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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Buffer vs HootSuite – Which One Really Wins the Social Scheduling Game? [2018 Update]

Buffer vs HootSuite – Which One Really Wins the Social Scheduling Game? [2018 Update]


Buffer Vs HootSuite - Which One Really Wins the Social Scheduling Game?

When you compare Buffer vs Hootsuite, which one wins?
Social media is the heart and soul of any digital strategy.
It decides your success or failure whether you are promoting your brand, your company, your ideas or listening to the trends, or even hearing opinions.
The fact is that social media management is time consuming unless you have a proper tool to organise your networks. Promoting and managing multiple social profiles and networks is a major time-suck.
Recent research indicates that an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes per day is spent on social networks and messaging – a figure that continues to increase.
Daily Time Spent on Social Networking (2012-2017)
Here’s why this number is rising:
  • There are 2.5 billion social media users in the world. This is precisely, 1/3 of the globe’s population.
  • Social engagement has become more functional… a kind of habit that fulfils both engagement and entertainment.
  • Interestingly, almost 98% of digital consumers are social media users.
  • Generation Z are more likely to use social media than a search engine.
  • Social customer service is taking a bigger role.
  • Businesses are keener on social ads – the very fact being there are nearly 6 million Facebook advertisers and 2 million Instagram advertisers.
  • Mobile social media users are increasing phenomenally.
  • Real-time collaboration in social media is the new way to reach customers.
Do you believe that this mind-numbing time spent on creating content, posting, viewing shares etc. is getting nowhere near to creating a positive impact on your social media campaign efforts?
Managing social media campaigns can easily get better with a few helpful social media management tools. These tools let you simplify your social media management tasks from one single dashboard. They let you painlessly promote, listen, respond, react and be more organized across multiple networks.
Prioritizing and scheduling your tasks smartly, and channelling your resources and time can eventually get you on the right track.
But before you jump straight into it, you need to understand the best social media management tools a little better.
Here, I have considered two top names: Buffer vs HootSuite.
Let us see which one really wins the social scheduling game.

Buffer Vs Hootsuite

Hootsuite and Buffer are so similar, yet they are so different too.
Two major factors that will help us decide which one comes out on top are;
  • How easy and efficient the platform is to use
  • How much time you can save by using it

Hootsuite

hootsuite-for-buffer-vs-hootsuite
Launched in 2008 by Ryan Holmes, HootSuite was developed as a complete Twitter application. Today, the application is used by more than 16 million plus global users reaching more than 175 plus countries and crossing 2 million app installers.
The tool lets you to manage your social media strategies across multiple networks from one single dashboard. You can schedule, publish, source content, respond and easily monitor all your social media activity using this tool. You can even collaborate with other members.
The Hootsuite auto-scheduler even understands the optimal time to post on your social networks and schedules your post accordingly.
In short, with Hootsuite it is easy to manage your social marketing, social selling and social customer service on a new level, without any friction. Manage them all at once and see them in one space… this is Hootsuite.

Social networks supported by HootSuite

  • Twitter profiles
  • Google + Pages
  • Google+ profiles
  • Instagram profiles
  • Instagram business profiles
  • Facebook profiles
  • Facebook Pages
  • Facebook groups
  • YouTube channels
  • LinkedIn profiles
  • LinkedIn Company Pages
  • WordPress.com blogs

Pricing

  • Individual – Limited free plan for individuals – Up to 3 Social profiles, message scheduling, basic analytics.
  • Professional – One user, 10 social profiles, real-time analytics, auto content scheduling, bulk scheduling, social sweepstakes, unlimited RSS integrations, 150+ free and paid apps, in-dash live-chat support.
  • Team – 3 users, 20 social profiles, customized analytics view, automatic and bulk content scheduling, team assignments, 6 contest templates (1 user), custom branded URL, 150+ free and paid apps, In-dash live-chat support, 1 social media certification.
  • Business – Minimum 5 users, 50 social profiles, advanced analytics with data exports, automatic and bulk content scheduling, publishing approvals and assignments, 150+ free, paid and premium apps, 6 social campaign templates (multi-user), customized and shortened URLs, platform & social marketing certifications, 24/7 priority support, extended 1-on-1(60 minutes) training, 4 social media certifications.
  • Enterprise – Hootsuite allows Enterprise users to use a list of extensions and applications to create a customized experience. This plan allows custom teams and features.
HootSuite custom features

Search functionality

Effective advanced queries are so important. Hootsuite lets its users create their own search queries and easily keep track of those that include any specific hashtags, @handles, keywords or phrases.
This means users can stay up to date on topics that matter to them.
The Hootlet Twitter search facility, which is totally linked with Google, is definitely an upper hand for Hootsuite users. It allows users to find and share content to their social networks from anywhere on the web.
Adding a search stream is easy and simple in Hootsuite.
  • Add Twitter lists, Facebook pages, Google+ page, Youtube and Instagram search streams
  • Add search or keyword streams
  • Add search streams with language filters
  • Create localized search streams
  • Search for conversations
  • Find influencers
  • Users can even add a Geo-search stream.
Hootsuite stands as one of the dominant social media management tools due to its powerful search query feature enabling users not only with the flexibility of several types of monitoring, but also allowing precision from not wasting time on those that are not relevant. Accurate analysis saves time and money.

Social Advertising

Hootsuite has partnered with some of the top technology and services solutions for social advertising. Users can now easily create, manage and update their social advertising right from Hootsuite.
Companies planning to optimize and gain the maximum benefit of social advertising campaigns across major social channels can now do so right within Hootsuite.
Key benefits include:
  • Establishing new advertising campaigns
  • Empowering and optimizing current campaigns
  • Boosting top performing social content
  • Gaining insights via advertising analytics
Worldwide, mobile ad investment is rising and driving gains seriously. Spending on paid media is on the rise. “More than ever, brands are investing in paid social media advertising to complement their overall social initiatives and marketing campaigns,” said Matt Switzer, Hootsuite’s senior vice president of Labs, Corporate and Business Development.

What is new with Hootsuite?

A well known Independent Research Firm recently named Hootsuite as the leader in enterprise social media management solution for the year 2017.

More robust analytics

In February 2017, Hootsuite acquired AdEspresso, a digital advertisement manager, and LiftMetrix, a leading social media analytics company.
To enhance its offerings further, Hootsuite debuted Social ROI measurement solution.
In 2017, the company also recently announced a partnership with Adobe and Hubspot. Hootsuite also acquired a Snapchat analytics solution to enable its customers to leverage Snapchat analytics in their digital marketing strategy.
With powerful overviews and interactive reports, the new analytics offered by Hootsuite allows users to see metrics that matter the most to their users. One can analyze data by time, network, tags and even type of engagement, all without running a report. The refresh rates of Twitter and Facebook are every 24 hours.

Improved Dashboard navigation

Changes have been made to improve the navigation in the Hootsuite dashboard, making it easier to use.
HootSuite Dashboard Navigation

Facility to create search streams

HootSuite search stream

Supported browsers

Hootsuite supports the latest versions of the following browsers, excluding beta versions:
  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Apple Safari
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 11
Hootsuite will no longer support non-secure versions of Internet Explorer and Android.

The key attraction to Hootsuite

  • Hootsuite has a large list of supported networks
  • It’s a very stable platform
  • It has an increasing list of amazing third party integrations
  • You can manage social ads
  • You can create search streams
  • It supports larger teams

Key drawback

The cost and dashboard complexity

Buffer

Buffer
Released in 2010, Buffer is a scheduling tool which lets its users easily and conveniently schedule and share posts to social media profiles.
It acts as a topping layer of whatever tools you are already using. It allows you to keep track of all your posts, get analytics and understand which shares of yours have resonated well with your social media contacts.
Buffer incorporates services with a variety of 3rd party apps, including mobile apps. It has extensions for Firefox, Chrome and Safari so you can set up posts wherever you’re browsing from when you see something you’d like to share.

Social networks supported by Buffer

  • Twitter profiles
  • Facebook profiles
  • Facebook Pages
  • Facebook Groups
  • LinkedIn profiles
  • LinkedIn Pages
  • Google+ profiles
  • Google+ Pages
  • Instagram profiles
  • Pinterest profiles

Pricing

  • Individual – Free forever – 3 social account, 10 scheduled posts, Browser Extension, Mobile Apps iOS + Android, Pablo image creator, Video and GIF uploader, optimal timing, link shortening and tracking. All supported social networks except Pinterest.
  • Awesome – $10 a month – 10 social accounts, 100 scheduled posts, Browser Extension, RSS Feed, Calendar, Mobile Apps iOS + Android , Pablo image creator, Video and GIF uploader, optimal timing, link shortening and tracking, social analytics.  All supported social networks.
  • Small – $99 a month – 25 social accounts, 5 additional team members, 2000 scheduled posts, Browser Extension, RSS Feed, Calendar, Mobile Apps iOS + Android , Pablo image creator, Video and GIF uploader, optimal timing, link shortening and tracking, social analytics, advanced social analytics. All supported social networks.
  • Medium – $199 – 50 social accounts, 10 additional team members, 2000 scheduled posts, Browser Extension, RSS Feed, Calendar, Mobile Apps iOS + Android , Pablo image creator, Video and GIF uploader, optimal timing, link shortening and tracking, social analytics, advanced social analytics. All supported social networks.
  • Large – $399 – 150 social accounts, 25 additional team members, 2000 scheduled posts, Browser Extension, RSS Feed, Calendar, Mobile Apps iOS + Android , Pablo image creator, Video and GIF uploader, optimal timing, link shortening and tracking, social analytics, advanced social analytics. All supported social networks.

What is new with Buffer?

Buffer new features
  • Buffer is now a multi-product solution. The original Buffer became Buffer Publish.Buffer Publish
  • Buffer’s audience engagement tool (formerly known as Respond) became Buffer Reply with custom search queries. As an engagement tool, Reply enables its users to respond to social conversations within one simple inbox using features such as filters, tags, folders, and automation rules, collision detection, assignments, internal notes, built-in emojis, reports and lots more!Buffer Reply
  • An added facility to Re- Buffer a post.
  • Buffer Analyze was launched for social media insights. This facility stands as a better way to measure performance on social media, gain meaningful stats on your social media marketing and understand the performance of your posts. Tracking and sharing performance metrics is much simpler with this tool.Buffer Analyze
  • Enhanced Browser extension with tailored post composer.Buffer post composer
  • Updated design to fit with the iPhone.
  • A simplified Free plan with easy sign up.
  • A brand new Publishing interface, complete with a more intuitive scheduling area .
  • Enhanced accuracy of Buffer’s social media analytics .Buffer social media analytics
  • A unified login in line to support all of Buffer’s products in one place

Key attraction to Buffer

  • Buffer is an intuitive, streamlined social media content publishing platform
  • It integrates with Pinterest which is lacking in Hootsuite.
  • Buffer’s interface is more friendly and intuitive than Hootsuite.
  • The pricing is simple. Its Business Plans are all-in-one costs; there are no additional charges.
  • Excellent mobile support

Key drawback

There are some limitations in terms of the supported networks and search functionality.
So, how good are these two tools at scheduling?

Buffer Vs Hootsuite for social media scheduling

Social media connections made online have a direct impact both on your professional and personal life. But planning and executing on an effective social strategy can be time- consuming if you don’t leverage the power of automation and scheduling tools.
With just a few surface-level differences, Hootsuite and Buffer both provide great options for achieving exactly this. If you’re working with a large team, Hootsuite is probably your best option. But if you’re only managing a few social profiles and want to stick to a small budget, Buffer might be right for you.
Overall, the Buffer Vs Hootsuite competition really comes down to personal preference and which tool you enjoy using the most.
Buffer Vs Hootsuite, who wins in your mind?
This blog post was originally written by Meenakshi Krishnan in 2016 and has been updated to reflect the improvements in both Buffer and Hootsuite.
So much has changed since then. Both Buffer and Hootsuite have evolved over these years and it has shaped up well to match the matured social networks, the improvised skills of social media managers and their influence. The products stand today with a new and better vision.
Guest Author: Meenakshi is currently working on global mobile app technologies reporting on diverse subjects for Openxcell. Prior to this, she was working for a technology marketing company based in Norwalk as content contributor.

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