Social Media Management Software Comparison: Hootsuite v. Sprout Social

April 29, 2016

There are seemingly countless social media management software platforms available today, with more cropping up on what feels like a weekly basis. This makes it difficult to decide which platform will best suit the user’s needs. Following are comparisons of two popular platforms – Hootsuite and Sprout Social, to help you get started.

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Founded in 2008, Hootsuite has managed to build a good reputation which goes a long way toward explaining its staying power.

Usability
Even though it’s easy to use, there is a learning curve involved with Hootsuite but that’s the case with any similar program. That said, the company provides user-friendly customer service and support, including webinars, informative blogs, video tutorials and a “help” section as well.

Organization
Hootsuite’s organizational features include managing accounts using a combination of tabs, dropdown menus, along with “streams” (automatically updating columns). Unfortunately, unless you’re used to working with robust interfaces, theirs can be confusing initially.

Publishing
Hootsuite’s publishing functionality is limited but easy to use. There’s a great link shortening feature, a calendar and you’d have the ability to schedule posts from 5 minutes to months in advance. You can also use their “bulk schedule” option and schedule up to 350 messages throughout all of your channels. That said, there’s also a couple of downsides – the shortened link appears at the end of your content and you can’t add images.

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Pricing
If you’re working with a tight budget, Hootsuite is for you. Its free version is actually fairly robust and you can sign up for their pro feature for an affordable $ 14.99 a month. One consideration is extra charges for analytics, reporting, and additional users.


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Launched in 2010, Sprout Social actually still has a fairly long history compared to social media management systems that have since come and gone. It has also earned its place next to industry leaders like Hootsuite and others that have been around longer.

Usability
Sprout Social provides a multitude of awesome features, however, it can be overwhelming for non-techies initially. That said, Sprout pairs users up with a rep when they first sign up for a free trial. The rep gets in touch with you, sets you up with a free webinar and also acts as your contact as you learn the program. Even though neither program is notably intuitive, Hootsuite for the most part provides a more straightforward guide to social media management when it comes to usability. On the other hand, the customer service provided by Sprout is unmatched.

Organization
Sprout Social comes out ahead when it comes to organization. Their interface is straightforward and easy to navigate, with all of the primary essentials strategically placed on the header navigation bar. In contrast to Hootsuite, it’s virtually impossible to end up scheduling posts under the incorrect account with Sprout, since every account you create is placed in its own named folder.

Publishing
Sprout Social rocks in terms of both publishing and scheduling. It offers an auto-scheduling function referred to as “Queue” which lets you schedule your content for a future, automated delivery. For an added cost, Sprout also offers a feature referred to as “Viral Post,” that analyzes your posts and target audiences, at optimum times of engagement.

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Pricing
You can expect to pay for all the innovative features that Sprout Social offers, including its attractive, easy to use design and flawless organizational features. With Sprout Social, a single user will pay $ 99 a month.

If you’re only planning on needing a couple of accounts, Hootsuite is a great choice and its price makes it the most affordable option as well. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a robust social media management system, Sprout Social’s powerful functionality renders it well worth $ 99 a month.

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