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

A well-planned digital marketing strategy can be beneficial for your business. The numerous social platforms available, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin, can be difficult to manage with the necessary efforts for each individual platform.

A decade ago, digital marketing was optional: almost more of an activity than a necessity. The number of digital marketing platforms was small, as were their features; it was not too difficult to manage. Since then, however, the industry has become increasingly sophisticated.

To keep up, technology is helpful in facilitating the process. Without the help of technology, it can be difficult to keep up. There are numerous tools you can use to assist businesses in their digital marketing efforts.

In this article, we analyze the two leading two social media industry tools for helping organize digital marketing: Hootsuite and Buffer. These tools are used to schedule posts, making it easy to utilize all social media platforms without sacrificing your time and sanity.

About Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the most popular enterprise social media management tools available when comparing Hootsuite to others like Buffer, Sprout Social, Zoho Social, and Loomly. Hootsuite is quite powerful and very popular. With Hootsuite, you can track the performance of your social media platforms, check for return on investment, manage direct messages, and track public conversations about your brand. You can also add reactions directly from the dashboard. These features are what makes Hootsuite an exceptional enterprise tool.

On the other hand, a notable characteristic is the amount of time it takes to get used to Hootsuite. Of all the enterprise management tools on the market, we have found out that Hootsuite has a steeper learning curve. This might not be a serious problem for teams of professionals who are handling more sophisticated social media platforms, but it might not be right for startups or smaller businesses who do not have the time or expertise.

Hootsuite’s Key Features

One of the most useful features of Hootsuite is that it includes the ability to track social media performance from one dashboard. It also includes the leverage to manage social media teams from one dashboard. We will go further to look into the features of Hootsuite.

Pricing

Hootsuite follows a unique pricing model which is different from Buffer. While Buffer charges monthly per social media account that has been added, Hootsuite has detailed plans that can suit the needs of any business size.

The plan starts at $49 per month which allows for 1 user, 10 social accounts, and most importantly, the ability to access messages in one inbox, but for multiple users and more social media accounts, the price can increase up to $739 per month for the “Business” plan. The “Enterprise” plan is basically a customizable plan, for which one must contact Hootsuite for pricing.

Supported Social Network

Hootsuite is a good enterprise tool that supports a wide range of Social media and digital platforms, including WordPress blogs and YouTube channels. This is a very important difference between Hootsuite and Buffer, where the latter supports a lesser number of platforms and accounts.



Hootsuite

Buffer

Facebook 

Twitter 

Instagram 

Google+ 


Linkedin

Pinterest 

WordPress 


TikTok

YouTube


Shopify


It is also notable that Hootsuite supports platforms differently. For example, both Hootsuite and Buffer let you post to Twitter, while only Hootsuite lets you see your timeline, read replies, and respond to them. This is an edge Hootsuite has over Buffer, because being able to see and have control over your social media pages from one place can save time, and it is more efficient.

Scheduling and Posting

When it comes to scheduling posts, both Hootsuite and Buffer do the job very well. Buffer has a finer and more user-friendly interface, while Hootsuite, in all of its sophistication, can be more difficult to understand and use. On the plus side, Hootsuite allows you to tweak your reply because each platform is different; what works for Facebook might not always work for Twitter.

Another one of the many benefits of Hootsuite is that it does more of the scheduling work for you. If you turn on “AutoSchedule,” it will automatically pick a time for your post to publish. The benefit of this is it doesn't roll out all the posts at once, but then you don't have to individually schedule each post. Hootsuite's scheduling functionality is far superior in this case.

If you want to schedule a large number of posts at once, you can use Hootsuite's Bulk composer. It allows you to prepare up to 350 messages on a CSV file and upload it all at once. If you have a larger business, this might be a good way to go.

Dashboard Experience

Hootsuite's dashboard is another characteristic that distinguishes it from Buffer. It has an attractive dashboard with capabilities, such as, showing your timeline, conversations, social scores, most popular posts, and more! It is also easy to navigate through the analysis of your posts so you can see things like new “follows,” “mentions,” “likes,” and “hashtags.”

Team Management

Hootsuite is built to enable you to manage larger teams for big organizations. Both Hootsuite and Buffer allow you to manage teams and assign specific accounts to team members.

A very interesting feature that Hootsuite has is that it gives you more tools to break up your team members into categories. The benefit of this is easier to see if you have a large team that manages multiple accounts for companies, and it is helpful to have an expert manage one platform at a time. Also, it will be more advantageous as your projects grow and you would need more teams to manage those projects. You can also have groups and subgroups, such as Teams (groups of members) or Organizations (groups of Teams). This allows you to assign parts of projects to teams, instead of individuals, or organizations to make them more managable.

Advertising

Only Hootsuite allows you to manage your Ad campaigns directly from the Dashboard, which is a big edge this tool has over Buffer or other social media management tools in the market. Hootsuite also offers Hootsuite Ads, which is beneficial for managing everything from one place.

Conversation Management

Hootsuite allows you to customize your Dashboard so you can arrange the way you want to reply to your comments and keep conversations going.

Hootsuite

For example, you can create a tab with columns for your Twitter mentions, Youtube comments, and Facebook messages, and reply to them all from one spot. Paired with the Hootsuite team management features, it is easy for your social media team to manage communities and stay engaged with the conversation you are having with your customers.

Content Curation

Hootsuite is built to help you manage all content directly from one spot. If you plan to keep an eye on all social trends, Hootsuite can help with that. Buffer, on the other hand, provides more avenues to monitor RSS feeds. RSS feeds are online files that contain details about every piece of content a site has published (zapier.com). This is an advantage Buffer has over Hootsuite, but both services offer a browser extension to enable you to share whatever you want while going about your online business.

Tracking and Analytics

Hootsuite provides more free analytics features. With the Professional plan and up, you can build a real-time analytics report, referred to as “Boards,” which allows you to measure which posts people are engaging with, and which age groups or demographics are responding.

With the Enterprise plan, you can even see which teams in your organization are responding to your followers and how fast they are doing so.

Both Hootsuite and Buffer offer similar reporting features on performance and engagement. However, it is important to note that Hootsuite occasionally shares a few reports for free when using a paid plan.

Summary

Hootsuite- Hootsuite is best for professional marketing organizations. It is not for the faint of heart.  If you are using a third-party marketing company, they are likely using Hootsuite to manage your social media marketing. If your business doesn't have a social media expert, then you may want to make use of a simpler tool.

Buffer- With a smaller learning curve, Buffer may work for a small organization that wants to manage its own social media but doesn't have a full digital marketing team. Buffer does a good job of managing your day-to-day social media posts for all platforms in one place.

Remember, each of these tools has its own uniqueness. For example, Buffer is easier to learn and the interface is more human-centric. In addition, it is built to help small businesses manage their Social media presence better. While 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.

The object of this article is to show business owners how Hootsuite can be a preferred tool. So far we have seen that though the tool costs more, there are some features that give it an edge over other similar tools, like Buffer.

What’s best for you? Hootsuite or Buffer?

Our recommendation is this:

Good- For a small company that needs a low learning curve, Buffer might be good for you.

Better- For a digital marketing agency, or a company with a dedicated team and lots of social media work to do, Hootsuite is the better option.

Best- For anyone in need of great social media marketing skills with a dedicated staff and competitive rates, iBCScorp™ is always the best option!