Top 5 Best Hootsuite Alternatives in 2020
by Mike Khorev
Social media marketing nowadays is getting more complicated than ever due to the saturation and diversity. Saturation, because the market is now so saturated with so many prominent experts and influencers, and so it’s harder to get our voice heard amidst all the noise. Diversity, because nowadays we can no longer focus on just one social media platform, as each major platform from Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter among others has their own benefits.
The solution? Personalization, automation, and scheduling management, and these are where a social media management tool like Hootsuite can shine.
However, Hootsuite certainly is not a perfect tool with its own pros and cons. There are other alternatives with better pricing and unique features. In this guide, we will discuss some of the best HootSuite alternatives in the market.
Before we begin, let us briefly discuss Hootsuite as the benchmark for the alternatives.
A Brief Overview of Hootsuite
Hootsuite is one of the pioneers of social media management platform, and arguably the most well-known. Hootsuite remains competitive among its competitors due to its well-rounded set of features: it can manage your social media profiles, provide a reliable automation scheduling, and one of its key strengths is its superb analytics features where you can analyze your performance on various social media platforms in one dashboard.
Pros of Hootsuite:
- Complete set of social media tools from analytics to scheduling
- All major social media platforms are supported (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress, WordPress alternatives, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.). No extra installations necessary
- Intuitive user interface, very easy to manage all your social media profiles in different tabs.
- Easy auto-scheduling
- Powerful analytics reports in one single dashboard
- Extra applications you can install to enrich your experience
Cons of Hootsuite:
- The free plan is fairly limited with just control over 3 social media profiles, basic scheduling an analytic features.
- The premium plan starts at $29/month, and to use extra apps and features you will need to pay more, the cost can get quite expensive with all the extras
- The analytic tool, although very powerful, will have a significant learning curve.
- Training is not mandatory but will cost another $21/month at the very least. It is, however, worth noting that Hootsuite Academy’s certifications are very valuable and well-respected
- A free plan is available, with control over 3 social profiles and 30 scheduled messages
- Premium pricing starts from $29/month with 10 social profiles and unlimited scheduling for 1 user. Pricing changes with more social profiles and more users.
As you can see, the main issue of Hootsuite is about cost. So, are there any Hootsuite alternatives that are more affordable with similar or even better features?
Best Hootsuite Alternatives
Sprout Social and Hootsuite are very similar to each other in so many levels. Both are excellent at both scheduling and analytics, but their approaches are quite different.
For instance, with Hootsuite we can customize different tabs and columns, each corresponding to a social media profile. On the other hand, with Social Sprout all posts from all platforms are integrated to just one “stream” or feed.
In the analytics department, Hootsuite is a little bit more versatile with the ability to customize various aspects of your reports. On the other hand, Sprout Social’s reporting is more simple and practical.
In short, Sprout Social is probably one of the best Hootsuite alternatives if you prefer simplicity and minimalist approach.
Pros of Sprout Social:
- Can integrate with all major social media platforms
- Simple, easy to use interface with minimalist design approach
- Included social CRM features, some are very useful like the ability to view and share customer records.
- Advanced scheduling tools that are unique to Sprout Social
- Integrated messages/inbox collecting all messages from your social media profiles in just one place. Useful feature to easily engage with your followers.
Cons of Sprout Social:
- A little lacking in LinkedIn integration
- Relatively expensive with the cheapest plan priced at $99/month
- No free plan, but there’s a 30-day free trial (no credit card required) for all the premium plans
- Starts at $99/month including 5 social profiles. To unlock full features including content library and in-depth competitive reporting, you will need to pay $249/month
Previously called TweetLater, Socialoomph was originally a Twitter management and automation tool, but has since expanded to other social media platforms. Due to that history, Socialoomph is especially powerful in Twitter management with various advanced features like the ability to tweet via mail and a keyword search tool.
It is also an affordable social media management tool for other platforms with easy-to-use scheduling management.
- Relatively affordable at just $15/month for the cheapest plan.
- A good choice if you focus on Twitter marketing, although it can also integrate with other platforms from Facebook to Linkedin, among others
- Unlimited scheduled posts even for the free plan
- Limited analytics and reporting features
- A lot of its advanced features are focused for Twitter
- Free plan available (1 social profile only)
- Pricing starts at $15/month (also for 1 social profile but extra features), the “professional” plan starts from $25/month for 10 social profiles
Another strong contender as one of the best Hootsuite alternatives is Sendible, another all-in-one social media management tool that can handle scheduling, content curation, and analytics. Priced roughly the same as Hootsuite, and Sendible’s dashboard is somewhat of a cross between that of Sprout Social (a single dashboard approach) and Hootsuite (multi-column approach), where you have one priority inbox but you can also add customizable streams for different profiles.
Pros of Sendible:
- Integration with all major social media profiles, especially powerful for Instagram
- Easy and versatile scheduling features like the ability to upload a CSV file for scheduling a lot of posts at once
- Unique content curation feature, integration with Canva
- In-depth analytics and reporting feature
- Great social listening feature with a dedicated Monitor tab
Cons of Sendible:
- No free plan offered, 30-day trial is available
- Steep learning curve, the analytics feature is not as user-friendly as Hootsuite
- No free-plan, but there’s a 30-day free trial
- Starts at $29/month for 12 social profiles and 10 scheduling queues.
AgoraPulse’s tagline is “managing social media has never been easier”, showing its focus on simplicity. The inbox interface is very simple and resembling your standard email inbox, so you can easily see which posts you have read, and which still demands attention. There are also analytics, reporting, and automation scheduling features, all designed with simplicity in mind.
Pros of AgoraPulse:
- Integration with major social media platforms
- Powerful analytics features that are easy to use at the same time, arguably the best among its competitors
- Feature to categorize your audience based on different variables (most engagements, most mentions, etc.). AgoraPulse can do this automatically through a badge system, but you can also do it manually.
- Powerful social listening and engagement features, you can easily keep track of your conversations 24/7
Cons of AgoraPulse:
- Very expensive with the cheapest plan costs $89/month. However, for big agencies,arguably Agorapulse’s premium plans deliver better overall value
- Not very powerful in the CRM department
- No free plan, but free-trial available
- Starts at $99/month or $89/month when paid annually for 10 social profiles, extra costs for add-on profiles and users
Buffer is also a well-known social media management tool and probably the closest competitor to Hootsuite.
Buffer’s strength lies in its smart scheduling feature, with an intuitive user interface where you can easily add your posts in various forms (videos, photos, articles, etc.) and scheduled with a virtual queue. Buffer can then figure out the best possible time to post your content according to your target audience.
Pros of Buffer:
- Integration with various social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more).
- With the smart scheduling feature, you don’t have to individually schedule each post, as Buffer will determine the optimal time
- Integration with Pablo, a useful image editor that will automatically resize and format your images for the respective social media platform
- RSS feed integration with all the available plans
- More affordable than Hootsuite with the cheapest plan costs
Cons of Buffer:
- Analytics features are sub-par compared to Hootsuite only $15/month and billed monthly
- Limited scheduled posts for the premium plan (the cheapest plan limits 100 scheduled posts).
- Basic free plan for 3 social media profiles and 10 scheduled posts
- Premium plan starts from $15/month for 100 scheduled posts, 8 social media profiles and 1 user. The most expensive plan is $99 per month for 25 profiles and 2000 scheduled posts, 6 users.
- Free trial for all the premium plans
There are many excellent Hootsuite alternatives available at the market: some are more affordable, some others provide better overall value in features. Hootsuite, however, remains a strong social media management tool with its well-rounded set of features and relatively affordable plans.
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Mike Khorev is an SEO expert and digital marketing consultant who helps small and mid-size businesses generate more leads, sales and grow revenue online. He offers expert advice on marketing your company the right way through performance-based SEO digital marketing, web design, social media, search engine marketing and many other online practices. Find him on LinkedIn and Twitter
February 17, 2020