For businesses and organizations, social media marketing is a key aspect of getting your business the attention it needs to profit and grow. And while basic social media use is completely free, a comprehensive and effective approach can often cost money. If you need to enhance your social media marketing approach, considering investing in services or software can be extremely beneficial.

When making a decision about which service to choose, one thing that you should certainly consider is the the prices of social media marketing services. The following takes a look at the different options that businesses and organizations have for outsourcing their social media marketing campaigns, as well as how these services are typically priced.

IN HOUSE SERVICES – HIRE A SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING MANAGER

If you’re a growing business who needs to really up your social media marketing campaign, you may want to consider hiring a social media marketing manager for your in-house team. A social media marketing manager can provide your business with the know-how and expertise for effective campaign management, and if you hire the right person, you’ll get a manager who will know how to create great content, which social media sites to utilize, how to increase leads and conversion, how to track ROI, and how to gather and use data and analytics in a meaningful way. A great social media marketing manager can also run ad campaigns, polls, contests, giveaways, and sweepstakes through your business’s different social media platforms.

While hiring a social media marketing manager is a fantastic idea, it’s not always the most inexpensive option for businesses, and can be costly for many, especially those small businesses that are operating on a tight budget. In fact, the average yearly salary for a social media marketing manager is just over $100,000. If your business has an extra hundred grand to spare each year, investing in a social media marketing manager may be well worth it.

OUTSOURCING TO A SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING COMPANY

If you can’t afford to hire a social media marketing manager, you should consider outsourcing your social media efforts in full to a social media marketing company. The benefits of using a company for your entire social media marketing campaign are endless – a company is bound to have more Internet and social media know-how than your offices alone, a company can provide you with a consistent campaign strategy for all social media platforms, and a social media marketing company can give your social media campaign a fresh start, and invigorate it with a new approach and innovative ideas. Plus, companies have plenty of resources on hand that your business probably doesn’t.

Completely outsourcing social media marketing efforts to a company isn’t cheap by any means, but it is less expensive (on average) than hiring a social media marketing manager. Depending upon the services you choose, a social media marketing company can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $12,000 per month. Opting for a $2,000 per month plan, which can help you implement and maintain a great social strategy, is a great idea for businesses that are just getting started and that can afford the high costs.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to outsource social media marketing, though. Some companies can help you to build a blog, customize your content, provide you with unique content for social media marketing, give you online management tools, help you with lead generation, and provide you with internet marketing analytics for much less expensive than $2,000 to $12,000 per month. The comprehensive package – which includes everything just mentioned – starts at $549 per month. While it won’t get you as much as those more expensive packages will, it definitely provides businesses with the social media that support that they need.

SOCIAL MEDIA SERVICES AND SOFTWARE – TAKING A DO-IT-YOURSELF APPROACH

If you’re frowning and shaking your head in sadness and desperation at the prices mentioned above, don’t worry – there are still some great options for your business and budget.

Raven Tools is more expensive than the average management platform (platform, not full-on service from a company), but that’s because it’s a little more inclusive. While the downsides to Raven Tools include that it only offers support for Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (not Instagram, Google+, or LinkedIn), the benefits are many. Using Raven Tools, a business can monitor and analyze keywords, easily follow up with Facebook posts or Twitter tweets, create campaign reports, keep track of conversations, and more. Raven provides a 30-day free trial to newbies, and then starts at $99 per month. For unlimited users, websites, and social media accounts, the price is $249 per month.

Another social media software tool that is reasonably priced and that offers a free trial is Sprout Social. Sprout Social is all about managing engagement, publishing great content to multiple social media platforms, and using analytics to improve your social media marketing approach. All of your messages, comments, and posts about your business will be collected in a single location, you can easily schedule posts in advance, Sprout Social is optimized for mobile use, and you can do everything that you need to do from a single dashboard. The best part? The pricing. For ten profiles (a single user), the price is only $9.99 per month. Prices go up as the number of profiles increases. For a very small business, though, the basic package is perfect.

SUMMARY – THE COST OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING SERVICES

Whether you’re a small business or a big business, you need to be using social media. And while you’re welcome to manage social media yourself, the more you grow, the more challenging it will be to not invest in some type of social media marketing services, especially if you want to run campaigns and generate new leads.

For those businesses with a robust budget, hiring a social media marketing manager may be the most effective approach. Or, outsourcing your social media marketing efforts in full to a marketing company can also be equally effective. Doing either can cost up to around $100,000 a year, although the latter tends to be slightly less expensive.

For smaller businesses with a more humble budget, turning to competitive social media management package that allows you to manage your campaigns yourself with extra tips and resources is more realistic. Using services like Sprout Social and Raven Tools is much more affordable, and typically costs between $10 and $300 per month depending upon the software package you choose.