Hootsuite vs. Buffer – Which is better for your small business?

by | Social Media

How many social network channels do you use for your business? You probably have at least Facebook and Twitter, and maybe Instagram thrown in for good measure. After all, the average internet user has 7 social media accounts and spends more than 2 hours on social media each day.

However, scheduling posts and keeping track of their performance can get overwhelming. This is especially true for small businesses that often do not hire dedicated social media marketers. That’s why social media management platforms like Hootsuite and Buffer have become essential for a lot of businesses.

But which one should you pick? Here are the 4 key factors to consider when choosing between Hootsuite and Buffer.

 

1. Pricing

A first consideration is pricing. Both platforms have free plans. Buffer’s cheapest paid monthly plan costs $10 per month, while Hootsuite’s goes for $19. Below we compare the prices and features of the different plans offered by each platform:

Buffer

  • Individual – Free, 1 user, 1 profile per platform, 10 scheduled posts per profile
  • Awesome – $10/month, 1 user, 10 profiles (any platform), 100 scheduled posts per profile
  • Small – $99/month, 6 users, 25 profiles (any platform), 2000 scheduled posts per profile
  • Medium – $199/month, 11 users, 50 profiles (any platform), 2000 scheduled posts per profile
  • Large – $399/month, 26 users, 150 profiles (any platform), 2000 scheduled posts per profile

Hootsuite

  • Free Plan  – Free, 1 user, 3 social profiles, unlimited scheduling
  • Professional – $19/month, 1 user, 10 profiles, unlimited scheduling
  • Team – $99/month, 3 users, 20 profiles, unlimited scheduling
  • Business – $499/month, 5 users, 50 profiles, unlimited scheduling
  • Enterprise – custom pricing and features

 

2. Networks Supported

Buffer currently integrates only with the most popular social media networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest). Hootsuite, on the other hand, supports all of the same networks that Buffer does, plus dozens more, many of which you may not even have heard of.

 

3. Scheduled Posting

This is the primary reason why people turn to social media management services in the first place. Buffer’s free plan allows you to queue up a maximum of 10 posts per platform, while Hootsuite offers unlimited scheduled posts. So in terms of the number of posts that you can schedule at a time, Hootsuite has the advantage.

However, Buffer has the Optimal Timing Tool, which chooses the best schedule to publish your posts. It also has integrations with 3rd party mobile apps and browser extensions that let you “schedule as you discover”.

 

4. Ease of Use

Buffer and Hootsuite are both fairly easy to learn how to use. Due to its much cleaner and simpler look, Buffer makes learning how to use it painless. The performance reports you generate are less complicated and on a per-network basis only.

On the other hand, Hootsuite has an interface that may appear clunky to first time users, which may make the learning curve steeper. But what it lacks in the looks department, it makes up for by its versatility. For example, its analytics dashboard provides more functionality and deeper data analysis across different networks.

 

Hootsuite vs. Buffer: The Verdict

So which social media scheduling tool do we recommend for your business? Both Hootsuite and Buffer offer powerful features that make life easier for entrepreneurs. There are vast differences between the two though, and they cater to different needs.

Hootsuite is the preferred choice for larger companies with a dedicated marketing team that can make the most out of all its long list of complex features.

But for small businesses that typically schedule only a few posts per day on the most popular channels, Buffer is probably the best solution. It is the platform we use, and it has so far served our needs quite well.

So which of these 2 social network scheduling platform have you tried using? Are you happy with the service or not? Share your experience in the comments below.