Buffer vs Hootsuite - Heavyweight Social Media smackdown

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Buffer vs Hootsuite - Heavyweight Social Media smackdown

Buffer vs Hootsuite - Heavyweight Social Media smackdown

Social media is a part of everything we do online. A strong presence on social media is essential for increasing brand awareness, continuing to build customer relationships & boosting traffic. Posting to social media is redundant if you are not staying up to date with key insights through the use of analytics & statistics. If you are like us & are in the process of choosing a Social Media tool that allows you to schedule posts to various platforms at once (minus Instagram but we will get to that), then you have come to the right place. The question is Buffer or Hootsuite?

A tale of Hootsuite

With Hootsuit you can manage all areas of your social media activity. From publishing & scheduling updates to monitoring your progress with analytics, this handy tool has got you covered. While the functionality is great there is also one important aspect of this tool is the ability to work along side colleagues on a specific campaign if required. This has been made possibly with the added functionality of a messenger system. Hootsuite supports a wide range of social platforms:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+ (profiles only)
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Instagram

Along with all the functionality benefits mentioned above, you an also be come  certified Hootsuite expert. There are online courses offered ranging in price from being totally free to a more professional dedication required. This social media training is hosted in a Hootsuite University that allows its participants access lectures & online tutorials. This type of system is beneficial for any individual seeking the opportunity to up skill their current social media knowledge. You can also construct a timetable that best suits your schedule to become a "Hootsuite Professional".

All the good stuff

You can choose from a variety of licensing options that suit the scale of the campaign. There are great navigation capabilities across most smart phones including Android & iOS so planning on the go is easy! The monitoring options for Hootsuite are an added bonus. You can engage with your audience through instant messages. You can also track any mentions that have been made about your business. The option for a collaboration add on is something unique to Hootsuite. With it you can collaborate with team members which allows more than one person to work on a campaign. The high level of detail given to analytic reports means that you can use it for client meetings.Where would we be without analytics?  

Not so good

While it is marketed as a 'free' system, you will eventually have to pay if you wan to access the higher end capabilities of Hootsuite. The free version is limited. As we are all about analytics, we were disappointed to learn that none of the analytical options were available on the free version. These services can cost between $60-$600 per report. Not ideal if you are on a tight budget. If the collaboration feature is appealing to you then this will also bump up the cost of Hootsuite. We are fans of Hootsuite but like with most tools, it’s not perfect. This tool is fully loaded whihc makes the navigation a bit tricky if you are not used to it. It is not impossible but would take a novus some time to feel comfortable because the dashboard has become rather complex.

All about Buffer

If you are an Individual plan user, you will be able create one custom schedule per platform which will help you optimize timing as a whole. As an Awesome plan user – $10/month (and all plans above) you can create as many schedules as you’d like for each profile: a schedule for weekdays, one for weekends; one for Mondays, one for Tuesdays; one for go-to times, one for experiments. The tool will provide you with a list of optimal times to share your content, based on the past 5,000 interactions (e.g. likes, favorites, clicks, etc.) you’ve had on that profile as well as the interactions of similar profiles in the same timezone. There’s also an “experimental” element, that picks some time slots outside your top engaged times.

What's great about Buffer?

The basic concept of Buffer is similar to Hotsuite. There are a few key differences though. Buffer is really user friendly. If you are new the world of Social Media Management then this is for you. "Buffer's key strengths lie in its simplicity". You only get essentials. Along with the scheduling functionalities & analytics you can dive deep into the "RSS feeds" (Rich Site Summary) which means you can view any changing web content. Sound great right? The fact that the analytics are produced in a simple , easy to understand format makes it all so much easier to understand which of the posts are doing better. Buffer have also upped their game recently with rolling out some great features. You can now schedule posts to Pinterest along with native video sharing. Then there’s Pablo, a tool created by Buffer which makes it very easy to overlay quotes/text onto images. "Just pick which size of image you want (different sizes work better on different social networks), customize the text and add a background." Then Buffer the image, share it directly to your favourite social network or download it.

What's not to love?

Before you get too excited, there is no Instagram integration on this site. Buffer will however set a reminder that will alert you to the fact that you need to post to Instagram same as Hootsuite will offer. But, on the brighter side of things you still get the benefit of tracking metrics & analytics for Instagram. As well as this they have a really helpful 'how to guide' which we have below. 

Our verdict?

Hootsuite comes fully loaded with a lot of tools, but with that the trade-off is that the dashboard has become rather complex. Despite several redesigns, it still doesn’t have a very user-friendly feel. Although, you can definitely warm up to it – might just take longer to find your way around. The pricing for using the analytical tools can be steep. But, if you’re looking for a social media management platform, then Buffer isn’t for you. It’s not that Buffer isn’t a great tool, but its primarily a content publishing tool. They offer a more cost effective approach. Overall, they both have their pros & cons. Thankfully each tool can be downloaded on a free trial basis so we would recommend trying each to get a feel for what suits you.  

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Read 576 times Last modified on Tuesday, 13 June 2017 11:45


Bianca Reid

Sharonda Ellner

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Bianca Reid

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