If you are a business owner, one of your priorities right now should be to boost your social media and online presence. The reason is that the use of social media for marketing and promotion is now a game-changing strategy for any business. It could be what you need to make your business flourish and your brand more recognizable.
Note, though, that it can be extremely challenging to keep up with your social accounts, like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. It will turn out to be a chore. Fortunately, there are now tools, including Buffer and Hootsuite, that can help you in managing social networks.
With the help of a good social media tool, you get the chance to manage all your social networks, pages and profiles in just a single place. It can free up a lot of your time, allowing you to focus your time and energy on other crucial aspects of your business.
Let’s talk about managing your social media, developing an effective social media strategy, and a comprehensive comparison of Hootsuite vs Buffer through this article. That way, you can decide which between the two can truly assist you in using social media for business purposes.
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Why Social Media Presence is Essential for your Business?
With social media being one of the most powerful channels for promoting a business at present, you have to exert an effort to improve your social media and online presence. It is crucial to note that the majority of adults at present use social media channels – chief of which are YouTube and Facebook.
As a matter of fact, around 73% of adults use YouTube while 69% use Facebook presently. With the millions of users of various social media platforms today, it is safe to say that they are indeed among the main ingredients in a lot of marketing campaigns.
You need to build your presence online and in various social media platforms if you want to succeed in the business industry. Aside from being a top priority among internal and social media marketers, social media also turns out to be among the biggest priorities of marketing freelancers, independent consultants, and agencies.
By setting up in place an effective social media strategy, you can create and manage brand awareness on numerous platforms. It is also the key to acquiring valuable and useful feedback from your clients.
In addition, it can boost traffic, increase your sales, strengthen your online presence, improve your relationships with customers, and create a fantastic avenue to conduct targeted marketing.
Note, though, that you can’t achieve all that without properly managing social media and you can only make that happen with the right tools, specifically Hootsuite and Buffer.
Benefits of Social Media Management
Social media management refers to a service that marketing agencies often offer. The goal of this service is to place your presence on social media in the hands of experts and professionals.
By letting professionals do this job, you can start focusing on operating your business. Professional social media tools and marketers will be responsible for handling your whole social media and online presence on various platforms.
The following are also some of the major benefits of using the right tools and professionals.
Improves your present social media and online presence
Regardless of the social platform you intend to leverage, managing your social media accounts through the right tools can help. Among the areas that they can improve on are:
With the help of your chosen social management tool and team, you can improve your profile image. You can choose the right logo and use it on all platforms. It will also be in the correct size and layout.
You can also improve your header image on any platform that allows you to use one – among which are Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Your chosen team can ensure that the image is of top-notch quality and perfectly suits your brand.
About info and biography
There are also platforms that let you write something about your business or company. You need to make this as captivating as possible and optimize it, so it will capture the interest of prospective customers. With the help of the right tool, your “about section” will surely be engaging and accurate.
You can also improve your present social media and online presence with the help of your team who can guarantee the accuracy of all company information you put on your social media platforms.
Forms a social media calendar
Managing your social media accounts through the proper tools and the right professionals is also beneficial since it supports the creation of a social content calendar. The good thing about having this calendar is that you can maintain your consistent presence online.
By posting consistently, you can show your target audience how much you care about them. You will be able to update them often, which can contribute a lot to boosting brand awareness and earning their trust.
Having a social media calendar will ensure that your social posts will become more regular and consistent. You will be more active online, which can somewhat assure you that your audience will keep your brand in mind whenever they need your product or service.
Craft the most appropriate and unique content
Professional social media managers can research important things that can help you craft the best and the most unique content for every individual platform. These include the social platforms of your competitors, your industry, and the kind of content that delivers the best performance in the industry.
This kind of extensive research is the key to figuring out the specific type of social media content that will surely be successful on various platforms. You can use it as your starting point in performing important tasks and functions, including crafting custom graphics, writing personalized content for every profile, and sharing existing content.
Analyze the performance of your social media accounts
You will know exactly how your social media platforms perform individually. Analyzing metrics, such as engagement, will always be an important part of using social media for promotion and business. The reason is the results of the analysis will give you an idea of whether your posted content is one desired by your users.
For instance, if your engagement on Instagram is low, then you may start making adjustments to your content. It could be that you should start posting a new type of content or post at another more appropriate time. Social media management is the key to working out the details necessary in improving vital metrics.
An Overview of Hootsuite vs Buffer as Social Media Management Tools
With the benefits that effective management of your social media account can provide, it is just right for you to look for tools that can assist you in the whole process. Two tools that will surely come to mind when it comes to digital marketing and managing a social media account are Hootsuite and Buffer.
They are the top tools that you can use right now when it comes to managing your accounts on social media. The two are incredible solutions for agencies, freelancers, and small enterprises and medium-sized businesses.
Both Hootsuite vs Buffer have common and similar features but they are also fundamentally different. This is the reason why each one also appeals to a different set of users and audience. Here’s a brief overview of the two tools.
Hootsuite is a popular social media management platform developed by Ryan Homes. It was launched last 2008. Most of its features cover a lot of areas in this process, like post scheduling and content curation.
Hootsuite offers dedicated and basic analytics features that you can use in measuring return on investment (ROI). One distinguishable trait of Hootsuite is its clean interface, making it easier to use. They also constantly refresh and update the look of their user interface to the delight of those who decide to use the tool.
With that, you can easily set up an account and start to use the tool right away. It also has only one dashboard, which allows you to access all data regarding your social media campaign in just one place.
Most users also find the collaboration and team management features of Hootsuite very useful. They are built in such a way that you can easily integrate them with a lot of third-party applications.
It offers a free version or plan for users but it has limited functionality. You may have to take advantage of its paid subscription if you want to get the most out of this tool. You can get its Pro subscription for a minimum of $29 per month inclusive of ten social media profiles. This plan also allows one user and the capacity for unlimited scheduling content.
If you are managing a larger team, you can go for a monthly subscription of $129. This plan contains all the features you can get from the Pro plan, along with unlimited scheduling and twenty social media profiles. This is the perfect choice for a marketing team as it also allows a max of three users.
Here is also a short list of its pros and cons so you will have a quick idea of the strengths and weaknesses of a Hootsuite account:
- Powerful and intuitive yet very easy to use and simple user interface
- The perfect tool when planning to publish social content consistently
- Easy and convenient social media scheduling process
- Allows the managing of multiple accounts in social media
- Supports multiple social networks
- Makes it easy to produce analytics reports
- The free/basic plan has several limitations – You may have to go for the paid subscriptions to enjoy this tool’s full potential.
- Some bugs may be encountered once you begin auto-scheduling social media posts – This may be inconvenient and time-consuming.
Buffer is another tool that captured the attention of digital marketers and businesses regardless of size. It is known for being a user-friendly and clean tool with features that you can use to publish content on various social channels.
If you choose to invest in a Buffer account, then you will be pleased to know that it is easy and quick to set up. Upon setting it up, you can immediately begin using its features – among which are those for creating reports and data analysis.
This tool also offers strategic recommendations that you can use to increase social reach as well as engagement. It also has the advantage of being easy to integrate with Instagram stories and other social features that are available right now.
It is important to note that Buffer mainly focuses on content creation. Basically, this tool is designed in such a way that it can queue and publish content that can be easily integrated into social media sites.
Buffer also delivers even better performance when used along with Pablo, which is a graphic creation tool known for its ease of use. Buffer also has what it calls the Analyze feature. This is a useful feature as it gives users data and information that they can use in measuring performance on social media.
Users can also take advantage of this feature when it comes to creating reports, gathering insights, and obtaining strategy recommendations regarding the steps involved in growing sales, reach, and engagement. Note, though, that to enjoy the Analyze feature, you will have to pay an additional $50 per month.
Buffer offers its Pro Plan, which you can get at $15 monthly. This plan already comes with eight social media profiles and a hundred scheduled posts. It also allows only one user.
To give you an even closer glimpse of the capabilities and possible weaknesses of Buffer, here are some of its pros and cons:
- The perfect tool when it comes to publishing social media content
- Has features that promote ease in teamwork management and collaboration
- Integrated and robust platform security
- Works along with Pablo, which is an image creation tool that you can use to easily make images on social media
- Allows the automatic scheduling of posts, making it truly convenient for several users
- Gives you an easier time tracking analytics from social media shares
- Does not offer features for paid advertising
- The scheduling is not as robust when compared to Hootsuite.
Buffer Vs Hootsuite – The Comparison
Now, let’s start comparing Hootsuite vs Buffer taking into consideration a lot of areas and aspects of social media management tools that make them effective.
Features and Capabilities
Buffer and Hootsuite function quite similarly but you also have to take note that there are differences in their features and capabilities. To give you an idea of what to expect from each tool, here are their main features:
- Scheduling of unlimited posts available for every user level
- One inbox where all user levels can access messages
- Advanced scheduling of posts
- Scheduling multiple social posts simultaneously
- Manage roles and access of the team
- Review prior to each post
- Assign specific comments/posts to specific members of the team
You can also expect the following additional features if you decide to go for the enterprise or business plan or level of Hootsuite:
- Extended functionality using premium apps – These include Slack and Zendesk.
- Quarterly business review
- 24/7 priority client support
- Unlimited posts promotion
- Hootsuite advertising
- Team performance reports
- Custom solutions
- Scheduled posts – The free version or level allows 10 posts per channel while the others support 2,000 posts
- Post scheduling
- Saved drafts
- Invite additional users (available for agency and team levels)
- Tailored posts and calendar view for every social media channel
- Custom permissions or access (available for agency and team levels)
Paid levels can also enjoy the following additional features from Buffer:
- Link shortener
- Campaigns in multiple social channels
- Performance overview
- Instagram hashtag manager
- Campaign analysis
- Post analytics
- Machine learning insights
Post Scheduling Functionality
This comparison of Hootsuite vs Buffer will not be complete without checking out the level of functionality of each tool when it comes to post-scheduling. Keep in mind that publishing content is the main reason why you decide to use a social media management tool.
With that said, the content publishing process should be easy and clear for you. It should let you schedule posts as needed, making it seem like you have plenty of activity on social media even when the truth is you do not frequently log into your social accounts. The secret to this is post scheduling.
One thing to take note of is that social media needs a certain level of fluency. With that said, it would be much better for you to combine ad-hoc and scheduled posting. To help you decide which between Hootsuite and Buffer is better for you in terms of post-scheduling functionality, here is their comparison in that particular area.
From the time Buffer was launched, it has continuously improved its scheduling capacity. Aside from being easier to do compared to the past years, it now also has a feature that allows scheduling at least one month in advance. They were also able to have scheduling functionality for Instagram before Hootsuite.
Since it is primarily a scheduling tool, Buffer also delivers an incredible performance when it comes to automating social media marketing. Just like Hootsuite, it is capable of scheduling posts automatically and connecting and monitoring RSS feeds. Even with this similarity, some notice that Buffer has more flexibility as it allows more third-party tools.
One problem with Buffer, though, is that it does not let users reply to responses on various platforms. This makes it different from Hootsuite, which allows this with all social media networks it supports that include likes, replies, and retweets. As for Buffer, only retweets are allowed if you use their plug-in for web browser.
Hootsuite was also recognized because of its powerful scheduling functionality. As a matter of fact, it is one of the highlights of this tool that make it superior when compared to other solutions meant for managing social media.
With Hootsuite, you can directly publish to your desired social media platform. The good thing about this tool is that you can also use it along with Buffer to post on different platforms at once.
Hootsuite is also quite similar to Buffer as the two allow the scheduling of content based on a specific time you have set. The scheduling may also be based on hidden algorithms capable of detecting the perfect time to make the post. The two also work effectively when it comes to sourcing and publishing content gathered on RSS feeds.
With that, it is safe to say that the auto-scheduling feature of Hootsuite performs really well. This tool even allows you to add more to the list of your already scheduled posts. You can use it to connect to RSS feeds and detect new content you can publish on your timelines automatically.
This makes Hootsuite extremely useful if you are working on a news site, blog, or any other platform that has to be updated constantly.
Ease of Use
You can also compare Hootsuite vs Buffer based on how easy they are to use. In this case, you should check out their user interface. Buffer features a sleek and clean dashboard displaying a queue of every post on social media presently on schedule.
The entire dashboard or user interface is minimalistic. This gives you the opportunity to focus on the specific area that matters the most – that is your scheduled posts or content.
Because of its simplicity and minimalistic look, it is safe to say that the interface of Buffer is more modern and user-friendly. The simple and clean dashboard promotes ease in editing and managing all your scheduled posts and content. Buffer also seems to be better than Hootsuite when it comes to handling small teams and individual users.
Meanwhile, Hootsuite is more challenging and time-consuming to learn because it is rich in features. It has a dashboard that is not as aesthetically pleasing as that of Buffer but it also has plenty of great features and capabilities.
Among the things you can do with Hootsuite are viewing social timelines, following your accounts on social media, and keeping track of your mentions on every channel. Also, take note that the main focus of Buffer is to create content, so it is no longer surprising to see its user interface being created in such a way that it can support such a function.
Meanwhile, Hootsuite needs to support a higher number of features. This is the reason why it has a more complex dashboard. You will find the interface of Hootsuite to be more customizable compared to Buffer, although, the latter is famous for being really easy to learn and intuitive.
Hootsuite is also different from Buffer in the sense that it perfectly suits larger teams that have more elaborate plans and campaigns in terms of social media marketing.
How many social media account is available?
The number of available social media accounts is also another vital aspect when it comes to social media marketing. It is also the aspect that a lot of professionals in the marketing industry evaluate the most.
Note that the majority of users, regardless of the size of the business or if they are individual thought leaders, have to retain a presence online on multiple social media accounts, not just one. With that said, you need a tool for managing social media that lets you publish on several accounts.
You can, therefore, use this as a metric in deciding which between Hootsuite and Buffer you should use. Based on the number of available social networks, Buffer seems to have a decent performance as it allows publishing to 8 various profiles – that is if you get their Pro plan or version.
Among the platforms where you can post or publish your content are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.
As for Hootsuite, note that it is also a great publishing and scheduling tool as it allows publishing on or posting to Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter but the process is kind of different as all these platforms are natively integrated. In addition, Hootsuite offers the ability to add more apps – even a dozen or more.
The add-ons are classified as premium apps, which means you need to pay more so you can integrate them into the tool. This particular advantage is one reason why Hootsuite has an edge in this area over Buffer. Still, the performance of Buffer here is decent as it hits the major platforms and social network.
Monitoring and Engagement
Building a social media presence successfully is not solely about content creation. It also involves interacting with followers. While it is quite daunting and challenging trying to connect with those who message you on various channels, Hootsuite tends to make the entire job and process easier.
By subscribing to Hootsuite, you gain access to its Social Inbox. This refers to a tool, which allows you to access every direct message from all the social profiles you connected to it in just a single view. With that, conversation management will become a lot easier for you.
It also allows you to put on filters for every message. This is beneficial as it can help you single out the messages that need immediate attention and action. You can even delegate the task of responding to urgent messages to your teammates.
Note, though, that the engage toolkit of Hootsuite does not only have the Inbox feature. You can also access its solution for monitoring trends, one that will help you stay updated regarding the topics that are popular online.
In addition, it supports real-time communication with followers, thereby aiding in boosting the positive reactions received by your posts.
Buffer works a bit similarly to Hootsuite in the sense that it only has one dashboard for ease of communication and interaction with your audience. You can utilize its Reply feature, which gives you the opportunity to connect all social inboxes in a single place. With that, you can prioritize conversation management and organize your social media conversations.
This is good if you wish to strengthen your connection and relationship with your followers. In addition to providing timely responses to direct messages, this particular tool also helps you in responding to unanswered comments.
It will notify you whenever someone comments on your post. You can, therefore, monitor the recent responses and reactions to your posts and content. You can gauge the reactions you receive and use them in looking for ways to improve performance.
The monitoring solution of Buffer also raises your awareness regarding any negative sentiment by the public. This will provide you with a clearer idea regarding the online presence of your brand as well as the reception of a bigger audience.
It also gives you the opportunity to mark messages and comments depending on urgency. Moreover, you can assign the members of your team to handle them.
Both Buffer and Hootsuite also feature analytics toolkits, so it will definitely help you to check out this particular feature in each tool. That way, you can separately discuss their capacities as far as social analytics is concerned.
Generally, there is no need to buy inbound marketing tools solely for the purpose of getting social media metrics. The reason is that every channel and platform on social media already has social analytics features and solutions built in. Some examples are Twitter Analytics and Facebook Page Insights.
The problem is that these tools only scrape the surface. This makes it necessary to use software such as Buffer or Hootsuite if you want to analyze social media performance in-depth. This is even more important if your analysis also has some outlook on the future.
Hootsuite offers a multifaceted Analytics feature. The concern of this tool does not solely focus on your present social media presence. The following are the available spectrum of data whenever you open the dashboard with the goal of using the Analytics feature:
- Campaign overview
- Performance benchmarks
- KPI summaries
- Traffic analytics
- Audience engagement review
- ROI analysis
Real-life online conversation management and analysis – Included here are brand mentions, too.
- Sentiment and competitor analysis
- CTR, conversions, and other metrics for performance – All these details will be useful in your advertising campaigns.
In addition to the mentioned data, there is also another feature that you can get. This is Iris, which is the AI analyst of Hootsuite. This add-on feature makes it possible to browse your social media data insights.
It also allows you to select only the data and insights that are important to your present strategy. This perk is extremely useful as it aids in sorting data, thereby ensuring that the points that will be left are only those proven to be relevant.
Let’s take, for example, the topic of social listening. In that case, you can use the tool in monitoring the volume of your brand mentions. You can also use it in spotting events that capture public interest.
Meanwhile, the analytics feature of Buffer is not as comprehensive and extensive as that of Hootsuite. Note, though, that despite that, it is still perfectly adequate when planning to understand your presence on social media in-depth. With Buffer’s analyze feature, you can monitor the following:
- Your overall performance on social media
- Boosted post insights
- Audience demographics
- Follower activity
- Content analytics tool – This would be per post or story.
You will also be pleased to know that Buffer will be able to provide you with information that can help you track your social networks on a daily basis. You will also receive reports every month.
Moreover, Buffer allows the generation of various kinds of documentation, like white-label customized reports and daily updates. This can save plenty of your time, especially if you are part of an agency, which has to update its clients regularly.
Buffer also makes it possible to provide future predictions depending on the presence of your social media technique. It is possible for you to learn the perfect time to post, the ideal posting frequency based on the platform or page, and the best type of content, especially in terms of engagement.
Third-Party App Integrations
When searching for the most reliable social media management tool, one crucial quality you have to look for is the capacity to integrate multiple tools and apps within your tech stack. Fortunately, Buffer and Hootsuite provide integrations of third-party apps with the tools.
This kind of integration is even more important if you are running a medium-sized or large company. Note, though, that smaller firms can also use it. Here’s how you can compare the two in terms of third-party app integrations.
Buffer can be integrated into a lot of third-party apps, add-ons, and tools. Among the famous apps where you can integrate it with ease are SharpSpring, CoSchedule, Zapier, and WordPress.
Note, though, that despite being extremely useful, the third-party app integrations of Buffer mostly comprise other tools for content creation. This means that they are not necessarily content management systems or other marketing dashboard tools.
In terms of social media channels, you can expect Buffer to integrate with the ones you can integrate with Hootsuite except for YouTube. Among them are Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
What’s good about Buffer is that it lets you connect multiple profiles from a single network provided your subscription allows it. Each plan also allows a different number of additional extensions.
Generally, many users agree that Buffer has everything they need when it comes to running a content strategy. Also, a lot of users only require a Canva integration, which makes it possible to produce posts that are visually appealing without logging out of your account on Buffer.
Check out buffer.com
In terms of third-party integrations, you can expect Hootsuite to provide a huge number, including Canva, Google My Business, Asana, Zendesk, and Spotify. Aside from the fact that its integrations are longer, they are also more valuable.
The reason is you can integrate it with tools that help in supporting the whole process of content posting/publishing and marketing. Hootsuite makes it possible to connect with the majority of social media networks that are popular right now, including Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
In case you have multiple profiles on one social media channel, it is possible to connect all these profiles provided the subscription plan you got from Hootsuite allows it. Hootsuite also promotes ease in running social media with the help of its extensive network of apps – the ones you can link to your dashboard.
Among the apps you can integrate into your dashboard designed to make the process of managing social media even smoother and easier are HubSpot, RSS Feeds, Tumblr, Canva, Spotify, Slack, Dripple, Trufan, Shopview, Miro, Zendesk, and Adobe Integrations.
Hootsuite also gives access to several apps designed for developers. All of them will surely be useful in case you intend to run an online business or e-commerce store.
Check out hootsuite.com
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which one is better – Buffer or Hootsuite?
The answer to this will depend on your exact needs since both Hootsuite and Buffer are among the top performers when it comes to managing your social media and developing an effective social media strategy. Buffer is the perfect choice for you in case you are looking for an effective way of scheduling or publishing posts across every social channel.
Meanwhile, Hootsuite will become the better choice in case your company is quite large and you have a complex social media goal. Spend time looking at your and your company’s specific requirements when it comes to function.
Check out how much you are willing to pay. This is the key to finding out which between the two can benefit you the most and picking one that can truly help you succeed.
Is Buffer good for social media?
Buffer is an incredible platform for small businesses that have limited money or time to spend on various social networks. It also has new engagement tools, making it a solid all-rounder if you are looking for the best social media managers.
Is Buffer a good platform?
Yes, it definitely is. It caters to the needs of small to medium-sized businesses. It is a great and beneficial platform as it gives users the chance to publish content, monitor and analyze their performance on social media, and keep clients engaged.
The platform will also be the ultimate solution if you intend to schedule posts and make your brand look active online, such as in Facebook pages.
Your decision to use a highly effective tool for managing social media can definitely make your platforms and business flourish. Among your best choices are Hootsuite and Buffer – two tools that continue to earn great reviews because of how effective they are whenever they manage social media accounts.
Spend time analyzing the features and capabilities, as well as the downsides and weaknesses, of both Hootsuite and Buffer, so you can better decide which between the two can benefit your social media profiles the most. It will also help you identify which one serves as your ultimate social media management solution that can truly benefit your brand.