What is a social media contract?
A social media management contract is a legally binding agreement between a social media professional and their client. It describes exactly what social media marketing services will be provided and protects the rights and interests of both parties.
Many social media marketers and managers will work as independent contractors or freelancers for a business. This means that your contract will also describe the nature of your employment, as well as all the requirements and responsibilities that come with it.
What is a social media management contract template?
A social media marketing or management contract template is a little different. Basically, this is an easily editable draft version of a contract. It’s preloaded with the usual social media services you provide, as well as all your required terms and conditions for taking on every new job. It comes right after your proposal has been agreed to.
Note: Sign-up now to start creating your social media contract. We’ll guide you through the process step-by-step, so you’ll have a legally vetted contract in minutes.
Who needs a social media management contract?
Nowadays, a social media management contract is a necessity. It helps social media managers (individuals, agencies, contractors, etc.) and their clients build successful partnerships and safeguard their interests. Let’s take a look at why both parties need it.
Social media managers & marketers
As a social media manager or marketer, your expertise lies in crafting compelling content, engaging with audiences, and running impactful digital campaigns. However, without a clear and comprehensive contract, you may be exposing yourself to some risks.
A social media marketing contract is as a formal agreement between you and your clients, and it outlines important legalities, such as the scope of your services, responsibilities, and payment terms. It acts as a safety net so you can be protected in case of disputes or misunderstanding, which can happen even if you have a good relationship with your client.
In your contract, you can specify the exact social media marketing services you will provide, such as content creation, posting frequency, campaign management, and performance analytics. Additionally, you can outline the agreed-upon timelines for deliverables and set clear expectations for both parties.
Using Bonsai's contracts, you can easily create customized legally-vetted for your social media management or marketing services within minutes. It will give you more time to focus on what you do best – strategizing and executing successful social media campaigns.
Business owners looking to outsource social media management or marketing
Engaging a skilled social media manager or marketer allows business owners to tap into specialized expertise, saving time and resources.
When business owners outsource social media services, they must ensure a mutual understanding of the project's scope, expectations, and deliverables. This is where a social media marketing contract becomes an indispensable asset.
A legally-vetted contract (Bonsai has more than 100 templates!) provides business owners with peace of mind and clarity. It ensures that the hired social media professional will deliver the agreed-upon services, meet your defined milestones, and uphold the quality of work.
Within the contract, business owners can include details on payment schedules, ensuring transparency and accountability. Additionally, you can claim ownership of your intellectual property (for example, the content produced for social media posts) and therefore protect your business.
Since time is always a scarce resource for business owners, outsourcing the legalities
5 benefits of a social media management contract template
As we mentioned a few times already, a well-structured social media marketing contract have multiple benefits and is non-negotiable to make sure your engagement runs smoothly. More specifically, a contract can:
1. Help clarify expectations
The client doesn't always know what they are actually looking for when hiring for a social media project, and it's easy to get lost in long email threads. A social media contract is a written commitment that helps clarify these expectations, and it serves as a guidelines for both parties to make sure there is no miscommunication.
If you take the time to build a comprehensive contract, it should include clear milestones and deliverables, and your social media contractor should take the time to define its services in details. You could also include a timeline and what the ongoing process could look like: when you'd like to meet, communicate, review the campaigns, agree on important launch dates, etc.
2. Define the obligations and responsibilities of the contractor
If you are an agencies or a small business looking to get social media management or marketing services, make sure you ask your contractor to clarify their responsibilities. More specifically, ask them to include information such as:
- Payment details (so your organization can budget accordingly)
- Account Accesses / Process to access your social media account
- Content quality (make sure you align on this, it's important)
- Other partnerships (this could include influencer partnerships that the contractor might take on your behalf)
- Paid advertising (will the contractor run paid social media on your behalf? If so, make sure the budget is agreed upon)
3. Increase accountability and is legally biding
Ideally, you have a smooth experience and your contract delivers on time and meets your quality expectations. That said, there's always surprises and when there is, you'll want to have a well-structured social media contract template that is legally binding and enforceable.
If a contractor fails to meet their deliverables (or your privacy requirements), the client can hold them accountable. How you want to handle the situation is up to you, it doesn't have to be settled with lawyers, but at least you'll be able to shall it requires it.
4. Help you get paid
If you are the contractor, you might be facing a situation in which your client doesn't want to pay you for the services you provided (for example, they could be facing cashflow problems). Having a contract will ensure that you can take legal actions if required and get your money.
5. Increase trust and is more professional
Using a social media contract template is simply more professional, and in turn, will increase trust between the social media professional and the small business owner or agency. Who doesn't appreciate reliability and transparency? A formal agreement is a simple way to help with that.
Why you need an agreement for social media management and marketing
There is a lot that a social media contract can do for creative entrepreneurs. Social media is now a well established field within the digital marketing landscape, and services such as managing social media platforms, running campaigns, and building an online are pretty common. As a social media manager or marketer, a contract will give you assurance, mostly because it will make sure that:
- The client recognizes the work you’re doing for them
- They’ve agreed to your payment terms
How do you write a social media management contract?
Creating a social media management contract involves several key steps.
- Identify parties' roles and names.
- Define project timelines, scope, and fees
- Add intellectual property rights and confidentiality clauses
- Add termination conditions and dispute resolution clauses
- Both parties has to sign the document (to make sure it's a legal agreement)
We’ll talk about the detailed process further in this blog to help you create a social media marketing contract using Bonsai’s free template.
How to create a social media management contract with Bonsai for free?
Whether you're a social media professional or a business owner seeking social media services, follow these 5 simple steps to make the most of Bonsai's contract template:
1. Input essential details
Begin by entering basic identifying information about both parties involved in the contract. Include names, addresses, and any other necessary contact details to ensure the document is accurately customized for the specific partnership.
2. Define the scope of work
Clearly outline the details of the work to be undertaken in the social media campaign. Specify the specific campaigns or deliverables, set deadlines, and include pricing information to avoid any ambiguity about the project's scope and objectives.
3. Customize to your needs
Bonsai's template is highly flexible and can be tailored to suit all types of social media marketing relationships, regardless of campaign size or structure. Edit and personalize the template according to your specific requirements to ensure it aligns perfectly with the project's objectives. You can also generate invoices and set up automated payments.
4. Review and finalize
Thoroughly review the completed contract to ensure accuracy and clarity. Double-check that all the essential terms and conditions are included, and make any necessary adjustments before proceeding to the next step.
5. Sign and execute
Get it signed by both parties to indicate their mutual agreement and commitment to the terms specified. The signing of the document solidifies the partnership, ensuring a formal and professional agreement is in place.
What should be included in a social media management contract?
If you offer social media management services to a client or a company, you need a solid contract in place. After all, in a world where one ill-judged hashtag could spell disaster, it pays to be protected!
It also helps to make sure that both parties are on the same page when it comes to goals, objectives, and expectations.
So, to keep everyone happy and your campaign on track, here’s what you need to include in your next social media agreement:
Detailed descriptions of the work
This section is for establishing who you are and what you’re going to do for the client. With the help of a brief template, you need to be clear about what it is you’re aiming to achieve. It’s not enough to just state that you’ll be connecting with the target audience and establishing brand loyalty on certain social media platforms—be detailed and specific about your responsibilities.
For example, if the goal is to increase follower numbers, post engagement, organic mentions, or even to host a breaching party, you should explicitly state each of these responsibilities.
A must-have for every social media marketing agreement or contract is a list of the resources and information you require to successfully launch and run your social media and digital marketing campaign.
You should also name who’s responsible for delivering this info and when you’ll need it. If this is your main contact within the company, they may be the person to provide you with performance feedback too.
Timeline for deliverables
Next, you’ll need to outline the scope of the project and when you’ll be expected to meet certain goals.
Remember, don’t be vague. Use numbers and dates when talking about timeframes, posting frequency, and your availability within the scope of the project.
Next, you’ll want to outline the key milestones, dates, and deadlines associated with the project. Be clear around when something is due and what might affect this.
For example, if your client is late in delivering login access, this could alter your timelines and impact your ability to achieve your stated goals.
The best social media marketers and managers won’t write a single tweet until the payment terms are discussed and agreed to.
The amount you charge and the method of payment are entirely up to you, but if you charge a monthly fee, you may want to include performance-related payments as an added incentive. What you should definitely include is an upfront deposit, which you’ll want to invoice and have paid before the work begins.
It’s also a good idea to outline how long a client can take to pay your invoices and any fees that may occur from late payments.
Copyright and IP (intellectual property)
If you’re producing content for social media posts or responding to tweets, you should state who owns this type of content and when ownership is transferred. It may seem arbitrary, but consider that this is the client’s final product and their intellectual property. It’s important to outline ownership and usage permission for legal reasons.
Next, you’ll want to go into detail about confidential information, including a confidentiality clause, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)*, or a non-compete clause.
An NDA will benefit both you and the other party by protecting trade secrets and any shared personal information.
Having a non-compete clause usually means you agree to not work with any of the client’s competitors for the duration of the contract (and sometimes for a certain period after the contract ends).
Termination of contract
All legal documents need a termination clause. This could be on a specific date, once a project is finished, or after the final payment. Also mention criteria for ending a contract early.
Other things to consider could be to outline a clause around access to your client’s tools. This could be the logins to their respective social platforms, their Google Analytics account to track KPIs, and any other third-party software they may use.
It’s also recommended for social media marketers and managers to include a clause around the liability of responses on the platforms you’re posting on.
Social media management contract sample
Sign up to Bonsai now, it's free and you can access a whole range of contract templates including a fully vetted social media management contract. Once you're there, you can see everything that needs to be included and be able to make changes where you see fit, whether you're a social media marketer or manager.
What’s the benefit of using Bonsai, instead of editing a template yourself?
Would you rather be spearheading a social media campaign or creating and editing a contract template from scratch? I think you know the answer.
Bonsai takes all the effort out of drafting up and polishing a template all by yourself. You can simply download a free social media contract template and edit clauses and details where you see fit.
Below, you can follow our instructions on how to create your own contract.
How much should a freelance social media management charge?
As of 2021 in the U.S, a freelance social media manager will typically charge between $25-$125+ per hour. This will typically depend on your expertise, the scope of a project, what state or country you're in, and the client or company involved.
Keep in mind, you may need to adjust your rates over the next few years. The market growth for social media management is expected to rise 23.6% until 2026—and your rates should represent this growth too.
What is a social media partnership agreement?
A partnership agreement in social media means that the client or the business becomes a verified “partner” of the social media platform. This is usually because they’re recognized as a top-quality content producer for that particular platform.