How Much Do Pro Social Media Management Tools Cost?

From the birth of The Content Factory back in October 2010 until around 2013, I was managing Twitter and Facebook accounts for our clients in addition to running the business with Kari DePhillips. Needless to say, I was getting a bit burned out. Thankfully, we have had a stellar team of social media, pr and content managers for quite a while now.

When I first handed over the baton, I wanted to stay on the Twitter accounts in Hootsuite and work closely with her on social media strategy. We’ve had Hootsuite since the inception our web PR company and generally we’ve liked it. It was originally one of our favorite free online PR tools and then they started charging for multiple social media accounts (which we weren’t exactly jazzed about, but we think it is absolutely worth paying for).

tweetdeck vs hootsuite

Managing Multiple Twitter Accounts with More Than One Team Member

It seemed simple enough to add an additional team member to the account, but we wanted to make sure that it wasn’t going to be a huge expense to do so. We liked Hootsuite, but we wanted to see what else was out there. We didn’t want to miss opportunities to save money and become more efficient when it comes to using Twitter for marketing our clients.

We knew what we were looking for. We don’t use these social media management programs to manage posts to sites like Facebook and YouTube. We just wanted it for Twitter, because we’ve found that updating any other social media accounts from these types of programs results in updates that look automated and spammy. You know what I’m talking about, I’m sure. We simply needed a social media management program that was good for monitoring keywords and allowed scheduling.

New social media management tools come out all the time, so I decided that I needed to get my Google on – and boy was I disappointed. Sure, there are plenty of blogs and sites out there that review social media management programs and do a great job of explaining what they do. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to find out exactly how much all of it is going to cost.

Hootsuite vs TweetDeck – How Much Do They Cost?

Two social media management tools that fit our basic criteria: Hootsuite and TweetDeck. We are going to break down the cost, customer service and capabilities of each program:

How Much Does Hootsuite Cost and What’s Their Customer Service Like?

Hootsuite makes using Twitter for marketing simple. It was our first choice, not only because we’ve been using it for so long, but because the Hootsuite dashboard is tough to beat (call us superficial, but we’re suckers for a pretty interface). If it was clear that the cost of adding an additional team member to all accounts was going to be under the ceiling we had set at $150/month, we’d have looked no further.

Customer Service: Hootsuite does not take customer service calls, at all – not even if your account is on fire. In order to get in contact with Hootsuite, you have to complete a Help Desk request. When I did this originally, someone responded within four hours. Not too shabby. 

The Cost: HootSuite is actually free for one user with multiple accounts Unfortunately, but it's a little confusing to figure out what their pricing is past that without doing a little digging. Here's what I found out – it's $9.99 per month for the third user and then each additional user up to ten costs an additional $14.99 per month. It's reasonable for a company of our size, but if you want to have more than 10 users logging in at once, it will cost you $18,000 per year! That eleventh user would have to be a pretty great hire for that amount.

TweetDeck

We love that TweetDeck allows you to schedule, monitor keywords and manage multiple Twitter accounts with multiple team members. For a long time, they didn’t allow tweet scheduling, which is why we never looked into it before, but now they do and at first glance they seemed to have everything we needed.

The only downside, and in the end the only reason we didn’t decide on TweetDeck, was the fact that the Hootsuite dashboard blows the Tweetdeck dashboard right out of the water. TweetDeck has one long stream of everything, so with 10-15 Twitter accounts, it looks like a bit of a hot mess. I mean damn, can a sister get some tabs for easy sorting?

If you only have 1-3 Twitter accounts to manage, TweetDeck is a simple, straightforward and effective social media marketing tool. Unfortunately it’s not really designed for social media management companies.

Customer Service: We knew exactly what we were getting so there was no need to call or e-mail them, which is a plus. As far as ongoing TweetDeck customer support goes, you can contact them via a number of Twitter accounts, depending on what the issue is. Sounds like a great idea, especially considering that it’s a social media management tool.

Cost: Free

HootSuite vs. Tweetdeck: Which is Best?

When all was said and done, we went with Hootsuite. It’s reasonably priced and we heart the Hootsuite dashboard (have we mentioned that yet?). If you manage multiple Twitter accounts, it’s your best bet.

What tools do you use to manage multiple Twitter accounts? Have you had similar or completely different experiences with TweetDeck and Hootsuite? Want to know what other things cost and exactly what you get for your money? Check out our recent posts, where we break down the cost of social media marketing and answer the question, “How much do copywriters charge?

By Joan Barrett

35 Comments

  • This is truly a hard decision sometimes right?! Just today I was doing my research to help me make my final decision (and found your post).

    FYI – Love your conversational and funny style of writing by the way :-)

    So here was my final decision today: I downgraded Hootsuite from the pro plan and will put all my efforts into using Tweetdeck but will continue using both.

    Why? I chose Tweetdeck as my main interface (though I agree Hootsuite’s interface is better, especially with its tabs for better organization) because it allows for audible notification of certain accounts and multiple accounts (and I have more than the 5 allotted for Hootsuite’s free version).

    Also, Tweedeck allows you to see who has retweeted you in a visual manner without using other services. Hootsuite doesn’t do that well.

    On the other hand, Hootsuite lets you see your Sent messages, while Tweetdeck doesn’t.

    Lastly, Tweetdeck is a desktop app and I’m more a “clouds chick” while Hootsuite is a web app and can be accessed from anywhere :-) However, I do have both Hootsuite and Tweetdeck’s mobile apps so haven’t found this to ever be an issue (except Hootsuite seems to have deliverable problems every now and then and keeps messages in the Outbox for a long time – booo!).

    So I will be using Tweetdeck as my main program but access Hootsuite as needed to view Sent messages when I need to.

    Also, I manage a web design company and am always looking for others to collaborate with regarding services I don’t have time to offer or is out of my expertise. You have Social Media Management (which I can barely keep up with all of my accounts, let alone clients) and Online PR (which I need to start having as a service offering) so let’s touch bases!

    (Sorry for the long comment – guess this means I need a blog post of my own!!) LOL

    Kesha
    Kesha Brown recently posted…I’m a Conference Junkie and I love It!My Profile

    • I was just doing some research and i bumped to this article, the original post was made at 2011 so i guess you might not be aware of the new breed of CRM solutions that started popping out, Social CRM and Social tool marketplaces.

      We where using hootsuite, then switched to a Social CRM. Instead of having a fixed platform with tons of features you'll never really need (but you will still pay for) they have a platform that scales based on the things you need it's clean and easy to use, since we upgraded our workflow increased.

      We are currently using Anctu (http://www.anctu.com) you should check them.

  • Great post. I too went to the pains of trying to find the best dashboard for the Twitter accounts I manage. I truly loved Tweetdeck when I had a few accounts but agree Hootsuite has it going on with the tabs. I really missed pop ups though, those little guys are so handy, therefore I run Hootsuite for all my accounts and then also Tweetdeck for the pop ups. Will be interesting to see what Twitter does with Tweetdeck.

  • Thanks for the great info. I’m close to “going live” with my website for SMM but need to set up Hootsuite or Tweetdeck next. I’m using Tweetdeck for my phone…thinking of Hootsuite on my Mac. Your post was helpful and gave me some insight as to what costs I might expect – as I do want to have the option in the future to add a team member. Good job!
    indy Quillen recently posted…Hello world!My Profile

  • Pingback: Social Media Tools & Listening Centers 2011 | The Conversation Manager

  • Thank you so much for this post. Been going over the same dilemma for a client of mine. Find it so hard that they don’t offer any scalibility in their pricing plans. I don’t know what my client will go for yet, but will take all your considerations into account.

  • Pingback: 5 Things Every Small Biz Owner Should Know About Online Marketing - Business Opportunities Weblog

  • Pingback: 4 Free Online Marketing Tools Every Small Business Owner Should Use

  • Pingback: 4 Free Online Marketing Tools Every Small Business Owner Should Use « Local Search Engine Marketing Blog

  • Thanks for the tips. I tried Hootsuite because of it and you’re right the dashboard is incredble. I love the filtering options too to check up on brands.

    • Happy to hear you got some use out of our post! We love their keyword streams, too. In general, Hootsuite is pretty incredible. Their customer service is also top notch, which comes in handy if you ever run into problems or have questions about your account.

  • Pingback: Quora

  • Pingback: Top Ten Worst Social Media Trends | Content Factory

  • Pingback: How To Link A Website and Get Backlinks In Return | Content Factory

  • Pingback: How to Keep the Chaos of ‘Social Media S « Growing Connections

  • Pingback: Dashboard and the Multimodal Internet for 21st Century Media Professionals | JOUR2722

  • Pingback: The Best Twitter Marketing Tools For Your Business | Content Factory

  • I was planning to start doing page management for companies but hootsuite prices for reports scared me away. I am trying to find something else to help me in providing reports fro the clients 'cause $50 for each one sounds absurd to me.  I tried their free trial (pro) and felt in love with the interface but could not be more disappointed after getting the facts straight….is there an option to provide reports for clients that does not cost that much? Thank you

    • Analytics reports, especially from HootSuite are indeed incredibly expensive. To be frank, we like to compile our analytics reports using a combination of information. Facebook, Twitter and even Pinterest have their own analytics built in these days. Also, we keep a close eye on things like social media referral traffic in Google Analytics. It takes us a bit longer to compile reports, but we don’t spend much doing it and the clients like them. Hope that helps!

  • Great article! It shared some really essential points about social media management. Thanks for sharing such informative and helpful post with us. 

     

  • I was planning to start doing page management for companies but hootsuite prices for reports scared me away. I am trying to find something else to help me in providing.  

  • Thanks for this article its been helpfull. I was just about to make my decision on what system to use. I have an account with Hootsuite under my facebook account and I have to work around a small budget at the moment. While Hootsuite is the cheapest option to start I think I will stay with it for a while.

    Thank you again

  • Imformative Article!

    I am a social media enthusiast and use Sociota to manage my accounts. Apart from above mentioned tools. Sociota is a user friendly platform to handle facebook profiles,pages and twitter handles. Its additional features help to share maximum information on a regular basis and keep me in regular contact with my new and existing followers. Reports generated by Sociota also help to analyse those fields where one lacks behind and helps to scout the barriers in your social reach. It has really worked to furbished my social profile. Its free trial must be checked out.

     

Add Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge