How much should I charge to manage social media?
October 4, 2017 2:09 PM   Subscribe

I have an opportunity to manage social media for a family friend's small but successful local restaurant. How much and how to charge for my services?

I’m no social media guru, but I know my way around IG, FB, Twitter, etc. I’ll be helping film & edit demo videos of the owner cooking, post the daily specials, respond to comments, etc. It won’t be a ton of work, and some of it I’ll use programs like Hootsuite. This is not my profession, just things I like to do. Honestly, I’d considered just doing it in exchange for meals, but the owner insists on paying me.

I have never filmed or edited video, so that's actually something I'll have to learn. I've done everything else (IG, FB, Twitter) as a hobby.

The restaurant has tons of fans, and the little posting that has been done on FB by the owner has been successful and reveived quite a few comments.

I don't plan on becoming rich off of this, but eventually, maybe, I'd like to do this sort of thing for other small business owners that I know.
posted by TurquoiseZebra to Work & Money (9 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
They want to pay you instead of comping you meals because they are taking it seriously. So you should too!

You sound like you are downplaying the commitment and skill involved. Filming/editing and listening/responding to comments are time-consuming. And hootsuite allows you to schedule posts in advance but it doesn't save you much time; you still have to craft each post.

Outside of my full time job I only do social media as in-kind donation, so others may have more market-rate answers, but I suppose I'd charge a flat monthly rate of $200-500 depending on how small/successful the biz is, w/an option to reassess after 90 days. I'd also include monthly reports.
posted by headnsouth at 2:51 PM on October 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Good advice from headnsouth. Pick a nice round number like $500, and an estimation of how many hours it would take, and agree to review how it's going, and write up a one page agreement setting that out. If you want to gradually move towards it being more of a business then tracking actual hours worked will be really useful.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:33 PM on October 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would offer a fixed number of hours worked for a professional rate - probably something like an hour a day of regular tasks/moderation and however much on top of that per week for additional projects, and I would be *very* clear that I wasn't going over that without a renegotiation. This is not about the money - this is about how social media management will expand to fill the available time. The last thing you want is for a nice favor for a friend to end up being a source of resentment and burnout.
posted by restless_nomad at 3:58 PM on October 4, 2017 [7 favorites]

I've been doing web development for over 20 years. Every project I ever did for a flat fee ran over budget on hours, AND there was always "project creep", always. You get to a point that you know you're working for free, and it hurts. If you over estimate hours, it's not fair to the client either, at least to me. And as such, I have only worked by the hour for about 18 of those years. It's perfectly fair to both parties.

Depending on the market area, you can easily pay $120/hr for a mediocre firm. What's your "normal" rate for your day job? I think you easily charge $40-60/hr.

Either way, I really don't recommend a nice round number.
posted by humboldt32 at 4:03 PM on October 4, 2017 [6 favorites]

Agreed that $40-60/hr would be an appropriate rate -- like humboldt32 mentioned, $100-$200/hour is how much I often see consulting firms/agencies charge for this sort of work (though I work in the non-profit/political space).

As one approach slightly different than flat hourly billing, you could think through around how many hours you think you'll work a month and propose a retainer structure where the restaurant is paying for 20-25 hours of your work a month for a ~$1,000 monthly fee. You could bake into that contract rough expectations on your work (e.g. that fee gets them 5 videos, 20 other Facebook/Instagram/Twitter posts a month, and a monthly report), and a stipulation that if you go (substantively) over the agreed upon hours you, with their approval, would bill additional hours at a rate of ~$50/hour.
posted by kylej at 4:35 PM on October 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'd say about $50 to $75 per hour. Go a couple of months, see how many hours you average per week and then maybe propose a flat fee.
posted by trbrts at 5:41 PM on October 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

I work in digital marketing, including social media, and I would pay you about $50/hour for what you're proposing based on your expertise level. I would expect you to give me a weekly editorial calendar (basically, what you're planning to post that week) and work pretty independently, including having good judgment about what to post and not needing to be copy edited. We do pay digital agencies more (usually a retainer), but they're doing long-term strategy and managing sophisticated programs (like Facebook ads for acquisition, and writing email fundraising campaigns, which is its own area of expertise).

Don't do a flat rate unless you are committed to sticking to a certain number of hours and the client is ok with it. And a fair warning - social media content development and community management is a hungry beast that will swallow up all the hours you're willing to give it. So you might want to agree on a specific number of hours the first month and then adjust based on your experience.
posted by lunasol at 5:42 PM on October 4, 2017 [8 favorites]

Don't do a flat rate unless you are committed to sticking to a certain number of hours and the client is ok with it.

That's what I was getting at. If you say $500 and you're doing more than 2-3 hours a week(going on the $50/hr rate), then you can reconsider.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:54 PM on October 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thank you all SO much! I'm meeting with my friend tonight and have very clear fees and a plan laid out to present to her. I'm sure it'll change some, but you gave me excellent advice and gave me somewhere to start.
posted by TurquoiseZebra at 11:58 AM on October 5, 2017

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