No doubt Hootsuite is an excellent tool. But we all like to have options. And let me tell you: there are plenty of Hootsuite alternatives out there.
As a marketer, you know that social media presence is the heart and soul of any digital strategy. It is one of the best ways to make your company stand out from the crowd.
However, you also know that social media can be as much overwhelming as it is important.
Creating original content, maintaining a brand reputation, organizing a calendar, scheduling shares, managing replies, monitoring results and etc. The list of tasks goes on.
The good news is that we have many exceptional social media management tools to facilitate daily administration. Let’s face it: in this day and age, we need techy assistance.
Are you currently taking full advantage of all the techy help you can get?
If you are not sure, I’m glad you are here. As a content marketer, I have been testing some social media management tools and I’m happy to share my favorites with you.
Let’s Start With the Standard: Hootsuite
The first social media management tool I ever used was Hootsuite. That was back on my first internship as a marketing assistant. And I still love it.
Hootsuite is the world’s most widely used tool for social media help. There are more than 15 million users around the globe benefiting from the software.
No wonder why it is the first software that comes to most people’s minds when talking about social media management tools.
Hootsuite allows you to manage all your social media channels and accounts in one place. It supports Linkedin, Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, WordPress blogs, Google+ pages, Vimeo, and MailChimp.
Also, it allows for team collaboration. This means you can have multiple people working on your social media empire. However, keep in mind that this feature is available only for the team plan.
The software offers a 30-day trial for all plans. However, it keeps sending tons of prompts to upgrade or pay for extra features. And this can be annoying.
Another aspect to keep in mind is that bit.ly, and most of the URL shorteners, do not work on Hootsuite. Hootsuite has its own URL shortener: ow.ly.
Again, Hootsuite is an excellent tool. That’s a fact. But if you are eager to try new tools, I got you covered.
Hootsuite Alternatives: Pick Your Favorite
Social media management tools are like a central station that connects the social ecosystem. And you need one of them if you want to take your social media management strategy to the next level.
There are many excellent Hootsuite alternatives out there. And depending on your needs and budget, they can be a better option than Hootsuite for you.
Let’s dive into my favorites.
If you manage several accounts for multiple clients, Sendible might be your best option within all the Hootsuite alternatives.
Through an easy-to-use dashboard, you can maintain consistency across multiple brands, engage with customers, track results, schedule, queue, and publish content.
Sendible has all the features necessary to coordinate various accounts and channels -- from generating through nurturing leads.
One of my favorite Sendible’s features is the priority inbox. It gathers all your social messages, from all channels and accounts in one place. Therefore, you can improve engagement by prioritizing the most important messages and taking action faster.
Sendible also has an excellent social listening feature. This means that you can monitor what is being said on blogs and social channels about each brand you manage. This allows you to categorize your replies by observing if the mentions were positive, negative, or neutral.
Additionally, Sendible offers more than 250 social media report templates. You can create in-depth, while easy-to-understand, reports with just a few clicks. Also, you can schedule to send these reports via email on a consist basis.
Certainly, this software is within the best Hootsuite alternatives. I would recommend this tool if you work with multiple accounts.
Social Networks: Facebook/Facebook Ads, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, Google+, Blogger, WordPress blogs.
- Micro Plan: $29/month. Best for solo entrepreneurs
- Small Plan: $99/month. Best for small businesses (3 users)
- Medium Plan: $199/month. Best for growing agencies (7 users)
- Large Plan: $299/month. Best for large teams (12 users)
A 30-day free trial is available.
Sendible vs. Hootsuite
Sendible supports Blogger and Tumblr, while Hootsuite does not. However, Hootsuite allows you to manage a Pinterest account, while Sendible does not.
Another point to consider is that Sendible has more affordable plans for teams and agencies than Hootsuite.
Regarding the dashboard, Sendible has more deep and segmented analytics. On the other hand, Hootsuite provides better functionalities for managing campaigns from a unique and centralized dashboard.
This tool has one of the best cost-efficiency aspects within all the Hootsuite alternatives.
AgoraPulse will save you a lot of time because of its “requeue” content feature. This feature allows evergreen content to be shared numerous times automatically.
Furthermore, AgoraPulse makes reporting painless. You can easily customize reports. And the best part: you can export them as PowerPoint presentations. This is a prime feature for agencies.
This social media management software is constantly integrating innovative features.
They recently released two significant innovations: the bulk upload and the queue category. The first feature allows you to schedule 100 posts at a time, and the second one allows you to set up categories tied to themes (webinars, blog promotion, events).
AgoraPulse used to have another handy integration: Facebook Contest Apps. However, the newest version of the software does not come with this feature.
The software also has a neat interface. Its dashboard allows you to see which areas require immediate attention, so you can do what needs to be done.
I see this as a high-importance feature. Because at the end of the day, that’s why we use social media management tools -- to help us get stuff done.
- Medium Plan: $99/month. Best for small businesses (3 users)
- Large: $199/month. Best for agencies (6 users)
- X-Large: $199/month. Best for large organizations (12 users)
- Enterprise: $499/month. Best for teams with many profiles (20 users)
A 14-day free trial is available.
AgoraPulse vs. Hootsuite
Different from Hootsuite, AgoraPulse dashboard is not organized into columns. But that’s a matter of personal preference. I personally like the simpler way AgoraPulse’s interface is set up.
Moreover, AgoraPulse has a built-in CRM created to improve audience engagement. This is a brilliant feature if you want to create better relationships with customers.
Another aspect that makes these two tools different is the social media inbox. On AgoraPulse, you can set up filters (ads comments, reviews, posts, conversations, etc.) for all your mentions and messages. This allows you to quickly take care of priority conversations or assign your co-workers to take care of them.
I recommend AgoraPulse for marketers that value a minimalistic organization and innovative features.
Between all the Hootsuite alternatives we’ll discuss here, SocialPilot is the best when it comes to content curation.
Even though there are many tools to facilitate content creation (such as Lumen5, Canva), coming up with original and relevant content is not always a breeze. That’s why I love their content curation functionality, which allows you to search for post ideas based on specific keywords and industries.
I had to use Quuu -- a content curation software -- several times. So I found it super helpful to have a content curation feature already integrated into the social media management software. It is always pleasant to have one less tab open on the computer -- if you know what I mean.
Just like Sendible, SocialPilot is also within the best Hootsuite alternatives if you work for an agency handling multiple accounts. And that’s due to its client management feature. I love this feature for two main reasons:
First reason: no credential exchange is necessary.
No, you don’t have to deal with numerous passwords and logins from multiple clients.
SocialPilot gives you the option of easily inviting your clients just by adding their names and emails. As your clients login and connect a social media account, it will be added to your list of accounts. It’s that easy.
Second reason: white labeling is offered.
Your clients don’t need to know which social media management tool you are using. Or, even if you are using one. That’s why SocialPilot lets you add your company name and logo to emails and to the panel clients see.
Additionally, I found this client management feature to have an easy user interface. Therefore, it is accessible even for beginners.
Social Networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, VK, and LinkedIn.
- Professional Plan: $30
- Small Team Plan: $50
- Agency Plan: $100
- Enterprise Plan: must contact SocialPilot for pricing.
All plans (except for enterprise plan) offer a 14-day free trial.
SocialPilot vs. Hootsuite
SocialPilot not only supports more social networks then Hootsuite, but also allows you to have more social accounts connected to your plan. SocialPilot’s small team plan supports 50 accounts while Hootsuite’s team plan supports only 20 accounts.
Regarding the client management feature, Hootsuite does not offer it yet. In my opinion, this is the biggest differential SocialPilot has when compared to Hootsuite.
Hootsuite has a cheaper professional plan, but if you are looking for a team or agency plan, SocialPilot is more affordable.
One aspect I love about Buffer is its easy-to-use and clean interface. Everything is super intuitive.
The software is divided into three functionalities: Buffer Publish, Buffer Reply, and Buffer Analyze.
Buffer Publish is a basic all-in-one tool to create and publish your content across all your social channels. Additionally, it offers a content calendar to facilitate visualization.
Buffer is known for providing excellent customer service to its users. And now, with Buffer Reply, they give users all the means to provide their own clients with excellent customer service too.
That’s the true meaning of offering value.
Buffer Reply is a tool dedicated to helping us, social media managers, to handle all the social communication. In other words, you don’t have to be hopping between social channels; Buffer Reply gathers every message in one team inbox.
And here is my favorite part about Buffer Reply: they have a Slack integration. This means you can act quickly on high-priority conversations by sending support requests directly into a Slack channel.
The third functionality, Buffer Analyze, makes it possible to see all data and reporting in one dashboard. It includes features such as report-creation and recommendation-making.
Social Networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Buffer Publish → Pro Plan: $15; Premium Plan: $65; Business Plan: $99.
Buffer Reply → Professional: $50; Business: $225
Buffer Analyze → Premium: $50.
All plans offer a 14-day free trial.
If you have specific time slots that you’d prefer your posts to go up, Buffer system will work best for you. That’s because Buffer has a feature called Buffer Queue, that will post in chronological order.
Hootsuite’s approach works best if you don’t necessarily care about the order that your posts will go live. If you turn on AutoSchedule, Hootsuite will automatically pick times to post it.
In regards to monitoring analytics, Hootsuite has more features on the free plan. However, Buffer’s business plan, which includes CSV exports and in-depth analysis tools, are relatively inexpensive.
Because Buffer is broken down into three categories, it is the cheapest option within all Hootsuite alternatives if you are just looking for a publishing tool, for example.
If you are tired of the never-ending cycle of creating original updates to keep your social channels engaging, then Edgar is the right tool for you.
When compared to the other Hootsuite alternatives, Edgar is the only one that never lets your posts queue run dry. That’s because “he” stores all your posts on a content-category library. And once all the posts have been shared, previously-published updates will go back to the queue.
This is an interesting feature. However, keep in mind that it does not work with every type of post. You have to ensure the posts are cyclical and will not lose value if repeated.
For instance, you can recycle posts on a #motivationalmonday category, but never a company achievement or update.
Another unique fact about Edgar is how they organize pricing. They make it simple (as all the rest of the tool’s structure) by just offering a single plan. The 49-dollar-plan includes the ability to manage 25 accounts, an unlimited library for content, multiple categories to organize your posts and some other standard features.
Edgar also gives users access to a “smart composer” that basically writes posts for you based on blog links. With just a copy and paste, Edgar generates options of content for you to publish.
From my experience, the Edgar-generated posts are not perfect and always need a few adjusts. However, it is an excellent time-saver and inspiration source.
Social Networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Price: $49/month. Edgar offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Edgar vs. Hootsuite
When compared to Hootsuite, Edgar has a more basic structure and offers fewer features.
The thing is: Edgar came up with an innovative concept of recycling content to save social media managers’ time. However, many other tools that were already strong in social media management caught up with this feature.
For instance, the Hootsuite’s pro plan has a bulk scheduling feature that can substitute Edgar’s content recycling.
However, I still like Edgar’s specific and focused structure. So, go with Edgar if high-automation is what you’re looking for. Just keep in mind that Edgar does not offer a free-trial -- instead “he” offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Within all Hootsuite alternatives, SproutSocial is one of the few with a built-in customer relationship management (CRM) system.
This CRM integration provides contextual information about the customer every time you hit the reply button. The reply screen shows you the customer’s contact information and previous conversations.
Nowadays, people expect companies to treat them with high respect and consideration. In fact, 72% of customers say that when contacting a company, they expect the agent to know at least who they are and what were their previous engagements with the company.
Therefore, this CRM integration is a valuable feature since it allows you to reply to messages and comments in a personal way.
Just like AgoraPulse, SproutSocial aggregates posts into a single feed. You can check and uncheck filters to customize the information you see in the feed. This means you can switch from one social platform to another with just a click.
One of the highlights of SproutSocial is its stunning reports. The report builder feature enables you to quickly transform existing data into presentable social metrics. And let me tell you: building these customized reports will not take you longer than 5 minutes.
Social Networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Price: Standard Plan: $99; Professional Plan: $149; Advanced Plan: $249. SproutSocial offers a 30-day free-trial.
SproutSocial vs. Hootsuite
Considering publishing and scheduling structure, both platforms use an algorithm to decide which times you should post.
SproutSocial has a plus when it comes to engagement help. Its audience discovery feature highlights people and accounts you should follow and informs you about robots you might want to unfollow.
It is important to notice that SproutSocial standard plan is more expensive than Hootsuite’s pro plan. In fact, it is more expensive than most of the other Hootsuite alternatives as well. At least SproutSocial pricing system is clear and easy-to-understand.
Have Your Favorite Tool Within These Hootsuite Alternatives?
I know. There are many options, and it can be tough to pick your favorite tool.
So first of all, you need to understand what are the main aspects you are looking for in a social media management tool. Then, weight the importance of each feature to facilitate the prioritization.
Every single tool has one differential aspect.
I recommend you to answer these questions to help you weigh your priorities and select the best tool for you and your business:
- Are you looking strictly for social scheduling?
- Do you need more specific features like social listening and content curation?
- What is your budget?
- How many users are going to be utilizing the tool?
Two final hints:
One: don’t hold back on experimenting these tools. All the tools discussed (except for Edgar) offer a free trial. And that’s the only way to confirm if you are going with the best option for your needs.
Two: It is always cheaper to pay your social media management tool annually than monthly. So, once you test and approve the tool, make an annual payment to save you some money in the long-term.
Keep in mind, all these tools reviewed are excellent Hootsuite alternatives. They all have pros and cons, just like Hootsuite. Therefore, it is just a matter of fitting your needs to set your digital strategy to success.
Go for it and make it yours!
Josh is the co-founder and CEO of Squibler. He’s written five books and thousands of blog posts about software and writing. Forbes noted him as one of “12 Innovative Founders To Watch And Learn From.”