Social media marketing is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. Every business needs social media, regardless of its size or industry. Small businesses and startups need to rely on it even more because it is a very inexpensive way to market and develop a stronger presence and customer base that will help business growth.
In a lot of cases, social media is the only marketing method small organizations rely on, and this is why it’s important to do it properly, as it can make the difference between the organization succeeding or failing. Luckily, with modern tools, there are many options to market effectively via social media.
Today we are going to present and compare two of them, Buffer and Hootsuite.
Buffer comes with a free version, which allows users to have 3 different accounts with which you can connect 5 social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. With any premium subscription, you can use up to 150 accounts and connect them with the same platforms plus Pinterest.
Hootsuite also has a free version which offers 3 different accounts on which you can connect three social media platforms, with Twitter being a mandatory option. With the premium version, you can set up over 10 profiles on which you can have more than 35 different social media platforms (basically any social media website that you can think of).
Buffer is a simple social media management tool that is designed to streamline your scheduling process and all of the other actions that go along with it. You can create a scheduled queue of pending posts on social networks and leave them to be automatically posted.
Even though Buffer doesn’t offer such a wide range of social media platforms, it does offer social media automation through Zapier, IFTTT, and other similar services that allow you to streamline automatic posting. It also offers analytics for your posts, but not for your entire profile and its performance.
You can create custom schedules for all accounts and adjust profiles, platforms, days, and time. It has a tool called “Optimal Scheduling”, which can even give you suggestions for posting time and create a plan based on your previous performance. It also offers various extensions for browsers and creating shareable images.
Hootsuite is a full-blown social media marketing tool that has many functionalities and very complex options with an unlimited number of uses. It has amazing post-scheduling customizations through all platforms, and after this is finished you can use many different analytic features to interact with followers as well as to collaborate on and assign tasks.
It has a calendar view with a drag-and-drop interface for easy weekly scheduling. It also has a geosearch option which allows users to track relevant topics by their geocode. In addition, you can browse the web freely and share or save content that is interesting to post. Hootsuite also has a campaign feature through which you can use many interesting features and customize your social media strategy to the finest detail.
Buffer has many pricing options that we'll break down for you.
Completely free, 3 accounts, 10 posts in queue maximum, supports a browser extension, supports iOS and Android, doesn’t support Pinterest, image creator, optimal timing, has an uploader for GIFs and videos, has link tracking and link shortening.
Has the same features with an added $10 monthly subscription, 8 accounts, 100 posts for scheduling, calendar, RSS feed, social analytics, and supports all social media platforms.
$99 monthly subscription, 25 accounts, supports 5 team members, 2000 posts, and has the same features as an “awesome” option.
$199 monthly subscription, 50 accounts, supports 10 team members, and 2000 posts.
$399 monthly subscription with 150 accounts, 25 team members, and 2000 posts.
To get more in-depth information about their pricing plans, visit their website here.
Hootsuite also has many pricing options to best suite your needs.
A limited plan for a single user, 3 profiles, scheduling, and basic analytics.
Single user, 10 profiles, analytics in real time, auto-scheduling and bulk scheduling, RSS integrations, over 150 apps that can be added, live-chat, social sweepstakes.
Supports 3 users, 20 profiles, added customized analytics, content templates, team assignments, custom URLs, and a single social media certification.
Designed for a minimum of 5 users with 50 profiles, added data exports, approvals, 6 templates for campaigns and multi-user use, URL shortening, 24/7 support, training, and 4 certifications.
The enterprise plan has many customizations, applications, and extensions and can be completely tailored to your needs.
To get more in-depth information about Hootsuite's pricing plans, visit their website here.
Although Hootsuite has much more features and functionalities than Buffer, it is a lot more difficult to use and is not recommended for people who haven’t mastered social media marketing. For people starting out doing social media marketing, Buffer would be the better tool for you. Both Hootsuite and Buffer can be used equally well up to a certain point, but for more complex actions and social media campaigns Hootsuite is definitely our recommended option.