This is the big, burning question I’m getting from clients these days. They understand the need, see the value and want to be effective in the space but there’s no benchmark on how much to spend. I’m selfish and want to do as much for my clients as possible so I would tend to err on the high side – concepting and creating content isn’t cheap, nor is the the time spent managing, monitoring and cultivation a community.
Thankfully, Altimeter Research looked at 12 companies with more than $10bn in revenue to give you a quick crib sheet (below).
So how much should you spend on social media, as a company with $10bn in revenue? You should have an internal, soft cost, of about $724,000 (so about 7-10 FTEs) and external software, agency and media costs of $2,021,000.
How much should you spend on social media as an average company? Internal costs should be about $348,000 (3-4 FTEs) and external costs of about $811,000.
I definitely see some areas of efficiencies: you don’t need two agencies if you hire a boutique practice like Radar DDB within a large integrated agency like DDB and if an agency partner like Radar DDB manages your (external) social media strategy, there would be cost savings on much of the technology as well.
However, nonetheless, this is a really interesting benchmark and one that will scare a lot of clients, many of whom still believe social media is *free*. The truth is social media done right takes time, resources, media and technology. It’s the intersection of the four types of media: