Social media practitioners price differently depending on their business models and what types of work they’re doing. Some will prefer to do hourly work for the clients they take on. While this will work for freelance workers looking to keep their work part-time, those looking to scale their own business or start an agency should be looking at creating fixed-price packages instead.
When most high-end clients are looking to book social media experts, they don’t want to be worried about paying hourly charges every week or not knowing exactly what they’ll get for the money they’re shelling out. It’s too much to keep up with and too much unpredictability; they’d much rather be able to compare packages between different practitioners and know exactly what types of services you offer and to what extent, so they can factor it into their budget once.
In this post, we’re going to look at how to put together different social media marketing packages to attract the type of clients that you want to find and increase the likelihood that you snag their business.
Why You Should Always Offer Different Packages
Notice that we say “social media marketing packages” and not “social media marketing package.” There’s a good reason for this: offering different tiers of packaging will help you land more clients because they’ll be able to choose the services that they need and avoid ones they don’t.
Different types of packages will typically involve the addition or subtraction of the amount of content or services you’re offering, giving your clients the ability to find services that work for them within their price point.
As far as social media marketers go, packages will benefit you, too. They’ll standardise what you offer, which allows you to better predict how much time you’ll spend on each contract and know exactly how much money you’ll be making in that time.
When structured well, tiered levels of packages make it easier to upsell those higher-level options, helping you to make more while slightly reducing your workload because you’re doing more for fewer clients.
We want to reiterate here that offering packages instead of hourly will not only make you look more established, but will also make it easier for you to lock in contracts and require payment upfront at the beginning of each month, giving you more stability and protection. This is what we want for all of the graduates of our courses.
How to Create Your Social Media Marketing Packages
The most important thing to consider when creating your social media marketing packages is what it is that you want to offer, and how you want to scale those offerings.
Do you want to offer general social media marketing? Have a baseline “standard” package with two profiles, 10 posts per week total, one monthly report. You can increase this with a “plus” package that allows for four profiles and 20 posts per week, with a monthly report and a strategy session. Then have the “ultra” package, which includes 6 profiles, 30 unique posts per week, a monthly report, a strategy session, and a bi-monthly audit.
You also have the option to scale up in services. Maybe your baseline package will just include social media content creation and scheduling. Your mid-level package includes strategy and reporting, and your plus offers full engagement monitoring and management.
In addition to your main packages, you can offer “add-ons,” which users can pay for individually or add on as part of their retainer. These may include:
- One-time strategy creation, or ongoing strategy creation and assessment
- Social engagement and management
- Ad campaigns creation, publication, and management (typically not including ad spend in the retainer; the client has to pay for that themselves)
- One-time social events, like a social media contest or creating/promoting a Facebook event
- Hosting an on-social event, like a Twitter chat.
4 Examples of Social Marketing Packages To Be Inspired By
Wondering exactly what sort of packages exist online and how to go about featuring and marketing yours? The sky really is the limit to what sort of packages you want to create, and it’s all about your specialty and what you want to offer, but these four examples will give you a few ideas to draw some inspiration from.
Changescape Web has clear social media packages that are immediately available on their site with pricing, descriptions, and package breakdowns all right there for potential clients to assess. They even use bold text and then smaller, unbolded text to elaborate on exactly what their offerings include so there’s no questions).
They’ve given each package a motivating title like “Build,” “Grow,” and “Accelerate,” and then explain what package is best for what type of client. This helps clients assess what may be right for them, and feeling like a business understands them and their goals can help drive conversions.
Another great thing to notice is that their Accelerate program is the best bang for the month, easily, offering more than double what the mid-tiered package includes plus reputation management. By having this top-tiered package seem like such a great deal, it will entice more people to go ahead and choose that one, which is best for your bottom line.
Bold and Pop
Bold and Pop offers a variety of different social media packages, and one thing they offer that you don’t commonly see is a stand-alone, non-retainer “Social Media Consulting package.” For a one-time fee of 2k, they’ll get you set up with a social media marketing strategy that’s tailor-made to your business.
This is a service that stands out, because it’s something that plenty of clients may want-- to know how to do the work instead of paying for someone to do it for them month after month.
This comes at a high cost because it’s a one-off service, which benefits the business, and it can also be used to rope in potential customers who look at the strategy, who now trust you, and who think “gosh that’s a lot more work than I originally thought.” So not only are they getting paid a high fee to create a strategy, there’s a good chance that clients may then hire them for ongoing retainer work to execute the strategy, too.
Brandit360’s social media marketing services are offering high-level strategy and monitoring mixed in with content, and their different packages are really focusing more on the scaling in networks and content instead of adding on additional services that increase with the scope of the packages.
We also want to acknowledge the actual layout of this pricing package, which helps the differences in information stand out. They use bright orange for the title tags, which contrast against the dark background. Clean white lines put space between each individual package, separating them, and they use clear white text to highlight the difference in packages.
These are more high-cost services than a lot of the other examples we’ve looked at, but they’re offering a lot more on-going services like monitoring, engagement, and marketing strategies.
Stellar Media Marketing
Stellar Media Marketing is the perfect example of an agency that’s found a great niche and smartly built their services around it. They offer social media marketing packages specifically for real estate agents and brokers, which gives them a lot of extra credibility and helps them stand out with their target audience.
If you look at their packages, you’ll see that most of the social media services offered aren’t too different from what you’d offer as a general practitioner; there are just a few services mentioning listings and open houses sprinkled in. These small adjustments can mean big profit and revenue, as you’ll become more appealing to your newly niched down audience.
There are so many different niches you can choose from. You can go big, offering services for industries like "B2b," "SAAS," or "fashion." You can go smaller, like "real estate," "medical/dentists," or "lifestyle brands."
If you want to niche, find something that you really connect with and care about if possible, because you'll need to speak that industry's language and if you do your job right, you'll be immersed in it 24/7. Don't become a real estate marketer if you hate talking about open floor plans and sparkling pools, perhaps.
How to Go Custom
It’s pretty common to check out a site’s social media packages and see that they’ll have three or four options listed (sometimes more, and sometimes less), and then have a note to get in touch for the option of custom packages.
As you’re growing your agency or your own business, sometimes it’s useful to be willing to be a little flexible. The clients get exactly what they want, and you can sometimes get away with charging a little more by selling it as a “custom-for-you” package to clients who want this.
So do exactly that. Have clear packages listed on your site, and then mention that visitors can contact you for a quote on a custom package based on their needs. Still prioritize that fixed-price rate as opposed to hourly.
Make sure to set very clear boundaries about what is and isn’t included. Every now and then, clients who want custom packages may also try to tack-on “tiny” extras, like a few extra posts, but which quickly become a significant amount of work once all added up. This should be done and agreed upon during the negotiation process; all extra work should be added on only with an additional cost. Bold and Pop serves as an example of this again with their “a la carte” options that can be added to any of their packages as needed.
What If I Don’t Want to Feature Pricing?
Want to skip listing your prices publicly all together? You can do that. There are pros and cons of doing this, of course, that you’ll need to weigh carefully.
- Your competition can’t undercut you by offering similar packages and swooping in with a just-lower-than-you price.
- You can stress the custom-for-you nature of your packages.
- You can quote each client the best price possible as you see fit; as your business grows or you find more high-budget clients, you can discreetly charge more without restricting your potential.
- It’s more difficult for clients to assess whether your services are right for them; budget matters.
- They may write you off for someone who clearly lists their prices online and is seen as more transparent.
- They may not want to put the effort into finding out your prices.
Consider what works best for your brand, and if you do decide to skip pricing information on your site all together, that’s a valid choice. You still need to make sure that your process and the services you offer are still outlined clearly, however. This will put people’s trust back in you and help them better determine if you can help them or not.
Hello Social does this well. They don’t feature any of their pricing on their site, and instead ask users to get in touch and list what they do offer.
They then take you through the different steps involved in working with them and getting your social strategy up and running. Potential clients will get in touch knowing what to expect, and knowing that this process is what they’re looking for, even if they’re unsure of pricing. This alleviates some of that doubt, and if you don’t list your prices, consider opting for this approach instead.
4 Factors to Consider When Creating Social Media Marketing Packages
So far we’ve talked about different types of social media packages that you can create, and a few examples to inspire you.
Before you finalise any social media marketing package and publish it online, however, there are a few things that you want to think about to ensure that you’re on the right track and are as competitive as possible.
These are four factors that you want to remember when setting up your package offerings.
1. Consider How Much Work Goes Into Each Offering
Some social media marketing tasks take significantly longer than others, even if it may not seem like at a first glance.
Sitting down to come up with an entire month’s content calendar sounds like a major task, but it may take an hour or two each month once you’re familiar with the client.
Something like “community management,” whether on Groups or Pages, doesn’t sound as intimidating, but in reality, it often takes much, much more time than a few hours.
You may be expected to check in daily to respond or lead public and private conversations and to know product information and store policies. In some cases, clients may expect all messages and comments to receive a response within a time frame like two hours, which can be extremely disruptive to your workflow.
Really consider how much work goes into each element you want to add to each package. You want to make sure that you have the manpower to do the work, and that you won’t be doing 60 hours per month for only $500 because one of the tasks just steamrolled your schedule.
While the time that goes into tasks varies on exactly what you offer and how you work, the biggest time-sucks in social media typically include the following:
- Creating original graphics for each post
- Community engagement for Groups or Pages
- PPC ad monitoring & management
2. Think About One-Time Services
We briefly mentioned one-time services a few sections above. Let’s talk about that a little more.
Each social media marketing agency is different, but all will sometimes run into clients who have important needs that don’t fit into a month-to-month package. This is particularly true at the beginning of a relationship.
Clients who first come to you, for example, may need a full social media setup where you make and flesh out all of their social profiles. Others may want you to improve the profiles they already have. This isn’t something that needs to happen every month, but it is important when you want to lay the right foundation.
Other one-time or occasional services may pop up throughout the year. Clients may want your help creating and managing a social media marketing contest or promoting an event. If these are outside your standard services, having a flat fee add-on can ensure that you’re able to meet their needs on an occasional basis.
One-time services are a great way to deliver what your clients need so they don’t head to the competition without it sinking your bottom line by offering it for free in packages. Let clients know these are available during the pitching stage, and leave room in your schedule to account for additional services from new clients each month.
3. Factor Client-Facing Time Into the Equation
The biggest mistake I see freelancers in all industries make when it comes to pricing is they only think about what I call “active working hours.” This is the amount of time it takes to actually sit down and put together a social media calendar, for example, or set up a new Facebook Page.
When you’re looking at flat-rate package pricing, though, you need to also account for everything else that’s involved, too: Client calls, reporting, explaining strategies, waiting for approval and making revisions, and other time-consuming admin work.
You need to be making a liveable wage, so don’t forget to account for admin and client communication work into the package pricing.
4. Choose Limits & Boundaries Upfront
If you say “I’ll create your social media content calendars” as a packaging offering and leave it at that, there are almost no limits to what the client can ask. If they want four posts a day for five different platforms, they can ask that.
You need to set limits for what’s included in your flat-rate packaging.
If possible, reference limits to your packages in your pricing information if featured on your site. In the example above, Lyfe shows how many posts are available each month with each different plan.
You should also clarify any limits or restrictions in your initial pitch, and specify in your contracts. This can include restrictions around the work you do, or even how often you’re available for a call; if you want to set a once-per-week or once-per-month call, you can.
How to Be Competitive When Creating SMM Packages
With such fierce competition (and so many competitors) in the social media marketing space right now, it’s important to find ways to be competitive especially when you’re just getting started.
The following tips can help:
- Collect as many reviews and referrals as you can. Referrals typically send some of the best clients your way, and reviews help you build trust and stand out from the competition. Ask all clients for reviews after a month or so of working with them.
- Offer competitive pricing without underselling yourself. You want to be competitive in your space, but that doesn’t mean offering the lowest price out there. This can attract the wrong type of clients, as high-value clients may think “they don’t charge enough to be any good.” Plus, you want to be able to scale long-term.
- Highlight your unique experience. Do you have multiple team members with over a decade of combined experience? Have you had a great formal education (like one here at Social Media College)? Stress what makes you different and credible.
- Think outside the box. Want to stand out? Do something different. Consider offering unique, specialized services based on your team’s skillset. If you have a graphic designer on hand, offer branding consultation and logo design services as add-ons. Think about offering chatbot programming and set up to help their customer service team. If you can outshine the competition, it’s easier to win the sale.
There are so many different social media marketing services you can offer, and defining your own packages will give you a lot of control over the types of work you want to do, how you want to do it, and what you want to make for it. Keep your pricing in line with both the market rate, what your target audience can afford, and the quality and individuality of your services. As long as you do this and market well to your target audience, you can expect to start to see your client roster grow before your eyes.