ReadWriteWeb does an anecdotal survey of what social media folks ar...
, and the spread is as varied as a Vegas buffet. There are no surprises, but I can tell you that consulting fees range from $20 an hour to $400 an hour, salaries range from $24,000 a year to $170,000, and the difference is based almost entirely on your non-social media employment background.
That's good and bad news - good for experienced types that want to use social media to move their careers along, bad for entry-level and college graduate salaries who want to learn social media, but lack the business background to truly be effective.
The survey was based on 10 responses from social media types, ranging from bloggers to social media consultants, and it's fair to say that Marshall got it right
. It doesn't pay that well for most people, but then again, it's hard to compare salaries without knowing what they've accomplished. For the in-house blogger, expect 40-50's.
"Our respondents reported annual pay rates ranging from $45k and $55k with benefits (!) up to $70k, $80k and $90k with bonuses. We're tempted to say, based on the anonymously submitted but descriptive replies we got, that the closer to pure journalism our respondents were doing the lower their wages were. That's not always the case, but social media management and working for marketing firms were clear indicators of higher end pay rates. That makes sense."
Consultants make a lot more, but be careful believing those rates. Rates very by state and company, and are much different when comparing agency to independent (which is funny, as far too many agencies sell the project and immediately reach out to independents to sub-contract the work).
The per post bloggers are the worst examples, because blogging is primarily a part-time gig, and it entails more work and less pay than journalism, something journalists don't want to hear in a time of layoffs. You want salaries? I'll give you a list based on eight months of headhunting. Feel free to argue, but this is what I'm hearing, and recommending.
I've listed this before, but my views on social media (when asked, which is every call), go a little like this. These are all middle market salaries Add $20-$40,000 for New York, Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisom, with a little less for Austin, Dallas, LA, and others. Do me a favor - link to this post on social media salaries if you're going to quote it (that link is the post you're reading. I'd appreciate that.
l - $30,000 (online writing background, at least 3 months consistent writing experience, familiarity with social media tools.
- If you're the sole CM, $60-80K in the Midwest. 5- 10 years in the industry you're managing, minimum. Steady hand on the till.
- $80-$150K - based on past experience, and the interview has to be a roadmap of what is accomplished. Do NOT hire someone who has not shown experience in the field. They don't have to work in your industry, but they better have some kind of track record in achieving business goals (traffic, adveritising, conversions, sales).
- $120-$250 - This is a very rare find - it's for companies looking to competely revamp their content management strategy and internal networks. This is the most exciting job in social media, and requires someone with broad experience in networks, multiple platforms, development, security, and political infighting. It could be the most important role in a company in the next 5 years.
Director of Social Media
- $60-$90K - this is a manager who has a background in building teams, who really gets the promise and the purpose of social media. A great voice for the company. SHould be wary of new technologies, but all over blogs, RSS, have Facebook and Twitter accounts, and know the difference between his or her employees playing and researching on MySpace and YouTube.
If you're curious about your position, drop me a line or leave a comment, and I'll give you my opinion. Make sure you list the city, duties, and your years of experience.