How much does social media advertising cost?

Price guide

£200 - £500







Low, median and high bar chart distribuiton

How much does social media advertising cost?

Social media has become the go-to tool for the world. Be it enthusiasts, marketers, content creators, influencers and the like, we communicate through it and its wide range of platforms. In fact, the UK has 45 million social media users alone. This means that 66% (or more than half) of the population is online, all for a good reason.

A survey by VoxEU shares that 52% of respondents are WFH, while 48% are divided into onsite work and unemployment. When asked whether they prefer WFH or the office setup, 79% chose to do WFH with various claims for paid workdays. So with the way things are moving, it looks like remote work is here to stay, and the world will continue with a digital-heavy environment. 

With that in mind, more marketers have prioritised social media as an avenue for promotion and advertising. In February 2020, 87% of adults in Britain made online retail purchases within the last 12 months. This just shows that the wave of the future is placed in the hands of online savants and will continue for years to come.

While different factors affect social media advertising costs in the UK, it typically ranges from £200 - £500. But if you are a business that has yet to make its footprint online, do not fret. This also includes newly minted brands who are starting as a whole. We have compiled this easy-to-refer price guide for you to assess how social media can help you best. 

What factors affect social media advertising costs?

Congratulations! You have made it to the first step of your social media advertising journey: deciding to do it. But before you take a deep dive into this realm, you first have to assess how this can help you. It is important to understand that social media marketing costs vary for many reasons, and the prices could increase or decrease depending on the services you avail.

If you have the power to conceptualise in-house, that is good. But if you need seasoned experts to assist you with growing your social media account, you can engage with a digital marketing professional. Their services touch on these different phases: planning, design, and execution. They can either offer you a pay per service or a package deal, so it is up to you to choose. Here are just some examples of factors that affect social media package pricing in the UK:

Content creation

Content creation comes in two kinds: copy and artwork. Copy refers to the written word, the information that supports the advertising material. It is made to be engaging, short, and straightforward. On the other hand, artwork refers to the visual portion of the ad material. Whether it be a poster, a social media graphic design, or a video, the visuals provide life for the copy and attract the audience through the sense of sight. These two work hand in hand, and they usually do not exist without the other. 

Unless your agency offers it through a package, copywriting usually costs around £20,000. But if you want to get an SEO copywriter, your starting pay would increase to approximately £24,000. SEO copywriters refer to copywriters that know how to boost your search presence online. While these are ballpark prices, you can still have an SEO expert quote you. 

Meanwhile, social media graphic design pricing depends on expertise. Most graphic designers usually charge around £15,000 for junior and £25,000 for mid-level categories.

Social media platform

The type of platform also contributes to the varying cost of advertising. This is because you cater to different audiences when you advertise. Each social media app has its own set of metrics, geographical targets, and the like. In addition to that, each social media platform has its core content competencies. 

For instance, Facebook relies on post sharing and targeted ads appearing on the user’s news feed. Twitter ads break your timeline, while Instagram is shifting towards balancing both video and photo content. YouTube has advertising spots that are embedded between a video a user is watching. Lastly, newcomer TikTok is experimenting with their ads, but they are also about the video ads that break between your FYP (For You Page). 

It is best to assess the advertising you need before creating your content because knowing your platform can help you execute your plans better. 


This section talks about how much you are willing to spend per platform. Boosting refers to sponsoring your content on non-followers feeds to get exposure. The process is simple: the more you play, the more people can see your advertisement. These boosted posts also have a “Sponsored” tag on them. 

Social media advertising costs per platform

As mentioned earlier, advertising costs vary per platform. Before you go on to allocate budget here and there, there are three things that you have to determine:

  • Audience. Do you know your audience well? It is one thing to know you have a considerable following, but do you know their demographics? Are they mostly just a specific gender? How old are they? Where do they live? Before you even begin, you have to know who you are targeting. No, everyone is not a good metric. Successful ads get the most attention if they are targeted towards a specific demographic. Not sure how you determine that? Get the assistance of a Google Analytics professional to help you out with that. 

  • Brand. Does your brand fit the platform? Sometimes, companies or organisations jump onto every platform possible to try to stay relevant. But sometimes, the reason for getting on those platforms is forced, and in turn, you will create low-quality content because you sacrifice your brand story for relevance. 

Take note that there is a difference between just riding the trends and authenticity. Audiences look for the latter, and moment marketing is still here to stay. But you have to ensure that you make the trend work for you and not the other way around. 

  • Content. What content do you plan to do? Each platform’s core is specific. What we mean by this is you cannot be posting a photo collage on TikTok and long-form copy on Twitter. You have to analyse each move you make before posting because your audience can tell if you are just posting for the sake of. 

When assessing the cost of advertising, we look at the Cost Per Click (CPC). This refers to the billing charge each platform notes per click by a user on a display ad on their site or app. 

Type of platform

Average cost


£0.40 per click


£79 per month


£0.50 per click


£6 per click


£6 per day


£4 - £6


How does social media advertising benefit small businesses?

Small businesses have been on the rise. These corporations have fewer employees and therefore less annual revenue than their bigger, multinational counterparts. But do not be fooled by their “small” nature. Small businesses usually have bigger leeway to tweak their focus, and that includes their social media strategy.

But does social media help them out? Yes! What is the big secret? It is in community building. Small businesses are all about engagement. Whether growing the community, interacting with fellow small businesses, or connecting with their customers, this is their core strength. While big businesses also have their share of building communities, they have already established themselves enough to have their audience. 

Social media just does that for small businesses. Aside from encouraging engagement via likes, comments, shares, and views, these metrics also encourage community interaction. 

Not only that, using social media as an advertising tool is still more cost-efficient than going through the traditional route. This is because you can focus on targeting customers within your vicinity. 

Additional social media advertising costs to consider 

Aside from your main budget for social media advertising, there are other costs you have to consider for the long term. If you are investing in an agency to help you out, you can ask them for a weekly or monthly report of your social standing. Otherwise, here are some other things you can funnel into your budget. 


There is the saying that goes, “you reap what you sow.” But how will you know what you sow if you do not see how much you have reaped? In social media speak, we need to analyse your data. Analysing your data can help you see what posts worked, what did not, and what other trends or areas you can tap into.

There is existing software to help you out with that. But if you want to get down to specifics with a seasoned expert, try out a Facebook Marketing or Instagram Marketing professional for size. 


Did you know that search is also a core metric for the success of a business? Search refers to the process of gaining visibility via search engine optimisation. Boosting your place at the top of the search ranks means you will be the top of mind product people search online. 

An SEO expert can help you by supplying popular keywords to embed into your website and social media captions. While it varies from company to company, you could be looking at shelling out at least £1,200 - £9,000 monthly. 


Branding is an essential component of your social media strategy. This is where your company philosophy and the trends of today align. Questions like “Will this work for my company?” and “How can I further drive my point while still staying relevant?” are common.

While some companies have their in-house branding team, you can hire a branding agency or a consultant. Usually, branding experts are part of the social media marketing agency.

Need to boost your online presence? Put up a task on Airtasker and find local social media experts who can help put your business on the map!


What is the difference between social media advertising and social media management?

While social media advertising and social media management pricing in the UK are somehow the same, there is a stark difference in their services and processes. The former refers to creating a strategy, plan, and execution for your brand to lift off. Meanwhile, social media management costs include managing different social media profiles on various platforms.

What should I look for when hiring a social media expert?

You should look for two things in a social media expert: their expertise and their specialisation. It also helps if you look at their work ethic and if it jives with your company philosophy. It is one thing to hire an expert, but it will be hard to make your visions come to life even if they know the world but would be challenging to work with.

What types of content should I post per social media platform?

It depends on the social media platform you are on, and it would help if you do a little bit of research on each platform’s core content competency.

How do I know which social media platform to use to promote my business?

It will significantly help if you know your target audience and find out what platform/s they are on.