As the name indicates, today, I’ll be spilling beans about the pricing of the much-known social media management tool in the market, Sprout Social. Sprout Social is not only a management tool, but indeed it rose to fame through its legacy customers over the period of time since birth.
Sprout Social is a Chicago-based company founded by four co-founders back in 2009. This tool came into being out of mere frustration when connecting with customers was a hassle. Sprout Social grew over a period of time with respect to its features, functionality, and of course, it’s pricing. Growth is indeed a sign of success but increasing basic pricing cannot be justified as one – especially for Sprout Social pricing.
With seven major social media platform integrations, Sprout Social has a strong standing among the social media management tools. But brand image serves no purpose if it is hard to reach and get hold of. Affordability and ease of use are major selling points for an online service, and we found Sprout disappointing here.
So I decided to pen down my research on how Sprout rose to the limelight and eventually became a question for the masses, wondering, is Sprout Social affordable for all?
Why Sprout Social Affordability Is a Question?
With many social media management tools in the market, the platforms with all the features and functionalities still need to be budget-friendly. Sprout Social, for several reasons, is just beyond affordability, and it just gets more challenging to grab a deal the more you want from it.
Four main reasons for the Sprout Social pricing to be a definitely a question are:
Unbelievably Expensive – Impossible for Teams
The major flaw in the pricing format is that even if you spend $279 on the biggest Sprout Social plan available, you still be the ONLY user of that plan and offered features.
To have a team member on board, you must pay the entire plan price to make the purchase.
Imagine if you were a team of 3? You’ll be paying $837 per month!!
With the ‘per user’ pricing format, Sprout Social pricing indeed doesn’t sound growth-friendly.
But not all social media management tools are this expensive like Social Champ, a team-friendly platform where the biggest pricing plan has the lowest cost for an add-on team member.
Social Listening is $999 Add-on
One awe-inspiring feature Sprout Social came out with was a well-detailed Social Listening.
But this feature and a few more are not even a part of the main pricing plans. Apart from a few Twitter keywords and hashtag analysis, the entire feature is an add-on.
Yes!! So you pay a hefty amount and then add team members, thinking that you now have it all to get started – but not yet. Instead, to avail yourself of the maximum of this feature, Social Listening will cost you a whopping $999 to unlock just 5 active topics – that’s it!
As a growing company, you might need to enable listening on more than 5 active topics, and for that, you have to purchase them for another $999. Eh!
The most difficult part is that the limits are not mentioned anywhere in the public view.
Minimal Social Profiles With High-Cost Add-Ons
5 social profiles for $99 per month. So if I have my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest connected, then I have no idea how to add my Google Business Profile. Until I am ready to pay an additional $25 for each social profile add-on.
Sprout Social pricing doesn’t treat a small business, an agency, or an enterprise any different regarding pricing. Because if you even chose the biggest plan hoping to get treated like an enterprise, you still will end up with just 10 social profiles at $279 per month.
On a bigger picture, Social Champ offers 3 social accounts in their Free Social Media Scheduler and a maximum of 100 social accounts in their biggest plans. An add-on price decreases with the increasing plan sizes.
Want to Visit the Roadmap? Pay Now!
A customer-driven platform’s first initiative is always to keep its users and target customers fully aware of what’s cooking in the headquarters. A fully satisfied customer is the one:
- Who feels welcomed to the platform.
- Who make their feature requests or can leave feedback in complete hope of being listened to.
- Who can keep an eye on what features are in consideration, in progress, and are about to be launched.
At Sprout Social, to access a fundamental customer requirement, you would need to pay another $500 per month to access their product roadmap, along with decent customer support as an add-on.
If you are an agency with a minimum of 20 social profiles and 3 team members on board. Then further you opt for social listening and basic product roadmap access as well – so on a Professional plan, you are looking at $2425 per month!!
Sprout Social Pricing – Before and After
Sprout Social has been cautious with their pricing plans. Unlike the Agorapulse pricing, the time gap between the change in pricing plans over the period of years is evident.
Careful pricing changes are definitely well sought and well researched, making us ask the big question: Why an insane pricing format?
To bring forth a clearer picture of what I am talking about and why it hit us hard, I’ll go down the lane over a few years where Sprout Social pricing made some major changes.
In 2016, Sprout Social had three pricing plans, with the smallest Deluxe Plan being $59 per user per month. This plan suddenly fell from offering 10 social profiles to 5 social accounts. Meanwhile, their Premium Plan with increasing features reduced its number of social profiles from 20 to 10 as well.
The Premium Plan then was $99 per user per month.
This year Sprout Social introduced basic social listening, which everyone was excited about, BUT the majority couldn’t make the most of it.
Moving into 2017, Sprout Social pricing entirely ate up the Deluxe plan!!
Customers were now left with three plans as they introduced a new Enterprise Plan standing tall at $1500 per month with 50 social profiles and 10 users.
Now the smallest pricing plan was the Premium, starting at $99 per user per month with 10 social accounts. The only plan doing well so far was the Team Plan which was getting stronger with features yet was still at $500 per month for 3 users and 30 social profiles.
Indeed legacy users were making the most of the features at a reasonable price but it started getting difficult for the new ones until they came on the Team Plan.
Midway 2017, when Sprout Social pricing went upside down!
Except for the Premium Plan, everything changed.
In a few months, they not only changed the name of the Team Plan to Corporate but discontinued multiple users from all of their pricing plans. This means that even with how biggest of the plans, you still are the only user of it!!
The new Corporate Plan was now at $149 with only 15 social profiles and no team members.
The Enterprise Plan, which was still very new, got 61% more expensive. The new price was $249 for only 20 social profiles and no team members.
Fast forward to 2022, after an ample attempt to reshape plans, the current Sprout Social pricing stands with three pricing plans:
- The previous Premium Plan as Standard at $99 per user per month.
- The previous Corporate Plan as Professional at $169 per user per month.
- The previous Enterprise Plan as Advanced at $279 per user per month.
Sprout Social Pricing vs Social Champ Pricing
Social Champ is a one-stop solution for all social media marketing and management problems. It is a growing platform, one of the much talked about social media management tools in current times, founded in 2016.
Compared to Sprout Social, Social Champ is evidently much newer, resulting in both platforms having very different pricing plans.
Sprout Social’s smallest plan is 30% more expensive than Social Champ – How?
Let’s keep their monthly plans side by side for a quick comparative overview.
Social Champ has a total of 4 pricing plans, including a Free one.
The unique point about its pricing is that all four are equally feature-rich, with every plan enjoying the same perks of features and integrations.
Free Plan offers 3 social accounts with 1 user on board.
The other three pricing plans are Champion at $29/month for 12 social accounts and 2 users, Business at $99/month for 40 social accounts and 6 users, and Agency with custom pricing for 100+ social accounts and 10 users on board respectively.
Social Champ’s pricing caters to all kinds of businesses with various plans, whether you are a small to medium-sized business, an agency, or an enterprise.
In contrast, Sprout Social has a total of 3 pricing plans with no Free Plan to offer.
All pricing plans have different sets of features to offer, making sure that the bigger plans have more features than the smallest plan on the list.
The Standard is $99/month with 5 social profiles and 1 user. The Professional is for $169/month with 10 social profiles and 1 user. The Advanced is for $279/month again with 10 social profiles and 1 user.
In case you end up with a need for social accounts or user add-ons, then both the platforms are poles apart.
As discussed before, with Sprout Social pricing, 1 user add-on is equivalent to the price of an entire plan offered. While a social profile add-on will cost $25 per month for all plans.
Meanwhile, with Social Champ, the bigger the pricing plan you opt for, the lesser you pay for an add-on.
- Champion Plan: $5/account/month and $6/user/month
- Business Plan: $4/account/month and $5/user/month
- Agency Plan: $3/account/month and $5/user/month
Feature Comparison – Sprout Social and Social Champ
Since we are yet not exhausted from looking into Sprout Social and its pricing formats, why not get down to some more complexities there. Let’s quickly compare the feature sets you get concerning the amount spent on either of the platforms.
Social Media Networks
Sprout Social integrates seven social media networks as a whole. Whereas Social Champ supports all of them with Google Business Profile as an exceptional eighth addition.
Social media networks include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok.
If a user adds one account to each social media platform offered, Sprout Social will still be 17% more pricey, including add-ons, compared to Social Champ’s $29 plan per month.
Social Champ offers Instagram Stories, unlike Sprout Social pricing.
Social Media Integrations
Both the platforms have their fair share of social media integrations on board. It is on customers which integrations they find the most useful and helpful while managing their social media presence.
If we look into media integrations; Sprout Social supports Dropbox, Google Drive, and Canva (Images and Videos) only.
Meanwhile, Social Champ supports Dropbox, Google Drive, Canva (Images, Videos, GIFs), Flickr, Imgur, Vistacreate, Wave.video, Stock Media, and direct links too.
Both the platforms support bit.ly for link shortening purposes.
Social Champ integrates a WordPress plugin as well to ease the content flow.
Sprout Social is mainly bots, while Social Champ is fully operated by humans who can acknowledge and understand their customers to their core emotions.
At Sprout Social, you can find help with their helpdesk, which eventually leads you to book a call for most of its pricing and advanced features. This option is the toughest to get around for someone like me who has social anxiety to talk over a call.
Sprout Social chat is mainly a bot and at maximum, you can send out a request via email to their customer support.
Sprout Social’s simple product roadmap is a paid option that will eventually get you the perks of having a customer representative reach you in a few hours.
In contrast, Social Champ is a customer-driven platform where customers come first. Their Live Chat is operated by real humans who are available 24/7 for any queries. They are decked up with detailed helpdesk guides, YouTube video tutorials, a Contact Us form, email support, and quick Demo Calls to cater to all kinds of customers with ease.
Social Champ also has a free and easy-to-access Customer Roadmap where anyone can create a request. Viewing in-progress and soon-to-be-launched features has never been this easier for the users before.
Content Curation Features
As a social media management tool, the task is just not to schedule away content online. But essential content curation options can definitely play a major role in shaping a tool as a robust platform. But not every platform may understand its core benefit.
Social Champ integrates content curation with its Suggestion feature, which suggests you all in-trend content directly from the web onto your dashboard. The feature Auto RSS is an integration that directly connects an RSS feed link of any website to your social accounts. Auto RSS feature will automatically share the latest blogs and articles from the websites on your pre-decided website to the connected social platforms. Social Champ also helps to repurpose evergreen content as effective campaigns through its Recycle feature.
Meanwhile, Sprout Social pricing supports ‘Find Content’ and RSS feed via outsource integration.
Affordable Sprout Social Alternatives
Social Champ is customer-driven social media automation and management tool with eight social media network integrations – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Business Profile, YouTube, and TikTok.
With 4.6 ratings, this platform is worth all your money with a detailed content dashboard, media integrations like Canva, an extensive social inbox, comprehensive analytics and reporting feature, and an all-in-one social media calendar.
Unlike Sprout Social, Social Champ offers a limitless Free Plan with all features, unlimited scheduling options, and much more. Having a team on board is the easiest with Social Champ.
Social Champ pricing starts at $29 per month with 2 users.
MeetEdgar is a unique social media scheduler that currently supports five social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Edgar strengthens entrepreneurs, and unlike Sprout Social, they offer top-rated human support immediately. This platform allows you to create innovative content which can be saved up in a limitless library of evergreen content. With Edgar, you always have something to post. The platform offers A/B testing options, link tracking, and much more to give you all the intel you need to see what your audience responds to best.
MeetEdgar pricing starts at $29.99/month for 5 social accounts and 20 team members, unlike Sprout Social pricing for Premium Plan.
Zoho Social is a flexible social media management platform that supports seven social media networks, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Business Profile, and YouTube.
Like Sprout Social, Zoho Social has a strong social listening feature and detailed analytics and scheduling options. Unlike Sprout, Zoho has a separate Agency management to cater to all their extensive needs with up-to-date features and integrations.
Zoho Social pricing is $15/month for 7 social channels and 1 team member.
It can be said without a doubt that Sprout Social pricing is not everyone’s cup of tea. The platform is full of great features, but affordability is a huge question mark when purchasing the most prominent features separately.