How Much Will it Cost to Create a Social Selling Program for Sales?
Sander Biehn is founder and CEO of Ready for Social. After a successful career in sales at AT&T, he founded his company in 2013 to help organizations build, manage and succeed using social selling.
Are you considering starting a social selling program? If so, you’ll need to create a budget for your project. Calculating the total cost of creating such a program is an important first step you shouldn’t take lightly. Not only is it crucial for budgeting, but the cost will also determine the expected ROI when measuring the program over time.
Are you ready to get into the dollars and cents of building a social selling program? Let’s get started!
Our hypothetical social selling program
1. The social selling platform. The social selling platform is the place where users will connect their social media channels and share content. Cost for 20 user licenses: $700.
2. Social content creation. This step assumes that the business has original content on its website built to take visitors to their stage in the buyer’s journey and offer compelling long-form content. So, this price includes only the creation of social media posts that the team can use to share company and some third-party content. Monthly cost to produce ten unique posts every week: $1,500.
3. Account management. This resource should be retained to help keep the program top of mind with users, whether conducted internally or externally. It also ensures that the created content is compelling. An integral job of the manager is to provide reporting that shows whether there is ROI for the program. Monthly Cost: $1,700.
Other variables include:
1. Creation of long-form content. This content is only necessary if it doesn’t already exist on your company’s website and could include online events and various media types. We recommend one piece of new content per month targeted at a different buyer persona and position in the buyer’s journey. Here are some guidelines on cost per element to create.
22222a. Blog: $300-$500.
22222b. Webinar: $1,500-$2,500.
22222c. Video: $1,000-$6,000 (there is a lot of volatility in this area).
22222d. Podcast: Startup cost: $3,500. Ongoing cost: $300 per episode.
2. Omnichannel support. This service includes supporting your social selling program with an omnichannel campaign containing elements such as email outreach or calling against a targeted list of prospects. Here are some costs if you want to include that with social selling:
22222 a. ZoomInfo List: $1,200/month. An annual subscription is mandatory, so this will be a one-time
22222 2$14,000 charge or can potentially be split into two to three consecutive monthly payments.
22222 b. Outreach or Sales Loft license: $80/user.
22222 c. Dialer software. One popular brand is Orum. One license per month for an SDR outbound
22222 2 caller would run $1,200/month.
3. Internal resources. Additional internal resources are needed to support the above and manage any vendors used in the core social selling program. Many of the above tools are complicated and require time, energy and expertise to keep running. Depending on the scope, consider at least 0.5 FTE. If you have a lot of content already, you may be able to run the program with less effort.
Be sure to evaluate the ROI after six months of any program that runs with all the proper elements. Measuring and adjusting the program in the early months is critical to success.
Variations in cost for social selling programs
The most significant variation between social selling companies is the per-user license charge that is billed monthly (with some companies requiring an annual billing like so many other marketing enablement tools do these days). For that license fee, you get a variety of additional services.
The costs of these platforms do not vary too much, with licenses generally being less than $100/month/user. In some cases, there are even free versions, although the lack of combined analytics for the users is a reason to steer clear of going the free route, especially when you are just starting out.
More to come
In Part Two of this series, we’ll discuss the six most popular social selling platforms. We’ll fill you in on the fees for these services and break down what you get for your money. Be sure to check out that information as well.
In the meantime, we hope you learned something from this sample social selling budget. If you’ve already created your own program and have some tips for our readers, or if you have questions about the information in this blog, please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!