Updated: Jul 2, 2020
In 2020, your digital footprint matters. Customers prefer to make buying decisions online, and social media platforms have become the center of attention for buyers and sellers. If you don’t know, now you know. #micdrop Managing a successful social media presence means coordinating different posts weekly and monthly with diverse, engaging content specific to each channel and audience that you’re speaking to, all while keeping the voice in brand, aaaand participating with other brands to strengthen your following and footprint. WOOF.
Then, reporting on it all to your clients, bosses, and even yourself in easy to digest charts and graphs. And, YES!, you need the charts, they need to tell you stories about your audience and engagement, to inform your content, copy, marketing programs, sales team, on and on and on...voice!
And now (drum-roll please), we cue the social media management platform to help manage this process so we can focus on the details, change the game, and best avoid the day-to-day monotony that can be managing social media channels. We’ve reviewed Hootsuite and Buffer because:
all of our social media friends in the industry say that they use these platforms
they work with small to large agencies, start-ups, non-profits, and corporate businesses so we felt like we could trust that these 2 are leading the social management game
we were looking into a platform to invest in as we continue to scale our business and our client’s businesses
Their pricing plans are almost the same; the free version offers three social media accounts with a limited number of post scheduling. Hootsuite wins the race by allowing 30 scheduled posts whereas Buffer limits to 10 posts per account only.
If we look at the paid packages of these social media tools, Buffer seems a better option for beginners with a budget-friendly plan of $15/month. You can access Hootsuite by paying $29 per month; that’s almost double. INSIDER TIP from someone who used to work in the software/technology industry: always buy at the end of the month (EOM), or if you can wait until the end of the month at the end of a quarter (EOQ)...whether you’re a private or public company, you’re reporting at the end of months and quarters (to your shareholders or your board) and the sales team is DYING to close as much as possible at end of month + end of quarter aka they’re more likely to give you discounts on fees!
Supported Social Networks
Both these social media management tools extend support to the three most popular platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The peripheral services are also available for Pinterest and Google+.
Hootsuite can also help you care for your YouTube channels and WordPress blogs, but Buffer does not support these additional platforms. Also, Hootsuite allows users to interact with the audience by reading their replies and responding to them. Hootsuite does have some limitations in their Instagram support.
Scheduling and Posting
Buffer and Hootsuite both are capable enough to post on your social accounts; they can help you schedule multiple posts in advance. It is even possible to customize responses for the audience to ensure active interaction. But they follow different scheduling techniques, and it decides the overall performance. Beginners find Buffer more suitable to ensure better control over posts, but it limits the scheduling task to fewer posts. On the other side, Hootsuite allows more scheduling work, but you have to compromise for control.
Experienced people do not find much difference in their dashboards; however, for beginners, Buffer may appear cleaner and sleek. Hootsuite may appear useful as it allows users to view their Twitter timeline, follow Instagram hashtags, and track various mentions on Facebook Pages. It is easier to manage bigger teams via Hootsuite as compared to Buffer; however, Buffer is known more for its simplicity.
They offer variable performance for social automation as per the size of your team. It is possible to assign members to specific social media accounts and decide their posting rights. Hootsuite can help you avail more tools for better scaling in larger organizations; whereas buffer suits to smaller teams.
What do you do if the platform’s approval process isn’t working or you can’t figure out how to implement something very specific to your organization?
With Buffer, you’re pretty limited with your types of technical support and everything is done through chat.
With Hootsuite, depending on your subscription level, you’re offered online chat through talking to a human on a phone. And, if you’d prefer to search for solutions yourself, they have an online community + support website with documentation.
I mean they are both pretty cool, to be honest, we loved the sales process at Hootsuite. Slick, great documentation, easy to understand - really a leader in the industry. But man, Buffer! Coolest culture ever possibly? It makes us want to buy the product just cuz. They publish everyone’s wages on their website so companies understand how to structure payroll, they are the epitome of startup magic and collaboration, love their people, seemingly love their jobs...on and on.
So, where did we land? Hit us up to find out :)