Social Media Costs – What Price Do Companies Have To Pay


As a rule, social media costs, cannot be quantified. Before taking the step towards social media, however, it makes sense to get a rough overview of the costs of an ongoing engagement on Facebook, Instagram, and Co. to know and control cost items.

Social media marketing is not nearly what it once today. As most companies have already understood, social media marketing is no longer seen as an internship or as a “nice to have”. In the long term, companies do not have to at least deal with social media or become active on some of the networks themselves.

But what should a company invest in social media and what price does a company have to pay for it? Even if most social networks are free, your presence still costs one thing: creativity and, above all, manpower. The time required for your social media strategy should not be underestimated and requires qualified staff with the necessary know-how. When a company invests in social media, it mainly invests in working hours and creativity. But what is important to consider besides the personnel costs? In this article, we clarify the different cost points of a sustainable social media strategy.

Social Media Marketing: In-House or External?

There are big differences in terms of social media costs. First of all, therefore, the question of who will take care of the presence must be clarified. There are two options:

  • You carry out your activities in-house and hire a social media manager, for example, or form a corresponding team
  • You hire external freelancers or a social media agency

In-house social media management

Assuming you take care of your social media engagement in-house, this will result in personnel costs. Social media doesn’t mean posting a post or two on a selected channel. It is more of an ongoing process because a strategy has to be developed, content has to be produced and delivered correctly and the target group has to be precisely identified. In addition, advertising campaigns must be monitored and continuously adapted, and interaction with followers and interested parties should always be guaranteed.

The starting salary of a social media manager is an average of € 40,000. In addition, there are more training and further education costs more, as trends, tactics, and algorithms from Facebook, Instagram and Co. are subject to constant change. Webinars, conferences, and boot camps are therefore almost mandatory in social media management.

Social media marketing with an external service provider

If, on the other hand, you decide to hand over your social media tasks to an external service provider, costs of a few hundred to several thousand euros can arise (depending on the effort). The costs for an external service provider are on average below the costs for your in-house marketing. But why is it like that?

Agencies or other external service providers often specialize in one of the several services. That means the competence and the ability to realize creative marketing concepts on the social web are consistently higher. An agency that oversees several companies has established processes, usually a stronger reference to the topic, and can react to trends in a shorter time. The keyword here is know-how.

The costs for social media agencies range from a few hundred euros for one or two posts per month to several thousand euros for well-planned and sustainable social media marketing. Analysis and monitoring are of course included.

What Other Social Media Costs Are There?

In addition to the personnel costs and the costs for external service providers, there are costs for purchased images. Furthermore (depending on whether in-house or external) there are costs for the necessary social media tools. Hootsuite, Buffer, and Co. offer a free version of their products, but they quickly reach their limits. In addition to the software, there are also costs for the networks themselves. Even if most networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Co. are initially free of charge, Xing offers an employer branding profile from around € 390, for example.

Social Media Advertising

The budget for paid advertising should not be forgotten to achieve long-term reach and to win new customers and employees. Compared to Google Adwords, social media ads are still cheaper to reach more people with the same budget. The ROI (Return on Invest) can be measured easily thanks to a wide variety of tools. At the same time, the set budget enables a clear overview of the costs, at least when it comes to advertisements.


Social media marketing is by no means free, but the exact costs are difficult to put into numbers. The requirements of many companies are usually too different to give concrete figures, at least for in-house marketing. The costs for a special social media agency also vary depending on the requirements of the customer. However, one thing can be said in concrete terms: No matter what type and form of social media marketing is used, the costs are lower than conventional advertising options in classic media. Scatter losses are minimized, the target group is addressed and visibility is increased.

Also Read: Trends To Develop Your Social Media Strategy In 2021

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