Small business owners have a reputation for being do-it-yourselfers, particularly when it comes to marketing and advertising. But with social spending on the rise — 53 percent of business owners plan to increase their ad spending on Facebook — more of those business owners seem to be saying that if they want social media marketing done right, they need a professional to handle the job.
Twenty-nine percent of SMBs already are dedicating between five and 24 hours to social media management per week, spending an average of $845 per month on the channel. Rather than increasing the time they spend on social as their budgets go up, more business owners are opting to pay for full-service solutions with account managers who handle nearly all aspects of content creation and social strategy implementation. It’s part of the “do-it-for-me” concept that many see picking up steam within the SMB market.
Whether or not full-service solutions produce a higher ROI than self-serve platforms is still a matter of debate. Studies have shown that companies with “planned” social strategies were two times more likely to experience growth, so there’s no doubt that full-service social media management is a vertical worth exploring. Here are six firms operating in the space right now.
1. Main Street Hub: Data-driven decisions on social spending
Main Street Hub is a full-service marketing platform that caters to local businesses. The company’s team updates and maintains its clients’ social media profiles, including writing regular posts and status updates, thanking customers who’ve checked-in online, handling customer service through social channels, building landing pages, and keeping business profiles updated on review sites like Yelp. Main Street Hub uses technology to pinpoint and connect businesses with local customers through social media. It also collects testimonials from online fans and pushes positive reviews. Main Street Hub’s Basic package costs $299 per month.
2. Social Storm: Crafting brand identities for hands-off clients
Using Social Storm, business owners can take a completely hands-off approach to social media. After reviewing and implementing a five-minute guide for audience generation, Social Storm handles all content curation and posting of social media content. The company creates business pages on popular social networks and posts updates on those pages 365 days a year. Social Storm also creates customer acquisition websites, used for marketing and SEO, which are updated daily with the same photos, videos, and content posted on each business’ social pages. To post their own updates on social, business owners need to email the content to their Social Storm managers. Subscription pricing starts at $99 per month.
3. LYFE Marketing: Creating authentic moments for an SMB’s followers
LYFE Marketing is a social media marketing and management agency that offers daily social media management, content creation, interactive engagement, and follower growth through both organic and paid advertising. The agency can manage a client’s accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, designing each business’ Facebook pages, reaching out to potential customers on Instagram, and joining authentic conversions on Twitter, all on a client’s behalf. LYFE says it increases its clients’ follower counts by “hundreds of people” each month through organic tactics, and generates Facebook likes at an average of $.30 to $.50 per like. Pricing starts at $500 per month.
4. $99 Social: Daily content for a flat price
Created for small business owners who don’t have the time for Facebook marketing or the budget to hire a dedicated digital agency, $99 Social will post daily content on its clients’ Twitter and Facebook profiles for a flat monthly fee. $99 Social assigns a community manager to each new client, and that person is responsible for researching the business’ industry, competitors, and target audience. With that information in mind, managers post content on each of the business’ social pages once per day, seven days a week. Business owners have the option to email specific instructions on what types of content they want posted or leave the content to the manager’s discretion. Business owners can post additional content on their own pages as well. As the name implies, $99 Social charges most businesses a flat fee of $99 per month.
5. Community Elf: Day-to-day management of an SMB’s strategy
Small business owners often have big ideas when it comes to what they can achieve through social marketing. Community Elf manages the implementation of the strategies that business owners develop. Community Elf’s staff handles the day-to-day execution of online content marketing and social engagement, often by generating online promotions, offering social customer service, and handling influencer outreach. Depending on the pricing plan a business selects, Community Elf will create a pre-determined number of posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn each week. Community Elf also handles impact reporting, to show clients which strategies are working the best. Pricing for social media management starts at $500 to $1,000 per month.
6. Strella: Focusing on social marketing results
A full-service social media management firm, Strella provides clients with content development, posting to social media channels, and follower generation. Strella was developed for startups, retail merchants, healthcare providers, banks, fitness businesses, and real estate firms. The company differentiates itself by becoming “partners” with its clients and offering personalized services rather than data-driven solutions. Those services include social media planning, content development, account monitoring, and audience building. Business owners can contact Strella directly for custom pricing.
Know of other full-service social marketing solutions for small businesses? Leave a description in the comments.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.