Some social tool startups still try to sell these huge, enterprse software-like prices with big, upfront committments and large ongoing maintenance fees. Or, they will try to setup variable pricing that (often based on pricing levels) is essentially the same thing.
Seriously? In the social space, so many of these tools are new and unproven. The first goal should not be big, software fees but collaborating with a big brand and proving that your tool works. Then, big brands can help you improve your product and create credible case studies and references to scale.
The smarter providers are getting in the door by figuring out how to monetize their products in extremely tiny, variable chunks. It’s clever because they know that big brands will participate if the costs are low and will stay and grow if the tool is strong.
This becomes especially important for Silicon Valley startups who often spend too much time “networking” with each other and VCs, but not enough with the brands who will actually use their stuff.