The Sunday Tribune reported that the eThekwini Municipality will pay R500,000 for a 10 day social media campaign that many people consider simple tasks which can be performed by in-house IT staff.
The newspaper reported that the campaign involved two Facebook status updates a week, uploading three pictures on Facebook a week, sending a bulk e-mail, tweeting with the hashtag #weloveDurban, uploading YouTube videos, uploading 20 images to Instagram and advertising on the website.
This “promote Durban on social media” project was awarded to Carver Media without a normal tender process, the paper reported. This is despite the fact that the municipality has its own communications team with nearly 50 employees.
Department head Tozi Mthethwa defended the contract, insisting the city was relying on the “I love Durban” brand, which Carver Media owns.
“It is intended to use the brand to leverage votes for the #weloveDurban campaign. This can only be offered by Carver Media – South Africa, the owners of the trademark,” he told the Sunday Tribune.
The full report here – R500k for just 10 days’ work
How much will other social media agencies charge for such a project?
Tom Manners, MD of the social media agency Clockwork Media, said that a retainer based agreement of this nature shouldn’t attract a monthly fee of over R25,000.
“The vast majority of communications and social media agencies charge an hourly rate. The time required to execute these expectations is, especially with a large team in mind, minimal,” said Manners.
“The suggestion of R500 000 for a 10 day campaign with meagre expectations is ludicrous. This is larger than the average monthly retainer rate on many of South Africa’s largest and time intensive brands.”
Adrienne McCarthy, MD at the digital agency Addon Digital, agrees with Manners, saying that the project should not cost more than R10,000.
“Assuming the agency is creating the images in house for Facebook and the website, I would estimate 30+ hours for this project. That works out to around R10,000,” said McCarthy.
Candice Claassen, founder of the digital services company Smart Startup, said that for a social media campaign which includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, a company can expect to pay a retainer of R20,000 a month.
She added that social media doesn’t really work in 10-day bursts. “There should be a much larger content strategy that looks at brand building across all social media platforms. It’s a long-term commitment,” said Claassen.