Buffer's Edge Over Hootsuite

Examining Social Media Management Tools: Buffer's Edge Over Hootsuite

In our last post, we examined Hootsuite's edge over Buffer. If you have not seen the post, you can check it out HERE (link to the previous post). 

A robust social media presence can help your business grow, but one problem most companies face is being able to manage all of their social media profiles and pages. Thankfully, Buffer offers one of the best social media management tools in the market. Here, we will examine Buffer’s advantages over Hootsuite.

About Buffer 

Buffer is rapidly becoming a go-to social media management tool. This tool manages Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. It is often preferred by small and medium enterprises who use it to manage their day-to-day social media posts at a reasonable price.

Buffer Key Features

One of the best of Buffer’s features includes its low-cost, easy-to-learn dashboard interface, and a scheduling format on the dashboard that is more readable than Hootsuite’s alternative. Let's go deeper into the specific features of Buffer that make it a preferable social media scheduling tool to Hootsuite.

Plans and Pricing

Buffer follows a unique pricing model which is different from Hootsuite. While Hootsuite is more expensive with prices ranging from $49 to $739 per month, Buffer pricing includes a “Free Plan” for individuals and small businesses, a $5 “Essential Plan” per month, a $10 “Team Plan” for teams who want unlimited user seating, collaboration, and reporting, and “Business Plans” from $99-$399 per month. 

Comparing Buffer’s pricing options with Hootsuite, you will notice that each option follows a similar structure. For the first tier plan, both Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to add up to three social media accounts and schedule a limited number of posts to both.

Buffer’s service offers three business-level plans. Each tier allows you to manage 25 social media accounts on the low level up to 150 on the top tier. They also support up to 25 additional team members and every business tier allows for up to 2000 scheduled posts per social media account. The business plan also comes with advanced social analytics so you can dive into more details like which demographics are responding more to certain posts.

It is important to understand the size of your business before choosing what tool or plan to sign up for. If you are uncertain of your needs, Buffer offers a 14-day free plan for all of their packages. This allows you to try things out risk-free and decide on the plan that best fits your needs.

Social Network Management

Both Buffer and Hootsuite support the three big social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), as well as other peripheral services like LinkedIn and Pinterest. Because we are here to talk about Buffer’s edge over Hootsuite, it is important to note that Buffer's way of supporting social media platforms is more focused on helping you schedule bulk posts and allowing them to roll out with time.



Hootsuite

Buffer

Facebook 

Twitter 

Instagram 

Google+ 


Linkedin

Pinterest 

WordPress 


TikTok

YouTube


Shopify


Some might prefer Hootsuite over Buffer because it supports YouTube. This can be helpful so you can view your posts from all social media platforms on one dashboard. However, most content posted to YouTube is in a video format that we don’t post to every other page. Twitter, for example, does not allow videos longer than 140 to be posted. With this in mind, it is understandable why Buffer would choose not to support YouTube.


Scheduling and Posting

Buffer offers a cleaner and more intuitive user experience, and allows you to create a custom schedule called the “Buffer Queue” that dictates when posts should go up. When you add a post, it will find the next available slot and fill it. 

For example, say you have a schedule that has posts published at 9 a.m., 3 p.m., and 8 p.m. every day. You have another post ready to be published, but you already have three posts scheduled for today, so this new post will go to the 9 a.m slot the next day. 

You can manually schedule posts for any time you want, but if you don't want to think about it, the queue is a handy basic structure that you control. You can even customize the posting schedule per day, so you could have fewer posts over the weekend, or a special schedule on Friday, and so on.

Both Buffer and Hootsuite come with a significant limitation for free users. Buffer allows you to schedule up to ten posts per social media account.

Dashboard Experience

Buffer does a better job of showing your scheduled posts on the dashboard, and its dashboard is sleek and clean, and you'll only see a queue of the social posts you've scheduled.  Don't overlook the importance of having a clean dashboard interface. It can make it easy to see which posts you scheduled, how many posts you have queued up for each account, and edit any posts you need to edit. Without a user-friendly dashboard, the convenience of having a social media management tool becomes moot.

Team Management

As previously stated, whether Buffer or Hootsuite is the tool that will work for you depends on the size of your social media marketing team. Both tools allow you to assign specific social media accounts to teams.  Buffer will work absolutely fine for small marketing teams; Hootsuite has some fancier features for larger enterprises, but this comes at a larger price, leading some larger businesses to still prefer Buffer.

Conversation Management

Social media is a two-way street, and Buffer offers a different way of responding to comments and messages on social media, giving you an opportunity to respond to those conversations directly. Buffer also has another application called Buffer Reply, which allows you to assign conversations to a certain team member, add notes to conversations so you can remember when someone reached out before, and even see which of your own team members are responding in real-time.

You can check out Buffer’s priced listing (https://buffer.com/pricing) for more information on these additional services, and the features each one supports.

Content Curation

Unless all you do is swim around social media platforms looking for content to share and reshare, content curation can prove to be a daunting task. Not to worry; both Buffer and Hootsuite offer content curation tools you can use to complete the task. 

Buffer’s content curation tool is called “Content Inbox,” which is only available for the “Pro” and “Business” plans. This allows you to add RSS feeds to a tab in the Buffer dashboard to find articles, then add them to your queue with your own message. RSS feeds are online files that contain details about every piece of content a site has published (zapier.com).

Both Buffer and Hootsuite offer browser extensions to help you share the things you find as you are going about your day. Overall, if you want to keep an eye on RSS feeds, Buffer might feel a little more comfortable.

Tracking and Analytics

Having a social media strategy and posting content regularly aren't enough to develop an effective social media marketing effort. Post analysis is crucial in the success of your social media campaigns; without it, it is harder to know which posts are being seen and engaged with, and which are not. The goal of social media monitoring is to reach as many people as possible, but it is also important to track how your audience is responding to posts.

Both Hootsuite and Buffer offer robust tools for analyzing how your audience is responding to your posts. The exact features differ based on your selected plan, but in general, the higher the plan, the more sophisticated the reporting you will get from each service.

Detailed Comparison of Buffer and Hootsuite

 


Buffer

Hootsuite

Pricing

Free version with limits. $15/mo for Pro version with fewer limits. Business plans range from $99-399/month.

Free version with limits. $29/mo for Pro version, workable for small businesses. $129/mo for Team plan. Large business plans start at $599/month.

Supported Social Networks

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress, YouTube

Scheduling and Posting

Buffer Queue gives you detailed control over posting schedules.

Automatically handles scheduling, but offers less control.

Dashboard Experience

Clean dashboard focuses on your own scheduled posts. Calendar view (Pro and up) lets you see a week of content at a glance.

Customizable tabs provide high control over what you see. Can browse feeds of external content, as well as manage your own scheduled posts.

Team Management

Admins can give users access to only certain social media accounts, requiring approval to post.

Admins can create multiple levels of teams, members, and access. Ideal for larger organizations with many members and divisions.

Advertising

No advertising support.

Manage ad campaigns through Hootsuite Ads.

Conversation Management

Separate app, Buffer Reply, features robust tools to manage messages, replies, add notes about customers, and oversee teams of customer service representatives.

Tabs within the Hootsuite dashboard let you monitor replies, mentions, and messages. Included with plan, but not ideal for mass customer engagement.

Content Curation

Ideal for monitoring RSS feeds, finding new articles to share.

Ideal for monitoring social trends, keeping up with online conversation. Browser extension adds Twitter search results to Google search pages.

Tracking and Analytics

No analytics for free users. Business plans that include CSV exports and in-depth analysis tools are relatively cheap.

Basic analytics for free users. Upgraded plans to get in-depth reports, CSV exports, and real-time data are expensive.

Buffer or Hootsuite: Which Tool is Right for You?

Each tool has its own benefits. Buffer is easier to learn and the interface is more human-centric.  If you are a small to medium business, Buffer’s smaller learning curve may work for you. It is also the preferred platform for individuals or startups which don't yet have a developed social media marketing team. 

Hootsuite, on the other hand, provides you with a more sophisticated interface for managing larger companies' social media presence. It provides a deeper and more informative analytics dashboard. 

Overall, Buffer does a good job of managing your social media day-to-day posts for all platforms in just one place.

But of course, if you want all of the stress of social media management taken off your plate, get in touch with iBCScorp™ to handle ALL of your social media needs! Contact us today for a free quote on how we can make your life easier.

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