Social Media Retainer: How to Price Social Media Services
Social Media Retainer Definition and Guidelines for Marketers
Social Media Retainer: Retainers are necessary for getting ongoing support and continuously improving your business.
Some clients may have social media retainer so as to be in a position to bounce ideas off or to seek advice whenever they are in need.
Key elements of a social media retainer
A Broad Range of Services
Most retainer arrangements allow the use of a broad number of capabilities and skills. They will actually cross over and alternate between the traditional and digital world.
Other service range includes the spanning design, programming, marketing strategy and media budget plan.
Retainer regulates the rates across the different team members. This way you can easily predict the budget.
Longer Timeline of more than 6 Months
Retainers are most applicable for ongoing long-term projects. The minimum timeline is 6 months. Some social media retainers can go for up to 3 years.
A retainer is more applicable where the start and end of the project are outlined and clearly stated.
Examples of these defined projects include ongoing marketing and advertising management services.
Needs are Prioritized Over Projects
The primary focus of the retainer service provider is developing more retainer business for the customers.
The customers are long-term and use a wide range of services. Their needs should, therefore, be given a priority over the projects.
Ensure that you respond to the clients as quickly as possible.
The nature of the retainer makes it necessary to consider budgets.
Most retainers shoulder a wide range of responsibilities, a large number of services as well as a large team. Naturally, for such a project to be successful, the retainer must be fairly large.
Proper budgeting will ensure that you fairly spread the resources across the project.
Focus on completing one task at a time. If the task is successfully completed, then, treat it as a project and move on to the next task or project.
How you can use a Social Media Retainer
1. Outline the goals that your customers seek. Based on the goals, develop an ongoing marketing plan to help you achieve the goals.
The goals may include social media, Search Engine Optimization, creating content and local directory submissions.
2. Remember to explain the importance of each goal and why the goals are necessary for the ongoing marketing.
3. Explain the monthly fee. If applicable, show the clients a saving plan where they can seek a year contract payable every month.
4. Show the clients the return on investments, growth in lead generation as well as search engine ratings. This will boost trust and credibility about your services and help your clients make informed decisions.
Methods you can use to Allocate Funds from a Social Media Retainer
Map out the objectives of the project together with your client on a monthly basis before you allocate any fund. You can achieve this by having a framework agreement.
The agreement should consider the duration needed to achieve the monthly objectives. We advise you to overestimate your budget.
This will enable you to invoice the customer at the end of each month replenish the retainer for less than the original amount they deposited.
A retainer is basically a deposit on account. Just have an agreement with your clients on how best you should use the funds.
There are two ways to do this. These are:
1. Posting the invoice and agreeing with your client on the invoices they are willing to pay and the amount they intend to top up to the retainer.
2. Using Claytons rule of the allocation procedure to allocate funds. Here, you will allocate funds to the oldest invoice on the account of the customer.
Do this until the money is depleted. This will automatically make the client top-up their account so that you can carry on with the project as agreed.
If the social media retainer fund is depleted before the end of the month, the client must pay a top-up amount. Alternatively, the invoices raised during the month can be paid in cash with order basis.
If the cash is not depleted during the previous month, the client will only pay the balance to bring the retainer fund to the agreed monthly level.
Advantages of Clayton rule of Fund Allocation
1. You will know whether you have sufficient funds to cover the orders. This eases collections.
2. The method eliminates the needs for credit checks since you actually know the money available in the retainer. If the money is depleted and the client is not willing to top up, you will terminate the contract as early as possible.
3. The fund is actually in your bank account. This reduces bank overdraft as well as earn you some interest depending on your bank.
1. In case you default, the client can recover their money under a county court judgment.
How you can Include Social Media Marketing Tools into a Proposal
Incorporating social media tools into the client’s proposal can be a difficult task. You may settle for setting up a separate rate structure for creating buzz on blogs.
The other alternative may be settling for the traditional public relations methods of writing a press release, pitching the release to the media and charging the service fee after the content is published.
You can also decide to incorporate social media tools into every proposal.
The choice depends on the clients and their social media marketing strategies and public relations objectives as well as their customers’ location.
The Best Practices you can Use to assess your Client’s Readiness
1. Choose the interaction level, then work on pricing.
2. Set creative investment level. Don’t charge a placement service fee upon the publication of the content.
3. Use different perspectives to determine the client’s readiness. These perspectives include the following:
• Social media and public relations perspective
• Creative services
• Ongoing communications
• Strategic planning
Assessing Client’s Readiness from the Social Media Perspective
You can do this by asking the following questions.
1. What platform is the client using now and is it working?
Different clients have different preferences and likes. Some prefer the traditional media platforms like televisions and radios. Most of these platforms have a site. This makes it possible for the coverage to be viewed online as well.
2. Why does the client want to go the social media marketing way and what should they expect once there?
Assess the reasons the client prefers the social media marketing strategies and whether the reasons are sustainable.
3. Where is the client’s audience and whether they can easily find them on the platform?
Ask questions about the client’s target audience. This will help you know whether the social platform they choose will be beneficial to them or not. You can then advise them accordingly.
4. What is the client’s plan and who is going to develop and implement the plan?
Ask questions about their plan so that you know whether they need your services in developing and implementing the plan or not.
Use the tips we have discussed to create the best social media retainer. You can also contact our team at Lander for professional input.