So you’ve got a social media account and have decided that you need to use a management tool. Before completely committing to one, it’s always a good idea to look at your options. This will help you to decide which management tool is the right one for your business, and leave you without any regrets.
Two of the big players in social management and publishing are Buffer and Hootsuite. However, the features of the tools vary. It’s important to know these features before choosing one platform over the other.
Supported social networks
Hootsuite supports Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and WordPress. You can also integrate further platforms including Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Reddit, Flickr and Tumblr, to name a few.
Meanwhile, Buffer supports Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest.
Hootsuite clearly supports more platforms. However, not all businesses will have that large amount of social platforms. Make sure the platform you choose supports the platforms you’re using and planning to use.
Access and Permissions
Sometimes more than one person in your office is going to need to access your social management tool.
Fortunately, both Hootsuite and Buffer allow you to have multiple people with access. Both allow access to be authenticated via email or social media accounts.
In regards to permissions, Buffer offers two types – manager and contributor. Being assigned as a contributor means there is less access and posts require approval before being queued. Hootsuite allows users to have custom permissions and roles.
If there are lots of people using your social media management tool, then Hootsuite may be the better option. Having custom permissions gives you more control over which team member has access to what.
Security is always an important factor to consider. You don’t want to be using a tool with security issues, or is easy for ex-employees to access and wreak havoc.
Buffer has 2-factor access. This means when you log into your Buffer account, you will also be asked to enter a code which will be sent to either your mobile phone or an app such as Google Authenticator. This helps you to avoid any unauthorised person accessing Buffer. You can also review devices which have been used to access your account, and revoke access if necessary.
Hootsuite has a bunch of security features that will give you peace of mind when using the tool. It has a double approval system, with data being stored on multiple hosts in different locations.
In this instance, both tools appear to take security very seriously, and there is no clear winner.
This is the reason you’re considering using Buffer or Hootsuite – the content. You want to use the tool that is superior with publishing and scheduling.
If you’re wanting a tool that will allow you to publish content, you can do this through both platforms. Both will also allow you to post content to multiple channels at once. However, Buffer only lets you post new content, and schedule retweets. Hootsuite, meanwhile, allows you to reply, retweet, favourite and respond to content.
Both Hootsuite and Buffer allow you to schedule content, and will calculate the best times to post using their own algorithms.
Another big deciding factor is automation. After all, the ideal tool will be as automated and easy to use as possible. If it is too time-consuming, then what is the point of using it?
Using Autoscheduling, Hootsuite allows users to top up a list of scheduled posts. Users also have the option to link an RSS feed, which will find new posts from a certain source and automatically publish those to the users social media accounts.
Buffer also has similar features, but also allows for third-party automation tools to be connected to it. This means you’re not just limited to scheduled posts and an RSS feed. A popular tool is IFTTT. This tool also gives you access to more social media accounts. This even allows you to take actions such as saving your Buffer schedule to a Google Drive spreadsheet or to a Google Calendar.
Hootsuite offers five different plans, starting with a free plan, which gives you access to three social profiles, message scheduling and basic analytics. Paid plans range from $19.99 per month to $99.00 per month, both billed annually. There is also an entrepreneur option which offers custom pricing. You can also get a free 30 day trial if you’re not already convinced.
Buffer also has a range of different payment plans to choose from. The free option gives you access to one social media account, and will allow you to schedule 10 posts per day. You’ll also get basic access to analytics, as well as the image creator and video and GIF uploader. Paid options start at $10 per month, through to $399 per month. As with Hootsuite, there is also an option for entrepreneurs. The $10 per month option comes with a 7 day free trial, while the three other options come with a 14 day free trial.
So which one is better?
Which one you should use all comes down to personal preference. Hootsuite offers more access and more features. However, Buffer is often easier to use. If you haven’t used a social media scheduler before or aren’t that tech-savvy, then your best option would be to choose Buffer. However, if you need a more complex solution, and have a larger range of social media platforms that you’re publishing too, then Hootsuite is the choice for you.