Our Favorite Social Media Management Tool

Social Media   •   August 2017

In a recent blog post, we talked about how much your time is worth. If you’ve taken a long, hard, look at how your time is spent, you’ve probably realized that when it comes to marketing, it is usually more efficient to leave it up to the professionals… or in this case, software. Even the experts rely on technology to make their life easier.

Hootsuite, Buffer, Coschedule, SproutSocial, ZOHO Social etc. are all social media management platforms designed to help you schedule and manage your social media… but which one is the best? It is quite the #SocialShowdown, with Buffer and Hootsuite being the top two contenders…at least for today. We’ve done most of the legwork for you and put a few of these to the test; however, as we dove deeper into our research, we realized it just isn’t possible to do an apples-to-apples comparison. That doesn’t stop us from having a favorite.

And the winner is…Buffer. Why? Well, we are going to tell you!

Integration

Buffer integrates with most major social media platforms including Facebook (duh), Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+. Hootsuite integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, WordPress and YouTube. No Pinterest here, but you do get WordPress & YouTube. Buffer countered this in some recent nuptials with another well known social media management tool. Keep on reading!

Buffer also integrates with Bit.ly (a link shortener) that makes it easy to track things like UTM parameters. Hootsuite wants to charge you to use their version, Ow.ly. Yes, that’s the name of their version.

Sound the church bells! Buffer has recently partnered with Coschedule, another social media management tool that allows you to manage all content across even more platforms. Marrying Buffer’s scheduling features with CoSchedule’s management platform has created a match made in social media heaven!

 @Buffer + @CoSchedule brings super-human scheduling to your content planning.

– @CoSchedule

The Price is Right

As with most social media management platforms, Buffer offers a free version. However, unlike Hootsuite that limits you to 3 linked profiles, Buffer allows up to 5 on the free version and then up to 10 on their next pricing plan of $10/month. The next upgraded plan for Hootsuite starts at $19/month. Free trials are available for both.

The View

This is just our personal preference, but we prefer the layout and clean dashboard Buffer offers.

Buffer vs. Hootsuite

Analytics

OK, Buffer is not perfect in every way and here is where they fall short. Buffer does not offer free analytics, but there are plenty of free analytics tools out there should you not want to upgrade plans. Simply Measured, Klout, Cyfe…just to name a few. Try using the analytics offered within each platform too! But beware that posts published via Hootsuite to Facebook will not show analytical data in Facebook Insights.

Scheduling

Unlike some other tools, Buffer allows you to set a schedule based on popular times to post and then easily add your posts according to the predetermined schedule. The schedule is even fully customizable for each day of the week. Reposting content is super easy with their “rebuffer” feature.

Social Media Scheduling Buffer Extension Example

Oh ya! There’s a Buffer app for iPhone and Android and a web extension making scheduling even easier when managing multiple accounts. We highly recommend using the extensions, so you can share content directly from any web page. Our favorite feature of the Buffer extension is that you can customize content for each platform with one click and graphics are pulled directly from the page!

Although both Hootsuite and Buffer allow you to pull directly from RSS feeds, Buffer integrates with IFTTT (and Zapier), an automation tool offering over 1,800 “recipes”. Not familiar? Do yourself and your social life a favor and check them out!

Social Media Management Software is not the end-all-be-all for social media. We highly recommend interacting with your platforms directly at least once a day. As a growing digital marketing company, Buffer has been the right tool for us, but your needs may be different. Want a side-by-side comparison of your top contenders? Check out getapp.com

Sources: Hootsuite, Buffer, Coschedule, SproutSocial, ZOHO Social, Get App.