How Much Should I Charge for Social Media Marketing in 2021

social media marketing pricing

Deciding the most reasonable, yet profitable social media marketing pricing isn’t a one-stop-answer for a business. Rather there are plenty of considerations including the selected social media platform(s), type and length of campaign, type of ads, and other variables that constitute any social media marketing project for a business.

Social media marketing pricing

With more than 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide today, the number of social media users are growing in a proportionate manner.

While for the social media marketing professionals, according to The Mobile economy 2019, there are around 14 million jobs directly related to the mobile industry.

Related content: How to Start a Social Media Marketing Agency—Part 1

Hence, the scope for social media marketing and management is huge as startups, aspiring entrepreneurs, and even established corporations are seeking talented social media personnel to increase their brand followers, better ad placement, maximize their content reach, and fulfill other obligations related to social media marketing.

This takes us to the grand question of the topic:

What is the best plan for social media marketing pricing?

Now, there is no fixed answer to that, every professional individual or company will charge differently (as stated above).

As for this discussion, we’ll discuss in ‘average’ terms what clients and business can expect from professional agencies to charge them for their social media campaigns.

Here is the cost breakdown of the most popular social media platforms that can vary depending on the factors discussed consequently.

Cost of Facebook marketing

Easily, one of the foremost platforms talked about whenever agencies sit down with clients to discuss their social media marketing pricing.

With 1 billion and above active users, Facebook is undoubtedly one of the most popular social media platforms out there. The platform boasts a variety of audiences on board, therefore, your business has a good chance in reaching out for your particular customer segment.

Setting up a business account on Facebook is free, but the expenses start when you start to avail one or more of the advertising options available.

Facebook ads

When you’re using paid ads for a campaign, it means you want to acquire a defined or minimum number of page likes, clicks to website, onsite conversions, app downloads and installs, and related metrics.

However, if you’re a newbie to paid advertising, Facebook also provides the option of undertaking the management of your ads on itself.

For instance, if you want maximum number of page followers or the best conversions at a limited budget, you can set a budget limit for the platform to play with. In other words, you choose the CPM and CPC models on your own accord.

A CPM (cost per thousand impressions) model requires you to pay a specific amount for every 1,000 views of your ad, even if no one clicks it. While the CPC (cost per click) approach only incurs you a cost when someone clicks on your ad.

Understandably, CPC is more costly, but rest assured, you only pay for interested users who click on your ad. The cost of CPC ads vary according your campaign goals and the type of audience you want.

Facebook likes

Apparently, earning as much likes on a client’s Facebook business page is one of the most common temptations for any social media manager.

Buffer conducted some tests on Facebook to determine the cost of the platform’s likes. The results came out that Buffer paid an average of $0.57 for every Facebook like.

Hence, you can easily conclude that increasing your following, or page likes, on Facebook is one of the most cost-effective options when creating ads.

Boosted posts

As the name suggests, Facebook offers the page owner an opportunity to boost his/her post and reach more users as per the targeting options chosen.

Yes, the cost of boosted posts depends on the type of audience, and obviously, the number of people you want to reach. Typically, you’ll be charged around $6.35 for every 1,000 views for every boosted post.

How much to charge?

A social media manager working primarily on Facebook advertising for a brand will normally charge around $500 to $1,500 per month. While ads promotion can add a couple hundred bucks on top.

The rates can go even higher, then again, depending on factors ranging from the type of industry to specific campaign benchmarks set.

Cost of Twitter Marketing

Just like Facebook, a Twitter business account is also free to setup. But if you want to extend your reach, you have the following paid options available to choose from.

Promoted Tweets

You can get your tweets in front of additional users through promoted tweets. These tweets will be displayed as ‘Promoted by’ on the users’ timelines.

Promoted tweets follow more of a bidding approach with an average cost of $1.40 per promoted tweet. The page owner will pay on the basis of clicks, replies, retweets, and favorites acquired for the campaign.

Promoted accounts

Promoting an account is another great option if you’re looking to specifically push your brand awareness and acquire more followers.

In this you’ll make a bid action where you’ll decide how much you’re willing to pay for each follower, rather than bidding on engagements.

Expect to pay around $2.5 to $3.5 or $4 per follower, again, depending on your targeting metrics.

Promoted trends

If you’re willing to spill a considerable cash on social media advertising, promoted trends on Twitter can help you with that.

Twitter enlists the trending topics to notify users what is being mostly talked about at any particular day or time. Through popular hashtags, you can see promoted trends appearing at the top of the list under the ‘promotion’ label.

Agreeably, a startup might not be happy to spend a whooping cost of $200,000 per day. But if you have the capacity, you can place bids on specific keywords in order to promote your trend appearing on that particular set of keywords.

How much to charge?

Being a Twitter marketing expert, you can charge anywhere between $500 to $1,800 per month. One important thing to remember is that social media marketing and advertising are two different things. Hence, any social media expert will charge the client accordingly.

In Twitter marketing, you can easily make around $1,000 to $1,800 per month. While advertising for monthly ad spend of $200 on top on management charges of $500 to $900 per month.

Cost of LinkedIn marketing

Another great platform that allows you to create a free business account or page—LinkedIn is primarily used for professional purposes and correspondences. Here the paid marketing and advertising options are used to reach out a specific set of audience and cater associated marketing goals.

LinkedIn ads

Through LinkedIn, you can create sidebar ads that are shown next to the users’ feed and pages they’re on. An ad of 25-character headline and 75-character description with a thumbnail created encouraging visitors to click.

As the platform is inclined more towards the visitors’ professional aspects, so the ads are created on the basis of company size, type of industry, job title, name, product category, seniority, etc.

Like Facebook, LinkedIn too uses both the CPC and CPM models for ad revenues. If you use the CPC model, the minimum bid is $2, but LinkedIn advises the spenders to bid at least $5.55 to $9.33.

Moreover, you also have the option to fix your budget of at least $10 and place your ad to run for a certain time period.

While the CPM model also comes with the same minimum bid requirement, but the platform asks you bid at least $2.85 to $4.62.

Sponsored updates

You can sponsor updates on LinkedIn—a feature quite similar to Facebook’s sponsored posts and Twitter’s sponsored tweets.

In order to sponsor an update, first you must create or select an existing post in your account. And the targeting choices are the same as with any other regular ad.

Although the pricing criteria is similar to that of normal ads, but the bids are somewhat different.

In the CPC model, the minimum bid is $2.50, but LinkedIn recommends you to bid $5.67 to $10.09. And the minimum amount for the CPM model is $10.05, but the suggestions often come for $18.55 to $28.91. A minimum of $10 of daily budget is required to run sponsored posts.

How much to charge?

Any professional social media marketer will charge around $500 to $900 per month to run full-fledged LinkedIn marketing campaigns. On top of that, $200 can be charge for ad spend which makes a budget to cross over $1,000 if the client intends to use the platform as a lead magnet.

Cost of Instagram marketing

The same description of free business account setup goes for Instagram as well. However, the dynamics are quite different from that of the other major social media platforms.

Often businesses and brands that are more visual in nature such as fashion, sports apparel, bakeries, modeling agencies, etc., choose Instagram ads or sponsored posts to appear in their users’ feeds.

Initially, only top brands used to use ads, but now anyone can access the advertising options for their business through the Facebook ad manager.

With the CPM model, around $5 can be paid for highly targeted ads. According to Masek, whenever Facebook tests a new ad feature, a new creative or audience type, it drops the CPM to lure more page owners and social media managers to use the feature.

How much to charge?

A pro social media marketer will charge around $500 to $900, besides the other $200 monthly ads spend, for any Instagram marketing campaign.

On the whole, the entire Instagram marketing and advertising services could even cost well over $1,500 depending on different campaign factors and the client’s business objectives.

Cost of Pinterest marketing

Initially it wasn’t much, but gradually Pinterest is becoming one of the most promising platforms, especially for SEO and traffic sucking purposes. Hence, businesses have started to pay attention to Pinterest marketing more than ever.

Using the CPC model, the user will pay when someone clicks a pin and navigates to his/her website. Here too, you set the budget limit for a click, but often you may also pay less than your bid. For example, a client may have set his bid at $1, but is charged only at $0.16 per click.

Besides that, you can also fix a daily campaign budget and decide for how long you want the campaign to run.

How much to charge?

Any social media marketing company may charge around $900 to $1,500 for a Pinterest marketing campaign. While the advertising costs considerably less, but monthly ad spend can reach around the typical $200 bill.

How should you charge clients?

In the above section, we discussed the capacity and earning potential for each major social media platform separately. However, businesses also tend to run multiple campaigns at the same time on different platforms.

In other words, this can easily accumulate their cost from $400 to $5,000 per month. Again, the amount also depends on the social media company or professional’s experience, content creation efforts, platform type, level of customer service, influencer targeting, and future expenditures.

So on what basis can you charge clients?

Before answering how much, clearly decide how to cater your social media marketing pricing models.

Hourly rate

Just like in any other digital marketing activity, social media consultants and professional companies often use the option of charging at hourly rates.

Although working on hourly rate is easy and smooth, but it doesn’t go down well in building a team, measuring the ROI, and working with big campaigns.


Seemingly, the most common approach, most social media marketing professionals are content with fixed, monthly fees as a markup for their services. A monthly fees gives you a consistent, predictable income and a precise ROI measurement for the client as well.


Professional services like lawyers, often charge retainer fees as an advance payment for future services. Similarly, social media professionals use a fixed retainer fee to confirm their services for any campaign to occur in future.

Per-project basis

Charging on the basis of per project is another common approach. This benefits both the parties in offering plenty of flexibility and an option to outsource some of the work from the client’s side.

Albeit, if the campaign completion takes longer than expected, then it might become a problem to scale down the efforts or later the preset benchmarks.

Final thoughts!

This brings us to a closure on our how to create the best plans for social media marketing pricing for your business in 2021.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that calculating the cost for your digital marketing and advertising services is only one part of the grand social media game.

Speaking of strategy development and the considerations involved to set up a project campaign and consequent fees, it is another discussion altogether which I’ll surely cover in the future.


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