Businesses, small and big, are targeting social media platforms as an integral part in connecting with their audience. Surveys and reports have established Facebook as the giant in this industry, followed by Twitter. Channels like Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn are also being explored by marketers. Social Media management platforms like Hootsuite and other Hootsuite alternative being used by marketers.
In order to cater to users on various social media platforms at one go, social media management apps are saving time and efforts of marketers. While the app store is full of options, one of the most popular social media management app is Hootsuite. This third-party tool enables you to collate all your social media accounts and stream them on one dashboard. Whether you have multiple accounts or use one account for multiple channels, Hootsuite’s simple dashboard allows you to schedule, compose, send and track your activities. It requires no additional downloads, and you can add team members, monitor work-flow and analyse your social media activities as well.
Some of the feature highlights that makes Hootsuite a popular choice are:
- It allows integration with a host of social media channels like Facebook (profile, pages, events, groups), Twitter, Foursqaure, LinkedIn (profile, pages and groups), Google+ pages, WordPress, Mixi, Flickr, Tumblr, Mailchimp,Vimeo, Myspace, Storify, and so many more
- It allows team collaboration
- Scheduling social media updates
- Save FAQ “tweets” as drafts to send out to commonly asked
- Get weekly analytical reports via email, detailing about number of clicks, most popular links, geographical information, etc.
- All browser compatible
- RSS integration
- Mobile app (Android, iPad and Blackberry) with a seamless UI
- Freemium plans. With the free plan, you can add upto 5 social media channels.
Hootsuite is a wonderful social media management app but it has its shortcomings as well-
- You have to use ow.ly for link shortening. bit.ly or any other URL shortener will not work
- Analytics in details can be little expensive, although there are few free reports. Mostly it costs $50 per report
- You cannot integrate a CRM system
- Team accounts cannot be handled in mobile app
The Hootsuite review certifies it as great social media management tool. Yet we cannot ignore that there are many more alternatives out there in the market. So, after a thorough research here are some Hootsuite alternatives that can be useful for a marketer.
Hootsuite Alternative – SocialPilot
SocialPilot, which seems like an advanced Hootsuite alternative to me, is highly recommended for anyone who is looking for an alternative to Hootsuite. It is an all-in-one social media scheduling tool that helps marketing professionals and organisation to organise their social media activities.
SocialPilot Features Highlight
It has all the features that Hootsuite has but in a more advanced way.
- You can create and schedule your posts for different time and day. Hence, your work goes on even if you are not online. Best part is, you can schedule posts in a different time zone as well.
- You can post a single update across various social media profiles at one go.
- You can track your posts on your accounts via the scheduling calendar.
- Your brand visibility can be enhanced with SocialPilot with its unique customised Facebook branding feature.
- You can schedule hundreds of posts using bulk scheduling. All you need to do is create a CSV file or TXT file and specify the schedule for updating. You can make edits or delete them as and when you wish to.
- Multiple team members can work on SocialPilot together. You can add some as contributors who have editing rights while others can be just moderators. That way, you are sure that only curated updates go live.
- SocialPilot acts like a advanced digital companion with all its suggestion and custom feeds. You can choose content from several categories like business, travel, startups, and such. Isn;t that an awesome way to engage your audience and keep them glued?
- SocialPilot is on mobile (both Android and iOS) and provides browser extensions (Chrome) as well.
SocialPilot vs Hootsuite
With a single glance at the above features, it is an easy task to spot the differences-
- The scheduling feature on SocialPilot enables you to schedule posts for different days and time. Hootsuite, however, allows you to schedule for one time on different days.
- Bulk scheduling is unavailable on Hootsuite.
- Brand visibility on a personal level does not happen on Hootsuite. With SocialPilot, you can showcase a message like “Posted by XYZ” where XYZ denotes your brand name. Hence it gives a personal touch. This feature is not present with Hootsuite.
- SocialPilot provides post suggestions unlike Hootsuite.
- Hootsuite tells you the best possible time and suitable time for your post update, which is unavailable on SocialPilot.
- Free version of SocialPilot allows:
- Upto 3 social media profiles
- 10 posts/day
- Upto 3 RSS feeds
- Unlimited groups
- Access to API
- No analytics report
- Free Version of Hootsuite allows:
- 3 social media profiles
- Unlimited posts
- Basic analytics report
- 2 RSS feed
- Scheduling and app integration
- Hootsuite integrates with Facebook (groups and pages), LinkedIn (groups and pages), Twitter, Google+, Foursquare,Wordpress, Tumblr, Mailchimp, Vimeo, Storify and so many more. SocialPilot allows posting on Facebook (groups and pages), LinkedIn (groups and pages), Google+, Twitter.
Price: Starts at $4.99/month (for individuals and bloggers) and goes upto $14.99/month (for online sellers and businesses). All paid plans provide a 14-days trial period and it also has free account which give you ability to connect 3 social account, schedule 30 posts and 10 posts sharing per day.
Update: In October-16; SocailPilot released major updates, which include new user interface, along with ability to post on Google+, content suggestions and more browser extensions.
Hootsuite Alternative – Agorapulse
Another social media scheduling tool, Agorapulse also provides you with social inbox system and an advanced queueing option. It Started as a Facebook apps-driven tools. Today it automatically lets you re-queue content that engages most. Agorapulse is best used for Facebook marketing. You can run quiz, sweepstakes, contests and much more.
Agorapulse Features Highlight
- One dashboard for all channels.
- Schedule a post.
- Never miss a tweet or comment or message. The social inbox feature segregates everything properly. you can reply to an user directly from here or assign a tag or review it.
- 24/7 content syncing enables you to stay updated. You can filter between “all” content and “new content”.
- Notifications at a glance.
- Automated moderation helps in flagging, hiding or assigning content while you are away.
- Publish at once to all networks.
- Schedule and queue posts. View them on your content calendar.
- Republish contents.
- Track shares and mentions on Facebook. Customise search on Twitter based on keywords that matter most.
- Find influential audience and connect with them.
- Monitor hashtags and places on Instagram.
- Get an overview of your most engaged users.
- Know who posts about you the most and engage with them.
- Categories audience like influencers, clients, prospects, etc.
- Store every conversation happened with your users for future reference.
- Get an overview of the user profile with whom you have interacted.
- Run Facebook quiz with the Quiz application.
- Run Facebook photo contest using the photo contest app.
- Reward your fans using Facebook sweeptakes for their loyalty.
- Build an instant fan base using the Facebook instant win app.
- Facebook Personality test app is a quiz with rewards that lets you animate your page and engage your fans better.
- Fan vote app for Facebook lets you invite your fans for voting on your products or videos or other posts.
- Facebook coupon app lets you create exclusive discounts for your fans.
- Refund policy for monthly subscription.
Price: Small plan for solo marketers start at $49/month for upto 5 profiles and 2 users. It goes upto $299/month for enterprises (30 profiles and upto 20 members).
Hootsuite vs Agorapulse
After going through the features of Agorapulse it is evident that this tool is much more advanced than Hootsuite. I will just walk you through the points of differences once more before we reach any conclusion.
- Hootsuite has “streams” which I personally like because it lets me get an overview of everything. However, Agorapulse’s smart social inbox is definitely much more organised. The complication with Hootsuite grows when you start adding more than two or three streams. It looks cluttered and you can have a hard time managing the series of tabs. Agorapulse is a life saver in this regards. You have an inbox for every channel and everything is properly organised here. One dashboard, one overview but very organised.
- Hootsuite requires you to have 5 different streams for each social profile. For instance, with Twitter you will need to install inbox message stream, an outbox stream, mentions, tweets mentioning your name, your tweets and keyword dedicated stream. This means a lot of hopping around! With Agorapulse everything is grouped properly. messages that are sent to you are in a separate inbox while those posts that are about you is in another inbox.
- You cannot measure competitors’ social activity in Hootsuite unlike Agorapulse.
- Interacting with users and nurturing prospects is possible on Agorapulse unlike Hootsuite.
- Agorapulse’s keyword monitoring tool is much more advanced compared to that of Hootsuite’s.
- Hootsuite does not sync your contacts when you are away. Agorapulse will keep you up-to-date even if you are on a vacation.
- You can create Facebook apps with Hootsuite, unless you are using app making tools like Shortstack or Antavo.
- Hootsuite CRM (Nimble) will require you to pay an additional $15 per month. Agorapulse features an internal CRM.
- The pro version of Hootsuite will give you 3 basic reports every month. If you are using more than three social profiles, then you will definitely require reports on every profile you have. That will cost you $50 for each additional report (up to a maximum of 10 reports per month). Agorapulse gives you unlimited reports. Enough said!
- In terms of price, Hootsuite’s Pro plan starts at $9.99/month for upto 50 social profiles, advanced message scheduling feature and publishing and monitoring of unlimited RSS feeds. For each extra member it will cost you $15/month (3-10 member at max). Agorapulse is cheaper than Hootsuite. For 40 social profiles, you pay $199/month and nothing else.
Hootsuite Alternative – SproutSocial
SproutSocial, an advanced and unique Hootsuite alternative which is a social media scheduling tool equipped with numerous features like scheduling messages, task assignments, statistics overview and integration with various platforms. This tool is apt for enterprise, agencies and small businesses.
SproutSocial Features Highlight
- Smart social inbox for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and many more
- Collaborative content calendar
- Easy scheduling across multiple networks
- Post queueing with ViralPost
- Tracking activities across all channels
- Discover trends and influencers with Sprout’s proprietary Trends Report
- Available for android and iOS devices (iPhone and iPad)
Price: Every plan offers a 30-Day trial period. The paid plans start at $59/month (Deluxe).
Hootsuite vs SocialSprout
SocialSprout is touted as another prospective alternative, where the overall features are almost similar but with slight differences.
- Hootsuite dashboard has multi-column streams for all the information. This helps you to have a glance at all your accounts on a single page. These streams are customisable.
- SproutSocial’s dashboard is different. There are social inboxes for every channel that you are accessing. The messages, updates and other information for each channel is sent to its respective inboxes. The ViralPost technology in paid plans lets you publish posts when the engagement is high. Also the Discovery feature helps you discover audience based on keywords and locations, and connect with them.
- Hootsuite lets your team members to join a conversation thread and comment without having a social media account.
- SproutSocial lets you store comments and information of your followers. Any team member can see all the past conversations with a contact and post a reply appropriate. This feature helps in nurturing a lead through social media. Integration with customer service operating systems like UserVoice and ZenDesk lets you have a seamless collaboration with customers via social media platforms.
Reports and analytics:
- Reports from Hootsuite are somewhat detailed and customised. The “Quick Analytics” feature will give a screenshot of most popular tweets. The basic UI of these reports are intuitive and simple.
- SproutSocial presents a report that is beautiful. The home dashboard will give you a quick overview of how your social media channels are performing. You can get a deeper insight like how many percentage followers are male and female, what are the age demographics and so on. You can assess your customer reach and what will work in your favour. Also, SproutSocial gives you unlimited reports for any plan you choose.
- Hootsuite’s mobile version has one drawback- you cannot access the pre-scheduled tweet feature that is available on web.
- SproutSocial, on the contrary, gives you full access to the CMS over your smartphone. Hence, you can easily keep track on all the activities like replies, mentions, and so on over all your social media channels.
Both Hootsuite and SproutSocial offer a 30-day trial period.
- Hootsuite: $9.99/month for two users for Pro Plan; unlimited social profiles.
- SproutSocial: $59/month for Standard plans and 10 social profiles.
HootSuite Alternative – Sendible
Another free alternative to Hootsuite is Sendible. It is not just a social media management tool but also caters to various other aspects of digital marketing. An easy to use dashboard where you can engage with your users, a social CRM, analytics, publishing- Sendible has it all.
Pros of using Sendible
- Sendible lets you grow as a brand. Even if someone has not tagged your company, yet is talking about your company, Sendible will let you know. You can bring in new users without having being tagged or mentioned
- Sendible lets you juggle multiple accounts seamlessly. The visual tick mark to the tweets that you have replied helps in long run to filter among piles of tweets
- Publish to multiple social media channels and blogs. You can schedule, queue, and maintain your consistency with RSS publishing
- Team collaboration. You can add and assign tasks to teams, review before publishing any content, and share customer records with team
- Analyse data across all the social media channels that you use via Sendible
- Mentions do not just happen over Twitter. If someone mentions your company anywhere like blog or any other channel, Sendible will notify you. You can monitor reviews on Yelp and CitySearch
- Impressive and quick customer support
- From generating to nurturing a lead, Sendible has all the tools needed for to garner an effective social media outcome. From emails to SMS marketing capabilities, Sendible goes beyond social media sharing
- You can use Sendible on the go with its mobile app
Hootsuite vs Sendible
Sendible is definitely so much more than social media sharing and managing. Its a compact option for a marketer. Here are two major ways in which Sendible surpasses Hootsuite-
Sendible has it all- posting, scheduling, sharing, sentiment analysis, auto-responder, auto-following, and so much more. The 360 degree monitoring is unique on Sendible unlike Hootsuite. Whether you want to go in to the depth of a post analysis based on reach sentiment, or consider geo/language targeting– Sendible has it all.
Sendible is much more beyond social media. Tracking campaigns, uploading HTML for email campaigns, setting auto-response for email, tweets, comments, etc and tracking popular bookmarking sites like Delicious- Sendible is a complete package.
The best part is, you can do all of this from a single dashboard alone.
Price: Free plan for 30 days. Starting at $59/month only.
HootSuite Alternative – SocialOomph
SocialOomph, another alternative to HootSuite, was originally built to focus on Twitter only. In 2009, this Canadian-based web app expanded into other networks like Facebook, RSS, WordPress, App.net and Plurk. In many ways, SocialOomph is similar to Hootsuite, like scheduling and updating posts, and analytics updates.
Hootsuite vs SocialOomph
Although there are few similarities, SocialOomph has certain features solely to itself.
- Auto-responder function in SocialOomph sets it apart from Hootsuite
- You can get notified when someone retweets or mentions you
- SocialOomph uses Microsoft word file for bulk uploads unlike Hootsuite that uses a CSV file
- WYSIWYG editor for in-software editing in SocialOomph
- Analytics is slightly more detailed in SocialOomph
- Unlimited accounts in free version as well
- You can schedule and publish blog posts from unlimited blogs
Hootsuite has the advantage of letting you access more channels than SocialOomph and mobile integrations.
Price: Free version available for 7 days. Range: $0-$35 per month.
Hootsuite Alternative – Buffer
Buffer, a Hootsuite Alternative, is a powerful social media management tool that has all the features to compete with Hootsuite fiercely. In a span of five years, Buffer has more than two million active users. You can schedule, track and access more than one social media channel with this tool.
Buffer Feature Highlights
- Feedly integration allows you to quickly access title, URL, content of the article you are reading without having to open a separate browser
- You can schedule your retweets as well with Buffer
- Integration with Followerwonk in Buffer helps you know which time your followers are online. You can schedule your posts accordingly. You can pick the handle of any influencer and analyse when their followers are online. This means your tweeting is now optimised
- Custom scheduling enables to choose the right day and time for an update that deals with sensitive topics. You can target the right set of audience in a specific time
- You can now add Google+ and LinkedIn pages in Buffer
- You can schedule posts using Buffer Inside Echofon without having to leave your Twitter window
- Auto-complete option for Twitter handles, options to post images and quotes
- “Top post” icon in Buffer lets you know which post is performing better than the others
- Compare various blog titles to see which one works best for you
- Each profile you use has a separate analytics history stored in separate tabs for reference
- Integration of Pocket with Buffer makes it easy for you to save an article to read and share later
Hootsuite vs Buffer
There are few ways in which Buffer surpasses Hootsuite-
- Scheduling posts for Pinterest is possible on Buffer unlike Hootsuite
- RSS Feed integration in all plans
- Buffer has great social media image creation tool called Pablo; which is another great addon.
- Five or more team members can access in all plans
Price: Free plan for Individual. Pricing starts at $10/month for Individuals, and $99/month for small teams.
While we are still on Hootsuite alternatives, here are some more tools that people have used and liked as well-
Viralheat, TweetDeck, Sprinklr, NetBase, Tracx and so many more.
There are a host of social media management tools to choose from. If you think I have missed out any such tool that can be used as a Hootsuite alternative, feel free to comment and let me know.