This article is part of a larger series on Social Media Marketing.
As simple as social media marketing might sound, it can quickly become a major time suck. And worse, if social strategy isn’t exactly your strong suit, your social media marketing might just fall flat, wasting time that could otherwise be well spent. Taking social off your plate and into the hands of social gurus is often a wise move and a solid investment for small businesses.
However, knowing which agency is actually good and which is just good at selling you their service can be challenging. So we did the heaving lifting for you to find the five best social media marketing agencies for small businesses on a budget. Not only are our picks experts in social, but they’re affordable, highly rated, and yes, they answer the phone when you call.
Here are the five best social media marketing agencies for small businesses:
- Lyfe Marketing: Best overall for full-service organic and paid social management
- Hibu: Ideal for teams looking for Facebook and Instagram Ad Management with no management fees
- $99 Social: Great option for businesses that want low-cost, high-volume social posting for organic growth
- Fiverr Pro: Excellent choice for businesses that need commitment-free social media management at competitive prices
- Social High Rise: Suitable for teams looking for affordable social and online reputation management services
All of these companies benefit businesses by taking social media management off their hands. However, if you’re looking for the best social media management software you can use to manage your social accounts in-house more effectively, check out Hootsuite as a great alternative to these services.
How We Evaluated the Best Social Media Agencies
Social media agencies professionally manage social accounts—like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter—for businesses to boost brand awareness and, ultimately, sales. Finding the right one for your business can be challenging, however. That’s why we compared social media agencies and social media management services based on features, inclusions, reviews, affordability, and customer service.
The best social media agencies were evaluated using the following criteria:
- Social media expertise
- Services and service quality
- Affordability (including monthly management fees and setup fees)
- Features and inclusions
- Performance and reviews
- Customer service
In addition to the above evaluation criteria, we also included our own expertise and experience with the best social media agencies and management services. While there are many other great social media agencies, that doesn’t mean they’re the ideal solution for small businesses. Whether they have astronomical management fees, are horrifyingly “salesy,” or simply just never seem to pick up the phone, we found the best providers for the needs of small businesses.
Here’s an in-depth look at each of the best social media agencies for small businesses:
Lyfe Marketing: Best Overall Social Media Agency
Lyfe Marketing is a top-rated, full-service marketing agency. It stands out as the best overall social media agency for its wide variety of offerings, including both organic and paid social media management, with pricing starting at $700 per month. It’s the best for businesses seeking comprehensive paid and organic social media management services.
Lyfe Marketing Pros
Lyfe Marketing Cons
Offers both paid and organic social media management
It’s missing a simple and straightforward pricing structure
Pricing is all-inclusive
On the expensive side
Social networks include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest
Lyfe Marketing Pricing & Features
Lyfe Marketing is a feature-rich social media agency offering both organic and paid social media management. It has a one-time setup fee of $150 and management fees of around $700 to $1,100 per month (not including ad spend). Businesses get a dedicated account manager as well as access to a 24/7 analytics dashboard, custom content, monthly reporting, and a scheduled monthly call with their account manager.
Here are Lyfe Marketing’s features at a glance:
- Expertise and services: Where many social media agencies offer just organic or just paid social media management, Lyfe Marketing is an expert in both, helping you gain traction in the short term for long-term social success.
- Account management: Clients get their own dedicated social media manager, who works with clients to understand their business, goals, and objectives to develop a strategic social media marketing plan. The Lyfe Marketing team creates custom content calendars while continuously working to optimize for growth by performing daily account maintenance.
- Reporting: Clients have access to a 24/7 analytics platform, as well as monthly reports from their account manager, that shows account performance information; in addition, there is a scheduled monthly call to discuss performance, ideas, and strategy.
- Contract length: Lyfe Marketing has no long-term contracts. Instead, it has an initial three-month contract, and thereafter, clients are on a month-to-month basis, where they can cancel anytime.
- Customer service: Lyfe Marketing has highly regarded customer service, with a team that is available by phone or an online contact form.
- Customer reviews: Lyfe Marketing has a high 4.6 out of 5 stars on Google from 100-plus reviewers. Positive reviews frequently note that users are really happy with the results Lyfe Marketing delivers and that their staff provides a good deal of attention.
Ready to learn more? Take the first step to great social media management by heading over to Lyfe Marketing.
Hibu: Best Value for Facebook Ads Management
Hibu is an international digital marketing agency that offers paid social advertising services for small businesses. It stands out for its Facebook social ad management service, which starts at $250 per month. Businesses looking to advertise through Facebook at an affordable price should choose Hibu.
Expert Facebook Ad management
Does not offer organic social media management services
Low minimum ad spend of $250 per month
Minimum contract terms required regardless if purchased ala carte or part of a solution.
No management fees
Hibu offers an incredible value for businesses seeking expert paid social management for Facebook and Instagram ads. In fact, businesses using its service do not pay any management fees. Instead, all businesses pay for is their monthly ad spend to Facebook Ads. Your marketing budget goes way further as you can fully allocate your budget to ad spend, rather than to monthly management fees.
Sounds too good to be true, huh? We thought so too, but Hibu has confirmed that because it is a Facebook marketing partner, its revenue is generated by Facebook, not by its clients. For more information, feel free to reach out to Hibu. Customer support is always happy to help.
Hibu’s social media marketing clients get two dedicated account analysts who will build, manage, and consistently optimize paid social ads through Facebook Ads Manager, including ads for both Facebook and Instagram. Clients get access to a live online dashboard, where they can view their account’s performance at any time as well as schedule calls with their analysts.
- Expertise and services: Hibu is a Facebook marketing partner, so you know its Facebook Ad management services are top-notch. However, if you’re looking for organic social, Hibu is not for you (hint: try Lyfe Marketing for both paid and organic or $99 Social for the best deal on organic-only).
- Account management: Hibu social media marketing clients get assigned a dedicated consultant, who serves as a contact point.
- Reporting: Analysts will call on days 30, 45, 60, and 90 of a client’s account to check in, discuss performance and future goals, and generally check that everything is running smoothly. Additionally, clients get 24/7 access to a live online dashboard where they can view their account’s performance in real time.
- Contract length: Minimum contract term of 6 months required regardless if purchased ala carte or part of a solution.
- Customer service: Hibu offers quality customer service via phone, email, and live chat. Its phone support sets it apart from most large marketing agencies as it’s available from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday to Friday, and from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturdays. Also, calls are answered by a person—not an annoying automated answering service.
- Customer reviews: Hibu is well-regarded in terms of its low-cost social advertising services. Users like how affordable it is for professional management. On the other hand, users dislike the minimum contract terms.
Check out Hibu for more on how your marketing budget can go further without management fees and how you can see a higher return on investment (ROI).
$99 Social: Best for Organic Growth Through High-volume Posting
$99 Social is a social media marketing company that offers social media account management at unbeatable prices. What makes it unique is that it offers a package that includes the daily posting of custom content seven days a week for just $99 per month. It’s best for businesses that want regular content posting for organic social growth.
$99 Social Pros
$99 Social Cons
Reports and calls will cost extra
Social media experts with an organic approach
Facebook Ads are only available with the premium plan
High posting volume for social traction
$99 Social Pricing & Features
Not surprisingly, $99 Social offers social media management for as little as $99 per month. This package includes custom content created for your business by a content specialist who posts content seven days a week for one social media account. It also provides customer service via phone, email, and chat. Advanced plans cost $198 and $297 per month for those who want more than one post per day, to use more than one platform, or for paid Facebook Ads.
Here are $99 Social’s features at a glance:
- Expertise and services: Organic social growth is its main area of expertise. However, it does also offer quality Facebook Ad management services (with a minimum monthly ad spend of $100) for those who want to leverage both organic and paid social media marketing.
- Account management: Accounts are managed by a content specialist who is a social media expert. The content specialist is responsible for finding and creating content that is posted daily as a long-term strategy for organic social media growth.
- Reporting: The standard plan does not include reporting. Instead, it is available as an add-on for an additional $49 per month.
- Contract length: All plans are contract-free and on a month-to-month basis; therefore, they can be canceled at any time. The company notes that it does not require a contract because it depends on retaining clients by providing high-quality service.
- Customer service: The support team is available by phone from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time, Monday through Friday, as well as via email and chat. It also has an online help center that serves as a resource for potential and current clients.
- Customer reviews: It’s well-regarded by clients, as proven by testimonials and user comments across the internet.
Stop wasting time hemming and hawing over what to post next. Leave it to the social experts at $99 Social.
Fiverr Pro: Best Cheap Social Management Without a Commitment
On a tight budget but need to outsource your social media to the experts? Fiverr Pro is your best bet for getting the best of both worlds: professional social media marketing at an ultra-competitive price point without any long-term contracts. Pricing and plans vary by each Fiverr Pro, but expect to pay in the ballpark of $150 to $500 per month in management fees. Another unique feature is that with Fiverr, you can see real reviews, so you know what you’re getting.
Fiverr Pro Pros
Fiverr Pro Cons
Very clear and competitive pricing
Can be hit or miss as experiences vary by freelancer
Transparency with user reviews
Requires due diligence to find top talent
No long-term contracts
Fiverr Verified Pros Pricing & Features
Fiverr Pro stands out from the competition for a few reasons. First, unlike other social media agencies with lots of grey areas, Fiverr services are prepackaged so you always know exactly what you’re going to get for a specific price. Second, you can see real user reviews for every Fiverr Pro, so you can choose a top-rated provider with confidence. Third, prices are very competitive. Prices can be as low as $50 but average around $150 to $500 per month.
Here are the features of social media management by Fiverr Verified Pros:
- Expertise and services: There are all sorts of services and expertise levels on Fiverr. Purchase the service that provides exactly what you are looking for, so that you only pay for what you need.
- Account management: You’ll find that there are Fiverr Pros who are individual social media experts as well as social media agencies. Check with providers to see how account management is handled.
- Reporting: It’s standard for providers to offer a monthly performance report. However, check with providers to see how this report is delivered, the level of detail provided, and if strategy calls are included.
- Contract length: Fiverr gigs are offered on a project basis so there are no long-term contracts. However, it does offer services on a subscription basis, so you don’t have to rehire your chosen expert every month.
- Customer reviews: Fiverr is a freelancer marketplace, so reviews vary from provider to provider. What doesn’t vary is the fact that every listing displays a real user review so you can get a better idea of what it’s like to work with each provider.
- Customer support: Unlike the traditional social media agency, Fiverr customers get the added support from Fiverr. So if something goes awry, you can depend on support from Fiverr to help resolve your issue.
Find the right provider for your business and social media goals by browsing Fiverr Pros now.
Social High Rise: Best Social Media Management With Online Reputation Management
Social High Rise is a social media and digital reputation management agency. It’s unique as it combines social media management and online reputation to help businesses build a strong digital presence, resulting in increased sales and customer growth. Plans start at $249 per month. It’s best for businesses that depend heavily on social and online reviews, such as general service and hospitality businesses.
Social High Rise Pros
Social High Rise Cons
A la carte pricing makes it more affordable for those who only need one service
Does not offer paid social management (organic only)
Unique offering of online reputation management
Social media management and reputation management services are charged separately
Wide range of platforms included
Social High Rise Pricing & Features
Social High Rise offers three fixed-price packages starting at $249 per month for its basic online reputation management package, which covers Instagram, Twitter, Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook Reviews, TripAdvisor, and SocialMenu. It offers two package add-on options for social media management of Instagram and Facebook for an additional $99 to $399 per month.
Here’s a quick look at the features of Social High Rise:
- Expertise and services: Its expertise lies within online reputation management. It involves managing brands via social media and other platforms where people are talking about your business, from Google to Yelp.
- Account management: As a client, you’ll get your own dedicated social media expert who will manage your account, including social strategy development to help you reach your social media marketing goals.
- Reporting: Every month, clients receive their “wins,” which is Social High Rises’ version of monthly reporting. It details the overall account performance.
- Contract length: Social High Rise has a required minimum commitment of six months. After the first six months, clients transition to a month-to-month basis and can cancel at any time. This payment term is one of the longer contracts required on our list. However, 12-month contracts are standard within the industry.
- Customer service: Social High Rise’s customer team is reachable by phone, email, and through an online contact form found on its website. Clients, however, get a dedicated social media account manager, so questions will generally be directed to this person. The representative is available during regular business hours from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday.
- Customer reviews: Social High Rise has a 4 out of 5-star rating on Google. Reviewers comment that it’s the best social media management agency for restaurants. They said that it gives businesses the ability to spend their time doing what they’re good at instead of worrying about managing their online social presence.
Learn more about how your business can develop a better brand through online reputation and social media management from Social High Rise.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What should I look for in a social media agency?
Ultimately, the best social media agency will meet your needs and goals—whatever those might be. Whether you’re looking for organic management for long-term growth, paid social for immediate results, or both, find an agency that offers what you need. On top of that, shoot for an agency that doesn’t rest on a long-term contract to keep you around, but on a great performance. And when possible, try to choose an agency with experience in your business’ industry.
What are the best social media marketing tools?
There are many great social media marketing tools available that help businesses do everything from design and schedule posts to create landing pages. However, the tools that are generally regarded as the overall best include the following:
- Canva for creating graphics (without any graphic design experience)
- Bitly for condensing URLs
- BuzzSumo for social monitoring
- Leadpages for creating great landing pages
- Hootsuite for all-in-one social media management
How do I set up a Facebook ad?
Facebook Ads are created and launched through Facebook Ads Manager. If you don’t have an Ads Manager account, create one. From your advertising dashboard, click “Create” to build a new campaign. Select your campaign objective and ad set, choose your audience, set your budget and schedule, create your ad, and finally, launch your campaign.
How much does Facebook advertising cost?
Facebook ads are priced on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis. Advertisers only pay when their audience interacts with an ad, such as a click, video view, or conversion (typically a form completion or sale). The average cost per click (CPC) for Facebook ads is $1.86, and the average small business advertising on Facebook spends around $1,000 per month. For more information, you may read our article on Facebook advertising costs.