So let’s go down the memory lane before we dive headfirst into the new Hootsuite pricing model. A few years ago, when only a couple of free social media management tools were available in the market, Hootsuite started out. Therefore, it is safe to say that Hootsuite is one of the pioneers in the field of social media management. What the tool did was pretty simple at the start; it allowed you to manage your social media from one dashboard.
There are no fancy features, complicated UIs, or big dollars attached to the plan, just a simple tool. It quickly became a fan favorite as that was the time when social media networks were gaining traction among brands. More and more brands were focusing on finding customers online, and it was the right time to invest in a tool.
The exciting part is that Hootsuite was initially named BrightKit and solely functional for Twitter management. But in 2009, BrightKit changed its name to HootSuite, and after a year, the tool gained funding of 1.9 million dollars. Thats when they changed their name to Hootsuite with a small “s.”
Around this time, Hootsuite started a free plan with paid accounts to quickly monetize the app. This quite worked out in their favor, and by the end of 2011, the tool had a million downloads.
By this time, Hootsuite had started to support other networks as well. And by 2013, it was one of the most successful social media startups!
Now, this story pretty much shows why Hootsuite is and always will be considered a considerable force to be reckoned with in the industry. But can you actually stay in power if you don’t look after your customers?
As we said, Hootsuite’s free plan was the main reason behind the tool’s popularity, and that was the one thing that bought more and more people to the table.
On April 5th, 2021, Hootsuite brought a massive change to its pricing model. They changed their freemium plan and made it entirely non-desirable for all. People were furious about it on social media channels, review sites, and private blogs.
#Hootsuite is spiking my plan pricing with them by 10x. In response, I'm ditching them.
— Shawn DeWolfe – Cascadian (@dewolfe001) April 13, 2021
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The Old VS the New Hootsuite Pricing Plans
So here is the main thing!
The rage over discontinuing or changing the free plan is entirely justified. Hootsuite has increased its pricing by a whopping 1000%, leaving us all speechless.
Now, first things first. Hootsuite only shows the annual pricing of all plans, so you have to contact support if you want to get billed monthly.
Hootsuite has four different pricing plans and one free plan. The free plan only offers two accounts with five scheduled posts, which sounds like pretty much a joke.
Now coming back to the other four plans; Professional, Team, Business, & Enterprise.
This is the old pricing plan!
And this is the new one:
The asterisk states, “All the prices displayed are in USD, based on annual billing.”
And this is their latest pricing plan:
On top of all this, you need to pay tax as well.
So you are under the false pretense that your plan will cost around $49 per month, but actually, it will cost you $99 per month without tax!
This means that all plans are 50% more expensive if you get the monthly ones.
Hootsuite hides its original price on the website and only shows you the ones that they want you to see. No toggle bars or action buttons on the pricing page will show you the monthly price. It will only show when you sign up!
Furthermore, the prices have taken a whopping hit of more than 40% increase!
Holy crap, @hootsuite just sent me an email informing me that they're more than DOUBLING the price of their professional plan, going from $241 to more than $588. I've never seen a price increase this large for a service. pic.twitter.com/PzbdiBU8jy
— Simon Owens (@simonowens) January 18, 2022
— Denise Hoyle (@sdenise) January 6, 2022
And their free plan has changed into the professional one, so what you were getting for free is now $99!
So how much does the Business plan cost now?
The business plan has 35 accounts, five users, and unlimited scheduling, which is actually not that much. Many other social media management tools offer the same for a much lesser cost!
The business plan at Hootsuite costs $739 per month if you get it annually!
Why Did They Increase the Pricing?
So there is obviously no explanation for such a big change in the Hootsuite pricing plans, and there has been no formal statement by any spokesperson. Therefore, there is no way to tell why they actually did that. I mean, it did make their customers furious, so maybe they were going for negative marketing?
But, it looks like their old customers weren’t too happy with it:
The comments were also brutal.
Not going to lie; if they were going for that, they did actually succeed. Numerous articles, tweets, Facebook posts, and more talk about the sudden jump in these prices.
But here is what we think is the case; when they first started out, they focused on small clients who could pay $5.99 per month!
But like any other typical business, as their company started to grow, they wanted to target companies that could afford the higher plans. Maybe they don’t want the customers who were paying them such a lower amount?
Whatever the case might be, they sure did lose quite a few loyal customers!
I get raising pricing but from $15 to $75/mo?
"On June 1, 2021, your current base plan will increase to $75/month."
— Bridget Willard (@BridgetMWillard) April 13, 2021
Did you find a better alternative for your business within that particular pricing range?
— Ashmal ur Rehman (@AshmalurRehman) February 24, 2022
How Does Hootsuite Pricing Compare With Social Champ’s?
Hootsuite has four paid plans and one free plan, whereas Social Champ has three paid and one free plan. However, the price difference is pretty apparent.
Let’s compare the annual plans.
Hootsuite pricing plan starts from $49 per month when billed annually, whereas Social Champ plans start from $26 per month on yearly plans. And if we compare the offerings, then Social Champ definitely comes up on top.
The Champ plan from Social Champ offers 12 accounts and two users with unlimited scheduling. The professional plan from Hootsuite offers ten accounts and only one user with unlimited scheduling. So the Champ is definitely more value for money.
The next plan in the Hootsuite pricing model is $179 per month, and Social Champ is $89 per month. Even though the price difference is not that much, the offering has a huge gap in between. As compared to Hootsuite’s 20 social accounts and three users, Social Champ offers forty social accounts and six users.
That is almost double the number of users and accounts for $40 less!
What is your fave #SocialMedia scheduling tool for multiple platforms?
I'm currently using @hootsuite but need far more than the 5 free slots I get at a time. Upgrading to $49/month seems incredibly expensive compared to other tech tools. I'd like to consider other options.
— JoAnna Haugen (she/her) (@joanna_haugen) January 25, 2022
And if we switch to monthly plans, the price difference is even higher.
Lastly, both Social Champ and Hootsuite choose to keep their last plan’s pricing hidden. This is due to the nature of that plan. If you wish to signup for an Agency plan at Social Champ, you can request pricing and a demo with one of our customer advocates. We would be happy to guide you according to your needs and find you the best possible deal.
Why Is Social Champ’s Free Plan the Ultimate Choice? – Hootsuite’s Free Plan vs Social Champ’s Free Plan
So both Social Champ and Hootsuite offer a free plan. But the difference is that Social Champ’s free plan is incredibly powerful with no limitations. We have unlocked all premium features for our free plan and all users. Therefore, if you only need to manage three accounts, you can use Social Champ for free all year long; no hidden charges and no credit card required!
Furthermore, the free plan offers unlimited scheduling for all three accounts on any supported social media networks, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Business Profile, TikTok, and YouTube.
No such free plan is offered in the market right now.
The old Hootsuite’s pricing model also had a powerful free plan; however, as of June 2021, it was changed. The new plan is incredibly limited, with only two social accounts and five scheduled posts with one user.
The Most Powerful Free Plan
Social Champ’s free plan has three accounts, one user, unlimited scheduling, and all premium features unlocked for life!
Feature Comparison Between Hootsuite and Social Champ
A social media management tool is designed to make your life easy when it comes to social media. Therefore, the tool should allow you to save time and automate tasks that you would otherwise do manually. Furthermore, it should be easy to use with a clean UI.
Here are a few more features that a social media management tool must-have. After this, we shall compare these 6 Hootsuite features with Social Champ’s.
Let’s see if the current Hootsuite pricing can be justified with the features.
- Supported social media integrations. A social media manager has multiple accounts that they need to manage each day; this is why your preferred social media tool should at least support the major social platforms.
- Publishing or scheduling. A good social media management tool should have as many functions in its scheduler as possible so that you can manage everything from the dashboard. It is always a plus to have other small supporting features, such as tagging and hashtags.
- After posting, it is important to keep an eye on how well the posts are performing. For this, each social media management tool should have analytics and monitoring features.
- A brand is nothing without its customers; therefore, engaging with them regularly is important.
- Social media calendar. Lastly, a powerful social media calendar is a must to plan all your campaigns to the T.
- Good customer care can make or break your brand, which is why a comprehensive social media management tool should always have hands-on customer support.
Supported Social Media Networks
- Hootsuite has support for: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and WhatsApp Business.
- Social Champ has support for: Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Business Profile, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Both Social Champ and Hootsuite support seven major social media networks. This means that you get the same number of integrations with Social Champ at almost half of the price.
Publish & Schedule
Both Social Champ and Hootsuite support scheduling via a single dashboard. However, Social Champ comes packed with multiple features that makes scheduling a breeze for you. From account tagging to a hashtag manager, we have it all.
Furthermore, both tools offer bulk scheduling, saving time and automating posts for a longer period. You can also schedule posts on custom timeslots with a queue other than bulk scheduling. Other than this, you get post preview, custom content curation, location tagging, save drafts, sentiment analysis, in-app editors, repeat posts, recycle campaigns, and more with Social Champ.
However, both tools have a powerful Auto RSS integration, royalty-free images library, video posting, GIFs support, and teams.
The team feature is a rather powerful one to help you work as one with your team. You can share the workload and assign custom tasks with post approvals for an easier and more centralized workflow.
Social Champ also has Workspaces, which makes it super easy to manage multiple clients at once. You can group frequently used accounts together and assign a customized team to the Workspace. This allows you to use multiple accounts under one freely. You can set your preferred timezone and tailor the Workspace according to your and the client’s requirements.
With almost similar features in both the tools, the Hootsuite pricing model cannot really be justified with this feature.
Analytics & Monitoring
Both Social Champ & Hootsuite allows you to track analytics for all social media networks with specific metrics. Both the features are powerful enough to create custom reports with white labeling options and downloadable reports.
The analytics feature further allows you to identify the best time to post, shows the data in the form of charts and graphs, and has multiple filtering options. We tried them both and found them pretty similar to each other.
So this feature can also not justify the new Hootsuite pricing plan.
Engage & Social Inbox
Social Champ has only recently launched its full Engage feature and removed beta from it, so it is safe to assume that Hootsuite must have a more powerful Engage feature. However, even though Social Champ recently revamped it, it still is a powerhouse.
With replies to direct and private messages along with communication filters, tags, and custom replies, you can stay up to date with your inbox. Apart from messages, the powerful Social Inbox from Social Champ also allows you to reply to reviews, comments, and mentions. You can also set up a custom team for Engage for easier workflow.
Hootsuite does pretty much the same, except it allows you to monitor WhatsApp messages as well.
Social Media Calendar
Hootsuite and Social Champ both have a versatile Social Media Calendar, which allows the users to view posts in a grid view. Both tools allow you to either create or edit, publish and reschedule posts from within the calendar.
Furthermore, the Social Media Calendar also filters posts according to published, failed, and deleted, which makes it easier to monitor accounts.
The calendar is similar for all tools, which means that even in this regard, the new Hootsuite pricing plans fails to justify themselves.
In 2020, three out of five consumers reported that they are more likely to be loyal customers if they receive good customer support. This number quickly grew to 96% of the consumers in 2022, who said that customer support plays a huge role in brand loyalty.
Both of these statistics show that no matter how big of a business you run if you cannot provide adequate customer service, your brand is bound to go down.
This is why Social Champ has round-the-clock customer support with a dedicated email address to solve all your queries. You can also check out a fully loaded help desk guide to get answers to all FAQs. Here is how they have optimized their customer support and built it from the ground up!
On the other hand, Hootsuite only provides support to business and enterprise customers.
Therefore, you cannot get priority support even after paying a hefty sum of $2148 annually. So the new Hootsuite pricing plans cannot justify themselves here either!
Other Hootsuite Alternatives That Won’t Break the Bank
Multiple other tools in the market function the same or better than Hootsuite does and will not break your bank. We found three alternative tools that come nowhere near the Hootsuite pricing model and offer the same services.
All these tools support major social media networks, have a functional dashboard, show comprehensive analytics, and some even support a Social Inbox.
Of course, Social Champ is our first Hootsuite alternative as it offers more social media networks and has the finest customer support.
Social Champ has seven networks onboard, and you can schedule unlimited posts on ALL of them using any of the four plans that the tool offers. Starting from a free plan and going up to the agency model, Social Champ has a plan for all. Furthermore, all plans are pocket friendly and have little to no limitations.
Smart automation features, such as bulk upload, Auto RSS, queue, repeat, recycle, and content suggestions make your social media marketing a whole lot easier. Other features integrated within the dashboard, such as hashtag manager, account tagging, save drafts, visual editor, first comments, locations, custom thumbnails, and more, enable you to be as creative with your posts.
The Workspace is an agency-centric feature to increase accessibility. The Workspaces allows you to group frequently used profiles together so that you can post to them easily. You can also assign a custom team to each Workspace to increase productivity.
The analytics feature is another power-packed dashboard within the tool. You can compare monthly and weekly progress with beautiful charts/ graphs and download PDF/ PPT reports.
Lastly, the Social Inbox allows you to bring all social conversations under one roof by replying to comments, DM/PM, reviews, and mentions together!
Social Champ also has unmatched customer support with live chat to talk to an agent, a demo facility to find the best plan for yourself or to solve your queries immediately, and a Facebook group for quick assistance.
And the cherry on top? Social Champ’s pricing model is nowhere as expensive as Hootsuite’s pricing model.
MeetEdgar is one of the best choices for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs with automated publishing solutions for scheduling and organizing content. Using MeetEdgar, you can schedule posts for multiple networks, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
The tool offers content suggestions, monitor analytics, amazing customer support, and an affiliate program.
MeetEdgar has only two pricing plans; Eddie & Edgar (cute, right?), and they are priced at $29.99 and $49.99 per month!
Buffer is one of the oldest contenders when it comes to social media management tools. They started at almost the same time as Hootsuite; their pricing models were comparable at the start.
However, the new Hootsuite pricing plan is nowhere near Buffers. The tool offers one free and three paid plans supporting Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.
Buffer also has a pretty transparent financial record, so you can also check it out on their website.
To sum it up, the new Hootsuite pricing plans can no way justify its extravagant prices, whereas the competitors offer the same if not better plans for much less!