The ever-changing and massively growing social media continues to be a key marketing ingredient for businesses. Handling various platforms gets challenging, and that’s when social media management tools like Hootsuite and Buffer come to the rescue. Both are excellent solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses, freelancers, and agencies. They help manage your posts and track your performance, but each comes with different perks owing to their product offerings. A detailed comparison of Hootsuite vs Buffer will help decide which one is better than the other.  

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Detailed Comparison of Hootsuite vs Buffer  

Below is a complete Hootsuite vs Buffer comparison for various features that matter the most. 

Pricing

Buffer and Hootsuite have a similar pricing structure with subtle differences, as shared in the following table.

Hootsuite

Buffer

Free Version

  • You can manage two social media accounts.
  • You can schedule 30 posts in total. 
  • You can manage up to three social media accounts.
  • You can schedule 10 posts/ social media account. 

Paid Version

Professional: Costs $29/month

  • You can add up to 1 user and up to 10 social accounts.  
  • No limit on scheduling posts. 

Essentials: Costs $5/month per channel

  • You can add up to 8 social media profiles. 
  • You can schedule up to 2000 posts/social media account. 

Team: Costs $129/month

  • You can add up to 3 users and 20 social accounts.
  • No limits on posting and scheduling.

Team: Costs $10/mo per channel

  • You can have unlimited users and accounts. 
  • 2,000 scheduled posts per channel. 

Business: Costs $599/month

  • 5 users and 35 social accounts
  • Unlimited posts scheduling

Agency: $100/mo for 10 channels

  • 2000 scheduled posts per channel
  • Unlimited users
  • Unlimited additionally invited users. 

Hootsuite also provides an Enterprise plan and discloses the pricing on contact. This plan is for large-scale businesses, allowing them to create and manage various large teams across the organization. 

You must also note that Hootsuite grants a 30-day trial of its Professional and Team plan, while Buffer offers a 14-day trial. 

In terms of pricing, Buffer is cheaper, but Hootsuite provides more at every plan level.

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Supported Social Networks

While Hootsuite wins this comparison of Hootsuite vs Buffer as it supports more social networks, Buffer supports all those that you are likely to require, including the three massive platforms— Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

It is worth noting that the type of support is not the same on both platforms. For instance, both Buffer and Hootsuite support Twitter, but Hootsuite allows you to view your timeline, read replies, and respond to them. 

Hootsuite_vs_Buffer_1

Hootsuite Networks

Buffer

Hootsuite

Facebook Pages and Groups

Facebook Pages and Groups

Instagram Business Profiles

Instagram Business Profiles

Twitter Profiles

Twitter Profiles

LinkedIn Profiles and Pages

LinkedIn Profiles and Pages

Google+ Profiles and Pages

Google+ Profiles and Pages

Pinterest Boards (Pro or Business Only)

Pinterest Channels (Professional only)

-

WordPress Blogs

-

YouTube Channels

Scheduling and Posting

Buffer and Hootsuite have different approaches for scheduling content. Buffer provides a feature called Buffer Queue, through which you can create a custom schedule, dictating when the posts will be published. 

So, if you use Buffer Queue to allow the publishing of posts at 9 a.m., 4 p.m., and 8 p.m. every day and have 2 posts scheduled for today, the next post will go to the 8 p.m. time slot. You can also customize the posting schedule per day using this feature. 

Hootsuite_vs_Buffer_2

Scheduling posts with Buffer Queue

Hootsuite offers the AutoSchedule feature, wherein it will pick a good time for your post to go live. It gives you lesser control over auto-scheduling. You will have to schedule posts manually to exercise more control. Additionally, Hootsuite can change the order of things submitted for publishing. 

Thus, Hootsuite is perfect when you have to schedule a couple of posts, and it doesn’t matter to you what order they go up in as long as they are not published at the same time. If you are specific about the order and time, it will be better to opt for Buffer. 

Hootsuite also presents a Bulk Composer for preparing up to 350 messages in a CSV file and uploading them to Hootsuite en masse, using Professional and higher plans.

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Ease-of-use and Dashboard

A joyful experience across social media management tools is an important criterion in Hootsuite vs Buffer comparison. 

Hootsuite_vs_Buffer_3

Buffer

Buffer offers a cleaner and more organized user interface and layout than Hootsuite. Buffer is often regarded to be more visually appealing and easy to use. 

Hootsuite_vs_Buffer_4.

Hootsuite Dashboard

Hootsuite doesn’t have a very sharp learning curve, either, but Buffer wins in terms of visual appeal. 

Buffer dashboard shows your scheduled posts, and Hootsuite displays timelines, replies, and more. So, Hootsuite has more usable features, if not an attractive dashboard. You can view your Twitter timeline, follow Instagram hashtags, or track Facebook page mentions using the Hootsuite dashboard but not Buffer. 

Team Management

This criterion for Hootsuite vs Buffer comes with much transparency. If you work with a small social media/marketing team, go for Buffer, but Hootsuite is a perfect choice for large organizations.

Both allow admins to assign members of their teams to specific social media accounts. With Buffer, you can manually choose which social media accounts a team member would access. You can give them posting rights or require approvals before the post gets published. 

Contrastingly, this approach doesn’t suit large companies with dozens or even hundreds of social media accounts. So, with Hootsuite, you can break up your employees into various sections. You can form team members, teams (groups of team members), or organizations (groups of teams). You can also give the external agency access to one or more social media accounts.

Hootsuite_vs_Buffer_5.

Hootsuite Division of Teams

Advertising

Ad creation and management are only offered by Hootsuite. It allows you to launch and manage ad campaigns across several social media platforms using a single dashboard.  

Hootsuite_vs_Buffer_6

Hootsuite Ads

Hootsuite Ads— a separate product for advertising comes with an additional cost. Buffer does not have any comparable product or feature. Using Buffer, you can run ad campaigns via Facebook Ads or Google Ads, managing each separately in their proprietary tools.

Conversation Management

Buffer comes up with a separate app— Buffer Reply for conversation management. It is expensive, but the features compensate for the cost. With Hootsuite, the tools are built directly into the basic product, but they lag behind Buffer. 

Using Hootsuite customized dashboard, you can create a tab for your Twitter mentions, Facebook messages, and YouTube comments. You can easily reply to all from the same spot. 

Contrastingly, the Buffer Reply app costs $50 per month for a user, and an additional user costs $25 per month. With a high price tag comes an array of powerful tools, such as assigning conversations to specific team members, adding notes to conversations, monitoring whether your team is responding in real-time, and getting notifications for messages with Slack integration. It is good for large businesses. 

Hootsuite_vs_Buffer_7

Buffer Reply

Content Curation

Both Buffer and Hootsuite offer content curation tools that help you look for articles, photos, posts, or videos that you can share. While Hootsuite helps you track social trends, Buffer easily monitors RSS feeds.  

Buffer has Content Inbox as its primary tool available for Pro and Business plans that lets you include RSS feeds in the Buffer dashboard. You can find articles, add them to your queue, and also attach a message.

Hootsuite provides more features to find relevant content within the app itself. It allows you to create columns with hashtags or keywords alongside columns of the people you follow. You can easily share or retweet posts that suit your business. 

If RSS feeds are your priority, Buffer is a better option. For monitoring social searches, trending topics, Twitter lists, and more, you must opt for Hootsuite.  

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Tracking and Analytics

Analyzing your efforts is as important as applying them. Both Hootsuite and Buffer offer robust tools for analysis of audience interaction and responses to your posts.

With Hootsuite's free version, you get access to basic reports such as the number of posts published, follower counts, and a broad overview of engagement rates. 

Using Hootsuite Professional plan and up, you can measure which posts are loved by people and what age groups are responding to them. The Enterprise plan allows you to keep track of the teams that are responding to your followers. You can also view how quickly they do so.

Hootsuite_vs_Buffer_8

Hootsuite Analytics

When using Buffer free, you do not get insights into analytics. It comes with Pro and Business Plans. The Pro plan gives you post reports like the most engaging posts and the clicks they earned. The Business plan lets you view detailed reports regarding engagement rates, export data, and follower growth. 

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Conclusion: Hootsuite vs. Buffer: Which One is Better?

It is your requirements that decide which one is a better answer to your concerns. With Buffer comes a clean user experience, more scheduling control, and easy sharing and managing for small teams. It has lower costs attached and best suits startups or organizations who would not like to devote many resources to social media.

Hootsuite comes power packed with tools that go beyond scheduling your posts. It facilitates monitoring feeds, tracking topic searches, obtaining real-time information, and more. Although it is more expensive than Buffer, it works wonders for large organizations with separate teams. Which one of these is your favorite? Let us know in the comments! 

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