Social Automation: Hootsuite Vs Buffer

Q What should I use to automate posts? I’ve seen Hootsuite
and heard about Buffer?

Whether business, agency or avid social network user, many
people choose to automate their social updates using a management tool. Two of
the most popular social media management tools are Hootsuite and Buffer, but is
one really better than the other?
Hootsuite offers a variety of features that set it apart from
other social automation tools such as;
  • The ability to manage accounts on multiple sites from
    one, easy to use dashboard. Hootsuite supports Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn,
    Google+, Instagram, WordPress, Myspace and Foursquare.
  • Hootsuite enables its users to schedule an unlimited
    amount of updates on each of these social media platforms with an in-built
    auto-scheduler that pinpoints the ideal time for a user’s posts.
  • A URL shortening feature means that users have all the
    tools available in one place to easily curate and share content from other
  • The inclusion of a ‘Hootlet’ extension on Google Chrome
    and Firefox makes it simple for users to share content from a variety of
  • Hootsuite not only allows users to post and schedule
    social updates but also respond to posts and receive messages.
  • Using its filter streams, Hootsuite members are also able
    to monitor conversations, trends and topics across all social sites, not just
    their own profiles and pages.
  • Hootsuite’s custom reporting and analytics tools make it
    ideal for agency users who require software to provide their customers with
    detailed reports showing the ROI of social activities.
  • A mobile app also allows users to access their Hootsuite
    account away from the main website.  

Buffer is similar to Hootsuite as it provides a solution to
automating social updates for multiple accounts from one central location.
Providing a way to simplify sharing, Buffer;

  • Allows users to manage multiple social network accounts from
    its dashboard. These include Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Buffer is very simple to use and can be picked up easily.
  • The URL shortening feature makes it easy to share links
    to other websites. Also users are not restricted to using the in-built feature
    and can instead choose to use or any other URL shortening application.
  • Buffer also has a bookmarklet that allows its users to share
    content from other websites. The Buffer extension also integrates itself into
    the social applications, for example, in Twitter a buffer re-tweet button
    appears next to the normal re-tweet button. 

Whilst both of these tools have proven invaluable to
businesses and users wishing to find an easy way to automate their content,
there are also some negative aspects to using them. Users of Hootsuite have
found that;
In order to take full advantage of all the
features offered by Hootsuite time must be invested to learn how to properly
use the software.
Hootsuite is available for free, however this
version is limited and there is a significant cost involved for full use of all
its features.
The URL shortening feature only allows
domains to be used unless users wish to pay extra to use a different domain.
This means that it is apparent to other users that the social updates have been
The Hootsuite mobile app is also disappointing
in terms of its social support. Users are not able to access as many networks
as they can when using the website and those they can access are controlled
independently of the web account. Meaning updates created through the mobile
app cannot be seen or edited when logged into the web account.
Buffer is also not without its downsides.
Buffer’s free account is severely limited in
terms of how many items a user can queue. The ability to queue an unlimited
amount of posts comes at a cost of $10 per month.
The free version of Buffer also limits the
number of social profiles that can be managed from one account. Users are only
permitted to manage one profile per social network using the free software.
Hootsuite and Buffer both provide simple solutions to the
problems faced with multiple social media account management. Buffer is easy to
use and provides itself on making social sharing simple whilst Hootsuite has a
wider range of features more suited towards business and agency use.