question-markSo many of us are one (wo)man machines. We jumped right in the fire doing employer branding, recruiting, marketing and monitoring reputation ourselves. We spend countless hours (though we should start counting if we want to be able to calculate the ROI) setting up and nurturing accounts across multiple applications. For most of us it's not our primary job. We have adopted social media as a tool to help us do what we do better.

But what if it is your job? What if you are lucky to land a position like this?

Address: Encino, CA, 91316
Date Listed: Aug-27-09

Need computer literate person who is who is familiar with social networking to create profiles on twitter, facebook, myspace, linkin, squidoo, hi-5, twirl, flickr, propeller,etc (at least 15 profiles). Must create templates, short bios, add (at least 1000+ friends) per profile. Target towards key words, geographical and age. This is about a week long assignment (8 hr day or more) and 1-2 hour everyday thereafter for follow ups. $9.00 per hour.

Did you read all those responsibilities and then get wide eyed at the compensation of $9.00 per hour? I did. For it to be done with any semblance of quality how would you get a person to work for that hourly rate that really knows what they are doing to make a worthwhile investment in time, money and resources?

This morning I found the post and threw it up on Twitter. After a few tweets back and forth with Sarah White she thought it blog worthy over at HR Technology Blog. It's a good read to check out. Others questioned the compensation offered too.

e_man @karla_porter $9 an hour! That's a joke. It should be a LOT more. IMO.

Paris22 @karla_porter @sarahw79 I have aposting for a Social Media Job all commission but will come out to alot more than $9 per hour.

So I started digging...

Social Media Manager Comp Scale

Broken down to an hourly rate using the standard of 2080 hours per year, at the low end of the range suggests social media management is valued at $17.97 per hour. At the high end $34.43.

Since the field is so new there are no relevant comp studies to back up these numbers.


Conduct a simple Google search with terms like "social media compensation" and you'll find it's starting to be discussed. Most of the grass roots content is found, appropriately enough, on blogs.

Social CRM asked the question, "Are you thinking carefully through your Compensation Plan in your social media efforts?" in May of this year. It's a thought for meditation. No one answered.

Jim Durbin, aka @smheadhunter with a blog of the same name and a ning site, Jobs in Social Media (which I joined to get info for this post), has a lot of information posted about these types of jobs. He even has some listed. But..... I didn't find what I was looking for, a conversation on salaries.

I got all excited for a minute thinking I found the social media compensation gold mine when after 2 cups of coffee and a dish of vegetarian Chana Masala while searching I came across a post at Online Community Report. They're doing research on this topic for the 2nd year and closed the 2009 survey for the Social Media Compensation Survey Report on August 28th. They partnered with Online Community Research Network for the study. They don't state when the results will be available. In any event, unless you participate you will be charged for the results. Last year's price was $295. They do offer a free summary report after a registration.

Key findings from the report:

  • The average annual salary for the 145 people surveyed in the US was $84k
  • 11 people participated from the UK and the average was $67k
  • 10 people responded from Canada for an average of $64k

My eyebrows raised. I'm not sure how I feel about the survey results. The pool of participants was only 225 and they came up with things like workers over 60 were the highest earners. In social media? Really? IDK, maybe I'm being naive. You might want to take a look to see what you glean from it. Come back to let me know, OK?

If you do SEO or SEM there is a survey going on at Wordstream Internet Marketing Blog through next week. It's really a poll, not exactly research by Equilar but I give them credit for trying.

In the end, there is such little data available on new media compensation that you either have to be a great negotiator or accept the job for the glory, because there isn't much to back up what you feel (and know) you're worth.

Where are all the Compensation Specialists on Labor Day when you need them?


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