Social Media Marketing Software

Which One Wins the Social Scheduling Game - Hootsuite or Buffer?

Which One Wins the Social Scheduling Game - Hootsuite or Buffer?

Introduction:

A strong social media presence can do miracles for your business, but keeping up with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram alone can be a task. Social media management tools support you to maintain all of your profiles and pages in one place so that you can concentrate on the product or service you're promoting on those platforms.

Here, we'll compare two of the most successful social media management tools, Hootsuite and Buffer, heeding where each one outdoes the other and which is the best solution as per your needs.

social media intro image

Overview:

In social media marketing, the two most flourishing names are - Hootsuite & Buffer. Thus, you may find yourself in a dilemma, which one to invest, in terms of money and time.  At the core, both tools enable you to roster social media posts. For instance, if you plan that you want to tweet out a link to your newest blog post at 5.30 a.m., Hootsuite or Buffer can make it for you without you being required to wake at 5:00 am. Nevertheless, that’s an obvious look, and each tool possesses significant modifications that we’ll get to know further.

Wondering, which one makes more sense for you? Let’s take a look at the article below for getting a more precise concept about the Hootsuite and Buffer, which will enable you to determine in picking up the best social media marketing software for your business.

Buffer was established in 2010 in Birmingham, UK, by software developer Joel Gascoigne together with co-founder Leo Widrich. Initially, Buffer only acted with Twitter. But by the start of the year 2013, the emerging tool had gain 1,000,000 users, and it now integrates with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram. Whereas, Hootsuite is similar to Buffer but with more features. Hootsuite was discovered in 2008 by Ryan Holmes, a Canadian computer programmer. Hootsuite supports all the platforms as Buffer does, but it also promotes YouTube, WordPress, Flickr, Tumblr, and many others, including Xing and Viadeo. 

One can have a complete overview of the most suitable SMM tool for their business by exploring the below-listed standard traits -

  • Features
  • Integration
  • Pricing
  • Security
  • DashBoard Experience
  • Team Management
  • Analytics
  • Customer Care
  • Review
  • Summary

Features:

Hootsuite is a complicated and sprawling medium with almost infinite possible uses. Once you plan to schedule a post across multiple social media platforms, then you can do it with the calendar and can communicate with the followers directly via HooteSuite's dashboard. Moreover, you can even allot tasks and coordinate with the other team members. Also, through the calendar, one can easily view the weekly schedules and even can edit with the drag and drop functionality. 

On the other hand, Buffer is much contoured and straightforward scheduling tool. One can use this tool for scheduling a queue of posts on Facebook, Twitter, and others. In comparison to HootSuite, Buffer doesn't support multiple social media platforms, but it does hold a variety of alternatives for social automation, including IFTTT & Zapier, which endows you to post automatically. The biggest demerit of Buffer is its inability to interact with the audience through the dashboard, and the second important thing is analytics, which is available only for the posts and not for the complete profile.

Some more additional features of both tools are debriefed as below -

  • Easy to use - It should be a joyful experience while spending a lot of time in managing social media solutions through social media software tools. In Buffer, it is simple and consists of a cleaner looking layout, whereas in Hootsuite - it is simple to use but doesn’t have an impressive dashboard to become a power-user.   
  • Ad hoc posting - Ad-hoc posting enables an SMM professional to post items live, adding more contiguity to their social media ubiquity. Both Hootsuite and Buffer possess Chrome plugins that let you post content straight from your browser. However, Buffer makes it in a more simple form. You need not have to select or schedule a day/time for getting your post live; instead, you just have to click on the post & Buffer will put it in line where it gets fit at its best. On the other hand, Hootsuite enables you to post from a Chrome plugin and possesses a feature where you can disable the hand-operated scheduling.

Buffer and Hootsuite serve different needs, however, both the tools are brilliant in their own ways. Have a look at the complete overview of the features from the below-displayed image:

Hootsuite-buffer-feature

Integration:

Both Buffer and Hootsuite have plenty of plugins and extensions that you can install and implement on your personal browsers and preferred apps. One can easily share content through these annexes, even if one is working on some other social media platform. For example, if one has the Buffer extension connected with the browser than you can send tweets or posts to Buffer, and also can reschedule the posts whenever you log into some social media account like Twitter or Tweetdeck. Whereas, Hootsuite has an influential locus on its main plugin called Hootlet, which enables the client to share the content from any corner of the web. Both Buffer and Hootsuite support three big social platforms —Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram—as well as an introducing peripheral service like Google+ and Pinterest. In all, Hootsuite is leading in terms of integration as it has a total of 129 integrations, whereas Buffer has 73 integrations.

Pricing:

Buffer is cheaper for manufacturers, but Hootsuite proffers you more at every level of the opted plan. Pricing of both Buffer and Hootsuite follow a similar structure. You can add up to three social media accounts on the free version by using both the tools and can schedule a limited number of posts to each. With Buffer, you can schedule 10 posts per social media account, while Hootsuite is limited up to 30 scheduled posts in all. 

One can have a glimpse on the below-displayed image to have a clear concept of the pricing of both Hootsuite and Buffer.

buffer pricing

hootsuite pricing

Security:

With both Buffer and HootSuite, social media accounts can be accessed authentically in different ways. The benefit of having Hootsuite is that it supports single sign-in, which is often needed by big companies, while it is not there in Buffer. This peculiarity helps in preventing unauthorized access from “outsiders”, including people who have left the company. 

Buffer supports 2 key verification, to tighten up the security. This factor adds an additional layer of protection to your Buffer account. On the other hand, Hootsuite takes security very sincerely. It provides a number of features that will provide you with the peace of mind against any security breaches: from dual approval systems that restrict people from mistakenly posting the wrong content to keeping your passwords and access safe, no matter from where you’re accessing it.

Dashboard Experience:

Buffer’s dashboard will display your scheduled posts; whereas, Hootsuite shows your timelines, replies, and many other things. The dashboard of Hootsuite is not so attractive, but it’s entirely usable and capable. On the dashboard, you will be able to see the posts, customized hashtags that you are following, and even the mentions about your firm or products. 

hootsuite dashboard

On the other hand, if you only want to manage your scheduled posts, then Buffer is excellent. The dashboard of Buffer is sleek and clean in appearance as you’ll only be able to see the queue of your scheduled posts. 

buffer dashboard

Here, it can be seen that the winner is Buffer, as one can see the scheduled posts clearly in a minimal interface, and it will be easy to see how many posts have been lined up and if any edit is required in any of it. Whereas in Hootsuite everything gets overlapped and one gets confused about what and how to manage the things.

Team Management:

If you have a small scale business, then opt for Buffer, whereas for large scale companies, Hootsuite goes well. Depending on the number of social platforms you access and the size of your marketing team, pick the right software solution between the two.

Both the tools allow admins to assign members of the team of your organization, specifically to some of the social media accounts. This workflow works fine with Buffer for small companies, whereas for large companies, Hootsuite has more tools.

Using Buffer for small setups, you can manually assign the permission to access to social media accounts to each member of the team respectively. However, Hootsuite allows you to divide your team members into different categories. You can divide them individually, in a group of teams, or group of team members. 

These bifurcations make the operation of marketing process accessible on a large scale.

Analytics:

Buffer is basically a publishing and scheduling tool. Its analytics capacities are considerably more limited than Hootsuite’s. Through Buffer, it only gives analytics for social posts you’ve published, rather than giving the report for a complete account. If you’re publishing through multiple tools than Buffer won’t give you a comprehensive picture of how all those posts are performing.

On the other hand, Hootsuite proffers full-suite service of social media management, and analytics; inclusive of content performance tracking, overviews of all your social profiles, and data on your social referral traffic via Google Analytics. 

Customer Care:

When it's the question of taking care of customers, both the software are winners! Buffer manages fundamental webinars twice a week, assisting new users in getting grips with the platform. Whereas, Hootsuite has a podcast - Hootcast. However, new episodes get telecasted every couple of months only. Meanwhile, Buffer’s blog is bursting with expert insights, case studies, and examples. The main channel for Buffer’s customer support is email, but they’re also very engaged on Twitter. On the other hand, Hootsuite has an active presence on all social media platforms. 

Reviews:

As per the reviews at GoodFirms, posting on multiple channels at the same time is more convenient with Hootsuite. However, several reviewers agree that Buffer is reliable, simple, easy to use for scheduling posts and offers light analytics - which is mostly needed by all business owners.

Summary:

Buffer and Hootsuite are both successful platforms with millions of users. They possess powerful and useful features that make the lives of countless social media marketers easier.

Buffer, due to its simplicity, is a better option for small scale businesses as well as for individual companies who only want to schedule their posts on the most popular social media platform. Whereas, Hootsuite due to its complexity and n number of features is a better option for large scale businesses with a dedicated marketing department.

Talking about the budget, no need to worry as both the platforms offer free tiers to start with as the beginner. Once, you get a grip with either of the platforms; you can upgrade with its further plans provided by both the platforms. For users, liability for time and money spent on marketing is a must, and excellent reporting and easy-to-use dashboard views play a major role here. With Buffer, one needs to click on the individual network for reporting, while in HootSuite, one can see multiple social media networks all in the same window. Thus, with just a few differences, both Hootsuite and Buffer provide great options, and the competition comes down to personal preference depending on what offers you the most as per your needs.

Nathan Sebastian
Nathan Sebastian

Nathan is a Content Writing Expert at GoodFirms, a dedicated research & review firm for software development companies, showcasing their genuine portfolio and clienteles to service seekers. Nathan has been in the content development of marketing & technical spheres for two years now. His focus stays occupied with SEO friendly content for the web to assist GoodFirms in making its' IT research reach millions.

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