in touch. Our team would be delighted to explain how we will bring the online presence of your business to the next level.

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