Facebook, and other social networks, take a lot of energy and time to run. You have to learn the rules, the culture, and all the rest of the details just like you do for any other skill. Many small and mid-sized businesses simply don’t have the time to do it themselves. Everyone is so busy with their own work that adding on a couple hours of Facebook every day is back-breaking. That’s why many businesses opt to pay a Facebook manager to do the work for them.
What other good reasons are there for hiring a Facebook manager?
Reasons to Outsource Facebook PPC
For the purposes of this section, I’m talking about “outsourcing” in general, though it could just as easily mean hiring an in-house employee to do the work for you. To be honest, the cost is going to be comparable if you want someone who is both high quality and high experience. You can always hire someone on the cheap and train them, but then you’re not really outsourcing your PPC, you’re just hoping you can get someone to learn the tricks of the trade. Regardless, there are a lot of reasons why it’s beneficial to get someone who knows what they’re doing.
A good manager understands the many, MANY different aspects of advertising. There are a ton of different factors that can make your ads more or less expensive. When your PPC manager is aware of them, they can help minimize costs and maximize returns. Novices don’t know how to do that, and will spend time making costly mistakes.
A good manager has diverse experience in multiple industries. This is surprisingly important, because strategies that work for one industry might not work for another, but at the same time they might. Taking cues from successful businesses, not just from competitors, can be very valuable. You never know where a good source of inspiration will come from.
A good manager has the skills to run a successful campaign. Really, this is what it comes down to: experience. You’re paying for someone who isn’t going to go about things with trial and error in mind. They have knowledge, they have experience, and they have processes in place for quick and efficient optimization. You don’t want to waste time or money, so you pay money to save both.
A good manager understands the software involved. This is important because a lot of the best ads management software suites are quite complicated, because they’re made for professionals. Some are good at catering to newbies, but most really aren’t, but they’re extremely potent once you know how to use them. Additionally, many of the best agencies and companies already have their software licenses, so you don’t need to pay for expensive software for your expensive freelancers.
A good manager can adapt to changes in marketing or in Facebook rules quickly. One of the worst things for a brand is to be caught “on the wrong side of the law” so to speak. It happens with Google and it happens with Facebook. They change how something works, they change a policy, and they catch you in the crossfire. If you don’t stay on top of things, you may suddenly find yourself losing a lot of exposure or money, and that’s if you even notice it right away.
A good manager can get results quickly and report them accurately. Time is money, and being able to be fast and efficient is important. It’s also important to be able to pull the right kind of data from Facebook, to be able to interpret Insights properly, and to be able to generate reports that show the right key performance indicators in the right light without being nonsense. For example, they know that ad clicks aren’t really that important, while CTR and ROI are more valuable.
A good manager knows how to perform keyword research. This may not be important for website SEO as much as it used to be in the past, but it’s still crucial for PPC, which centers entirely around keywords. Of course, a good manager also needs to know all about audience targeting, which brings me to…
A good manager knows what ad copy works best with Facebook audiences. This is a two-parter. They need to know how to research your brand and your audience, and they need to know how to pull the important aspects of that audience out of the data in order to target them effectively. On top of that, they need to know the psychology behind people, so they know how to formulate compelling ad copy that will capture their attention and get their interest.
There are a lot of factors that can change the cost of a Facebook manager. Let’s take a look at them, then look at various real world price ranges we can expect.
Factors Changing Pricing
Pricing can vary from a few hundred a month to tens or hundreds of thousands a month.
It depends a lot on the scale of your operation, but there are other factors as well.
- Scale of operation. Since a lot of agencies pull their costs as a percentage of what you’re spending, your costs go up as your ad budget goes up. The more you’re spending on ads, the more these people want to be paid to manage them, typically for two reasons. The first is because it’s a high stakes game, and they want to be paid accordingly for the risk of failing. The second is because higher ad spend tends to mean higher ad numbers, and managing a hundred individual ads is a lot more work than managing five.
- Just Facebook, or other social networks? Many agencies will do more than just Facebook marketing for you. They’ll also manage your PPC ads on Google, on Twitter, and on other social networks if they’re what you choose to use. Finding one that is experienced with everything you need is going to be tricky, and expensive.
- Just ads, or organic posting as well? There’s more to marketing than just running ads, and having some kind of cohesion between your PPC and your organic posting will be important. However, it’s understandable for people to want to maintain control over their own social feeds. You have to find an agency that either is willing to work closely with you, or who has the right kind of voice and style in mind to do what you want to do in a satisfactory manner. It might be hard to find the right kind of people without paying a premium.
- Contract or employee? This is a decision you’ll have to make. Do you hire an agency, do you contract an individual freelancer, or do you hire someone on directly? Agencies tend to be the most effective, but also the most expensive. Hiring someone on can be cheaper, but you also might have a hard time finding someone with the skills you need in a price range you can afford. It’s also going to come with additional business costs, like new hardware and software licenses. Freelancers are sort of the best of both worlds, but they’re not necessarily beholden to you.
- Blog management as well? Once again, your marketing has more to it than just your social presence. Some agencies will take over everything if you let them, and that includes writing blog posts and publishing them for you, on top of promoting them. It can be a very valuable service, but that means it can be a very expensive service as well. You might also find several companies to do pieces, like one that manages blogs and one that does social PPC, but then you’re paying two bills instead of one and it might be even more expensive.
- Room for growth. There are an absolute ton of different responsibilities that a social manager has to deal with, as seen on slide 13 of this deck. At a small scale this can be reasonably handled by one person, but as your business and your marketing grow, it can very quickly grow out of hand for one person. If you’re relying on one freelancer or one in-house employee, they may grow overworked and may cut your contract or quit. Agencies are obviously more expensive, but they are also better equipped to scale their team to match your needs.
The moral of the story is that the price will adjust upwards the more requirements you have, the more experience the manager has, and the larger your business is.
Real World Pricing Examples
Many businesses offering Facebook PPC management services don’t list their pricing, so be aware that what you actually find will vary throughout all ends of the spectrum. However, I’ve hunted down what I can find, so you can get an idea.
AdVenture PPC is one company that does list pricing, with three plans available on their site. The cheapest is $400, with an additional $400 setup fee, and they require you to have an advertising budget – not counting their fees – of between $500 and $1200 per month. For that, you get them to manage two ad campaigns, with two ad sets and two ads per set. If you’re using to managing on your own and you’ve done a lot of split testing, you’ll probably see this as a very limited amount. Their other plans expand the number of ads and campaigns, but also your required ad spend. The $550 (plus $550 setup fee) plan requires between $1200 and $3000 in monthly ad spend, and still only gives you 4 campaigns/sets/ads. You can contact them about a custom plan, but I would expect them to be even more pricey.
Clickable lists pricing for a variety of account types. Local small businesses start at $250 per month and can scale indefinitely with enterprise plans. National or global advertisers start at $500 monthly and scale from there. You have to get the higher tier plans, though, if you want such extras as “remarketing campaigns” and “split testing” for your ads.
The Content Factory tends to charge agencies between $2,500 and $9,000 per month, though that can depend on if you’re just doing Facebook through them or if you want other social media accounts managed as well, and it’s more than just PPC.
UpWork, one of the major hubs for freelancers on the Internet, has a wide variety of freelancers with posted profiles. You tend to see two different sorts of people, here. On one hand, you have people located in nations like Canada, Romania, and the U.S. charging around $50 per hour for their work. On the other hand, you have people charging $6-7 per hour – yes, single digits, minimum wage – because they’re located in Bangladesh and India, among other countries.
The issue here is that, when you go with the lowest bidder, you’re not getting a lot. These people tend to be using automated software and the aren’t necessarily putting a lot of thought into what they’re doing. They may not even have a good grasp of Facebook’s rules, or even a complete grasp of English fluency. It’s generally better to hire the more expensive people, at least on a trial basis to see if they’ll work out for you.
So, as you can see, the price will vary wildly. I’ve seen reports that top-end companies, like Coke or Nike or Microsoft, might spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per month on their marketing. This is because many of the top-end agencies charge a percentage of the ad spend they manage. Calculate your ad spend and add on 15-30% and that’s about what you might be spending total.