If you think you’ve read everything there is to know about social media management; think again 😉
In this blog post I take a deep dive into every question I’ve been asked or heard about my industry. Why am I pulling back the curtain this much? Because I want you armed with all the information you need to make the best decision for your business.
Instagram-obsessed since the sixth grade aka since the app practically started, social media was a constant growing up. I’ve had multiple passion projects, hobbies and jobs that all shared a common thread: Instagram. From posting photography to working for a startup skincare brand as a marketing intern, I know social media inside and out.
When I’m not working, you can find me at the barn 🐴
But if you catch me after after 5pm, I’m probably enjoying a margarita at my favorite local mexican restaurant. I live in Wellington, Florida for part of the year and Lexington, KY for the other but love to travel so depending on the week, you could also find me in Chicago, New York or even across the ocean. To learn more about me and what I do, you can read the rest of my story here.
But enough about me! Let’s dive into all your juicy questions about social media management.
Starting with the big one! Here’s the truth most social media marketers don’t want to tell you: Your business doesn’t need social media. At least, not like humans need oxygen to live kind of way. If you are a locally-based businesses with a ton of referrals and foot traffic, if you have a killer email list, if you rely solely on traditional paid advertising and it’s working for you – do your thing, friend!
However, in today’s market, the type of business that can survive without some social media presence is a unicorn. You might be wishing you were that unicorn because the time and energy social takes is just another chore on your entrepreneur to do list – butttt, you’re probably not.
From the massive reach potential (1.44 billion active users on Instagram, for example, and 443 million monthly users on Pinterest), to the opportunity to build both brand awareness and loyalty, to the ability to humanize your brand in a way traditional marketing isn’t able to – the power of social media for your business cannot be understated. If that isn’t enough to convince you, the proof is in these stats:
(These stats come from a Sprout Social article if you’re curious!)
Social media is particularly powerful when it comes to the interior design industry. From Pinterest being a literal goldmine for designers, to many, many design accounts building massive audiences on Instagram, there is no reason for your interior design business to not be on social. Yes, even if you rely on referrals! It still benefits your business to have a place for new people to discover you and view your portfolio. Here are some further tips to do it right.
Read this far and thinking “Ok, I totally get that social media is important for my business. But what the heck is social media management?” let me explain.
The best definition I have found comes from SendPulse: “Social media management is a process that involves creating content, scheduling it, developing a strategy, interacting with users, growing reach, and monitoring the performance of a company’s accounts on social media.”
Essentially, it’s strategy. Content creation and curation. Tracking of that content’s performance. And interacting with and growing your audience. It’s a highly skilled, intense, and rewarding industry.
You might be thinking: oh my goodness, does a social media manager really do all that on their own? How the heck am I going to do all that on my own, on top of everything else I have to do for my business?
The answer to “what does a social media manager do?” is totally dependent on what platforms they service and what they include in those services. Some social media managers do it all – from strategy to content creation to video editing to engagement to analytics. Some offer just a select few of these services. But no matter what a social media manager specifically does, they all help businesses show up consistently on social media and strategize stronger content, as well as connect to their communities and expand their reach.
Like the above, what a social media manager does daily depends on the packages and platforms they offer, as well as whether they’re a solopreneur or they have a team of some sort supporting them. For example, on a day to day basis I create content, engage for my clients, check-in via Slack and zoom calls, and track analytics.
Found yourself nodding along with this post, wishing you had someone to take over these tasks? Then you might be ready to outsource your social media to a social media manager.
Every social media manager is different, but I need clients to have certain parts of their business set up before they start working with me. These include branding, photo + video assets, and a business strategy (to read the full list, click here!) However, the first step is a search to see what might fit your needs and budget.
Unless you are a massive business with $5-10k allocated per month for marketing, or you have 40+ hours a week to dedicate to your marketing alone – you do not need to be on every single platform. In fact, it’s inadvisable to be on that many channels. I recommend choosing 2-3 – a main one, a supplementary one, and one that’s more for fun or experimentation. Not all social media managers will work across all platforms. I offer Instagram + FB, one of my social media management mentors offers Instagram/FB/LinkedIn, and someone I work with only offers Pinterest management. You’ll want to know which platform(s) you want your business to show up on, and from there, start searching for an expert in that platform to work with.
Yes, you can hire someone to manage just your Instagram page. In fact, Instagram is what a lot of social media managers specialize in (myself included) because it is one of the most community-driven platforms available. Despite everyone’s complaints about Instagram, it’s here to stay.
*please keep in mind, this is not legal advice and is solely my own experience and anecdotal recommendations*
At this point, you may be wondering if all this talk of working with a social media manager means bringing on an employee. Unless you are going through the full process of hiring an employee (and if you hire a social media manager to direct strategy, not just execute, you’re looking at an average salary of $72,000 a year), your best bet as a small to mid-size business is to outsource to a freelancer social media manager or agency. You can select the platforms you want to focus on, will pay a lot less (for comparison, my fees run a little over $12,000/year for Instagram and FB management) and will get the peace of mind of completely outsourcing your social media versus having to oversee an employee.
One significant note of caution: Do NOT expect to hire a contractor and get an employee. I have had clients outsource their social media and expect to receive work outside the scope of the contract we had signed, get in touch with me at all hours, and demand things that contractors like me simply do not provide. We are not employees – freelance social media managers control our own schedules and set the deliverables.
While sites like Upwork can provide some options, I believe the best way to find a social media manager suited to your business is to either search Instagram (using key words like “social media manager”) or reach out for referrals. Want help finding a social media manager? I’m always happy to connect my audience with potential fits as I am friends with many social media managers.
One of the great benefits of social media management as a career is that standardized education is not a requirement. While a traditional marketing degree can be very helpful in learning the general principles, you can learn just as much on the job. There are also certifications that can provide further learning in specific areas of social media.
Instead of looking at qualifications or certifications, look at experience – accounts managed, content created, years in the industry, testimonials and reviews.
When you are considering outsourcing a part of your business, it can feel scary – I get that, as a fellow business owner who has outsourced many times to other service providers. Reasonable expectations from both parties are key, but there are also red flags that I want you to be aware of:
If someone is offering a beta service, or acknowledges a lack of experience, that’s one thing. But if you can’t find any client testimonials or case studies, and they don’t have any proof that they have done this work before, that is a reason to run.
🚩 They don’t have a contract.
Having a legally legit contract is one of the MOST important parts of running a business, and if a social media manager you are talking to doesn’t use one? RUN. That’s all I’ll say.
*This does not constitute legal advice – this is just good business practice*
🚩 You aren’t clear on their processes or how this will work
A quality social media manager should be able to articulate their process and what you can expect from them. If you feel left in the dark or confused, and they don’t answer your questions? They are not the right partner for your business’s social media.
This is a 🌶 spicy 🌶 topic, and there is no one set price that you will find across the board. My rough estimates based on my experience in the industry is that for basic content creation & support, you should expect to pay at least $500/month per platform. If you want reels, stories, engagement and 1:1 call time, you should expect to pay at least $1000/month per platform. This price goes up depending on your social media manager’s expertise, the demand for their services, and whether or not they have a team or it is just them executing the package.
For more details on how much social media management will cost a small business, this Sprout Social article provides an insightful breakdown. To provide a snippet: 24% of agencies charge $500-900 for their services, and 15% charge between $1000-1,4999. For 1-2 platforms, with content creation, community management and check-ins, you should set aside roughly $800-1200/month for your social media marketing.
You do, of course, have the option to try to find someone cheaper. I understand the appeal – for a small business, $1000/month can feel totally prohibitive.
If you are not looking for full management – meaning content creation, engagement, analytics, 1:1 strategy time – you might be better off looking for a specialized VA who can provide services in the $15-30/hour range. Someone like this could support you with getting the most time-consuming tasks off your plate, but wouldn’t involve the whole shebang of full management.
There are two situations where I strongly disagree with looking for a cheaper option. The first is if you’re on Upwork or a similar platform offering below minimum wage for a service (I have seen $3-6/hour postings and that is just SLEAZY 🥴) and either hoping to exploit someone who doesn’t know better, or find a contractor who works in a foreign country and would accept that. Both are not a good look for your business.
The other situation when I urge caution is when you see service providers offering very cheap management services in order to be competitive. These services are likely templatized in order to provide this low level cost – unlike the personalized, highly individualized strategy that a company like ABC Social Media Management can provide your business.
Love that you’re asking this! Far too many people enter into a contract with a social media manager with wildly unrealistic expectations (that they’ll soar from 3000 to 10,000 followers overnight, or they’ll go viral and sell out). Below is what you can realistically and reasonably expect from a social media manager:
There are so many benefits to working with a social media manager. First and foremost, you get a significant amount of time back – I estimate at least 5-7 hours/week for my clients depending on what they were doing prior to working with me – in your day to focus on other activities in your business, or to spend time doing what you love. You also get the benefit of a consistent social media presence that allows you to build brand awareness and trust with your audience. Finally, with that consistent presence you get to see new, qualified leads coming your way.
I cannot guarantee a specific $ amount of sales (and any social media manager that does is frankly being unethical). The ROI of organic social media management comes from the amount of time I give you back in your business (allowing you to focus on revenue-generating activities), and the high quality leads a strong social media presence brings in. But, it is up to you to convert those leads into paying customers.
The question I tell potential clients to ask themselves is: Is spending time on your social media costing you your money or your peace? If the answer to either is yes, it’s time to outsource your social media.
I might sound biased, but my answer is almost always yes. Unless you are really good at creating content strategically and engaging to grow your brand, you have the time to do it, and you enjoy it (and let’s be honest, who actually checks all three of those boxes?) it is more than worth it to hire a social media manager.
While an intern can be a cheaper (or free for some, although I don’t believe in unpaid internships) option, it doesn’t provide the same peace of mind as working with an experienced contractor. With an intern or assistant, you need to provide oversight and direction. When a client works with me, they get to reduce their involvement in social media and often don’t spend more than 30 minutes a week thinking about social. For more on why you shouldn’t pass off this responsibility to an intern or family member, check out this article.
Glad you asked! ABC Social Media Management is a Florida-based social media management company offering comprehensive management and strategy services. We primarily work with businesses in the interior design, home decor and short term rental industries, as well as other online service providers.
Currently, we offer management services for Instagram and Facebook, with plans to expand in the future!
We begin with an intro call to review our services and decide if we’re both the right fit for each other. From there, I’ll send over a proposal + contract. If everything looks great, we’ll dive into onboarding! The first four weeks are reserved for account optimization & familiarization, research, strategy, and content development. For more on our onboarding process, check out this blog post!
After you’ve been completely onboarded, the day-to-day is off your plate. Daily (depending on your package), you’ll see content be published and engagement performed. Weekly, you’ll get your content to review in Airtable and will chat back and forth with me and the team via Slack and email. Monthly, we’ll review analytics, have a check in call and plan for the next month’s content.
During the onboarding process, I have you fill out an in-depth questionnaire that dives into you, your motivations, your business and brand, and your personality. Throughout our time together, I’ll also learn more about you and how you operate through speaking to you and engaging with your audience.
Week two of the onboarding process is reserved for your social media strategy. I start with an account review and deep dive into what your business is all about. From there, I conduct competitor analysis and define what makes you different. I map out your content plan, outline key messaging and create a content schedule that makes sense. All of this is reviewed by you for final approval.
In addition to market research and competitor analysis, your social media strategy will include
Yes! If you don’t have your Instagram profile set up, we will take care of this during onboarding.
In most cases, yes. If you are paying for one of our three tiers of management, your content is published for you (except if you are in tier one, your reels and stories are your responsibility).
I ask my clients to provide me with photo + video assets for me to use in their content. I am not responsible for that raw visual content, but I take what you provide and incorporate in static posts, graphics, carousels, and reels.
Content is scheduled via Creator Studio. Content that needs to be published manually, such as reels or interactive stories, will be published by the engagement specialist assigned to your account.
Our clients don’t post more than once a day (and if their package contains less than 7 posts, they’re not posting every day). If you are doing your own social media, it is up to you and what you have seen work the best for your business, but I always recommend quality over quantity.
You have full control over your account and each piece of content is reviewed by you before posting. If you are unhappy with a post after it goes live, you are of course entitled to go into your account and delete or edit it.
If you request a content change after the post has already been approved and scheduled, that late revision will be subject to an additional fee.
You are welcome to still post if you would like, however we do not recommend you publish content on your own as you are paying us to take the stress of social off your plate. If you find yourself wanting to see more content on your page, we recommend considering upgrading your package!
No – that is the best part of having a social media manager! You can truly log out of your socials and forget about Instagram beyond the 30 minutes you spend reviewing content each week and our monthly check in call. My goal is for you to not feel like you need to lift a finger.
For package tiers 2 and 3, 30 minutes of engagement a day, Monday through Friday, is included in your service.
Each day’s engagement is either inbound engagement or outbound engagement. Inbound engagement entails connecting with the people you already follow, answering DMs and comments (and sending ones to you that need a more detailed response), and story replies. Outbound engagement involves engaging with accounts that don’t know or follow you yet and bringing them into your community. Each client’s engagement SOP is customized to them (and shifts depending on their season of business and goals). Most clients have roughly 3 days of inbound engagement/community nurturing and 2 days of outbound engagement/brand expansion each week.
Yes, our team will respond to comments and DMs as part of our daily engagement.
When we outline your strategy, we’ll set realistic goals based on your business plan and current social media presence. Regularly, we’ll review how your stats are progressing. This review will help us know what improvements to make to achieve your goals.
In your monthly analytics report, you’ll receive
Yes! You have access to me and the ABC SMM team in your Slack channel. All messages will receive a response within 24 hours (except on weekends, when you’ll receive a response by the next business day). You can also get in touch with me via email.
Monthly, we’ll have a 30-minute check in call to touch base face to face.
I am not immediately accessible, as I have multiple clients to attend to and outside responsibilities as well. Unlike an employee, a contractor cannot be expected to be immediately available. Of course, if I am free I am happy to see what I can make happen!
Under no circumstances will I, or my team, provide our phone number. This is a very important boundary I maintain to create work-life balance. For more on my boundaries and why I set them specifically, I shared them in this blog post.
Once a month’s work has begun (the 15th of the month prior), no refunds will be given. Any termination of services must be given in writing at least 15 days before the end of the month. If this notice isn’t given, you’re subject to a 50% termination fee.
Post performance is not guaranteed, as it is out of my control. Lower engagement or reach is not a justification for a refund.
If something out of our or your control happens, such as an account hacking or deletion, we are of course happy to pause services and support you as you work through the issue.
We are happy to discuss a multiple account discount!
I have been in business for just under 2 years and have learned a lot – I would LOVE to support you in growing your own social media management business! First, I recommend downloading my Frequently Asked Questions for Social Media Managers and getting on my email list for insider tips + resources. You can also book a strategy call where you can pick my brain.
Let’s chat! I invite you to book a free consultation so we can chat about your needs, and my services, and if we’re the right fit! If you have any other questions, I am happy to answer via Instagram DM or email.
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ABC Social Media Management® is a Florida-based social media management company serving female entrepreneurs worldwide through comprehensive management and strategy services.