Are you looking for a new social media management tool? With so many different tools on the market, many of them similar in terms of features, the decision to get one could boil down to their price. In this blog post, I’ll be talking about a new free tool on the market – one that helps you easily compare the costs of different social media management tools based on the features you need.
Ian Anderson Gray of the Seriously Social blog has created this cost comparison tool after recognizing the issues many marketers and businesses have when trying to figure out how much a tool will really cost them – hidden costs considered.
The thing that many tools do is that while they do tell you what their prices are for different plans (except for enterprise plans in most cases) but once you get the tool, you realise that you might actually have to pay extra – for example, if you want to add a few more members to the team managing the social media, or if you want specific analytics reports. Some even go so far as to not list any prices at all, meaning you need to contact them to find out.
All in all, you’re never really sure how much a tool is going to cost you – but with this tool, currently in beta, you will be able to get a better idea of how much it would be.
The tool also takes into account the new Hootsuite plans and pricing that they recently rolled out. If you are using Hootsuite currently, make sure to check as they have made some big changes. While before they had 3 plans, they are now offering 5: free, professional, team, business and enterprise. The pricing and the features you get for each plan have also changed.How much does a #socialmedia management #tool really cost? via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet
How the tool works
The best part about the tool is that it’s very customizable.
First, you start by entering the basic information on what you are going to need to manage: the number of different social media profiles that you want to manage with the tool, the total number of fans and followers of all social media profiles put together, and the total number of team members that are going to be actively managing these profiles:
This is important information as many social media management tools will ask you to pay extra depending on these numbers. For example, when it comes to adding more team members to your plan can cost you extra for each team member, while other tools have plans that allow for numerous team members. The same happens with the number of social media profiles you have and even with the total number of followers.
You can take things further and get to personalise your search some more with the advanced options:
- Monitoring keywords and hashtags on Twitter: some tools will ask you to pay more if you want to monitor than five keywords or hashtags on Twitter. Unfortunately, this is a very important feature to many marketers and businesses; setting up keyword monitoring searches helps you stay on top of any mention of your brand on social media, helps you keep an eye on your competitors and also helps you find more easily any engagement and followers opportunities.
- Basic and advanced analytics and statistics: while many social media management tools offer some of sort of statistics and analytics reports, they’re not all that useful. Social media analytics are very important as they can help you discover marketing techniques that aren’t working and show you where there is room for improvement. And while some social networks have their own analytics (Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics and more), most marketers and businesses prefer to do everything within the same tool and not to mention, many also want reports that they can share with clients or their shareholders, for example. Some tools only offer basic statistics, such as the number of fans and followers and how your numbers have evolved over time. If you’re looking for more advanced statistics, such as a detailed rundown of your fans and followers, the engagement you’re getting on social media, hashtags campaign statistics and so on, then you either have to pay extra or find another tool altogether.
- Export your analytics: another feature that can cost you extra is the ability to export your analytics to PowerPoint, PDF or CSV. As I mentioned earlier, this is an important feature, particularly to agencies and marketers who have to share their results with their clients. In order to be able to do that, they need to be able to customise and brand their reports, as well as to export them.
- Custom branded URL: if you’re using a particular URL shortener and want to connect with your social media management tool, be aware that some tools will charge extra for this feature.
- Team collaboration features: if you work a lot of with other members of your team on managing social media, then you will probably want a tool that has team features. For example, some tools will allow you to tag and assign updates to members of your team, or to make it so that your collaborators will have to get permission before doing a certain task. You might also be looking to leave notes and directions to your team, or to get analytics reports for each team member, in order to see who and what they are doing.
- Paying monthly or annually: finally, the last option is more straightforward: do you want to pay monthly or yearly?
I think that this tool is very useful not only because it helps you discover the best possible tool for you and your needs, but also because it helps you figure out what features you need, that you might otherwise forget about when searching for a tool.
One of its downsides, though, is that if you’re looking to get one of the bigger plans, the tool won’t be able to give you an accurate figure as most tools don’t have a set cost for their enterprise plans. Usually, these plans and their costs are tailor based on the needs of each business, so you would need to give them a call and explain what you need before they can come back to you with an exact price.
The tool is designed to give you a ballpark figure of what to expect in terms of costs for the features you are looking for, as the tool is still in beta, but I’m excited to see if it will take off and how it will evolve.How much does a #socialmedia management #tool really cost? via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet
Finding the perfect social media management tool is difficult as you not only have to find one that has all of the features you need, at the best price, but also one that won’t surprise you with hidden costs once you start using it and you realise you’re not getting all the features you wanted. What do you think, would this tool be helpful to you when researching social media management tool? Let me know in your comments and please share 🙂
Brought to you by Seriously Social with Ian Anderson Gray