How Much to Hire a Part-Time Social Media Manager

how-much-to-hire-a-social-media-manageOne of the questions I’ve been getting quite a lot from clients and friends is how much does it cost to hire a social media manager. Usually, this question comes from someone who owns a local business, or a podcast host, author or public speaker building and managing their audience.

When I dig a little deeper, it often turns out what they are really looking for is not purely a social media manager.  Instead, they’re looking for someone to either do lead generation or build brand awareness in addition to basic social media management. With that said, I will break down my response to the cost to hire a part-time social media manager into four categories.

  1. Pure social media managers
  2. Social media mangers who do lead generation
  3. Social media managers who do brand awareness
  4. Social media managers who do lead generation and brand awareness

Cost to Hire a Pure Social Media Manager Part-Time

The role of a pure social media manager is that of a content curator, proofreader, and moderator.

Content Curator

First and foremost, this means that if you’re hiring a pure social media manager, you shouldn’t expect this person to create original content.  This person is going to scan the web for relevant content created by other people and share the most inspirational, educational, and remarkable content they find.  This person will also re-purpose the content you create and share it across your social media pages.


It’s fair to expect your social media manager to perform proofreading duties both on your social media post and any of your blog post that they’re sharing to your social profiles.  This person should be a pro at making sure all content shared is grammatically correct and free of spelling errors.


A social media manager must also moderate your social media pages to make sure followers and fans follow your guidelines for appropriate content as well as replying to basic customer service questions.  This could also extend to your blog comments section.  When it comes to replying specifically, don’t expect your social media manager to go beyond basic customer service, as any complex/controversial questions or comment follow-up should be forwarded to you for reply.

Based on these basic responsibilities, you will entrust this person with the passwords to multiple sites that represent your brand, and this person will also be entrusted to speak for your business in a variety of situations.  In addition, a high turn-over of personnel would increase your cost of training and add additional risk of your brand being compromised.

Bottom line, your shouldn’t have a goal to find the cheapest person out there.

Therefore, you should expect to pay a part-time social media manager a rate of $20.00 to $30.00 per hour for no-less than 10 hours a week of work.

Cost to Hire a Part-Time Social Media Manager who does Lead Generation

I often find that the role of the social media manager described above is not what business owners really care about in terms of return on investment. Instead, they are looking to measure the success of their social media manager based on how many new prospective customers they can get to sign-up for a lead nurturing email marketing program. i.e. lead generation.

It’s not that they want lead generation done instead of the duties of a pure social media manager described above, they expect all of the above.  Yet, they usually will only gauge the success or failure of the social media managers based on new leads in the pipeline.

It’s unreasonable to expect to pay the same amount for someone who is versatile enough to do both social media management and lead generation. If you want your social media manager to also do lead generation,  then the right candidate for the job must be able to not only do the pure social media manager role, but also:

  • Create original high-quality content
  • Create “call to action” campaigns
  • Edit graphics
  • Deploy landing pages that are integrated with your email marketing system and/or CRM system
  • A/B Testing
  • Basic html, css, and javascript

This is a unique skill set that doesn’t come cheap. Therefore, you should expect to pay a part-time social media manager who also does lead generation a rate of $50.00 to $100.00 per hour for no-less than 20 hours a week of work.  If you want to pay an hourly rate at the lower end of this scale, it may be possible to negotiate a lower hourly rate if you also pay a commission per lead generated.

Cost to Hire a Part-Time Social Media Manager who does Brand Awareness

For those businesses who don’t do sales through lead nurturing, and/or depend mostly on word of mouth, they look at social media mainly as a tool to build more awareness around their brand.

These businesses generally measure the success of their social media manager by the number of new likes, shares, and comments. These businesses may also seek an increase in their search engine ranking as a result the branding done by their social media manager indirectly leading to more back links.

In this case, this type of social media manager must be able to do the pure social media tasks, as well as:

  • Marketing strategy and research
  • PR/Influencer Outreach
  • Community building
  • Graphic Design
  • Create original high-quality content

Finding a social media manager who also does brand awareness is much easier to find than one who also does lead generation.  Therefore, you will find that you can negotiate a slightly lower rate at fewer hours per week.

As a result, you should expect to pay a part-time social media manager who also does brand awareness a rate of $30.00 to $60.00 per hour for no-less than 10 hours a week of work.

Cost to Hire a Part-Time Social Media Manager who does both Lead Generation and Brand Awareness

It’s rare to find someone who is willing to work part-time and who does all of the above when it comes to social media management. So you can expect that this person will need to work for you a minimum of 20 to 30 hours per week to accomplish all the tasks necessary to manage your social media pages, as well as generate leads and increase the brand awareness of your business.

If you need to outsource all of these activities, it may be best to contract with a boutique social media consulting firm or a full-service marketing agency.  This will without a doubt require a significant financial investment.

If you do get lucky and find a freelancer who can and will do it all, you should expect to pay this person no less than $100.00 per hour.


There are 37 comments. Add yours.

  1. Great post! Assuming you are managing multiple social channels and email; would you say it’s better to quote an hourly rate or a monthly fee?

    • A monthly fee is always better, assuming you are working with a long term client. Social management includes so many micro actions that tracking time on an hourly basis is pretty impracticable. Therefore, it’s best to estimate the hours for the month and come up with a monthly fee from there (with a little buffer of course).

  2. Great insightful post.

  3. Excellent insight, specifically the four categories. Thank you Christopher.

    • You are welcome Rita! So happy you found this post useful.

  4. Super helpful post Christopher! I’m based in the UK but this has been the clearest and most useful article I’ve come across to get my value proposition straight and to help me explain it to clients. Thanks so much 🙂

  5. Thanks for the incredible insight. Really spells out the duties and responsibilities as well as cost tables. Great resource!

    • You are welcome! Thank you for stopping by and providing your feedback!

  6. It is very good info that you listed the 4 roles. Could you adv which country or city the rate is based on? Thanks

    • Based on the United States. Not city specific, but this is based on my experiences working up and down the east coast of the US from Atlanta to New York.

  7. Gear article Christopher.

    Am going into Social Media Management on my own after having worked for a sports company for 3 years. I am in the category of a Pure Social Media Manager but looking to diverse to lead generation and brand awareness for the clients I pick up. What sort of ball park monthly cost to client can I charge?

    Ike Bam – Cape Town, South Africa

    • Hi Ike,

      Being that your are in South Africa, it would be hard for me to ball park a number for you as rates always depend on your regional market. As I mentioned in the article, if you are capable of doing both brand awareness and lead generation, you are a hot commodity. With that said, whatever the going rate for a social media manger is where you live, you could probably charge at least double that. Also, when you start doing lead generation, you could also request that your client pay you a commission per lead generated if they want to pay you at a lower rate. Thanks for stopping by the blog and good luck with your endeavor!

  8. lesyali

    Super helpful post, thank you!

  9. Great post. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Michele Kire

    This has been really helpful. I’ve been managing the social media for one non-profit as part of a wider role within the business and I’m looking into options for similar work as a freelancer. Calling myself a social media marketer seemed too broad but understanding these ‘types’ makes my prospective role a lot clearer. I’m a social media manager who does brand awareness.

  11. Wow, thank you for this article, it has been so helpful. Would you say the rates have risen, since social media first began? I’ve read articles that were written in 2012 and had pretty high rates.

    • Based on what I see in Atlanta (every market is different), the rate for a “pure social media manager” has gone down, and the rates for every other type has gone up.

  12. Angela Harper

    Thanks for the information, very helpful! I did Social Media Marketing for 2 Orthodontists offices in the Dallas area, the position was lumped in with other duties related to the office and my rate (not my choice) was $16/hr. It was tough to do 25-30 hours doing Social Media and Brand Awareness along with the other duties. I have since left both of the offices and am getting requests to do Social Media Marketing for 2 Dr offices (1 Doctor) and a separate request from a local Optometrists with Brand Awareness. Both have asked me what rate I would charge. I have no idea of what number I should give them given my previous rate from the Ortho. Any idea? I am very internet savvy and did well at building up the previous practices. I would only be part time, maybe 10-20 hours a week. Thank you!

    • Hi Angela,
      Thank you for stopping by our blog! I am not specifically in tuned with the rates in the Dallas area, however as an estimate I would base your rate based on the branding you have in place at this time. Do you have a professional website that shows thought leadership? Will your prior clients give you a fantastic reference saying how great you are? Do you have any other testimonials that back up the quality of your work? If the answer is yes to all these questions, ask for a higher end rate between $25 to $30/hour. If you don’t have all these things in place, I would work on getting them in place and instead ask for a rate around $20 and look to increase your rate little by little with each client you close.

  13. Fatou

    Christopher, thanks for the great article! You explained how success is measured for the last 3 social media roles(leads vs likes). 1. Could you please share how success would be measured for a pure social media manager?
    2. Doesn’t the role of a pure social media manager imply that the person would need to edit graphics to add logos, resize images or slightly customize stock photos to align with branding guidelines? Would this editing work be covered by your recommended $20 to $30 range or should the person charge a bit more? How much?
    3.Lastly, in the quote sent to the prospect, would you mention how you got to a monthly rate of, let’s say, $1000? What I mean is would you write 10h/week at $25/h OR would you just write $1000/month?

    • 1. At the lower pay scales of social media management, I would be reluctant to expect a contractor to serve in a strategic capacity. With that said, success would be better measured based on execution and quality (# of post, grammar, response time, etc) rather than something strategic like leads or engagement metrics. The strategy should be left in the hands of an (higher paid) expert.

      2. At the lower end of the pay scale I would expect graphics to be “ready to go” otherwise if editing graphics requires the skill of a true graphic designer, I would expect higher pay. What you described is fairly basic, but time consuming and well beyond “ready to go” so I would attempt to negotiate a higher base if this is part of my daily job responsibilities. I could not say how much more because every market is different, but I would start by trying to narrow down specifically the # of graphics that require editing on a weekly basis and negotiate from there.

      3. Transparency is always better, so yes I would break things down to set expectations on how many hours you are estimating to work each week and what your time will focus on to meet your clients stated needs. If your hourly quote is at the higher end of the pay scale, you should spend a good bit of time highlighting what unique skills and experience (i.e. strategic skills vs. execution skills, as well as testimonials from previous clients) you have that differentiate you from someone with a low ball quote.

  14. Shay

    This was a very helpful article. I’m looking for some insight as to what to charge for a part-time Social Media Director position. It is for a gymnastics center. Here is the information I have on what they’re looking for… curating/posting 5-10 times daily on Facebook, 1-2 times daily on Instagram, and 6-15 times daily on Twitter along with posting 7 re-tweets daily. There will also be approximately 5 hours weekly of photography/videography required (sometimes travel will be involved) and administration/filter creation on Snapchat. Obviously administration of these social media sites and replying to comments will be part of the job. Later, other projects will be added (like working on videos for YouTube). I have no idea where to even start with putting a price tag or approximate weekly hours on this job. Any insight?

    • This sounds like a lot of work for a part-time position. At least 20 hours a week? Without knowing your location and the market rate for you city, I would guess in general you should start with a rate of about $40.00 per to negotiate with. If you can nail them down on your hours and daily/weekly tasks, go for a monthly flat rate over a hourly rate. If everything is on an as needed basis and your tasks change all the time depending on their business needs, I would charge more and keep detailed records of all the hours you spend on the work and submit a log every week of all the things you did and the hours you spent. You have to charge more when doing hourly because there is so much overhead to the administrative task of tracking your hours. Hope this helps!

  15. Super helpful article, thank you. I am starting down the social media market professionally but have been doing it on my own and for non profits for awhile now. I was recently asked to manage a local store’s social media with what sounds like pure and brand awareness aspects as well as developing the strategic outlay, content and images. In other words they would like me to do it all with a personal insight since I know the store, owners and brand well. What would you charge and would you recommend hourly or monthly, for this ask?
    My background is photography and writing with a strong relationship to the small local area that I reside in.

    Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Rachelle,

      Without knowing exactly where you live, I can only give general thoughts on how much you should charge. But in general, with all they are asking you to do, plus the fact that you have intimate domain expertise of the store, I would start by asking for the higher end of the range. Also, I would negotiate a monthly rate with a discount to the hourly rate. If they insist on paying hourly and having you track every hour, you should ask for more because of the extra effort it will take to keep track and document your hours and the work you do. Good luck!

  16. Thank you so much Christopher for this info. I too have been asked to help with people’s social media needs because they’ve seen how I was handling mine. But I did not know what our how to charge. This has helped clear up that dilemma a lot!

  17. Lika


    I just got a job as a social media expert with responsibilities like
    – PR/Influencer Outreach
    – Community building
    – Graphic Design
    – Create original high-quality content.
    Can you suggest me how much salary should I ask as a freelancer? They want me to do 12 posts each month on I stage an, Twitter and Facebook.

    They don’t want to pay by hour and are offering me 200$ for 12 posts. But it seems too much work for 200$ , uploading content on fb , Instagram and Twitter take a lot of time.


    • $200 is not enough. Not even close. If they want to pay per post, I would charge about $60.00 – $100 each on the low end. PR/Influencer outreach is very time consuming.

  18. Victoria

    Thanks Christopher! I did have a question for the pure social media manager how many posts would you estimate that would be a week for 10 hours in total? Also If I am the one finding the images and editing them with logo and etc how should I factor that in?

    • Hi Victoria, it’s hard to say. If you work for 2 hours a day 5 days a week I would assume all of your post are scheduled so they don’t go out back to back. With that said, in that 2 hour time frame you should be able to research, edit, do images and schedule about 1 post every 15 minutes which equals about 8 post per day. This is based on it being fairly easy to finding content for your niche. If your niche is more obscure it would take longer. Hope this helps.

  19. It’s exactly what I need. Thank you for your brilliant article.

  20. Such an incredible post! I am myself a recent Part Time Social Media Manager who does brand awareness (freelance) and this really helped me putting my foot down and telling my rates and having the confidence I needed! Thank you so much! So well written too

    • Thank you so much for the comment. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  21. Lara

    Christopher, I’ve been doing this for enough time to be the latter of all categories and came searching for the reason why I’m working so hard and not making a ton. Thank you for this post. It has been eye opening. I really appreciate you taking the time to write, edit, and share this! Lara

    • You are so welcome! I am so happy you found this post useful.