58 comments
chard breed
chard breed

To Dave Olson...Hi Dave,

Simply the demeanor of your reply...informative reply has me almost signing up, quik story: I'm an overly ambitious man who left a 21 year stint with The White House Press Corps - to make guitars and found missions overseas to teach Conversational American and also basic business skills so rural folks could enter the business world instead of selling their family property to make Nikes...and the 2008 crash killed it all via the 2 homes which were lost. Upon my return, after getting 2 jobs, a horrific auto accident left me bedbound for 2 years...and I'm on the mend now - and in that time I have become a Social Media Relations & Marketing guy - does that job even exist? lmao. of course, everything exists in this webernet. So, I like the demeanor you shined out there, yet of course my $'s as rare as an honest politician...so I worry about any charges arriving on my android before I can upgrade to premium - losing the droid and it's essential integration with my social networks, Gmail/calender/+ account, would be a real act of Lucifer-ish-ness. Please, put me at ease bro, k? Also...while chardbreed@gmail's my edress above, please cc my old one so should you earn my trust and begin the Loyalty relationship...I can promote my 'happy' experience with over 400 journalist friends: whitehousetv@yahoo's that edress to cc.

Thanking you in advance, I am

Richard E. Breed IV

PS: on Facebook: Richard Edwards Breed IV another place to gauge my character MySpace (Which I joined 2 years b4 it went public...) ...hmm, I have no idea what I'm called there...Tom A.(actually Colin P.)has had me on some kinda auto 4ever signed in since 2003...try R. E. Breed, or Chard Breed. Off2a doctor 2have my exhaust probed...joy of joys...argh! lmao...and later: literally.

Jolan_nl
Jolan_nl

I really don't mind seeing an ad once in a while, but since of yesterday I see the same ad every 15/20min from the same advertiser and it's getting really annoying.

Can't there be a timelimit for say every 2 hours or so?

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

The Promoted Tweets program is run by Twitter and the Tweets come right from them into the HootSuite dashboard. Keep in mind, HootSuite Pro users can opt-out of seeing the ads.

Timothy
Timothy

I agree with Gavin.. its the very reason I came here... to get clarification on the ads part.

Thanks

Gavin
Gavin

I think you need to make it much clearer in your publicity that the free version doesn't insert ads into your public Twitter stream. I think a lot of people think this is the case and are put off. I avoided using HootSuite ever since this came in because I thought this was what it did. Only after reading the whole of this thread did I realise I was wrong.

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Thanks for chiming in Gavin. We'll keep that in mind.

Pat Licata
Pat Licata

How many memebers can you have on an account?

Thanks in advance!

anne
anne

Hi Dave,

I am confused. I read here that if you have less than 5 social media channels Hootsuite will remain free with unlimited team members, but I have just been contacted by someone who says that because we have 18 team members we need to upgrade to enterprise. Is this right?

Also on your website it says Enterprise and Pro are for new users and exisiting users can continue for free, so why am I being told we suddenly have to pay.

We are a non-profit org with non-existent budget for this.

Anne

Diana
Diana

OMG =*(

I was about to cry when I saw the new price plan for Hootsuite. I'm in the same boat as everyone here.

I've been with Hootsuite since the start, and was a beta user too!! Being part of the earliest social media pioneers in Orange County, I evangelized to everyone about how great Hootsuite is! And being a websurfer and website beta tester, I saw potential in Hoosuite....I trusted Hootsuite and stay in tact with its every feature.

And again, all of this is from an interest perspective. I only make money off of one account, because it is my social media part-time job at that very very small company. I have a budget of $0, and don't get paid enough to afford to purchase this on my own.

I also handle a couple non-profit accounts for free, nonprofit = volunteer hours. I manage their social media in order to practice as well as grow in different skill level from these volunteer experience, since the current company I work for can't offer that mentor-ship and experience.

I know Mr. Dave, has been trying his best to educate us and others regarding the future pricing plan. Difficult work since there a lot of frustrated avid users/promoters of Hootsuite. And at some point, all organizations like this must eat and make some type of income --- Is there a way we as users can help in a different way?

I have multiple accounts

- The company I work part-time for can't afford it.

- And they don't pay me enough to afford it.

- All the non-profits I'm part of can't afford it either.

- I can delete the multiple random twitter accounts I created to learn twitter in the past, but what about the team members I will have for the non-profits? I just evangelized to them about this tool, so that I can get some help with social media.

Is there a faster solution for this? Do I really have to sign up Hootsuite for each non-profit and such, and then use that account? Its like signing into twitter for each account. At this point, I'm very tempted to ask fellow colleagues and your fans here what tool do they use instead - convert to Tweetdeck, my biggest disappointment. I trusted Hootsuite, can I continue to trust you at this point? =?

#sorry #sad #fan #disappointed #frustrated #heartbroken #broke #sminterest #open4help

David
David

For the free version. I will just see ads when I do searches in HootSuite? No tweets will be sent out from the twitter account I manage with an ad in it? i.e. you won't send out tweets from my twitter handle with an ad?

I think it's just a viewing thing and not a sending thing.

Please clarify.

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

That is indeed the case - you'll simply see tweets from Twitter's own official promoted tweets program in your stream but you will not be broadcasting any tweets.

Mark Adams
Mark Adams

I just signed up for the free version of HootSuite, and seems great.

However, I just got an email telling me this is a 30-day free trial.

Is this just a generic email, or will I be charged after 30 days?

Jason
Jason

My small local government may be able to afford some level of paid service (Gold or Platinum) but the number of staff we have tweeting from different departments would quickly push us to an Enterprise level, and we couldn't justify that to the taxpayers.

I'd really love to see an a-la-carte system where we could pay for users ($10/user/month?).

Overall, it's difficult to sell the value of Hootsuite internally at the price points you've proposed. CoTweet is free for higher usage levels, integrates bit.ly pro, and has better team collaboration capabilities. The only real point on Hootsuite's side (and it's a big one) is ease of use.

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Thanks for your feedback Jason. We hear your concerns and the a la carte pricing is certainly something to consider. Aside from the ease of use, i'd also include multi-network integrations as a strong point for HootSuite ;-) Also keep in mind what we are offering 20% discounts to registered non-profits orgs.

Jason
Jason

It's pretty clear from the application form that the discount only applies to NGOs. Are you considering similar discounts for (non-profit) government organisations?

Jonathan
Jonathan

Okay so I read the posts and am curious to why hootsuite didn't speak to their people(users) 1st. I am a hootsuite university grad and have always been thrilled to use a promote hootsuite to others. Now I have multiple accounts that I manage on my own and haven't had an issue except for getting access to my Analytics. I can post and update just fine but finding out my stats is impossible. I manage about 2 clients each with FB, FB Pages, and LinkedIn Accounts. And my own personal accounts. What is my best option. My clients are small time and so am I right now but again I agree with other people that you should tier the program. What did you do for Icanhavechzburgs? Thanks for listening to my rambling

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Thanks for your feedback Jonathan, Indeed, our customers are of great importance to us so announced to the users first -- before media and other outlets. On the day of release, i held a webinar with HotoSuite University to explain how the changes will benefit them. Were you unable to attend? If so, it's likely available on-demand from the learning site. We are exploring ways to provide team membership functionality to lower tier packages based on feedback thought it seems you may want to encourage your clients to purchase a plan and add you as a team member to manage their presences.

Hope this help,

dave

staci
staci

I really love your product and am willing to pay for it even though I only have two very part time clients, both of whom are non-profits.

I would truly appreciate an affiliate program of some sort so I can earn back what I'm spending to support my clients through the use of Hootsuite (I charge them VERY little for a US based person--$25 per hour compared to US based developers/designers/VA's normally in the $60-$100 range) and I generally don't charge them anything for the work I do for them using hootsuite as it is somewhat built in to the overall business development work that I am best at.

However, with the new plans I may need to suggest they get their own accounts, so an affiliate/reseller program would be helpful to me.

Thanks again for what you do. Your tool is awesome!

Elja
Elja

Dave, thanks for the explanation. Would I like to be able to add 1 team member to the free account? Of course. But am I willing to pay for all those great features? Of course.

I just wanted to point out that some of your help page content needs to be updated, check http://help.hootsuite.com/entries/144079-team-collaboration.

Thanks for a great (and mostly free) product!

AP
AP

Hi there!

First, I'd like to say that I'm a big fan of Hootsuite. I'd also like to say that I appreciate Dave Olson responding to almost every single comment on this post. It goes to show that Hootsuite is really taking into account their customers' feedback. So, thank you for that Hootsuite.

I'd like to give my 2 cents here so that perhaps another user's needs can be taken into account during your review of the plans.

I would like to echo the sentiments to be able to add certain features a la cart. Personally, the Bronze package would work for myself and for the NPO I manage (with no budget for SM) but I would really like to be able to add team members (afterall that is one of the features that sets hootsuite apart from competitors like Buzzom, who frankly, aside from the team members (which they are working on according to their website) have more features for cheaper pricing.

Now, I like hootsuite. Actually, I LOVE hootsuite and I'm ok with paying a reasonable sum for advanced features. But I would like to be able to purchase PRO analytics to go with my Bronze package without having to pay an additional 45 dollars for a package that has so many things I don't need. The same goes for social networks.

Once again, thank you for a great app and a great iphone app. I will be quite interested to see what you all come up with.

In the case that your solution is not what I or other current hootsuite users want/need, how long will we have before our accounts are switched to the freemium plans' features (which for many of us will mean team members will disappear and social networks will disappear from our dashboards)?

Thanks

JMS
JMS

I will admit to some confusion. Essentially, you guys (Hootsuite) are stepping back and reviewing, so we should not expect account changes due to paid plans being instituted in the immediate future?

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Thanks for the note JMS, While all new users are required to sign up for plans now, existing users will not be migrated this week as we examine ways to refine the plans a wee bit.

JMS
JMS

Ok; that makes sense. I was feeling pretty cranky about the change, so I appreciate the effort to review.

Nancy Smyth
Nancy Smyth

Thanks for listening to the feedback. The number of team members is the issue for me as well. I'm trying to work with a group of people to get them up to speed on social media and had planned to put them all on a team with me to manage our account. I'm willing to pay, but the amount I would have to pay to get the whole team on-board will be hard to manage (and justify) especially given no one here is sure about the returns that social media will really bring. I'm also a nonprofit (education) trying to get through a very bad (and getting worse) budget situation.

Brian
Brian

Nancy, it sounds like you're in a situation very similar to mine. We're not selecting just a few elite social networking gurus; we're sharing the load among several people--many of whom barely know how to use Twitter and Facebook, if at all.

So when I first saw the pricing plans, I was worried that Hootsuite wasn't interested in organizations that are operating like we are. I'm relieved that they're listening, and cautiously optimistic that we'll be able to stick with them.

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Thanks for chiming in Nancy. Please continue sharing your thoughts about how we might adjust packages for your needs.

Sarah
Sarah

I own a fledgling social media marketing business in which I provide SM VA and coaching services, and I am willing to pay $20 a month for my partner and I to manage our business's accounts. And I am willing to suggest that my clients pay for a $5 or a $20/month account, too. (They certainly won't pay much more than that when I'm working to convince them that SM is profitable in the first place.) If my other team member is my business partner, and each of my clients use one other person in their offices as their other team member, then I won't be able to collaborate with them on their social media efforts.

This is the workaround I'll probably have to propose to my clients: That they don't add me as a team member; instead that they give me their login credentials to their social media accounts, and I add their accounts as if I'm an owner, too, which will almost entirely negate any collaboration that is supposed to be happening. But this is what my team members and I did before you incorporated team member functionality; it worked then, so I guess I'll have to make it work again.

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Thanks for the feedback Sarah, we're reviewing the pricing plans and over the next few weeks will be adjusting plans so they work better for customers like you.

Sarah
Sarah

Even four team members on the Silver plan would work for most of what I have to do.

And have you all considered some sort of affiliate program? I preach HootSuite to my clients, social media students, and friends. A kickback of sorts would make this whole thing more bearable.

Brian
Brian

Thanks for listening, and for looking into better options for NPOs and others who might have several team members sharing the load. The current 20% discount doesn't get me in the ballpark of what I'd be willing to pay (I'll have around 16 profiles and 20 team members, which puts me at an enterprise plan--still over $14,000/year), but I hear you: you're "looking at other ways to add more team members to the lower tiers." Looking forward to that.

In the meantime, are you postponing the date by which we have to commit to a paid plan? I think that originally this was going to happen by 8/18, right?

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Indeed, we're reviewing that migration date as well. Stay tuned and keep Hoot-ing.

Wayne
Wayne

FYI: I follow on Facebook; the link to this post was marked as abusive.

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

This is an ongoing issue with Facebook's link processing. We are working with them on this problem. No abuse here ;-).

Nick Robinson
Nick Robinson

I am definitely going to need more than 7 days worth of data for an ow.ly link on a free account. is there a reason why you don't use bit.ly links?

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

We have our own built-in link shortener Ow.ly which provides top-notch reliability and allows us to offer the stats. With Bit.ly we couldn't likely offer stats built-in.

Nick Robinson
Nick Robinson

Are the stats on the Pro plan going to be measured for twitter only like they are now, or are the stats going to be measured for a link posted to all social networks?

Nick Robinson
Nick Robinson

Basically as of right now, the analytics aren't that great because they only measure twitter clicks. I want to see clicks from facebook, linkedin, etc. Am I going to be able to see these statistics in the new package? Good data is vital to showing the client/upper management that social media is driving a positive ROI.

Guy Hoogewerf
Guy Hoogewerf

Thank you Hootsuite, I am genuinely grateful that you are at least looking for ways to add more Team Members to the lower tiers of the plans.

You have to continue getting new customers onto the ladder (pretty obvious I guess), and a large chunk those new customers will be us smaller consultants offering Hootsuite as part of the service. It's not something any of us make money out of, but it is something that can significantly help our customers understand the importance of SM.

One they understand SM, then they should be wanting to expand their reach and Team.

Stewart
Stewart

This is greatly encouraging, I look forward to seeing the results. I too have multiple accounts I share with multiple single team members. Maybe you can limit the number of team members by twitter stream to 1 or something.

I don't think anyone expects stuff to be free forever, but it does seem there are some use cases where the current pricing makes the risk of switching far higher.

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Thanks for the feedback Stewart. We're carefully considering adjustments to serve customers best.

SB
SB

Hi there.

Whilst I welcome the expansion of Hootsuite, I can't help wishing that these plans were more flexilble. I am happy to pay for Hootsuite - but not for features I don't use. I would love it if you implemented a sort of 'bolt on' pay package, whereas you select the features you want (for example unlimited rss feeds, or no ads etc) and depending on the features you choose, you would be given a price per month.

For example, I personally make quite heavy use of the RSS feature. So to use that I need to buy the Silver package for $19 a month. The thing is, I don't particularly mind about the ads, or unlimited social networks, but I'm paying for them anyway.

I wish there was some way that I could buy 'unlimited rss feeds' for maybe $4 a month with no extra features...because at the moment I'm going to have to make do with Twitterfeed.

Sorry for this rather garbled post - but I feel quite strongly and would like it if you would at least consider some of the points I make.

Thanks for reading and providing such a fantastic service.

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Thanks for the feedback SB. Some interesting ideas to explore about ad hoc features for packages.

Chad McCullough
Chad McCullough

Thank you for the clarification. I have 3 Twitter accounts (personal, linux consulting and urban farm) and 2 Facebook accounts. I'm hoping the new pricing plan will work for me because there simply are no browser based apps like HootSuite. None! :-)

Thanks!

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Seems like you are good to go with Free or Bronze for your projects. Keep on hoot-ing!

Greg L.
Greg L.

yes I am in the exact same boat as Louisa. I wonder if allowing 1 team member on the free account would help us out? I would think even medium organizations need more than just 1 team member so really this would just target the ultra-small operations like us.

Can't the other Twitter management programs allow multiple people to log into the same Twitter account, where-as Hootsuite only allows one? I hate to say I'd leave, but it's looking more and more like I may have to go back to using Bit.ly for my link tracking and Tweetdeck for my post scheduling. I cannot afford $20 a month and I also need more than 7 days of link tracking to deliver a status report to some clients.

I don't mind Ad supported programs at all so if that's what it takes to get a slightly more robust "free" Hootsuite version, I'm all for that.

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Thanks for the feedback Greg. We're looking at ways to meet the needs of users like you needing team members. We also are adding ads to the Free version via Twitter Promoted Tweets program.

Kristen
Kristen

I know the diagram is supposed to be helpful, but it doesn't make much sense to me. It still looks like I'm limited to 1 team member if I'm going to have a "free" account... and the lower cost accounts have very low team member numbers.

Can you make it clear who can and can't have a "team member" and exactly what your definition of that is?? If I'm a small business and have a virtual assistant that I want to help me manage tweets, it sounds like life is going to be pretty expensive. I mean, think about it... $20 a month just to let my VA help manage tweets is steep. And $50 a month if I have a couple of VA's managing?! I have more than one profile and there's a good chance a different VA will manage each one.

Including at least one team member in the $10 plan would really be nice. Not all of us businesses are Dell yet. But some of us like our team members to do some of the work. The HootSuite interface is lovely, but I don't want to spend all day staring at it :) I need somebody else on there too.

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Thanks for the feedback Kristen. We are looking at other ways to add more team members to the lower tiers for situations like yours.

Louisa
Louisa

"Team Collaboration tools, which are used primarily by larger organizations according to our research."

Sadly although that may be "primarily" the case there are also a number of other people that are caught in the fallout of this.

I am not a large organisation. I am one person. I help small businesses and non-profits with their social media. Sometimes on-going and sometimes for just a couple of months until they are set up on their own. I show them how to maximise their presence on Twitter, Facebook & Linked In. As such, many of those businesses are also one person. They are definitely not going to pay $20 per month for one extra tweeter on their behalf as they are yet to even see the benefits of social networking (or in the case of non-profits, with small teams of part-timers/volunteers they can't justify the even higher expense they would need, even if they can see the benefits).

I currently have more than 8 of these small clients, each wanting one extra person to tweet for them/with them for a time (even if it is only for a half hour a day tops), so what I am expected to do? I can't possibly even consider the extortionate enterprise option. So I am stuck, suddenly and without warning, not knowing how I can maintain the currently 23 different social media streams I am keeping an eye on, on both the desktop and iPhone versions, while I coach my clients to eventually take them over themselves. Not one single one of my social feeds needs more than one other team member, but unfortunately your pricing system doesn't see my setup like that - it interprets 23 streams with just 2 people (me & client) accessing each one as a large team of 23.

My clients want the reassurance that I will be there if they can't be - I can no longer offer that through Hootsuite.

To say I feel let down and frustrated is an understatement. Your intention of monetising your product via the usage of large corporations means I am caught in the middle. And I can no longer recommend Hootsuite to my clients, as I can't work on it with them.

Graham
Graham

I'm in exactly the same situation as Louisa. I help small organizations implement social media, and the key is to be able to work with each of these teams. HS has been my platform of choice because I can track it all in one place. With the proposed changes you seem to be making me into a 'large organization', when in fact I work with multiple small orgs. I'm sure as hell not going to be paying $99 per month to manage two not-for-profits, three clients, and two personal accounts.

So, if this approach sticks, we'll be using some other tool, and also advising clients to do so too. Very sad

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Thanks for your comments Louisa -- as mentioned, we're exploring ways to adjust the team memberships to help users like you.

As a consultant working with many small businesses and non-profit groups, keep in mind that you can be a Team Member on an unlimited amount of their accounts with a free package. Assuming they only require a single team member, they can subscribe to a Silver plan for a reasonable monthly fee. This fee can be further reduced by applying for a non-profit discount via the link in the post.

With that package, they'll enjoy unlimited accounts and feeds to help spread their social campaigns, as well as using teams and assignments -- and you won't have to pay anything to assist them. Alternatively, if you purchase a HootSuite plan, you can bill your clients for a percentage of your costs as part of your services to spread your business expenses.

Guy Hoogewerf
Guy Hoogewerf

Firstly, I really appreciate that fact you are trying to answer our needs, but I am completely in Louisa's situation.

I cannot recommend to a client $20 a month when other services offer it for free. The clients won't pay. That means - even though my own Hootsuite remains free (thank you) - it's of less value as I can only contribute to those clients of mine that are prepared to pay.

So back to square one. The result is that a significant portion (probably 100%) will stop using Hootsuite to manage their SM. I will be able able to help/coach/teach/do via Hootsuite the same level of service.

The solution is simple, allow 1 Team Member on a Freemium account, problem solved... any 'large organisation' worth it's salt is going to need way more than 1 Team Member anyway.

Allow more team members is the only way you are going to maintain a healthy inflow of new customers trying out the service... There is no point to Hootsuite with out it.

Guy Hoogewerf
Guy Hoogewerf

With respect Xavier, I am not making any money out of anyone... Hootsuite is/was a free service that I recommended to my clients (yes businesses), but I assure you I have never charged them for it, and to clarify I have never charged for the help I give them to get them going either. I design websites.

And that's the point here - You want people to manage SM for themselves, it's their business, they know what is going on. You cannot do it for them, it just does not work. But they don't know where to begin. Hootsuite gives them a Single Place to sign on and see everything they need to see from a single place.

And that is what is being lost here. I can't ask people to pay $20 a month for something they very often don't see the value in. They need to get going on it.

At the end of the day - I can log in as anyone else (if I know the password) so all of this ceases to be important, because I am unaffected by Freemium, it's the question of whether Hootsuite can encourage more smaller business to sign up to their Paid services. How does Hootsuite move forward if they don't have a constant flow of new customers benefiting from features like the Team Members.

Let me put it this way - If I have a free account and I don't make use of the Team Members feature, I'll get by all right - I'll manage, but I won't upgrade, probably ever.

If Hootsuite offers a Team Member in the Free Account, then I'll all ready be using that feature and if I need a 2nd Team Member it'll be because I have to.

Finally plenty of companies work this model, Zoho.com for example, they give full service to a few people, but if you organisation grows you start paying.

The question is at what point does a benefit become a need.

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Thanks Guy, as mentioned above, we are reviewing the pricing plans and over the next few weeks will be adjusting plans so they work better for customers like you.

xavier izaguirre
xavier izaguirre

@guy and @louise

Incredible.

So you are making money off your clients but cannot afford $20 a month which is what you spend with your clients when you go to Starbucks in the first meeting.

I have been using Hootsuite from the very beggining and know enough about Internet enterpreneurship as to know a freemium was going to come at some point.

If you use Hootsite for your recreational purpose is free, if you are part of the 5% of people that earn a living with it, like me, then get your clietn to pay for it and you too pay for it.

That allows people to feel motivated to build software that we all can enjoy.

unbelivable attitude.