Buffer vs Hootsuite: Which is better?
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Is social media taking up too much of your time?
Are you having trouble engaging with your target market because you’re not online when they are?
Pre-scheduling your posts will allow you to share content on a regular basis, even if you’re busy with clients or other activities.
Which social media scheduling tool should you use?
Let’s start by looking at what you get with the free versions.
Hootsuite lets you connect to any three profiles from Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook or Instagram. Buffer lets you connect to four profiles, but you’re limited to one each from Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook.
With Buffer, you can only schedule 10 posts per network at a time. Hootsuite has no limits.
Hootsuite allows you to add two RSS feeds to your account, but this feature is not available with the free version of Buffer.
Both tools offer mobile apps and browser extensions that allow you to schedule posts from any website.
The biggest difference between the two is that Hootsuite allows you to monitor your newsfeed, follow people, and add them to lists (if you’ve added the list as a stream to Hootsuite), whereas Buffer is strictly for scheduling.
It might sound like Hootsuite is superior, but Buffer has many great features which aren’t available with Hootsuite, such as Pablo and integration with popular apps such as Pocket.
Which free social media scheduling tool do I use?
People often ask me whether I prefer Hootsuite or Buffer. I actually use both! This allows me to connect to more networks while taking advantage of Hootsuite’s unlimited posts and Buffer’s superior system for sharing images.
However, this arrangement is less than ideal.
For one thing, the two apps don’t talk to each other, so I can inadvertently schedule multiple posts for the same time. More importantly, I can’t easily cross-post something on my Facebook page and the Blogging Organizers Facebook group, because one is on my Buffer account, while the other is on my Hootsuite account.
Clearly, it would be more efficient to upgrade one of my accounts, so let’s examine the differences between the paid plans.
What happens when you upgrade?
I’m going to focus on Buffer Awesome and Hootsuite Pro, which will meet the needs of most solopreneurs and small businesses. Please note that both companies offer larger plans at higher price points if you need a more robust solution.
The Buffer Awesome plan is $10.00 per month, or $102.00 per year. The price for Hootsuite Pro is comparable, starting at $9.99 per month.
Number and Type of Profiles
Buffer Awesome lets you connect to 10 profiles from Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook or Pinterest.
Hootsuite Pro lets you connect to 50 profiles from Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook or Instagram.
Hootsuite offers a lot more, but unless you manage social media for clients, you probably don’t have anywhere near 50 profiles. The biggest difference is therefore whether you use Pinterest or Instagram.
Just like the free version, Hootsuite Pro lets you schedule an unlimited number of posts.
With Buffer Awesome, the number of posts you can schedule increases from 10 to 100 per network. Whether this is enough for you will depend on how frequently you post, and how far in advance you schedule your posts.
Buffer has recently introduced a Social Media Calendar allowing you to manage your content with an interactive calendar interface – great if you like to organize visually!
As a busy professional, you may decide to delegate your social media posting to a virtual assistant or other service provider. Both Buffer Awesome and Hootsuite Pro meet this need by allowing you to give access to your account to an additional team member, a much better practice than sharing your actual login.
You can save yourself a lot of time by adding the RSS feeds for your favorite blogs and news sites to Buffer or Hootsuite, and sharing directly from there.
With Buffer Awesome you can add up to 15 RSS feeds to your account, and Hootsuite Pro offers unlimited RSS feeds.
In both cases, an upgrade includes more advanced Analytics than the free plan.
Have you made a decision?
In addition to the differences outlined above, the two programs have a unique look and feel, so I recommend testing them both to see which one works best for you.
I’d love to know what social media scheduling tool you use – especially if it’s not one of these – as well as what you like and don’t like about it.
Image © Pixelery.com / DepositPhotos