The best way to keep your social media posts up-to-date is to utilize a social media management program, such as Buffer or Hootsuite, but which one is best for you and your business?
When it comes to Buffer vs. Hootsuite, we have broken it down for you so you can make the best decision in choosing the one that will work best for you as well as your type of business.
What are Buffer and Hootsuite?
Buffer and Hootsuite are both social media programs designed to help you manage what information you are posting and when it is posted.
You can schedule each post ahead of time, so you can avoid spending all day promoting your business’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Linked In, and other social media accounts.
Both of these programs are pretty affordable and will also help you track the performance of your posts and how many people are being reached, but they are different in terms of what each has to offer.
Pricing and Style
The look and feel of the Hootsuite platform do not seem to be as modern as others, but it gets the job done when it comes to posting on social media for you and your business.
Buffer has a cleaner and easier look and feel to it. Hootsuite and Buffer offer a free version and other options, with Hootsuite starting at around $29 per month and Buffer at only $15 per month.
Hootsuite has more robust features than Buffer, so you will need to know which ones you need and which ones you do not compared with Buffer, which has fewer features.
Hootsuite has a better scheduling tool, content recommendations, and analytics, so if you need more of those, Hootsuite will be the better option for you to try out.
Buffer allows you to post to Twitter profiles, Facebook pages and groups, App.net, Google profiles and pages, Instagram Business Profiles, App.net, LinkedIn profiles and pages, and Pinterest Pro or Business only.
Hootsuite will allow you to post to Twitter profiles, Facebook pages and groups, LinkedIn profiles and pages, Google Plus profiles and pages, Pinterest Channels (Business only), Foursquare, WordPress blogs, Instagram Business Profiles, Tumblr, Blogger, YouTube channels, and even more.
An important thing to note is that Hootsuite allows you to not only post to these platforms, but it will also let you see your timelines on these platforms and read replies to your posts and will enable you to even respond to them.
At the same time, Buffer only enables you to post to these platforms. To connect Buffer to other platforms, such as YouTube, you will have to use Zapier, so you will probably be better off just going with Hootsuite if you want to have these capabilities in the first place.
Ease of Use
Buffer is simple to use and has a cleaner look and style to the layout of its dashboard, while Hootsuite is easy to use but lacks a more modern and clean look and feel to it.
Buffer’s layout is like an Apple-style product, while Hootsuite is more like Microsoft to break it down a little more.
It depends on your preferences regarding this aspect of the two social media management options as to which one will work best for you and your situation.
Scheduled Posting Power
Buffer allows you to schedule your posts, but Hootsuite offers a much more powerful scheduling function with all the bells and whistles, and it offers the best features when it comes to scheduled posting power.
When it comes to Ad-Hoc posting, Buffer wins out because it is super easy to post, and Buffer will select the best time for each post to be completed. With Hootsuite, you have to schedule each post manually at the time you want it to run.
In other words, Buffer will let you create your schedule of posts in the Buffer Queue through a Chrome Plug-in, so posts will go up when you want them to in the next available time slot that you can control and change if needed.
You can set the schedule at times you select, then go about your business, literally, and not worry about it anymore.
You can create a schedule during the weekdays and change it up for the weekends if you want.
It is a handy feature for busy business owners and others to utilize and make your life much easier.
Hootsuite will do more of the scheduling of posts for you, but you will lose a certain amount of control.
For example, if you use the AutoSchedule feature in Hootsuite, it will pick a time for your post to go live, and the only way you can choose the times each post goes live is to change it up, and do it manually.
It can change the order of your posts, so if it is essential to you that particular posts go up in a specific order, you may prefer Buffer. Buffer will keep your posts in the order in which you upload them to the Buffer Queue.
However, no matter which social media management program you decide upon in the end, it will make your life easier, and your business run more smoothly.
When it comes to storage on the platform, Hootsuite offers much more, and you can even tag content to search for it later easily.
You can even view usage stats when you go back to the post you have searched for, and it will all be there. However, Buffer does not offer as much storage, so it may not suffice for a medium to large company, and Hootsuite would probably be the better option.
However, Buffer’s content library will probably allow you enough storage if you are a smaller business.
Tracking and Analytics are Important
While Hootsuite will provide you with more analytic features free of charge, Buffer is cheaper for larger business use.
Still, both social media management platforms work well with robust tools to analyze how your target audience responds to each of your posts.
This is very important for you to plan your goals for your business and see what is working and what is not.
There are options when it comes to analytics of both Hootsuite and Buffer. With the free version of Hootsuite, you will get basic reports of how many posts you have created, you can track your follower counts, and you can see what your overall engagement rates have been with your audience.
The Hootsuite Professional Plan allows you to build reports in real-time, referred to as Boards.
For example, you can measure your audience’s posts and which groups are engaging in according to demographics of age, etc.
There is also an Enterprise Plan that will get you everything from the previous two plans and the ability to see which teams within your company are engaging with your followers and how timely they are doing it.
With the free version of Buffer, you do not get any analytics which is a real downer, but you will receive them if you sign up for the Pro or Business Buffer Plans.
With the Buffer Pro Plan, the cheaper one of the two, you will receive a Posts Report that will tell you which posts your followers are engaging with the most and how often they clicked through.
With the Business Plan, the reports you receive are more detailed and will include your followers’ growth rate and engagement rates with your posts.
You can also export the data as a CSV file that you can analyze in other apps that you have in place. On the Business plan, you can get more detailed reports that show your engagement rates, follower growth, and even export data as a CSV file to analyze in other applications.
Hootsuite or Buffer: Which One is for You?
If you want to go the cheaper route, are a beginner, or have a smaller business, Buffer will make an excellent choice for you, at least for the time being.
However, as your business and social media presence grows, Hootsuite offers you more bang for your buck. Hootsuite will provide you with all the bells and whistles you will need.
Both platforms will save you a ton of time and allow you to be more efficient and engage more with customers and other followers.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.