[2024 Benchmark] Social media management pricing from 10,000 projects
Social Media

[2024 Benchmark] Social media management pricing from 10,000 projects

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A common challenge many businesses face as they venture into social media management is understanding its real pricing and value.

How much should you budget? Where will your money be most effectively spent? If these questions are keeping you up at night, you’re not alone.

Whether you’re a CEO, business owner, or marketing manager, the decision falls on your shoulders to manage your online community on social media and significantly impact your brand’s success.

You don’t want to overspend or miss valuable opportunities for your company’s growth, so data that helps make the smartest investment decisions is essential.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide on the cost of social media management: to help you master your social media budget and elevate your social savvy, one post at a time.

Key takeaways

  • Social media management projects normally cost between $5,500 and $15,000 every month.
  • The three basic functions you can expect from a social media management expert are strategy and reporting, content creation, and community engagement.
  • The average salary per year for an in-house community manager is $59,622.
  • Hiring a social media agency means that you get a team that understands your business thoroughly to both execute and strategize.
  • Doing social media in-house means that you have the time and resources of a dedicated social media team and that you want to have direct control over every post and interaction.

TL;DR: The two ways to know how much social media management really costs

You don’t want to get to that time of the quarter where company budgets and OKRs are set and you still don’t have a clue about what to budget for your next marketing endeavor—social media management.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered.

Imagine confidently presenting a well-planned budget, knowing exactly where every dollar will go and the impact it will have.

Whether you choose to outsource your social media management or to handle it in-house, there’s no escaping it—you must understand the true costs behind each.


The first way you can get started is through outsourcing your social media management. An expert social media agency can help you get a foot in the door for your various social platforms.

According to data from 10,000 social media projects posted on Sortlist every year, social media management normally costs between $5,500 and $15,000 every month.

We’ll talk more in-depth about what outsourcing to expert providers can do for your brand later, but for now, remember that a provider can:

  • Focus on the right social channels for your brand,
  • Understand your business thoroughly to both execute and strategize,
  • Take on the workload of the management of your social media.

Jack Lineker, co-founder and managing director of social media agency Socialed, knows this well. He shares with us his perspective on how brands should gauge whether they’re ready to invest in social media management, and what things they should consider before moving forward.

Socialed is a social content house bringing brands to the forefront of culture through social-first thinking. Some of their biggest clients have been sportswear company Under Armour—for which they developed an influencer/UGC campaign for empowering women at the gym, reaching 1.27 million users and garnering 667,000 views as well as a 6.2% engagement rate—and planet-friendly food brand Pack’d, for which they improved ad creatives and overall CTR, achieving 9x their return on ad spend and a CTR of 3.5%.

“When evaluating if a brand is ready for our work we need to understand a few things. Is the full digital strategy ready for the traffic? It’s one thing to build a community but if the full customer journey isn’t ready, then the brand is not ready to invest. And then we’d look at finding the story and brand message that needs to permeate through all of the content. These both have to be right before investing.”

Jack Lineker, Co-founder and Managing Director at Socialed

Hiring in-house

The other way you can go about social media management is to hire someone new for your team and do it in-house.

The average salary per year for a community manager is $59,622.

That would mean approximately $4,968.5 per month.

However, bear in mind that hiring in-house does not entail the salary alone; you have to add in the costs of design tools, equipment, etc.

Hiring in-house also provides its own benefits and challenges, and we’ll explore more of them later. For now, remember that hiring in-house means that:

  • You have the time and resources to set up a dedicated social media team,
  • You want to have direct control over every post and interaction.

The costs of managing each social media platform are all about skills

Picture this scenario: you’ve just recorded a simple vertical video of your team at work, and would like to share it with your followers.

Everyone seems to be doing vertical video nowadays; aside from Instagram and TikTok, today you can post vertical videos on Facebook, Youtube, and even LinkedIn.

It wouldn’t matter whether you recorded the video for TikTok or LinkedIn, right?

We’d ask you to hold that thought—each platform has its own features and nuances that mastering one requires a certain skill set that isn’t necessarily present in another. The engagement you would get from that video on TikTok is quite different from the one you would get on LinkedIn. This is why each platform has different costs.

“The first factor that influences cost is obviously the number of channels (one or four?) The type of channel as well (video-first or text-first?) The frequency of posting also (how many times a week?).

Are we managing the DMs and the comments? Is there social listening that goes into this? Is there reporting?

Almost always it’s a ‘yes’ for all of those because it’s the full process, but each of those elements has a cost involved.”

Jack Lineker, Co-founder and Managing Director at Socialed

Hence why we’ve compiled the data for the different prices per social media management platform in the graph below:

Made with Flourish

There used to be a time when these prices would be considered high. Before it grew into an important component of marketing strategies, and a complete marketing channel into its own, social media was not taken too seriously by old-school businesses, who viewed it as something meant exclusively for leisure.

Then companies like Dollar Shave Club saw an opportunity to increase visibility and create noise around their brands, building million-dollar valuations on the back of social media.

Other companies began to take note, and these days, social media has turned into a machinery by which many businesses complement their marketing strategy, going so far as to even merit the creation of agencies dedicated to managing these platforms. Hence why your budget should be spent strategically if you’re serious about social media.

In theory, those prices should translate to a person that is skillful enough to get each platform to yield results through its proper management. Without a real strategy and a focus on business results, your posts will never go beyond a “like” that, in business terms, does not have real meaning.

In other words, the skills to manage social media depend on an understanding of each platform, as well as your audience.

And this is why you need a professional.

Skills needed for each social media platform

As we mentioned before, the difference in pricing between platforms is mostly dependent on the skills needed for each one.

Around 8,000 companies every year match with a social media agency on Sortlist, so we’ve scoured our data to find the skills that we tend to see to manage the 5 most popular social media platforms and how the median price of each platform compares to the overall average of $11,150.


A visually-driven social media platform centered on sharing photos and videos, Instagram has placed itself among users as the go-to place to share every aspect of life. It’s particularly popular for lifestyle, fashion, and personal branding. Instagram has become highly influential in visual culture and digital marketing, especially among younger demographics and brands focusing on visual storytelling.

The price range for managing an Instagram is approximately $5,000 – $12,400, with a median of $8,700.

The main skills needed to be successful in managing an Instagram page are:

  • Visual content creation
  • Short-form video content
  • Shopping setup (for e-commerce brands)

Nike, for instance, makes visual content that serves their audience’s preferences very precisely, generating engagement like few other brands can do.


Probably the most comprehensive social media platform out there for the number of years it’s been active, Facebook remains one of the most pervasive social media websites globally, influential in personal connections, news dissemination, and business marketing.

The price range for managing a Facebook page is an average of $6,000 – $15,000 with a median of $10,500.

These are the main skills needed to be successful in managing a Facebook page:

  • Copywriting
  • Visual content creation
  • Customer service

Ralph Lauren’s Facebook account makes use of pairing great copy with visuals that captures the essence of the brand.


Twitter, now X, emerged as a microblogging platform where users posted short updates, known as tweets. It’s designed for real-time communication, news dissemination, and public discourse. Twitter plays a crucial role in real-time news sharing, public debates, and social movements, making it a key platform for corporate brands, as well as journalists, politicians, and activists.

The price range for managing a Twitter page is approximately $5,000 – $20,000 with a median of $12,500.

These are the main skills to a successful Twitter page:

  • Copywriting
  • Thread crafting
  • Real-time trend engagement

On Twitter, Tesla shows that it knows its audience perfectly and targets them with copy and engagement that they will respond to.


LinkedIn is perhaps unique among the group, given its status as strictly a professional networking platform that connects individuals and companies. While it’s known to be used for job searching, it’s now considered to be crucial in industry networking, sharing professional content, and enhancing career development.

The price for managing a LinkedIn page is about $5,000 – $15,000 with a median of $10,000.

The main skills needed to successfully manage a LinkedIn page are:

  • Long-form copywriting
  • Professional networking
  • Lead generation

If you check our LinkedIn, you’ll see that at Sortlist we drive engagement by showcasing the faces behind the collaborations that we help facilitate while giving descriptive copy of the details of the projects.


Wildly popular among Gen Z, TikTok is steadily growing into the preferred platform to share short-form video content. Known for its algorithm-driven feed, it features a wide array of content including dance challenges, comedy skits, educational snippets, and viral trends. Today, TikTok is a major cultural force, influencing music, trends, and digital content creation with its highly engaging and viral format.

The price range for managing a TikTok page is around $8,100 – $20,000 with a median of $14,050.

The main skills needed to successfully manage a TikTok page are:

  • Video editing
  • Real-time trend engagement

Duolingo takes great advantage of TikTok by posting videos that ride on trends and that feature their iconic mascot.

Building a social media budget: where’s your money going?

Key takeaways

  • The three basic functions you can expect from a social media management expert are strategy and reporting, content creation, and community engagement.
  • A proper social media strategy starts with audience analysis; understanding what content users will find valuable is key.
  • Each piece of content should contribute to your overarching business goals and outcomes.
  • 86% of brands say they have experienced “deeper/richer insight into customer needs” through their social communities.

Deciding to invest in social media management is an important company decision you don’t want to take lightly.

Whether you decide to outsource or to hire an in-social social media manager, you want to make sure your decision is future-proof. That means knowing what services to expect from an expert, and how much of your budget to allocate for each.

Below are the three basic functions you can expect from a social media management expert, and how much of your budget you should expect to go into each one.

Strategy and reporting

Implementing a clear strategy for business is crucial to ensure your social media efforts are paying off.

Like any business strategy, a proper social media strategy starts with audience analysis; that is, understanding who your customers are and what you can provide for them. For social media, this means understanding what content they will find valuable and what offers they are likely to purchase.

But a fully developed social media strategy would mean nothing without reporting—it’s what will evaluate whether that strategy worked or not.

To reassign funds or adjust resources as the campaign progresses, social media reporting enables brands to spot holes and flaws in their current strategy.

And perhaps more importantly: stakeholders can clearly understand the advantages you’re providing for the company if you have accurate analytics data to support your efforts.

Source: Datapine

Content creation

Once you have a clear path of how your social media strategy will play out, it’s time for content creation.

You’ve noticed this is not as straightforward as it sounds. Today, social media management is not about posting pictures or writing simple copy, but rather, about the strategy that your content will serve for your business.

That can be building brand awareness, establishing authority and trust, driving leads and traffic, and even supporting sales.

“Social content really comes back to understanding the community, what they want, and really listening to the data at hand. You can then craft a content strategy around a more informed approach. Generally speaking, you have to be not just social native but platform native and understand the differences between content formats. We are working mostly in video because that’s where platforms are competing for attention.”

Jack Lineker, Co-founder and Managing Director at Socialed

Each piece of content should contribute to your overarching business goals and outcomes, making it a crucial component of your marketing strategy, while at the same time, providing things that are valuable and pique interest.

The good thing about a social media management agency is that they use their creative skills along with real-time insights to produce strategic social media content.

Community engagement

This is the essence of social media management: to engage with your users.

A social media management expert or agency has the task of responding quickly to current and potential customers’ queries.

A company that prioritizes customer relationships on social media is bound for success; according to a survey about community management, 86% of brands had experienced “deeper/richer insight into customer needs” through their social communities.

Social media ads

While not necessarily a requirement for social media management, many businesses expect professionals to have working knowledge of social media advertising, which includes everything from budgeting, audience targeting, and A/B testing for optimal performance. That’s a topic of a different post.

The price of outsourcing social media

The complexity and breadth of tasks required to effectively manage and grow a social media presence means that it is not a 1-person job.

There are two main functions that must be met if you’re to succeed with social media: strategy and content creation. You may find an expert that is skilled in both, but it comes at a premium.

The salary of a fully-fledged in-house social media manager can go as high as $93,597. This is an average of $7,800 per month.

That’s because social media management isn’t really about posting every day on your channels. There’s more to it than meets the eye:

  • You have to create the right content aimed at the right customers at the right time.
  • This content has to speak to them in the way your brand speaks.
  • Results, often, have to be quick for every brand engaging on social media.

For strategy alone, the median salary of an in-house social media strategist is approximately $73,275, which means a monthly average of $6,106.25.

An in-house expert may know or learn to design, make posts look beautiful, and answer every client question on Instagram. But that is hardly a long-term strategy, especially considering that, on average, an employee can take up to 8 months to one year to reach full productivity.

“If you’re investing in organic social channel management and the content side of things in-house, you’re looking at three to four hires to cover all the skills required.
Whereas, as an agency, we have all of those hires in-house, and it’s obviously one fee that’s going to be higher than one hire, but it covers lots of different mediums and lots of different disciplines.
And obviously, if you’re hiring someone in-house, you need time to train them, so an agency can be a great, quick and skilled option to hit the ground running.”

Jack Lineker, Co-founder and Managing Director at Socialed

Furthermore, a junior would be mostly focused on execution—you’d still have to be in charge of the strategic thinking behind your social media channels.

And when it comes to content, an in-house content creator is about $78,348. That’s $6,530 per month.

In this case, the right social media agency will bring an expert combination of content creation and strategy that your brand needs.

Not only are they experienced in the execution and design of content, but also in devising strategies that work for business across industries, and even strategies for very specific or niche markets.

The question, then, becomes: do you choose to outsource your social media or do you choose to do in-house?

Should you outsource your social media management or do it in-house?

Key takeaways

  • Agencies can develop customized social media strategies that align with your business goals and resonate with your target audience, ideal for businesses lacking a clear strategy.
  • For companies with limited marketing staff, agencies offer a full range of services, providing the expertise of an entire marketing department without the associated overhead costs.
  • In-house management may be suitable for businesses wanting direct control or those with less frequent posting needs.
  • Companies with tight budgets might fare better with in-house management at the start to save costs. However, they should be prepared to invest time and effort to learn and implement effective strategies.

When should you outsource your social media management?

Social media management is an integral part of modern business strategy, but not every business has the capacity or expertise to manage it effectively in-house.

Outsourcing to an agency can be a game-changer, especially for:

Businesses without a clear social media strategy in place

If you’re unsure how to position your brand on social media, you can look to agencies that bring a wealth of experience. They can craft tailored strategies that resonate with your target audience and align with your business goals.

Companies with limited marketing staff

Small businesses often lack a dedicated marketing team. agencies provide a full suite of services, from content creation to analytics. This means you get the expertise of a full marketing department without the overhead costs.

Businesses seeking consistent, quality content

Creating high-quality, engaging content regularly can be challenging. Agencies have teams of creatives who ensure your social media is always fresh, relevant, and engaging.

Organizations needing advanced analytics and reporting

Understanding the impact of your social media efforts is crucial. Providers for social media management have the tools and skills to provide detailed analytics, helping you understand what works and refine your strategy.

Businesses wanting to stay on top of trends

Social media trends change rapidly, and agencies are on the cutting edge of these changes, ensuring your brand remains relevant and engages with the latest trends and platform updates.

Companies looking for guidance and to save time

Many small businesses and marketing managers already manage their social accounts on their own, but they’re not social media experts. An agency offers experienced strategists who can guide your efforts, suggest the most effective platforms, and help set realistic goals.

Businesses with ambitious growth targets

If you’re aiming to significantly expand your reach and influence, an agency can scale your efforts more effectively than an in-house team. They can manage multiple platforms and campaigns simultaneously, ensuring broader coverage.

When should you manage your social media in-house?

In contrast, some companies may find managing social media in-house more suitable if they are:

Businesses with a dedicated social media team

If you have a skilled team that knows your brand inside and out, managing social media in-house can maintain a high level of brand authenticity and allow for quicker, more personalized responses.

Businesses wanting direct control over every post and interaction

Some brands prefer having absolute control over their social media for various reasons, including maintaining a specific tone or handling sensitive customer interactions directly.

Companies with very small budgets

Startups and small businesses with tight budgets might start with in-house management to save costs. However, they should be prepared to invest time and effort to learn and implement effective strategies—the costs of not doing so are high.

Organizations with less frequent posting needs

If your business does not require frequent updates or if your industry does not rely heavily on social media for customer engagement, managing this function in-house may be more practical and cost-effective.


Navigating the costs of social media management can seem daunting, but understanding the costs involved, especially when several platforms are being considered, is key to making informed decisions that will benefit your business in the long run.

The median price for social media management providers ranges between $5,500 and $15,000 every month. This investment often proves more cost-effective and ROI-positive compared to hiring an in-house professional. Why? Because effective social media management requires a multifaceted approach that extends beyond the capabilities of a single individual.

Investing in a social media agency means you’re not just paying for posts; you’re investing in comprehensive strategies, quick and effective execution, and expert knowledge tailored to your brand’s needs.

So, as you plan your social media budget, consider the substantial benefits of partnering with a social media agency. The right agency can transform your social media presence and drive your business forward, proving to be a smart investment for your company’s future success.


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