Social Media Budget Allocation
Let’s be real — ‘Social Media Manager’ or a ‘Social Media Agency’ is basically an entity that companies hire to perform magic for their social media channels. Sometimes, this expectation comes without the understanding of what goes on behind those curtains, and hopefully with this blog post we can demystify the “unjust, ridiculous, super expensive” pricing that individuals and agencies tag on social media skillsets and services.
In this article, we summarise the key tasks that social media managers and/or agencies help companies with.
Platform Management (+ Audience Understanding)
There are at least three different social media channels that every organisation is on, with the most common matrix to be Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. From a paying company’s point of view, you would like the social media manager or agency that you hire to handle all channels, “because this is what they are supposed to do…” Yes, it is true that a social media person should be able to handle management of every platform, and the more platforms you are on, the higher the budget you have to allocate. With each platform, the person/agency that you hire have to understand the audience demographics on every platforms, what kind of content type works (images on TikTok? text on Instagram?), the best visual formatting, copywriting and so on and so forth.
Bottom line: it is easy to dismiss social media managers and agencies because they are meant to handle all platforms, but bear in mind it takes time and experience to have a level of understanding for every platform you are hiring them for.
2. Content Creation
After gathering a wealth of knowledge on how each platform works best, social media personnel are the ones who craft the visual direction and copywriting for each platform. This often takes up hours of planning beforehand, researching on new trends and relevant updates for your target audience, and further adapting them into your own customisation (i.e. visuals in your brand’s colour scheme, tweaking key messaging into your brand’s tone of voice and more). Accordingly, each platform has its best optimal size for content too; what works best for Instagram may not be the case for Facebook and vice versa.
Bottom line: content creation is more than just that, it is taking into consideration the branding elements of your company, and fusing them altogether to ensure consistency. (P.S. bear in mind first draft of content is usually not the approved copy!)
3. Evaluation & Strategy
When the content has been posted and the days have passed, social media personnel are the ones who evaluate the performance of each post and determine if any adjustments to have to be made. Often, the sales teams would be very interested in these metrics as they need the results to cross-refer to conversions (which affects their KPIs). In this evaluation stage, point 1 comes in strongly (understanding of each platform), especially since different set of performance metrics apply to different platforms. You may be surprised that not all social media platform tracks engagement, some focuses more on impressions while others may focus more on reach. Social media managers and agencies would then propose continuity of original plan, or recommend minor changes to achieve better results.
Bottom line: social media managers and agencies care about results too, and do not just focus on ‘aesthetics’!
In summary, there is always a reason why certain social media managers post a higher expected pay, and why some agencies charge a higher fee when it comes to offering their services. Like any other roles within the company, managing social media takes time, knowledge and experience. In this era of digitalisation, communication efforts through social media platforms is a given and would most definitely be taken for granted—hopefully with a better understanding of what social media agencies do, there is a better awareness on the deliverables (and work done behind the scenes), which promotes transparency and respect for your own social media manager (and agency, of course!)
As an integrated communication agency, we handle social media accounts as part of our service offerings. An understanding of what a price tag (or expected pay) includes will definitely help companies budget better when it comes to social media management, and we hope every working relationship (be it between a company and a new staff, or between an agency and a client) would always be treated with transparency and respect, because only by working together can we grow and achieve great things!