Blogging

How Much Do Social Media Tools for Your Blog Cost?

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Bloggers can find several options if they look for social media tools to help them draw readers in. But beware: if you don’t have a big budget, you’ll have a hard time finding one you can afford.

As more and more blogs pop up, bloggers face a growing challenge of finding an audience. Social media tools can help you get your message out and — hopefully — attract readers to visit your site.

But I find that many of the favorite options out there are pricing their products out of reach for most bloggers.

Over at Magnet4Blogging, Fabrizio Van Marciano published an article called “5 Best Social Media Management Tools For Bloggers.” I don’t know when I last priced some of the services. But it looks to me as if some of them have increased in price since I last checked.

One of the five on his list is Buffer. I use Buffer and have used it for several years now. Buffer does offer a free plan, which some services wouldn’t consider doing. The free plan allows one user to manage three social media channels and schedule up to 10 posts each. Their premium plan starts at $15 per month. For $15, you can schedule up to 100 posts per channel on up to eight social media channels. I haven’t come up with more than 100 posts to schedule in advance on any one channel, so I guess that’s a good choice for me.

There may be more attractive options.

But I haven’t found more attractive prices.

Many bloggers love CoSchedule. Its layout is designed like a calendar and it makes it easy for bloggers to manage their social posts like they manage their editorial calendar.
It also offers a headline analyzer tool, something I never tried. It will also provide social analytics for each platform. I agree with any blogger who calls that valuable information. But at $29 per month, I find it outside of my range.

Prior to Buffer, I tried Hootsuite. It wasn’t bad, but my main gripe with that service is how difficult it seemed to get analytical reports. I don’t think I ever received one of their “Owl.ly” reports that helped explain its performance. There was a time when Hootsuite’s professional tier cost $19 per month and gave you unlimited scheduling on up to 10 social accounts. But that $19 per month is now $49 per month. That’s far outside the range of most bloggers who aren’t bringing in a large amount of monthly revenue.

SproutSocial remains my favorite of the social media tools I ever used. But again, you won’t find blogger-friendly pricing. Their lowest-tier product now carries a $99-per-month cost. Their service gave really attractive, easy-to-understand social analytical reports. I really, really liked it. But really: How many bloggers do you know who can afford that?

Figure out what you can spend first.

Yes, you do have plenty of options out there. But before you try a few services and fall in love with a couple of them, you need to know what they cost.

More importantly, you need to figure out what you can afford first. The greatest service in the world won’t fit your needs if you can’t pay the bill for it.

In some cases, you might be better setting aside a day or two each week and just scheduling things manually, platform by platform. It’s more work. But you can end up saving a lot of money compared to what some social media tools want to charge.

Social media can be a very important way to bring readers to your site. But you don’t want to go into debt doing so, because there’s no guarantee any success you have on social media will even be permanent. That’s true no matter how much you pay to manage it!

Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.