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Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. Sprout Social: Which is Best for Social Media Management?

Choosing the best social media management software is not that easy; however, it is definitely a necessity today. Let's dive into comparing Hootsuite, Buffer and Sprout Social in detail and find out which social media management tool is right for you.

Social media management tools are the best friends when it comes to the integration of social media in the marketing strategy. These can help in managing several profiles and track specific keywords. It also allows you to schedule the posts in advance so that you do not need to spend hours every day you come up with content and log in distinct accounts to solely post updates.
Social media tools come in varied sizes and shapes; however, the top three dominate the market, such as Hootsuite, Sprout, and Buffer, which are social media software. These are quite a similar thing to aid you to schedule the content across several social media platforms while posting them for you in accordance with the schedule. However, distinct software differs in multiple ways.

How do social media tools work?

The tools offer a single place to post, analyze, and also schedule all the social media efforts which alleviate the pain of the need to log in and out of multiple accounts regularly. These make use of APIs which make way for the external software program to pull in the data that exists already. This gives the social media monitoring tools the ability to integrate using various third-party sites.

 

What is Hootsuite & What does it offer?

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the oldest management platforms of social media and is also one of the most well known. It lets you manage Google plus, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube. Other social like StumbleUpon, Pinterest, FourSquare, and Vimeo, along with others, are available with the help of third-party applications. Some of the apps are although paid; however, some are free. This feature alone contributes to making Hootsuite vs Buffer vs Sprout Social as the most extensive social media management tool.
One of the most notable features is the dashboard that is organized in a customizable and multi-column layout. Each of the social networks has its own tab within each of the tabs and you can set up multiple streams that are tailored to the particular account in question.
The usefulness of the feature is most apparent when it is used in conjunction with Twitter. The streams make it further possible to monitor retweets; Twitter mentions along with private messages side by side.
On Pro pan, you need to add one team member while assigning tasks for the collaboration efforts. Upload and schedule various bulk messages all at one by efficiently importing a CSV file. This free plan comprises of the auto-scheduling feature that will post at the best times. It is important to keep in mind that you can auto-schedule only ten messages a day.

 

Analytics of Hootsuite

Hootsuite Analytics

As far as analytics is concerned, it offers a basic set of reports for free that can be generated with the help of custom-built reports or pre-created templates. Although they provide great value for money, its cost can quickly blow the budget while wind up being excessively expensive for a small business owner. You can achieve one free report monthly on the Pro version along with additional reports that come with an additional price tag. This is the biggest shortcoming of this platform.

 

Buffer

Buffer

Buffer is a platform that is relatively new to the scene of social media; however, has gained popularity in no time. The dashboard is white and clean, which makes it difficult to get distracted while writing posts or to become overwhelmed using data during the analysis. The marketing campaign tracking can be enabled via the analytics UTM parameters while installing browser plug-ins to share content easily from the web. There are not many analytics or stats, while the free version gets pretty limited.
When you are looking to monitor conservation and interact with users, Buffer is the best app for this work. It is intended to auto-broadcast messages across social media while scheduling the content backlog.
A buffer social media is a tool which shares and collates online content throughout the social media channels. There is a cheap, clean a user-friendly social media marketing tool and allows you to schedule posts across various channels and drives traffic while increasing engagement with the target audiences.

Analyzing Buffer

Buffer is a content publishing platform that lets you publish an also schedule content to social networks. It is a smaller tool and does not publish as many social networks as Hootsuite does. It has comparatively fewer features and also lesser analytics tools. However, this does not mean that this is in no manner useful.
Hootsuite pricing offers analytics of social networks, while buffer offers analytics on the posts that have been published via the platform. When you are only using Buffer for posting social content, the data is then contained within the software.
However, this at times is unlikely to be the case as you can see the best and worst-performing posts depending on the engagement, post type, and reach. Buffer vs sprout social reflects all data in a very simple and clean layout and also in the mobile app as well. This helps you track the content performance on one go. All of these are exportable, and hence if you require further analysis or need to send to more people, it gets easier to do so. For enhanced results, know about the buffer pricing.
The layout is one of the favourite parts, especially when compared to the complicated and a little boxy dashboard of the Hootsuite. It is easier to use on the mobile, which is great if you regularly wish to post on the go.

 

Sprout Social

Sprout Social

Sprout Social has been designed to do anything with respect to the management of the business social media channels. If offers influencer identification feature and social listening and having some functionality of social customer relationship management (CRM).
Similar to Hootsuite, Sprout makes way for you to author a message and chooses the account it comes from while attaching photos, shortening links, and choosing a specific target audience from the main dashboard on the feed. Alongside, it offers a draft function for you to save posts which are not ready for publication while returning to them later.

Analyzing Sprout Social

One of the very useful features on Sprout Social is inside the publishing department with the audience discovery function. This further highlights accounts or people the platform think you might be interested in along with robotic and spam accounts you need to unfollow. This is the only software which has this function which has been proved to be extremely useful.
Sprout Social makes social management quite easy while letting team members collaborate nicely over the platform that makes it an excellent tool for customer service. This has been tested by assigning queries and questions between the digital team which worked seamlessly. This further means that they were well able to deliver ideal customer service while never leaving the query of the customer ignored or left out for more than one hour.
Thus, this platform has been found to be engaging with the users, been effective and easy to publish across various platforms seamlessly. It also proves great for analytics. Additionally, it also eliminates the need for logging into the account altogether by combining each thing you need in one single place.

Comparison Table 

Feature

Buffer

Hootsuite

Sprout Social 

Ideation 

No 

No

No

Planning

No

No

No

Placeholders

No

No

No

Collaboration 

No

No

Yes

Workflow and approvals

No

No

No

Publishing & Scheduling 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Supports Twitter, Linkedin & Facebook

Yes

Yes

Yes

Adding multiple profiles

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ad-Hoc Posting

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

The Final Takeaway

Choosing the right social media management tool is not that easy; however, it is definitely a necessity today. The final decision of Hootsuite vs Buffer rests upon a number of factors.
Buffer is the best choice while you are looking for a straightforward and simple way of scheduling and sharing content across varied social networks. Even if you wish to opt for the free plan, it serves as a wonderful way of getting familiar with the management of social media while providing you with a set of analytics to better understand what needs to be tracked.
However, if you require something which is a lot more advanced with better analytics, sprout social forms as the obvious choice. It helps if you wish to have a tool which lets you handle a significant part of the customer support through social media accounts. Hootsuite, on the contrary, is the platform which can be customized with the most varied options to integrate additional social media networks.
Sprout Social is great for large corporations as it comprises of the most robust social listening, analytics, communication, and engagement tools. Buffer, on the other hand, is ideal for small businesses for the seamless user experience on desktop and mobile app. However, for those looking for a free plan, Hootsuite is the best.

Conclusion

For a mid-to-large sized business, it is best to opt for Hootsuite. On the other hand, the free version does not offer enough for a small business. If you wish to opt for aesthetics, go for Sprout. Social media can get a bit too overwhelming at times. This is when this differentiation can help you make the ideal decision.

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