Hootsuite and Buffer are leading social media management tools. They have excellent features but appeal to different audiences based on their strengths. Hootsuite has a powerful functionality in the sphere of team management and integration with third party tools. It’s free for Freelancers or individuals with very basic needs but for accessing other tools, you need to have a pro plan that is priced at $29.99/month. Buffer, on the other hand, has improved over the years and tops the chart when it comes to ease-of-use. It has a clean interface and outstanding visuals and graphics. Analyze, one of its features, helps you strategize and grow your reach for instance: it helps you gain real Instagram views and boosts your Instagram presence. The Pro Plan costs $15/month.
- Availability of social media accounts
One of the most important aspects that is considered by business marketing professionals in the sphere of social media marketing. Most of the brands or businesses have their presence on more than one social media account. Thus, their priority in evaluating the effectiveness of a tool rests on whether they provide tools for publishing on multiple accounts. Let’s compare both the tools:
Buffer: It allows you to publish on different platforms with the Pro version which consists of- Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Hootsuite: It allows you to post on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest, which are all natively integrated. You can even add more for some of which, you will be required to pay extra as they might require premium subscription. In this category, Hootsuite has a better advantage over Buffer.
Since a lot of time is invested on social media for management and marketing, ease-of-use must be a criteria because you don’t want to have a bad experience.
Buffer: It provides an organised and clean layout and user interface, thus there is no need to worry about the technicalities. In this category, Buffer wins. Infact, they have outstanding, appealing visuals. Trying some top social media marketing companies to promote and manage your social media profiles is a pro tip used by some of the top marketers.
Hootsuite: Like Buffer, Hootsuite also is easy to use as it necessarily doesn’t involve a sharp learning curve in order to become a power-user.
3. Post scheduling functionality
You use social media to publish content, thus you would look for something that has clarity and ease-of-use. Moreover, you should create a calendar for a proper schedule to post as it portrays your organization or brand as very organised. However, this may require a level of fluency and ease. It’s a very important criteria because scheduling is a must when you aim at a higher level of engagement on your post.
Buffer: In the sphere of scheduling capacity, Buffer has come a long way. Infact, it allows you to set a calendar and schedule for a month in advance. Such is its efficacy that has improved over the years. They have a 4 out of 5 rating in the matter of schedule posting functionality precisely because they have this feature way before Hootsuite installed.
Hootsuite: Hootsuite has a very powerful scheduling functionality which is a defining criteria to compare Hootsuite with other social media management solutions.
4. Ad hoc posting
You require ad-hoc posting to make your account more responsive to breaking news. Ad-hoc posting provides you the opportunity to post content on the fly, thus boosting your social media marketing strategies. It adds a sense of immediacy to your online presence. It’s a very important criteria when you analyse social media marketing tools.
Buffer: In this category, Buffer takes an advantage. Both Hootsuite and Buffer provide you the avenue to use Chrome plugins that enables you to post content from the browser while you are consuming that content. Regardless, Buffer is easier than Hootsuite. In the case of Buffer, you need not select a day/time to post or go live. Rather, you just have to click on the post that you want to have on your feed and Buffer will put in where it deems best and necessary.
Hootsuite: Like Buffer, Hootsuite allows you to post while consuming the content using a Chrome plugin. It is also ingrained with a feature that allows you to not use the manual scheduling, just as Buffer. Buffer, however, excels in the domain of “social share” plugins so much so that it has its own native “share via Buffer” option integrated that eases out the process.
5. Conversation management
Social media marketing has one ultimate aim: boost engagement and conversation. From being a “nice to have” feature, its importance has tremendously increased and it has become a “must-have” feature over the span of time. Conversation management is crucial as it provides strategies to engage in a back-and-forth dialogue that happens in the comments section or direct messages on social media. For example: it will help you increase engagement which in turn will help you gain real Instagram likes and boost Instagram presence. Anyone who promotes any kind of service on social media is well-acquainted with the fact that every social media platform has a different way of engaging in dialogue or boost engagement. It might prove to be difficult to monitor or manage in a timely manner. In this category, Buffer holds the ground.
Buffer: Buffer Reply is a tool that helps businesses and brand manage their back-and-forth communication. It’s a very robust and simplistic tool that is very easy to use. This robustness helps you in making internal notes on a conversation, assigning dialogues to the members and also in pushing content to other third-party tools like Slack etc. All these things are done by Buffer reply which starts at $50/month. Thus, it’s very cost-effective and accrues a lot of benefits.
Hootsuite: Hootsuite also offers you the feature of conversation management. But, it can be a little clunky and is not thoughtfully designed in the sense it doesn’t cater to the needs of the customer. Infact, various reviews have expressed their frustration with the in-built design of the platform.
Hootsuite and Buffer, both of these social media marketing tools excel in the features they provide. What you choose depends on why you need a specific tool. If you’re a small firm, Buffer is a better option for you. If you are involved in running multiple customer support, Buffer again is a better option because of its conversation management functionality. But, if you’re a bigger firm and are looking for post schedule functionality, Hootsuite is better. So choose as per your need.