buffer vs hootsuite

Hootsuite vs Buffer: A Social Media Tool Death Match

Mark Walker Social Media 7 Comments

Hootsuite or Buffer, which do you prefer? Cast your vote in a tweet!

I’ve been a loyal Hootsuite user for years now. I’ve recommended it to dozens of small business owners as a way to streamline and measure their social media efforts. Just recently, however, I’ve been dealing with repeated glitches within Hootsuite that has made it tough to get things done around the office lately.

It seems like everyday it’s something new…the link shortener is broken, pictures won’t upload, or just random errors that cripple the tool. Well, enough is enough. I decided to try out Hootsuite’s rival Buffer to see how it could compare.

Here it is, Hootsuite vs Buffer: A Social Media Tool Death Match. The winner of this match will not only get my money, but also the money of the business owners I send their way.

I compared Hootsuite and Tweetdeck awhile back, but now Tweetdeck only works with Twitter so it’s not really apples to apples. More like apple to half an apple.

HootsuiteAs far as Hootsuite goes, here are the basic functions available in the pro version that I use regularly.
  • The ability to schedule individual social media posts in advance.
  • Custom streams to track keywords and searches.
  • Option to create lists to track new followers or other activity.
  • The ability to monitor trending topics and hashtags.
  • Custom link shorteners (bit.ly or ow.ly).
  • A free mobile app for your smartphone.
  • Access to third-party apps such as Tumblr, Instagram, and Youtube, and Pinterest (via Viraltag).
  • The ability to include social networks other than Facebook and Twitter, such as Google+, Foursquare, LinkedIn, and Myspace.
  • Functionality to create teams to work on projects.
  • Basic analytics to create custom reports.
  • The option to auto-post from your WordPress blog to your social networks.
  • Google Analytics integration.

Cost: $6 per month for up to 20 profiles.

These Hootsuite features are great, but they don’t mean much when the entire platform shuts down at least once a week. I need something more dependable, affordable, and just as easy to use. From what I hear, Buffer may be the solution to my problem!

BufferI’m pretty new to it, but so far here are the Buffer features I’m seeing (and enjoying).
  • The option to create “schedules” for specific profiles. This is a little confusing to me right now and I’m having a hard time seeing the advantage over scheduling individual posts.
  • The ability to include social networks other than Facebook and Twitter, such as Google+, Foursquare, LinkedIn.
  • A ton of apps to help maximize your social media impact like Follower Wonk, Mr. Reader, and paper.li.
  • The option to auto-post from your WordPress blog to your social networks.
  • Functionality to create teams to work on projects.
  • Basic analytics to create custom reports.

Cost: $10 per month for up to 12 profiles. To use it for more than 12 I’ll have to pay $50 per month, which is a considerable investment.

At this point, I’m still waiting to see how dependable Buffer is. If I absolutely fall in love with it, I may shell out the higher monthly fee and use it for my personal profiles as well as communities I manage for businesses. As you can see above, both Hootsuite and Buffer provide great features, but I need a tool that is reliable.

I’d love to get your feedback. Hootsuite vs Buffer, who wins the battle for you? Please share your input in the comments below!

Hootsuite or Buffer, which do you prefer? Cast your vote in a tweet!

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Comments 7

  1. Avatar for Mark Walker

    Thank you for this quick comparison. I’ve been using Buffer now for a few months (upgraded from the $10 plan to the $50 plan) but getting resentful to be shelling out $50 per month; like you said, it is a big jump/investment from $10 to $50. Their customer service has been cool (responsive, fun) and so I liked them at the beginning; but now it feels to me as though the company is getting ‘big for its britches’ (no longer the humble company that I started using, a few months ago). I am thinking of switching to HootSuite (have never used at all) and so this article was very helpful. Even if I do look into HootSuite, at least I have a heads-up with regard to some potential problems/drawbacks. Thanks again – Suzanne (www.suzanneisabella.com)

    1. Avatar for Mark Walker

      Hi, I’m interested. Did you switch in the end? I’ve found Buffer’s customer service to be really attentive too.

  2. Avatar for Mark Walker

    ps – i just reread your part about Buffer and wanted to add this:

    1) with regard to the dependability, I have been super happy/satisfied with Buffer’s dependability. Between my own profiles (6) and those of my clients, I maintain 15 different twitter/facebook profiles so far – all through Buffer. I have been using Buffer for 5 months now and have literally sent thousands of posts through Buffer. Which brings me to my next point…

    2) With regard to your point about Buffer having “[t]he option to create “schedules” for specific profiles. This is a little confusing to me right now and I’m having a hard time seeing the advantage over scheduling. individual posts”, I wanted to illustrate with an example. Say that my marketing company (@SuzanneIsabella) maintains one twitter profile for a flooring company (@858flooring) and another twitter profile for a real estate agent (@Elewisrealtor). The flooring company appreciates me posting about 4 tweets per day to their profile, while the real estate agent prefers more like 8 posts to their twitter profile. I set up each schedule (one for flooring company, one for real estate agent) accordingly. I drop tweets into my “buffer” – and they are automatically posted according to their schedule. Say I take one post about “10 Easy Renovations You Can Do to Increase the Value of Your Home (with attached link)” and drop it into my Buffer, clicking on both of those profiles. It saves me time because I am dropping the same post into the queue for each – but the posts will be released at different speeds, according to the relative schedules of each profile/account. I don’t know if I’m explaining myself well or not – but hopefully that makes sense. (Again, my experience so far has only been with Buffer and so that is all I know, so far.)

    1. Avatar for Mark Walker

      Glad you liked the post. Thanks for reading!

      Also, thanks so much for the breakdown of Buffer’s features and functionality. Seems like the specific profile schedules could be pretty handy.

      This has been a good week for Hootsuite…no crashes yet. I’m planning to stick with it for now, but will continue tinkering with Buffer as well.

  3. Pingback: Battle of the Apps: Hootsuite vs. Buffer in Social Media Management | Thornley Fallis

  4. Avatar for Mark Walker

    I have been trying to decide which one to go with all week. Today, I decided to go Pro on Buffer. I found HootSuite a bit too complex to look at. Buffer has an easier, minimal design which won me over.

    1. Avatar for Mark Walker Post
      Author

      Thanks for the comment, Cal. Buffer definitely has things simplified. I just heard about the new Instagram integration with HootSuite, which will be huge. Might be worth having both tools!

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