Albert Qian
June 18, 2014

A Social Media Budget For Every Strategy: Social Media Management

With social media being so ubiquitous in marketing activities, marketers have many options to choose from when considering what platform to use. The numbers can be very confusing sometimes, in addition to the identification of why the marketer needs a particular platform.

As I look at my social media efforts month over month, I always consider what is around, my budget, ROI considerations, and more, beyond sales pitches. As a marketer, while our work may be emotional, opening up the pocketbook (or closing it) is all business. In this series we’ll be covering the high, middle, and low end social media tools that will help make any marketer — perhaps yours — an easier one.

Today’s topic is social media management. Social media management platforms have become very important in recent years as companies see how many social networks there are out there, and the need to manage them all. Like anything out on the market, social media management tools vary in size, scope, and need. We obviously can’t cover all the tools here, but we can name a few examples in each category to give you an idea.

Let us know what you think.

The High End

Who: HubSpot, Sprout Social, Crowdbooster

How Much: $50 per month and higher (into the $1,000-2,000 per month range)

Why So Much: On the high end the customer gets the fancy end of the bargain. From a built-in CRM platforms to help manage your customers to the ability to have legions of users, the customer is paying for functionality, support, and most importantly, scalability. Additionally, customers also get advanced reporting, multiple social networks, and the ability to schedule across all social networks. Which means…

You would buy this if: You’re a big name brand like Coca-Cola, Disney, or Johnson & Johnson and have a lot of social media properties to manage, employees managing them, and oversight in case something goes horribly wrong. Most small businesses don’t really need a HubSpot or Sprout Social unless they have the money to spend. If you do want the red carpet treatment however, sign up for HubSpot’s email list and help yourself to the variety of solid eBooks they send out on a monthly basis.

The Middle End

Who: HootSuite, Sendible

How Much: $5-40

Why: HootSuite is the social media management platform for everyone. At $8-10 a month, it’s a literal steal when you pay because you get an unlimited amount of social networks to connect to, analytics reports, and general reports on your social media platform growth. For those who want to learn how to manage social media, enroll in HootSuite University. And for those who also want to add team members you can, for just a few dollars more.  Service can be a little less than stellar sometimes but hey, you’re paying the equivalent of one lunch a month. What can you possibly expect?

Full disclosure: I’ve used HootSuite since 2011.

You would buy this if: You’re reading this blog and run a small to medium size-business. It’s enough to keep track of everything on one browser window without going absolutely nuts. Plus, it’s low cost so take it for a spin. They do 30-day trials as well.

The Low End

Who: Tweetdeck, Manual Management, Facebook Pages mobile app

How Much: Just your patience, blood, sweat, and tears

Why: For those who view social media as a monitoring hobby as opposed to marketing, not paying at all for social media management might be the way to go. Tweetdeck allows for monitoring across Twitter feeds and the various apps for various networks allow for managing one’s social presence live time. It’s the clunky way to go, but saves money if money is seriously just too tight.

You would buy this if: With nothing to buy, the only thing you’re selling is time and no guarantee of the process actually working.