How much to pay someone to post to company Instagram account?
November 8, 2016 11:40 PM   Subscribe

Glassdoor et al are a veritable minefield of conflicting job descriptions and salary numbers. What is the accepted standard? Pay by the post, by the hour, or on retainer? And how much?

Our headquarters are quite far -- literally and demographically-- from our customer base who seem to be engaging with our product via Instagram. So we're outsourcing a social media 'poster'.

We have the candidates but don't know what the going rate is for 2-4 posts a week on Instagram only.

Should we also be asking them engage with other followers too (like, comment, etc)?
Full blown social media manager or comunity manager seem a bit much at this point.

Thanks in advance for any advice. We are in Canada.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know going rates, but I'm a backend developer for a lucrative site that has a big emphasis on social media, and I'd say don't pay anything for 2-4 instagram posts per week. If you're going to pay for this and have an effective impact, you'll want 2-4 instagram post per day.
posted by humboldt32 at 7:05 AM on November 9, 2016

Our company uses a small social media company that works on retainer and they post relentlessly on Instagram, snapchat and Facebook. No twitter. Multiple text, photo and short video posts per day that they source on their own with minimum interruption to us. They show up about once a week and collect content but do so in a very low-key manner and I have yet to hear a complaint that they have caused any disruption. They are good about handling inbound inquiries on the various platforms and passing them to the right people in our company.

They cost about $1000/mo and, so far, it's the general opinion that they are worth a lot more than they charge. It's three or four 20 year olds who really, really get it. It's not polished or slick but is spot on.
posted by bz at 7:09 AM on November 9, 2016 [6 favorites]

What is the accepted standard? Pay by the post, by the hour, or on retainer?
Strategy takes time and expertise, and is a large part of what you will be paying them for. Paying by the post would be difficult, and I have not heard of that happening. Paying by the hour or with a retainer is much more common with freelance/contract workers. (I'm from the US and not sure if contract vs. salary works any differently where you are.)

It sounds like you will be hiring this person to:
- create a strategy for your instagram posts
- execute that strategy by creating a content calendar for the posts
- creating the content
- publishing the posts

Paying them for 2 - 4 posts a week actually equates to them making a larger strategy for those posts, plus the time it takes them to execute the posts. Also, they should be able to strategize however many posts they think are appropriate, based on your goals and needs- meaning your current estimation of 2 - 4 might not be in line with what they think will be effective.

Perhaps you already know that you only need 2 - 4 posts a week because you have already hired someone to create this strategy- a marketing or PR person. If that is the case and you are paying someone to create and post already-conceived-of content, I would do that hourly based on an estimate of how much time it will take them to execute and publish posts. This assumes they are doing no planning, only executing.

And how much?
Based on my experience as a freelancer in this field, an hourly rate of $25 - $40 should be appropriate depending on how much you are asking of them. Or that same hourly rate would translate into a monthly retainer. IE - 7 hours of work a week at $30 per hour would be around a $850 monthly retainer. I personally prefer to work on retainer and think it gives the social media person the freedom to do what they truly think is best for the strategy, as opposed to meeting time or post quotas.

If you are considering a retainer, think about how much time they will spend communicating with you, developing content, strategizing, etc. It's a lot more than just uploading a picture every two days.

Should we also be asking them engage with other followers too (like, comment, etc)?
This is an important part of the success of a social media account. If you want to hire someone and they don't include engagement with other accounts as part of their strategy, that is either because they don't know what they're doing, something about your brand would make that off-putting, or you're not offering them enough money.

This is a difficult hiring decision, because sometimes only the person you are hiring can tell you what the scope of the job needs to be, and that requires trusting that they know how to strategize (and are being honest). Depending on the brand, social media can be a full-time job, or it can be a 5-hours-a-week job. It all depends on the demands of a strategy. Hope this is helpful!
posted by sweetjane at 5:42 PM on November 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

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