While few business owners question whether or not the convenience and additional exposure granted by social media scheduling ( See blog post: Scheduling Social Media Content is Best Practice )is worth it, the cost of many of the “big name” scheduling services (e.g. Buffer, Meetedgar, Hootsuite) is beginning to become prohibitive. While it’s still possible to get cheap and effective social media scheduling, small business owners today need to shop carefully lest they be taken advantage of with hidden costs.
How Social Media Scheduling Becomes Expensive
On the surface, many social media content scheduling tools appear to be a good deal—after all, even Hootsuite only charges about eleven dollars per month, right? Wrong! While the “basic” services offered by the “big names” in social media marketing can appear to be reasonably priced, there are a number of additional services these companies offer which can seriously impact your company budget. These include:
- Costly analytics reports. In order to use social media effectively, you have to understand your target demographic and get a general idea of when people are viewing your accounts. This is where analytics reports come in: These reports, which are offered by services like Hootsuite, promise to go into great detail about how your social networks are performing. But there’s a catch: While you get up to two free analytics reports, after you use up these free reports (which will happen quickly, as social media requires constant monitoring), you have to buy more, which can cost you up to $50 per report.
- Many first-time users mistakenly believe that paying for a “pro” account will get them all of the services they need. This is, unfortunately, false: On top of paying for a “pro” account, many social media services ask that their users also buy additional “add-ons” to access extra services—something which can get very expensive very fast.
- Costly “custom URL shorteners”. If you want to use a custom url shortener within Hootsuite to personalize your URL and make it more “clickable” then you can expect to pay $49.99 per month.
- Team / multi-user rates: Initial offers begin with a low promotional fee but can easly add up when you add users to the system. Some existing services (Sprout Social) start at $59 per user per month.
If you are looking for a tool to schedule social media content and manage your editorial social media calendar, we invite you to to try 31Posts.com, a comprehensive, team oriented multi-channel social media publishing tool that will not break your budget.