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The Battle of the Management Tools—Hootsuite vs. Buffer

WRITTEN by: Upward Brand Interactions |
categories: Content Marketing

Aug 2013

ALL INSIGHTS

Social media presence has become essential in today’s business world. Many brands are utilizing social media for things like promotions, generating leads and providing customer service. Brands with social presences on networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are opening the company up to the consumer by providing direct access through social media outlets. But, managing multiple social media platforms for many different clients or organizations can be difficult. Without the help of scheduling and management tools, social media managers would spend hours logging in and out of accounts to post new content and engage with other users. Thanks to a few social media management tools, handling social media is more streamlined and less complicated. There are two management tools that stand out miles above the rest—Hootsuite and Buffer. If you have any experience with scheduling and monitoring social media content, you know that these two sites offer the best and most complete range of services for any community manager.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a browser-based social media management tool that allows users to schedule social content for Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts. The interface is relatively easy to use, making it easy to jump in to at the beginning.

Pros:

  • You can easily manage multiple social media platforms from one account.
  • Hootsuite provides custom analytics for each social network.
  • Managers can set up keyword and hashtag searches pertaining to each account’s focus.
  • The free version of Hootsuite is great. You can pay to upgrade to Hootsuite Pro if you manage many different accounts, but the free version is perfect for managing up to five profiles.
  • The Hootsuite mobile apps are available for all operating systems, which helps managers monitor in real-time, especially when on the run.

Cons:

  • Full, in-depth analytics reports from Hootsuite can be expensive.
  • There is no option for link shortening; you have to use the Hootsuite branded ow.ly URL shortener.
  • Manual scheduling can be time consuming if you choose not to utilize the AutoSchedule feature.

Buffer

Buffer allows users to add articles, content, links, pictures and videos to your Buffer and the system will “automagically” share them to your social networks (including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) throughout the day.

Pros:

  • Buffer gives you free, detailed analytics on every post, making it easy for you to see how many likes, shares, retweets, mentions and favorites your content got and it also identifies the potential reach of each post.
  • The free version of Buffer allows you to link three social media accounts and buffer up to 10 updates at a time. With “The Awesome Plan,” you can have 12 accounts linked and there is no limit on buffering.
  • Buffer’s browser button makes posting to any social network quick and easy.

Cons:

  • It’s really hard to moderate discussions through Buffer. Even though you can see analytics of each post, it’s difficult to moderate a single discussion.
  • You cannot see direct messages on Buffer. You have to log in to your actual account to see and/or respond to one.
  • Buffer sends out updates on the same time schedule each day.

So, which side do you choose? Hootsuite or Buffer? Take some time to play with both tools and figure out which option works best for your community management needs. Or, maybe use both! They each have their pros and cons, but overall, they help get the job done.

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