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Hootsuite Have Downgraded Their Free Plan

Update 22 Feb 2023: As of 31 March 2023 Hootsuite have confirmed that they are removing the free plans completely and replacing with a Hootsuite Essentials plan at a cost of $1.33 per day. I can’t find much, if any, information about Hootsuite Essentials apart from the cost – they haven’t yet listed it on their website and if I try to upgrade now I get offered Hootsuite Professional for a staggering £35.06 pcm (on annual payments) or £129 per month (on monthly payments). Essentially it’s looking like they are pricing out smaller businesses who simply can’t afford to pay this much for a social management platform.

As of 5 April 2021 Hootsuite amended it’s free account to now only support 2 social accounts and 5 scheduled messages.

I use Hootsuite to handle my social media accounts – what can I do now?

You’ve got a few options, as we see it:

  • Upgrade: Either upgrade to the Professional plan that Hootsuite offers. This will enable you to handle 10 social accounts and schedule unlimited posts. But it will set you back £39 per month – which is quite a hit for a small business looking to get the most out of the marketing budget.
  • Cut Back: Reduce the accounts you handle via Hootsuite. Is there a social media channel that’s not driving you any extra reach or engagement?
  • Go Direct: Or is there a social media account(s) that might perform better if you posted straight into the channel (we’ll cover more on that in a moment…)
  • Move to Another Provider: Hootsuite isn’t the only provider that will help you manage your social media accounts. But until now it has had the most generous free plan available. We haven’t found many that come in at a lower price point or cover all the social media channels well. The closest we’ve come across is Zoho which offers its Standard plan (£12 per month for 7 social channels).

Why have Hootsuite made this change?

They haven’t said anything about why they’ve made this move. But they have been the most generous platform around for a while now, so it’s not surprising that they are trying to drive more people to their paid plans. After all, we’re all here to make money, right?

Will my additional accounts be removed automatically?

Hootsuite have said that they won’t remove a third account automatically, but if the social account disconnects (as they often do for security reasons) then you will not be able to reconnect it whilst you’re using the free plan.

I’ve got more than 5 posts scheduled?

Don’t panic, again Hootsuite has said they aren’t going to remove any posts that are already scheduled, they’ll send them out as you planned. But when you come to scheduling some more they will limit you to a maximum of 5 scheduled posts.

How do I remove a social account on Hootsuite?

We’ll refer you here to Hootsuite’s content on “How to remove a social account” for the latest information on how to remove one of your social accounts from your account.

You mentioned something about posting directly onto the social media channels – what do you mean?

All the social media channels want you to be engaging directly with their channel and the community. So it’s not in their best interest to have companies blasting out announcements and updates from third party platforms.

For a while we’ve seen a reduction in both impressions and engagements on LinkedIn and Facebook for posts that contain outbound links in the main post body. If you haven’t spotted this yet keep an eye out for “link in the comments” additions to posts.

In reaction to this people have started adding their outbound links into the comments and asking followers to like the comment so it ‘sticks’ to the top.

This is something that you can’t do when scheduling a post from a third party platform, as you can’t comment on something that doesn’t exist yet.

But I’m busy, I don’t have the time to be on social all the time waiting to post my update!

We know! For years we’ve worked with understanding when the best times/days were to post content. We’d get it all written, build our scheduled posts on either Monday morning or Friday afternoon (if you wanted that productivity buzz for the weekend!), and then we’d crack on with the rest of the “to-do list”.

If you want to make the most of your social posts, you now need to be online when your customers are and post live.

There are a few things you can do to help make this a bit easier:

  •  Set-up your whole post in a social media planning board – like our sample social media scheduling board in Trello – so you’ll have your copy all written, your hashtags researched, your images/video prepped. You can then set yourself a reminder to notify you at the right time, and with a quick copy+paste, and addition of “link in the comments” away you go!
  • Or if that is still something you can’t manage, whether that’s because of your hectic meeting schedule or you’re a business owner who is out on the road, or in the shop front at key times throughout the day, then you could hire someone to help manage your accounts for you (like us 😉 )

Set-up your whole post in a social media planning board – like our sample social media scheduling board in Trello – so you’ll have your copy all written, your hashtags researched, your images/video prepped. You can then set yourself a reminder to notify you at the right time, and with a quick copy+paste, and addition of “link in the comments” away you go!

Get further information or help with your social media marketing

If you have any concerns about the potential impact this could have on your social media marketing, why not book in a free no-obligation chat with us. We can help you identify if you have any concern areas, and hopefully – if we impress you enough – get the chance to work with you in the future!

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