The Hidden Cost of Social Media Management Tools.

There are tons of social media management tools. All of these have different features and different pricing strategy. This pricing tool will help you to choose the right tool for your needs.

Start to Compare

Last updated: 15.12.2018

The data that we gathered from the social media management tools is open to everybody and free to share.
You can check it out at Google Docs

Share on LinkedIn
Social Profiles
Team Members
Competitor Profiles
Publish
Engage
Report
Competitor Analysis
Listen
Team
Tool Plan Pricing (Monthly) Pricing (Yearly)

Let's dive in the details

Finding a social media management tool to stick with, is a tough task. If you are a digital marketing specialist, you already know how tedious and time-consuming it is to have a research on which tool is the best for your business. You sign up and start trying it out, scheduling, checking the analytics and so on.

And after 14 or 30 days, you get notified that your trial period is over. You purchase one of the plans and after a certain period of time, you discover that your team members can’t join you as you are only able to post from one account. Or while scheduling, you notice you have reached the “30 scheduled messages” limit and can’t add anymore unless you delete one of the scheduled posts or they get published.

In this article, we will have a closer look at social management platforms and their pricing plans. After all, there is one thing that all of these tools have in common - pricing. But the way their pan differs and the tactics some social media management tools use to keep you hooked, might be an eye-opening factor for you.

Social Media Management Tools That Lure You into a Trap

What are the priorities for you that a social media management tool should have? If two tools provide the same features but one is more affordable, surely your priority becomes the pricing. But if you look for something more than a scheduler, here is what a social media management tool should offer you:

Having your own research and finding the best social media management tool is really great. But what are the secrets, the tips and tricks some of these tools are using to charge you more?

Here are a couple of them:

1. Free plan

Hootsuite used to have a free plan. Now they don’t. All you can do is to have a free trial for 30 days. After that, you need to make a single payment for the whole year. There is no going back. So the logic here is to get your recommendation as a user and once your colleagues are in search of a social media management tool, they will take your word without hesitation.

2. Sign up annually

Once your choice lands on a tool, you get compelled by their introductory video, the website and the description of the features, you notice there are different plans but you need to pay annually. They will encourage to do so by saying you save by paying annually.

When you want to check the pricing, they visually make you think it’s really affordable. Here you can see you have to bill annually but they show you the monthly cost which, in this case, is not what is essential for you.

Ideally, you should have seen $228 as you have to pay at once and use it for 12 months and $19 * 12 = $228. Simple maths. However, they presented it differently.

3. Deactivation after the free trial

On Agorapulse, for example, you can customize your social profiles and start scheduling posts, engaging with your audience. But once your subscription ends, all your efforts go in vain. This sounds fair enough. But this is a kind of a hook you get into: you already have an account up and running, you got used to it, scheduled posts and all of it is gone.

4. Promotion through an influencer

As a marketing specialist, has it ever happen to you that you are watching one of Neil Patel’s videos and all of a sudden he recommends using Meet Edgar as your social media management tool? For a new tool, having influencers is a good way of brand awareness. But for you as a user, the information is biased and unless you make a research, you can’t be sure if it’s something you really need. But they already have you hooked: you have a positive opinion about the tool.

Now that you are aware of the traps some social media management tools try to keep you in, it is high time to compare the pricing and see which tool is worth it and which one is overrated.

Social Media Management Tool Comparison

In this section, we will compare Hootsuite, Agora pulse, and Sociality to see the difference in both the features and the pricing.

So what do you need from a social media management tool? Ideally, here is what you should be looking for:

  1. Social Profiles - this indicates the social platforms you are going to use for your marketing efforts. The number of social profiles you can use varies in different tools and the range is from 1 to 100 profiles.
  2. Users - are you the only one who needs to use a social media management tool or do you work with a team and you need to have multiple users? This is important to know before purchasing any plan as the number of users also varies. Some tools will charge you more just because you want to add another user.
  3. Publish - This includes the scheduling and publishing of your content.
  4. Engage - it should help you stay in touch with your audience, answer their comments and messages from one platform. Especially if you manage multiple social profiles, a tool which helps you engage with your audience, will be of great help.
  5. Report - This includes the weekly and monthly report of your social media platform performance, the analysis of your page reach and engagement. It also reduces all the possible human errors on the reports. Some tools enable you to download the report in PPT or Excel format.
  6. Competitor Analysis - knowing if you are ahead or behind your competitors, you need to have a competitor analysis. If the social media tool you chose offers this as a feature, you should certainly think of having it.
  7. Listen - social media is not about you, it’s about your audience. Here is why social media listening tools help you track the latest news about your brand, monitor what your audience is posting about you
  8. Team Features - this includes sending your content to team members or managers for approval, different user roles and working on a joint schedule with your team.
  9. Adding additional profile/user/competitor monthly - when you purchase a tool and all of a sudden you decide to add a new profile, a new user or a new competitor, adding them is a feature you need. Lots of social media management tools don’t have this. You will realize it through the comparison below.

Hootsuite

Originally, Hootsuite had a free plan and 5 social profiles. Then they reduced it to 3 profiles. Unfortunately, now you won’t find a free plan. But they were generous enough with their free 30-day trial.

Hootsuite Professional

One of the eye-catching factors is the “*billed annually” note. Annual billing is beneficial for a social media management tool as it guarantees customer retention for 12 months. But what if you found another tool with more features or a more affordable pricing? Or maybe you find out there is a feature you hadn’t considered to have but it’s already late and you will feel forced to keep using the tool you purchased. Especially with a tight budget, you must be more careful with your choices.

Hootsuite Team

This plan targets small teams. And like the other plans, the billing is annually. Which, for small teams, can be costly. Here is what this plan offers to teams:

Hootsuite Business

The main difference with Team plan is 15 more social profiles and 2-7 more users:

So if you compare the pricing for “Professional ($19/month)” and “Team($99/month)” plans, you see that the pricing should be vise versa - small teams are more budget savvy than the ones who will need the Professional plan. So, as a user, you will obviously go with a more affordable plan which, in this case, is not Team plan.

They also have an Enterprise solution for large teams if they don’t find the features in the other pricing plans, the teams can get the customized features.

The main disadvantage is you have to pay for the whole year and you can’t add a new user.

Agora Pulse

Now let’s analyze Agora Pulse plans and pricing

Like HootSuite, Agorapulse also doesn’t have a free plan but unlike Hootsuite, Agorapulse billing is more flexible with annual and monthly billing.

Agora Pulse Small

This pricing plan is best fit for single users:

Agora Pulse Medium

The target audience is small businesses with 3 users:

So, as you see, the difference between Small and Medium plans is not much, but the pricing differs a lot.

Agora Pulse Large

This plan is mainly for agencies:

Like HootSuite, Agora also has an enterprise plan

Agora pulse also accepts demo requests but only for large and enterprise plans which differs from the Large plan by 15 more social profiles and 6 additional users.

Sociality.io

Now let’s discuss Sociality.io plans and pricing to see where it stands in the competition

As you see, the difference between Sociality and HootSuite/Agora pulse is that Sociality is more flexible when it comes to adding a new user or a new competitor. Also, it gives a more detailed competitor analysis alongside with other essential features that are a must both for businesses and for solo users.

Sociality.io Personal

As the name implies, it is for individual users:

Sociality.io Team

This plan is for 2-5 team members:

Like Agora Pulse, Sociality also has annual and monthly billing plans. For annual purchase, they offer 20% discount.

As you see, the pricing for Team plan is pretty decent as the difference between this and Personal plans is a lot when it comes to the features.

Sociality.io Enterprise

Offers unlimited services for adding team members and social media solutions:

For Enterprise solutions, lots of the features are unlimited and you can add as many users as you wish. It works well both for small and for large businesses as it is budget-saving due to its features and unlimited services.

Here you need to note that the pricing in Sociality is per service. Meaning if you have to use two or three services, you pay only for them. This way you avoid paying extra money for the services you are not going to need.

This includes management ( unlimited post publishing, page conversations management, etc.) competitor analysis (unlimited benchmark reports for your selected competitors and more), team member (each team member is calculated as one service)

To save your time, we have had a thorough research on all the social media platform pricing and features and included all of the plans in one spreadsheet. It will help you get an understanding of the competition of all the tools. You can access it here.

After all, what all of these tools have in common, is you pay for it and you are worth being aware of the features you get in return for your investment.

Share on LinkedIn

Manage your social media
with a platform that you love.