14th November 2014

Hootsuite vs Buffer for Social Media Management

Social media, over the last few years, has become more popular in businesses to help brand awareness, create strong customer relationship management, target market expansion, receive valuable feedback and a boost in web analytics. Many people believe that by simply being on the most popular platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn that you can achieve everything, however it is essential to have strong social media skills in order to engage, listen and respond to a target audience.

Monitoring tools allow you to keep an eye on different streams in a more efficient way and track stats to help improve your messages and posts. Tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer are examples of these, both brilliant in their own way, however lacking in some areas. Below are the pros and cons of using both of these social media tools.

 

Hootsuite hootsuite-500x181

PROS

  • A more complete social media management tool
  • A strong social media monitor
  • Supports a wide range of networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, WordPress and mixi
  • Easy to create streams based on keywords, phrases, lists and mentions
  • Can monitor numerous streams at the same time, such as mentions, favourites, hashtags, keywords etc
  • Able to upload .csv files with messages at selected times to go live
  • Good for managing numerous social accounts and having lots of followers
  • Has a feature called ‘Auto Scheduler’ where you create a post, select one or more networks and Hootsuite will automatically select next best time to share that post. If more than one network, it selects a different time for each, stopping them all ‘blasting’ out at the same time
  • Custom reports can be built and reports automatically generated and emailed regularly to you
  • In terms of analytics, Hootsuite offers a wide variety of tools. Hootsuite Pro offers customised reports, however it is limited based on how many ‘credits’ you have available
  • ‘Listening’ department brilliant
  • Customer support is supposedly good

CONS

  • Dashboard very complex. Not really user-friendly and can be very daunting at first, especially those new to social media. However people are known to warm to it
  • Free and Pro plans are limited. If social media agenda is very busy, you would need enterprise plan, which is expensive
  • Hootsuite’s platform doesn’t offer a way to schedule tweets with pic twitter images. This can only be shown as links
  • Allows you to create individual posts and schedule them, but you have to specifically choose a date and time, and that post will be posted to EVERY network selected at that time

 

Buffer buffer

PROS

  • Simplifies sharing and message scheduling. Suits those who are new to social media
  • It’s simple, doesn’t require training. User-friendly and self explanatory
  • Networks included: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, App.net and Google+
  • Easy to understand analytics
  • Cheaper at £6/month
  • More of an add-on rather than separate tool
  • If social media time is limited and you want something super quick, then Buffer is perfect. It’s simple, fast and efficient
  • Buffer offers a way to schedule tweets with pic twitter images, rather than extra links
  • Allows you to schedule separate posts for each network at a different time, rather than all going out at the same time

CONS

  • It is limited. If you manage multiple accounts, you’d struggle
  • Can’t use tool to view Twitter feed or directly interact with your followers
  • Buffer’s analytics are very basic and doesn’t offer a more comprehensive summary of how Twitter account is doing for example

 

Overall

When it comes to deciding which social media management tool to choose, it really does depend on what you want it to achieve. For instance, if you are new to social media or want to concentrate on scheduling your posts, you would be better to go with Buffer because it is simpler and definitely a scheduling tool hard to beat. However if you are more into monitoring what’s going on with your posts and have lots of networks, then Hootsuite would be better for this.

It has also been known for people to use both tools as they have the ability to complement each other very well. Scheduling is easier with buffer, but you are able to respond and interact with followers through Hootsuite. A limitation for both of these though are although they have apps for mobiles, there is definitely a reduction of social network support.

 

Sources

One Comment on “Hootsuite vs Buffer for Social Media Management

Dan Spicer
18th November 2014 at 5:00 pm

Hi Amelia, I’m Dan Spicer, Community lead for Hootsuite here in the UK and we try to read everything people say about us and certainly take your feedback seriously and respectfully – thanks for your comments and feedback on our platform.

With regards to Buffer, I agree with all of your comments. Buffer builds beautiful interfaces, has a great scheduling API and is a brilliant point-solution for scheduling content. We’ve spoken with many customers who enjoy both platforms and there is certainly no reason why users can’t use Hootsuite and Buffer together.

In answer to your feedback, released earlier this year and available to Pro users, you can actually use the native pic.twitter.com functionality and schedule content which uses this functionality and will therefore display images inline. More info can be found here: http://ow.ly/v8GPZ

In terms of scheduling, you’re correct in that you can select the date and time of when you want your content to be published and then select the platforms you wish for that content to be published to. We do however also have the auto-schedule feature in which you can automatically queue messages for optimal times from within the dashboard. Spend more time finding content and less time thinking about scheduling. Here’s a little more information on the auto-schedule feature: http://ow.ly/Elml7

We’re always listening and looking to improve our platform which is why we also have our community feedback forum – http://feedback.hootsuite.com, where users can submit ideas and features requests that can be voted up, then fed back into our product dev team for prioritisation.

Really great to hear Hootsuite has your vote for managing social media. We also have some great updates on the immediate horizon so look forward to sharing these with you!

Happy to discuss further if you have any specific questions.

All the best!

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