“Buffer vs. HootSuite”
It’s amazing to run a small scale business.
Social media, especially, has balanced the playing field, allowing even freelancers and small business teams to reach a global audience from their smartphone or computer.
And while anyone can get on Twitter or Facebook and post a few chic pictures, there are tools out there that can make your online campaigns even more powerful and less demanding on your resources.
Buffer vs. Hootsuite
Two of the biggest names in social media marketing are Buffer and Hootsuite, and you may find yourself trying to decide which one to invest your time and money in. At the core, both tools allow you to schedule social media posts. For example, if you decide that you want to tweet out a link to your latest blog post at 6 pm, but you won’t be available at that time to do it. Buffer or Hootsuite can do it for you. However, that’s a simplified glance, and each tool has some crucial variations that we’ll get into.
What is Buffer?
But by 2013, the evolving tool had reached 1,000,000 users and it now integrates with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram.
What is Hootsuite?
HootSuite has around 1,000 employees—compared to only about 75 for Buffer—and counts more than 15 million users all around the world.
HootSuite supports all the same platforms as Buffer but also supports YouTube, WordPress, Flickr, Tumblr, etc, including some that you may have never even heard of, like Xing and Viadeo. Basically, if people are using it, Hootsuite works with it.
Buffer vs. Hoot suite
For individuals, Buffer offers a limited free plan or their “Awesome” plan with multiple accounts and a queue of up to 100 scheduled posts for $10 per month. They also offer business plans for teams and agencies starting at $99 per month, with a 50% discount for nonprofits. The pay-plans include a calendar view, and the business plans add social analytics.
Hoot suite also offers a free plan, for one user with up to three social profiles. Their Professional plan for individual users with up to 10 social profiles starts at $19 per month, and team plans start at $99 per month, the same as Buffer.
2. Features and functionality
HootSuite is a complex, drape tool with almost unlimited possible uses. Once you have scheduled a post on multiple platforms, you can slice and dice it with analytics, interact with your followers directly through Hootsuite’s dashboard, and even assign tasks and collaborate with teammates. The calendar view allows weekly scheduling at a glance with drag and drops functionality.
A few more of Hootsuite’s advanced features include:
Geosearch allows you to track trending topics by geocoding.
Hootlet allows you to mark and share interesting content while browsing.
Hootsuite Campaigns lets you build campaigns that include fun features like sweepstakes and photo galleries.
Buffer, on the other hand, is a much simpler and streamlined scheduling tool. You use it to schedule a queue of posts, on Facebook and Twitter for example, and then walk away. While it doesn’t support as many platforms as Hootsuite, Buffer does boast a variety of options for social automation, including IFTTT and Zapier, which help you automatically post.
Buffer’s biggest limitations are an inability to engage with your audience through the interface, and that analytics are only available for your posts themselves, and not entire profiles.
3. User Experience
Reviewers say that a trade-off that comes with Hootsuite’s adaptability is that its interface can be confusing and amazing, and the mobile app can be a bit clunky. On the other hand, most reviewers agree that Hootsuite is the most convenient way to post to multiple channels at the same time.
Reviewers find that Buffer is super easy to use, and they appreciate the clean interface. However, not being able to interact with posts and engage with the audience through the interface was seen as a limitation by some.
So, which tool is best for your business?
Buffer and Hootsuite have both become successful operations with millions of users for good reason. They are powerful, useful tools that make life easier for countless social media marketers.
Due to its simplicity, Buffer is a better option for small businesses or individuals who only need a tool to schedule out posts on the most popular channels. And because of its complexity and a long list of features, HootSuite is the better option for larger teams with a dedicated marketing department capable of harnessing all of its diverse capabilities.