A roundup of affordable social media marketing services for small businesses

guideIt’s no surprise that online marketing – especially that of social media – in an important aspect of running a business these days. Anymore, telling a small business they “need to utilize social media” is like saying, “Cereal tastes better with milk,” or “Fonzie never should have jumped the shark.” With it’s incredible pull, outreach, and cost-effective methods, failing to host social media campaigns might just be the worst mistake a business can make. Small or otherwise.

To get the most out of this social endeavor without breaking the bank, look to these budget friendly options. Great for companies with any level of Internet presence, these options will help get any social campaign up and off to a running head start.

Freelancers

Freelancers – whether virtual or onsite – are a great way to obtain a service without paying a full time salary. Simply hire a social media pro to write and schedule posts, and save a boatload of cash in the process. These freelancers generally offer a customizable plan (such size, as growth reports, creative approaches to content, etc.), as well as coming with an idea as to which posting tactics provide the best social media marketing services results. For instance using data-collecting links, full-size images, or posting during the busiest times of the day.Look to a freelancer for a knowledgeable, budget-friendly option. (Such as The Social Robot, or your favorite online-posting small business.)

Interns

Companies that already host one or more interns are sitting on a gold mine of social media knowledge. Interns are young, love the Internet, and spend a large percentage of their time tagging, hashtagging, and tweeting. Why not give them the option to do it at work?

Use current interns, or talk to a local university about setting up a for-credit program with your small business. The payoff will be more than worth the effort.

In contrast, asking young entry-level employees to handle social media accounts has been known to backfire. If considering this option, make sure it doesn’t overshadow their alternate work, or create a to-do list too long to handle.

Discount Services

To cut down the fees (but not the results), consider the use of discount social media companies, such as Digital Sherpa. By offering set packages, small businesses can choose which perks they’d like each month, and see a price tag that’s fairly reflected. These companies also specialize in small, so customers can be sure they’re getting the best social media services pricing available, without sacrificing on quality.

calendarScheduling Platforms

For those who know a thing or two about social media, there’s nothing that says you can’t do the marketing yourself. Use a free or cheap platform to schedule posts for a later date, and social media can be finished up in a few minutes each week. (Just be sure to follow up for any responses or user interaction that needs addressed.)

When choosing a platform, try Hootsuite or Buffer – both of which offer light versions free of charge. However, for a monthly fee $8-$10 more accounts can be added, including YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Instagram. Buffer even offers a 20% discount when you pre-pay for the entire year.

No matter the marketing method of choice, however, social media efforts are sure to bring in new customers and their business. Get started to take advantage of the online frenzy today.