What to expect when looking for a social media consultant

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What to expect when looking for a social media consultant

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If you’re thinking about hiring someone to handle your social media, no doubt you’ve got a few questions.

  • How much does it cost?
  • What’s included?
  • What’s excluded?
  • What are the risks?
  • What kind of results can I expect?

When I consult with business owners, many feel they’ve been pressured into social media by kids, grandkids or those young kids who work for them. And even though those “kids” aren’t necessarily wrong, we need to make sure that businesses have plans in place for social media.


Social media can be a total time & money suck.

  • Number one: if you’re just getting into it, you’ve got to take the time to learn the platforms (and there are a number!)
  • Number two: it’s like any business task – how will social media support your business goals? How will you track your social media ROI? Who will be responsible for managing it? How do you know you’re not wasting money/resources?

Here are some things to expect when you begin scouting out social media consultants & packages:

  • Entry-level: This end of the spectrum is for businesses who may just be starting out & need guidance with social media. Businesses can expect to spend a minimum of $1000 a month for an entry-level social media package. With entry-level packages you can expect the social media consultant to help you with program development. This means putting together a social media plan, identifying social media goals based on your business goals and helping you select metrics and KPI’s to measure against. The social media consultant may also advise on curated content or strategy around content, scheduling to social sites and typically will have some type of social site management. It could include anywhere from one to three social sites depending on complexity. They typically will not manage engagement on your platforms. (e.g.: Customer/client relations)
  • Mid-level: These packages are for businesses who need extra support and guidance with social media. They have ambitious online goals but may not have the internal support and require more hands-on by the social media consultant. The consultant would handle the program from development to execution and work very closely with the business team.
  • Premium: The other end of the spectrum is hiring someone (or an agency) to run your social media entirely. The person you hire will be an extension of your business and brand (so make sure you trust them!) They will set up your program and manage it. You can expect them to manage all social sites, social advertising, take care of online engagement, curate content & develop new content. Basically, they take care of everything so you don’t have to. These types of social media management packages typically start out at $4000+ a month.

No matter which end of the spectrum you fall, your social media consultant should provide you with a list of exactly what’s included in their packages, but also reporting. There are too many social media ‘experts’ out there who don’t believe in metrics. The number one goal of social media should be engagement and being social, but we all know that businesses can’t be paid in likes, shares or retweets. That’s why your second goal should support business goals and why putting reports in place can help us evaluate how the program is doing month-over-month and make changes to the program where necessary.

Questions to ask a social media consultant:

  • What kinds of results have you had before? (e.g.: tell me about the things that worked well or didn’t.)
  • What types of social programs have you worked on? (e.g.: can you show me some of your previous work.)
  • Do you provide reports? Walk away if the agency/social media consultant says they don’t believe in analytics.

So what’s right for your business?

Consider the following:

  • what are your business goals?
  • do you want to be hands-on or hands off?
  • what’s your budget?
Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay is a Marketing Strategist, Writer + Speaker known for her no-nonsense approach to pretty much everything. Using data insights, she helps organizations market more effectively to get results that matter. She's also a high-scoring instructor at Mount Royal University, where she teaches Social Media Analytics and Google Analytics + Marketing Measurement. She holds certifications from Google, as well as Facebook and is currently working toward a specialization in Marketing Analytics and a certificate in Data Science from IBM. When she’s not busy juggling kids, volunteering + work, she’s busy planning her retirement to Cape Breton.