Sprout Social vs Hootsuite: Which Social Media Management Tool Does It Better?

Updated on :June 22, 2024
By :Nathan Sebastian

Introduction: 

Social media plays a pivotal role in the marketing strategies of every business. As the business grows, employing social media dashboards and management tools to automate and streamline posting operations, content creation, and peer-to-peer involvement could greatly benefit any business. At GoodFirms, we understand these needs, and that’s why we evaluated two of the industry- leading social media management tools Hootsuite and Sprout Social.

Getting an accurate marketing software product is all about analyzing varied tools available in the market and picking the one that best fits the requirements and classifying the top software-specific needs for any business. Today social media management software is in great demand, however, picking the best is not that easy.

Overview: 

Getting a reliable social media management tool to streamline the social media tasks is crucial for businesses that require to manage several social media sites. Social media managing tools help marketers save time, stay organized, and optimize their performance.

To compare Hootsuite with Sprout Social, one has to look analyze their features, functionalities, reporting and many such other points. Which solution has the most modernized publishing features? Which has more in-detailed reporting and a few other points? Therefore, to get the answers to the questions mentioned above and a few others, the comparison done below will be more beneficial while choosing the best social media software for the business people.

What is Hootsuite?

Established in 2008, Hootsuite was initially named as moniker BrightKit. The purpose of the software was to help businesses manage their social media accounts in one place. BrightKit ultimately became Hootsuite, and the firm now has 18 million users, more than 1,400 employees, and offices in Vancouver, Toronto, New York, Mexico City, London, and a few other cities. Well-known Hootsuite customers include Marketo, Mailchimp, SXSW, and GE. 

For getting a brief idea about Hootsuite, its working, and benefits, one can have a look at the below displayed video:

What is Sprout Social? 

Sprout Social, founded in 2010, was built to assist businesses, and customers to communicate more freely. Since its inception, the company has accumulated over $100 million in venture capital and went public in last December. Moreover, Sprout Social was designed to give manufacturers a collection of functionality while keeping the user experience enticing. The company has been trusted by some of the leading brands like Subaru, Ticketmaster and Evernote.

The below displayed video will help the business people get an idea about the features of Sprout Social.

Features:

While comparing Hootsuite vs. Sprout Social, one will find that both social media management tools function with equal efficiency. In-depth research should help to choose the one that suits your business. The below-displayed image gives an idea about the features of both social media management software:


features

The debrief information mentioned-below about the features of Hootsuite & Sprout Social which includes Dashboard, publishing & scheduling, reporting, integrations, collaboration, and analytics will give a clear picture:

Dashboard - 

Hootsuite is a dominant social media management tool, and one of the earliest ones, as well. It enables the service-seekers to handle prominent social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and so on. One can also manage other platforms like Pinterest, Vimeo, and even other 3rd-party apps. Hootsuite is recognized as the most comprehensive social media management tool in the market. Hootsuite has an organized dashboard with a personalized layout. Each social media platform emphasizes a dedicated tab that supports setting up of different streams depending on the account. One can endure this feature in the best way through Twitter login, as it makes it possible to control retweets, hashtags, and private messages side by side. Moreover, the Pro Plan lets people add another member of their team to collaborate. Uploading and scheduling bulk messages are expedient by importing a CSV file. The 'Auto-Scheduling' feature allows posting of 10 messages per day at any suitable time.

On the other hand, Sprout Social is different from Hootsuite, it starts with a set of impressive tab options like ‘Messages Tab’ and ‘Feeds Tab’ which enables users to engage with their customers productively. Moreover, Sprout Social gives a single column view, as compared to Hootsuite. It allows users to seek for a particular hashtag and save it but does not have a dedicated dashboard stream, such as the one offered by Hootsuite.

The ‘Viral Post’ feature is an appealing one, as it interprets the right time for engaging the audience and recommends the best time for publishing content. The ‘Discovery Tab’ supports businesses in finding new followers and enables them to have a better look at those who engage with them on Twitter.

Besides this, the CRM tools make Sprout Socialstand out from Hootsuite. This tool enables the clients to view interactions with users and append custom notes, as well. 

User Interface:

Hootsuite and Sprout Social both platforms have the same goal and employment capabilities. Functionally, both of these social media dashboards are built on identical fundamental design. For example, Hootsuite and Sprout Social both enable users to manage and engage with followers directly and also observe multiple social media accounts on one dashboard.

Apart from similarities, the user interfaces for both platforms do offer some unique traits also. Hootsuite’s stream is built on columns that follow TweetDeck’s format for tracking followers, hashtags, and news feeds. The columns are assigned to a social media account or in general a particular activity that the user yearns to monitor. Sprout Social’s stream populates posts, user communications, and activity from various social media accounts so as to place it into one feed. Despite some important differences in user experience (UX) design and aesthetics, the core features of both platforms are very similar.

Publishing & Scheduling -

There isn’t much distinction in the publishing functionality of these two platforms. Both enable the users to compose a message, select the social platform to be posted, attach photos, compress links, and also allow them to choose a target audience from the main feed dashboard itself.

Both Hootsuite and Sprout Social also offer a blueprint function so that one can save posts that aren’t set for publication and return to them later. The ‘Bulk Schedule’ tool of Hootsuite allows users to upload a CSV file; thereby allowing them to schedule around 50 posts at a time.

Sprout Social allows some extra data in the publishing arena with its ‘Audience Discovery feature, which highlights people or accounts that a firm must follow and even lists down spam or bot accounts that one should unfollow. This is exceptionally helpful for identifying relevant influencers. Sprout Social also displays a brief history of users' conversation with brands taken place on social media platform Twitter. It extracts this data from its social CRM functionality. In terms of scheduling, Hootsuite & Sprout Social both give a content calendar so that users can schedule posts ahead of time. Irrespective of the place and system, it is possible to schedule posts easily with Sprout Social.

Integrations -

Hootsuite holds expertise in the area of the third-party alliance. Moreover,  Hootsuite blends with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. They also beget an app directory stocked with over 150 native integrations, of which 127 are free. Additionally, Hootsuite users can create a landing page and run social contests and giveaways by monitoring how the campaign performs via this tool.

On the other hand, Sprout Social is congruous with the significant platforms like Zendesk, Uservoice, Google Analytics, Feedly, HubSpot, and TripAdvisor. Though Sprout Social lacks in integrations when compared to Hootsuite, it makes up with its ‘Social CRM’ tool. Sprout Social records interaction history with each user and also stores the necessary contact information. This data can be immensely helpful for salespeople for aligning sales with marketing.

Collaboration -

Collaboration with connection to social media software mostly relates to permission settings and publishing consent precepts.

Hootsuite permits users to assign one of three roles: Super Admin, Admin, or Default. If businesses want to maintain employee Hootsuite accounts, then they can apply one of the three permission settings for an entire team. Further collaboration features in Hootsuite incorporate the ability to assign permission to team members so as to give social media replies to their respective customers. This benefits to prevent inopportune situations like inadvertently responding to customers twice.

On the other hand, Sprout Social offers the same administrative functionality, with the permissions set that is based on a user’s role and publishing endorsement. With Sprout Social, users can also tag any post in the feed as a task and ascribe it to a person or team. Tasks are classified into three types: general, sales lead, and support. Users can view open and completed errands under the Task tab.

Security:

Both Hootsuite and Sprout Social provide security in their own way. Talking about Hootsuite, it enables users to set custom permission levels; through which they can avoid errors and rogue posts by managing approved workflows and user levels. Moreover, it also grants employees access to only profiles, permissions, and networks that are essential for them. Besides this, if any suspicious activity is found on a user's account, then Hootsuite immediately updates them. Apart from this, Hootsuite stays compliant with security partners like FINRA & HIPAA through their industry-leading integrations with Proofpoint, ZeroFOX, Smarsh, Global Relay, and Actiance. 

On the other hand, Sprout Social strives to minimize service impacts and downtime. They design their systems for fault tolerance and prepare their teams for rapid incident recovery. Sprout Social stores the customer data in the United States, AWS's east-1 & west - 2 regions. Besides this, Sprout Social is a privacy shield certified software that can transfer personal data from the European Union & Switzerland and is also GDPR compliant. Apart from this, additional security is applied to information technology rooms and systems with multi-factor authentication and forced open door alarms.

Analytics -

In terms of analytics, Hootsuite gives a basic kit of reports for free, which can be formed using pre-created templates or custom-built reports. However, more advanced reports which can be produced with data from Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and more can cost around $50 per report. Although they do contribute value for money, the cost can quickly inflate users' budget and wind up being too pricey for a small business owner. On the Pro version, the purchasers get one free report each month, and new reports will come with a price tag. This is perhaps the most notable lapse of Hootsuite. 

hootsuite analytics

Sprout Social grants the most extensive set of reporting options that allow you to create reports of overall social media activities. Whereas, users can generate segmented reports for individual networks, team advancement reports, or even network comparison reports. Though one can not customize them to the level of Hootsuite’s reports, they do give important data in an easily accessible form.

sprout social analytics

Reporting -

In terms of reporting power and personalization, Hootsuite is the more advanced platform. The summary report divides users' social accounts into four views: Posts, Followers, Engagement, and Metrics. This is an excellent way to obtain a comprehensive view of how users' social apps are working, but the feature also lets users delve into the minutiae of various social data points. Hootsuite enables businesses to produce custom reports, which they can then export in PDF, PowerPoint, Excel, or CSV files.

hootsuite report

Sprout Social also provides powerful reporting features. One can view ‘Overview Report’ with a group report; see how their posts perform compared to competitors, and also can track team productivity with a ‘Team and Task Performance Reports’. With a Premium Analytics account, one can gain access to ‘Custom Reports’.

sprout social report
 

Pricing:

While opting the best social media management tool for their business, the first question a prospect thinks about is: “What will be the return on investment of this tool, and what will be the total investment required?” This is the first question that comes to mind when any business is looking for a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. Practically all social media management tools and dashboards are sold as SaaS platforms with rates ranging from open source (free) access to hundreds of dollars per month. In the case of Hootsuite and Sprout Social, the majority of the users for these dashboards relish free plans with limited functionality to “essentials” plans that are available at bargain rates offering some of the basic features of social media management.

hootsuite-pricing

sprout-social-pricing

Review Comparison:

Many users find Hootsuite useful as they can track post engagement and other work-flows easily. Moreover, it is also best for medium-sized businesses. 

Hootsuite:

hootsuite review

hootsuite review1

On the other hand, Sprout Social also holds the same features like Hootsuite such as analytics, design and a few others. However, Hootsuite in general has more positive reviews on GoodFirms platform.

Sprout Social:


sproutsocial review

sprout social review1

Pros & Cons of Hootsuite:

Pros:

  • It offers a Dashboard with multi-columned streams, which make it simple to monitor various metrics at once.
  • It offers social media apps for connecting with different social media networks.
  • It also comes with mobile apps and browsers that permit sharing content from the web easily.

Cons:

  • The Analytics reports are expensive.
  • Hootsuite doesn’t unite with third-party URL shorteners and uses its own tool - Ow.ly. This makes it challenging for users to track their campaigns and performance outside of Hootsuite or if a user imports a post with a pre-shortened URL.

Pros & Cons of Sprout Social:

Pros:

  • It offers a robust set of features.
  • It has an intuitive and beautiful interface.
  • Sprout Social also holds a Social CRM.
  • It has a Smart Inbox.
  • It provides excellent customer support.

Cons:

  • It allows you to schedule social media updates, but Sprout Social does not offer advanced features.
  • The pricing of Sprout Social can be out of range for some small business owners.

Verdict:

Picking the right social media management tool is not simple, but it’s definitely a requirement. The final decision rests upon several factors that are mentioned below as an overview:

Hootsuite is one of the most used social media management platforms and plausibly the most renowned. It lets you run Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn from a single platform. Different social platforms, such as FourSquare, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Vimeo, and a few others, are available via third-party apps. Some of the apps are available, while some are paid, but this feature solely makes Hootsuite the most comprehensive social media management tool.

One of the most striking Hootsuite features is its dashboard, which is formed into a multi-column, customizable layout. Each social network has its tab, and within each tab, one can set up different streams, tailored to the account in question. If one owns a mid-to-large sized business and can afford the price of their reports or want to pursue multiple streams on one screen quickly, Hootsuite makes the most sense. With different plans offered by Hootsuite like the Pro plan, one can add one team member and allocate tasks for collaboration efforts. One can also upload and schedule bulk messages at once by implying a CSV file. The free plan covers the auto-scheduling peculiarity, which will post at best suitable times. However, one can only auto-schedule ten messages per day. 

On the other hand, Sprout Social is absolutely an encompassing tool that lets social media marketing teams publish and schedule social posts. The ‘Messages Tab’ displays engagement, such as remarks and tweets involving the users. The ‘Feeds tab’ enables users to access all of their social media feeds in one spot. From there, they can add Twitter lists and their home feed, and also can engage with the content by responding, retweeting, sending a direct message, and more. 

Unlike Hootsuite, Sprout Social extends a single column view. One can search for a particular hashtag and save the search, but one cannot set a dedicated dashboard stream for it as in Hootsuite. Since Hootsuite appeared in market in 2008, the tool has toiled as the industry standard for relevant platforms. Though it has been fully recognized that legacy doesn’t indicate “good” technology, Hootsuite has adopted steps to persist competitively during its decade of business. These steps covered the execution of content management features and collaboration tools to further Hootsuite’s stature as a social media marketing solution anyone can practice. Sprout Social was introduced in the market little later; in 2010 and is thus yet to innovate ahead of Hootsuite's aptitudes.

In the end, it depends on what a user is looking for. Both software management tools are excellent for running one's social media, but the difference sprawls in which capabilities are most relevant to one's organization, respectively.

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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