Here are three great social media platforms tailored to a startup budget.
Do-It-Yourself Budget: Hootsuite. If you really are strapped for cash, don’t stay out of the social media game just because of a liquid capital shortage. Hootsuite is one of the most widely-used platforms for managing social media. Schedule posts between your web content and social outlets, or schedule specific messages to each outlet at specified times. Hootsuite is kind of like the Lowe’s or Home Depot of social-media marketing — it puts the power to do things in your hands. There is a completely free option that gives you the Hootsuite basics, or for just $11 a month you can get the pro version that gives you all the bells and whistles you need to effectively set up and manage a social campaign. This route takes a bit more of an investment in time and self-sufficiency than others, but at a cost so low, it’s a great approach for the truly bootstrapping startup.
Shoestring Budget: $99 Social. If you thought having your own dedicated social media account rep was only for the “big guys,” think again. $99Social was created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. It understands you need the coverage and the help to get your successful social media campaign off the ground and on a budget (as you may have guessed, at $99 a month). You fill out a pre-questionnaire so your account rep can get to know your business and needs, then they help create a meaningful social media presence for you. That plan includes daily postings, responses to social media comments and even spam removal on your branded Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts. There’s no contract, no hidden fees and no price increases. It’s straight up $99 and provides a tremendous value for the cost.
Business Is Blowing-Up Budget: Hubspot. Hubspot is a great place to start for any entrepreneur looking to develop a social-media and inbound marketing plan. It offers tons of great advice, case studies and free reports that can help you get started on your marketing strategy. If you want to work with Hubspot, don’t be intimidated. Yes, it has a big price point for large businesses, but there’s still an entry point for the up-and-comers, too. Its basic plans start at $200 a month and are a great jumping off point for the entrepreneur whose business is starting to blow up and needs more out of their marketing plan than they can manage alone.