7 Reasons NOT to use Hootsuite


Hootsuite Review

Please note, although I wrote this article some time ago, it is being updated regularly. (Last update – April, 2016)


Hootsuite* is one of the most popular and comprehensive social media tools out there. Yes, there are others such as TweetDeck and SproutSocial, but Hootsuite is considered by many as the “crème de la crème” of the Social Media Tools World. I have used it for many years and I still occasionally recommend for my clients. HootSuite is a service referred to as a “Social Media Management Tool”. A Social Media Management System or Tool (SMMS/SMMT) can help you manage your many social channels by monitoring, posting and delegating tasks within a team.

The History of the Owl

Hootsuite in 2009

Ryan Holmes HootSuite was launched back in 2008 by Ryan Holmes through his digital services agency, Invoke Media. Originally, HootSuite integrated with Twitter only and was called BrightKit . In the following year, HootSuite launched a competition to help decide on a new name and HootSuite was chosen from the short list. Since then, HootSuite has grown its success, now having over 8 million users and employing nearly 400 people from over 175 countries. The head office is in Vancouver, Canada.

If you manage your business’ social networks, it’s highly likely that you will have heard of HootSuite and may already be using it. Back in 2012, HootSuite came top in a list of social media management tools in a survey from monitoring tool Pingdom. According to the survey, over 20% of companies used HootSuite to manage their social media empires. TweetDeck was second and SocialEngage third.


Hootsuite Pros

Here are some of Hootsuite’s many features:

  • Manage multiple Twitter, Facebook (profiles and pages), LinkedInWordPress, Foursquare and Google+ networks all from one place
  • Schedule updates (including on a calendar and even upload from a spreadsheet (csv file)
  • Collaborate as a team (delegate replies, tweets, mark as done, track messages etc)
  • Mobile apps (iOS & Android)
  • Customised analytics (including scheduled reports)
  • RSS integration (post updates from an RSS feed)
  • Helpful and comprehensive support pages and friendly customer support team

What is this article about?

There are lots of great things about Hootsuite, but this article aims to talk about the reasons why you might not want to use it! The title of this post may sound a little provocative, but aim to be constructive in my criticism. Hootsuite will be the right product for a lot of people- maybe even you. If so, please let me know why in the comments below.

As I said, I’ve used Hootsuite for many years but I use it very rarely, this is because of some big issues that I have encountered. These are deal breakers for me and they may be for some other people.

I’d be really interested in your thoughts, so please let me know in the comments. To get a more balanced view, you should also have a read of my more recent post entitled 7 Reasons why you SHOULD use Hootsuite.

Hootsuite Cons

The issues affect mainly small businesses and individuals and concern cost, reports, url shorteners and their team members option.

Although Hootsuite has a free option, and the pro option isn’t exactly expensive there are some very expensive parts to Hootsuite which you may need. When I originally wrote this article Hootsuite Pro cost $5.99 per month, then it increased to $9.99 (or effectively $8.99 per month if you pay yearly). It’s now $14.99 per month (or effectively $9.99 per month if you pay yearly). Also, from May 2013 Hootsuite started to offer prices in different currencies and discounts for paying yearly. If you are outside the US it will likely be more expensive for you.

Anyway, here are my top reasons for NOT using Hootsuite…


#1 Expensive Analytics Reports & the Point System

Hootsuite Reports Cost
Hootsuite have gone out their way to produce some helpful analytics reports. These go into great detail how your social networks are doing. You get up to 2 free reports with the free version of Hootsuite.

This is where it gets complicated. You buy reports using points. Assuming you are on the Pro plan, you get 50 points to use every month. There are some free reports as I mentioned above, but most reports are 45 points which will cost you $50 each time (or $45 if you pay yearly). If you are serious about monitoring your social media performance then this is simply not going to be enough.

Hootsuite Review

Yes, there are free reports like the ow.ly one (more on this later) but the others are $50 per report which is a lot for an individual or small business to swallow. The Google analytics integration is fairly helpful and the Facebook report is a massive improvement on what Facebook give you. The other consideration is that because Hootsuite uses its own url shortener (more on that in a bit) it will only track click-throughs on links made via Hootsuite. If you use another social media management tool such as Buffer or SproutSocial, Hootsuite won’t track links made from these tools.


#2 Forced to Use Owly

Hootsuite logoOf course, where would we be without url shorteners? They started as a result of people wanting to add links to their Tweets without using up as much space. Later on, url shortener providers offered tracking services, as they also had the advantage of tracking how many clicks were made on the link (and tracking information of the person who clicked the linked link like location and what browser they were using). Hootsuite have their own url shortners- ow.ly and ht.ly. That’s fair enough, but you are forced to use them (unless you add your own custom url shortener- more of that in a bit).

As well as broadcasting to everyone that you are using Hootsuite (which, to be fair, happens with any non-custom url shortener) you can only track any click throughs that have been added from within Hootsuite. As I mentioned above, this is a real problem, as if like many, you use other services such as Buffer, SocialOomph or even TweetDeck, then you can’t track the links you’ve added here. The Hootsuite reports that you’ve paid for won’t give you the whole story. If you use other analytics services such as SumAll, bit.ly or Buffer then they won’t show the click-throughs from the Hootsuite links. You could of course monitor reports from each, but that’s no easy task.

Perhaps, that’s what Hootsuite want. They want to lock you in- they don’t want you to use other services. For some, this isn’t a big issue. For the big companies out there, offering customer services via Twitter, Hootsuite will be the best option- they don’t need to use Buffer or Twit Pic. However, if you use multiple services on your Twitter account then you are out of luck. Finally, although only a temporary blip, there was an issue when Facebook blocked all ow.ly urls. Hopefully that won’t happen again.


#3 Expensive Custom URL Shorteners

Owly Vanity

This isn’t going to put everyone off, but if you’d like a vanity or custom url shortener with Hootsuite you are in for a shock.

I use a custom url shortener for the links I share on my social networks- to.iag.me for this blog and select.social for my business web site. This personalises my links and makes them more “clickable” and more professional. I use bit.ly for this, which allows me to add a custom url for free. Of course you have to pay for the domain, but domains cost very little these days. I’ve written a detailed article on why custom short domains are so useful- 8 Steps to Build Brand Awareness with Short Domains.

Short Domains

If you want to use a custom url shortener within Hootsuite (or an ow.ly custom vanity URL as Hootsuite call it) then it’s $49.99. That doesn’t sound so bad until you realise that this is the cost per month! That means using a custom url shortener will cost you $588.88 per year on top of the cost of the domain! You get a slight discount if you pay this in one big chunk per year- $539.88. This is madness, especially since when you consider you are still locked into only using Hootsuite’s reports.

According to Lauren Lawton Perfors in the comments below the vanity url shorteners can only be used in the browser version of Hootsuite- not the mobile apps. So although you are paying over $500 per year you can’t use them on mobile. Also you can only use this vanity url within Hootsuite- you won’t be able to use it on other apps such as Buffer, SproutSocial, OktoPost etc.

I’ve spoken to various people within Hootsuite and although bit.ly integration was discussed internally, it was abandoned. It obviously doesn’t make business sense for them to do so. It’s a big shame. If Hootsuite did integrate bit.ly, I would be one of their biggest advocates!


#4 Facebook Image Problem

(No Thumbnail & Summary previews in Facebook in Certain Situations)

Hootsuite to FacebookIf you are posting or sharing a link to your Facebook page, ones with photos and a summary are far more likely to be clicked than ones with just a short text status. When you post a single update or use the standard scheduler in Hootsuite, it does post the thumbnail and summary. It gets this from the open graph tags on the web page or tries to have a good guess. However, if you use the bulk scheduler (uploading from a csv file) or use the RSS feature (posting directly from an RSS feed) you are stuck. Facebook is only going to get the text in a Tweet-like status (see the screenshot on the left).

Hootsuite Twitter responseI did contact Hootsuite about this, and to be fair they were quick in responding “Yes that is correct, if you schedule a post you can choose the thumbnail and it will post. However this is not a feature yet with Rss feeds and Bulk schedule, we invite you to submit this idea to our feedback forum here: http://feedback.hootsuite.com“. Hootsuite Help also replied to a Tweet saying that it probably wouldn’t be added in the future due to “logistical reasons“.


#5 No Data in Facebook Insights

Barbara Karnes (in the comments) came up with a 5th reason:

When posting new content to Facebook via Hootsuite, those posts do not track the, likes, shares, and comments that you received in Facebook’s Insights analytical data for that post. The likes, comments and share do exist when viewing from the front end Wall and Feeds, but the “credit” for getting them is not recorded in any way by Insights.


#6 Lower Facebook Reach & Engagement?

Update (April 2016) – Facebook has never publicly announced that using a 3rd party tool affects the EgdeRank algorithm. Recently there has been quite a bit of research into this and I decided to update this section.

Over the years, some users have suspected that using a 3rd party app to post to Facebook has resulted in their post reaching fewer people. Facebook uses an algorithm to decide the order of posts in each user’s home stream. If you never engage with a friend or page’s posts, their EdgeRank score will drop and Facebook will stop displaying their posts to you. Facebook uses a number of factors in their algorithm, and it is possible that they take into account whether or not you have used a 3rd party app to post the post. However, it is a controversial topic!

Buzzsumo analysed over 500 million Facebook articles for an article by Mari Smith and the results were quite surprising. In particular, there was this “little” stat:

Posting with a 3rd party tool results in 89.5% less engagement than directly posting to Facebook.

That’s a substantial drop in engagement! Mari Smith’s article and infographic caused quite a storm, particularly from 3rd party tool vendors such as Buffer and Postplanner who were quick to disagree with the claims. Mari Smith then added some clarification to the bottom of her article which I agree with. The analysis from Buzzsumo found that there was 89.5 less engagement. That does not mean 3rd party apps were getting penalised. It could mean that the posts were getting less engagement because the posts looked automated.

If you use a 3rd party app to post to Facebook, you do need to make sure you are creating it specifically for your Facebook audience. It is easier to think about your audience when you post natively on Facebook, so this may account for lower than normal engagement scores when using 3rd party apps.

Buffer’s response to Buzzsumo’s analysis is worth reading. We’ll never know whether or not Facebvook devalues posts from 3rd party apps. However, make your own mind up after reading the above!


#7 Expensive for Teams

Team users is one of Hootsuite’s killer features. It allows multiple members of a social media team to access multiple social media channels without needing to know the password for each one. This is very important for a security point of view and is why so many big companies use Hootsuite. If you use Twitter for customer service, being able to delegate tasks between team members is going to be integral to your way of working. Hootsuite Pro and Enterprise should be affordable by the big businesses that work this way. For smaller businesses however, Hootsuite users are going to be expensive.

I was under the impression that extra team users (on the pro account) cost $9.99 per month but on close examination but it’s not quite as simple as that.  You get 2 user free per month on the Pro account (and one of these users is you). The 3rd user costs $9.99 per month, and then each one up to 10 users is $14.99 per month. 10 users is going to cost $1,800 per year.

Update (September 2015). It seems Hootsuite have finally made the prices for each extra team member a little more simple to follow. In the pro plan you have yourself and one team member included for $119.88 per year (equivalent to $9.99 per month) or $14.99 per month (if paying monthly). Each subsequent team member costs an extra $119.88 per year or $14.99 per month extra. You can have up to 10 team members including yourself.

If you want 11 users, you’re going to have to sign up for Hootsuite Enterprise. As for the price of the Enterprise plan, I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you. Actually, seriously, there is a lot of secrecy about the Enterprise plan. I’ve tried to find out over the past few years but no one is willing to tell. Over 4 years ago the price that was circulating the interwebs was an eye watering $18,000 per year. As for what it is these days, it will vary depending on your needs. It’s likely to be a different pricing structure depending on whether you are an agency or a company.

Here is a table that summaries the user cost (since it’s far from obvious from Hootsuite).

In 2013 Hootsuite started offering a discount if you pay yearly. Please note that Hootsuite offer prices in different currencies, so if you are outside the US you may be offered prices in your currency. This likely to be more expensive.

Prices updated September 2015

Total UsersDescriptionCost/mth
(If paying yrly)
Cost/yr
(If paying mthly)
Cost/yr
(If paying yrly)
1Included in Free Plan$0$0$0
2Included in Pro Plan$9.99$179.88$119.88
32 are included in Pro Plan + 1 extra user at $9.99/mth$19.98$359.76$239.64
42 are included in Pro Plan + 2 extra users at $9.99/mth$29.97$539.64$359.64
52 are included in Pro Plan + 3 at $9.99/mth$39.96$719.52$479.52
62 are included in Pro Plan + 4 at $9.99/mth$49.95$899.40$599.40
72 are included in Pro Plan + 5 at $9.99/mth$59.94$1079.28$719.28
82 are included in Pro Plan + 6 at $9.99/mth$69.93$1259.16$839.16
92 are included in Pro Plan + 7 at $9.99/mth$79.92$1439.04$959.04
102 are included in Pro Plan + 8 at $9.99/mth$89.91$1618.92$1078.92
11+The maximum number of users in Hoostuite Pro is 10, to add more users you will need a Hootsuite Enterprise account.
Hootsuite don’t publish the prices for Enterprises, so this is the last known price. Hopefully it should be cheaper than this.
$1499 (?)$17,988$17,988 (?)

Update (March 2013) UK Prices in dollars 

Hootsuite now offer prices in a few other currencies . If you live in the UK for example you have to pay in pounds (since 8th March, 2013). This is determined by your IP address. Unfortunately the prices are quite a bit more expensive in other currencies.

Update (September 2015) – Prices less expensive

Hootsuite have listened and reduced the cost. In the UK the base price per month is £6.99 (if you pay yearly) or £9.99 per month (if you pay monthly). This is still a bit more expensive than the equivalent price in dollars, but certainly more reasonable.

You could try and dodge this by connecting to a VPN to get a United States IPN, delete your cookies and visit the sign up page, but that is trying to trick Hootsuite into thinking you are from the US which may be morally grey.


Hootsuite Alternatives

I still use Hootsuite for certain tasks such as displaying multiple streams from multiple accounts. This is something that Hootsuite does very well. Here are some alternatives depending on what you are trying to do…

Displaying Streams of Posts (and replying)


agorapulse AgoraPulse* (Free Trial, then from $29/mth)

A powerful social media management tool for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+ which aims to offer enterprise level features at a low monthly price. As well as integrath the social networks above, it also offers a variety of Facebook apps to increase engagement (such as sweepstakes, personality tests, coupons, quizzes and more). AgoraPulse has a built-in customer relationship management tool (CRM) allowing you to build up a list of your social contacts. The integrated reports and analytics are detailed and engaging and you can also export to a Powerpoint presentation (useful for agencies). There is a very handy “moderation rules” feature for Twitter which can filter spam out for you.

There is a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Agora Pulse was recently rated top Social Media Management Tool of 2015.

For more information, visit AgoraPulse.


JollorJollor (Free Trial, then from $5/mth)

Jollor isn’t as well known as the likes of Hootsuite and SproutSocial, but it’s a really good looking social media management tool that integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube as well as the Russian networks VK and Odnoklassniki. They don’t integrate yet with bit.ly, but they have some enterprise features such as team and role management and delegation. Analytics are currently in beta but look very impressive. There is a mobile app coming, but the website is fully responsive and can be used well on a mobile or tablet. They have a very transparent pricing scheme starting from $5. It basically costs $5 per network, and you can add extra team members for $5 per month as well as other features.

For more information, visit Jollor.


MavSocial MavSocial (Free Plan & Enterprise plan)

MavSocial offers traditional features such as managing, posting and cross posting to multiple networks. However, it offers some very unique features. In addition to supporting Facebook (profiles, company pages and groups), Twitter, LinkedIn (profiles and pages) and Instagram, MavSocial also integrates with Tumblr and YouTube. The enterprise plan also integrates with the Chinese Youku and Weibo.

MavSocial has a digital assets manager which stores and manages all your images, videos and audio files where you can easily re-use them in future. Not only can you upload your own or user generated content, you can also licence stock images from within MavSocial from various stock libraries including free ones (there are over 50 million to choose from). You can repeat-publish your content to your social media networks ensuring your posts are always in front of your audience. Finally, MavSocial allows you to publish videos directly to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (with Instagram coming soon) and audio files to Twitter. This is particularly important when it comes to Facebook, as natively published videos tend to have more visibility and engagement than videos published through 3rd party video channels like YouTube. MavSocial has a very powerful free plan which gives you 1Gb file storage, access to the stock library, social inbox, up to 5 RSS feeds, management of up to 50 social networks, unlimited reports and bit.ly support. The Enterprise version has extensive team and brand management including team based user permissions

For more information, visit MavSocial.


oktopost Oktopost* (Free Trial, then from $200/mth)

An impressive social media management tool primarily built for Business to Business (B2B) marketing. Oktopost* supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (profiles, company pages and groups) and Google+. Oktopost really shines by allowing scheduling across multiple social networks including multiple LinkedIn groups and by using a scheduling calendar. Instead of offering the facility to cross post to multiple networks, Oktopost allows you to hand craft posts to different networks in the best way possible. There is a free trial and paid accounts range from $200/mth to $2,200/mth.

For more information, visit Oktopost.


SproutSocial
Sprout Social
* (from $59/mth)

A big competitor to Hootsuite with some awesome features (really snazzy reports, multiple bit.ly url shortener integration, Google+ pages etc)  – it does have a hefty price tag though- prices start at $59/user/month (this is a recent update, as it used to be $39/mth). There is no free account but they offer a free trial. Do have a look at my related article 7 Reasons NOT to use Sprout Social.

For more information, visit SproutSocial.


Sendible
Sendible* (from $9.99/mth)

Similar to Hootsuite and SproutSocial with an impressive array of features. Sendible* integrates with a huge number of social channels including Twitter, Facebook (profiles, pages & groups), LinkedIn (profiles, pages & groups), Google+ pages, Foursquare, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and more. You can have as many team members as you like (although you will have to pay per user above your allocated amount) and it integrates with bit.ly and other url shorteners. The prices start very reasonably priced (from $9.99 per month). There is no free account but they offer a free trial. Also be aware, that you need to contact Sendible directly to apply for the $9.99/mth plan- it isn’t listed on the website. Be aware that Sendible include a certain number of “services” for each plan. For the basic “solo” plan you get 8 “services, and with the “startup” plan you get 40 services. This can get a little confusing, because a Twitter list stream, Twitter mention stream, Twitter Search stream, Facebook Group and Facebook Profile stream are all classed as separate services. You can find yourself running out of services very quickly.

For more information, visit Sendible


tweetdeck
TweetDeck
 (free)

Update May 2013- Now Twitter Management Only. This used to be one of my top recommendations, but Twitter have done their best to make this less useful. TweetDeck used to be able to manage your Facebook profile but now it is just for Twitter. Also, as I mentioned in a recent Seriously Social News podcast, Twitter are pulling the plug on the Adobe Air version which had more features.

For more information, visit TweetDeck.


grabinbox
GrabInbox
 (free)

Although fairly basic, GrabInbox is free and allows you to manage multiple Facebook (profiles and pages), Twitter and LinkedIn profiles.

For more information, visit GrabInbox.


meshfire Meshfire* ($8/mth per social media account)

Social media management tool with team collaboration at its heart. Only supports Twitter. Integrates with both bit.ly and Feedly. Prices used to be based on number of followers, but they have recently simplified things and now have just one plan.

For more information, visit MeshFire.


Posting & scheduling

agorapulse AgoraPulse* (Free Trial, then from $29/mth)

(As mentioned above)


buffer
Buffer App (free or $9.99/mth)

Allows you to post or cross post to Twitter, Facebook (profiles, pages or groups), LinkedIn (profile, groups or company pages), Google+ business pages or app.net. You can either post straight away or create a schedule for each social network. Buffer is an amazing tool and one that I use every day. For more information see my post on 10 Must Have Social Media Tools for Small Businesses.


Friends+MeFriends+Me* (free or from $9/mth)

Friends+Me turns Google+ in to a fully fledged Social Media Management tool. It allows you to selectively cross post to Google+ pages, Twitter, LinkedIn (profiles, pages & groups), Facebook (profiles, pages & groups), Tumblr and even Appdotnet. It has a scheduling system similar to Buffer and cross-posts intelligently to other networks (including using full images, headings and descriptions). It’s something I use every day and couldn’t do without it.


agorapulse AgoraPulse* (Free Trial, then from $29/mth)

(As mentioned above)


oktopost Oktopost* (from $200/mth)

(As mentioned above)


tweetdeckTweetDeck (free)

(As mentioned above)


MavSocial MavSocial (Free Plan & Enterprise)

(As mentioned above)


Social Media Relationship Tools

Commun.it* (from $19.99/mth)

Communit
I’d also highly recommend Commun.it* which is a full Twitter community management tool or CRM. As well as being able to manage multiple Twitter accounts you can find out who is relevant in your Twitter community. Examples include your influencers or people who support you. You can also find out who is talking about you or your business or who is linking to your website and interact with them straight away.

I don’t have enough room to go into it here, but please see my Complete Guide on how to Manage your Twitter Community using Commun.it together with its walkthrough video.


Still not sure? Try SocialPiq!

socialpiq
If you’d like a little more help in finding the best social media tool for you then you could try this great service from SocialPiq. All you need to do is enter your requirements and SocialPiq comes back with the tools that could fit the bill for you. It’s free too!


Other Resources

There are plenty of other tools out there that offer similar services to Hootsuite. Have a look at some of the comments below and let me know if you know of ones that you’ve personally used and would recommend. In particular I recommend reading my latest article (May 2013) on my recommended social media tools for small businesses.

If you need any more help on getting started with Hootsuite or want more advice in whether or not Hootsuite is for you, check out these posts…


7 Reasons NOT to use Sprout Social!

7-reasons-not-to-use-Sprout-Social

I’ve recently (February 2015) written a follow up to this article, based on Sprout Social entitled 7 Reasons NOT to use Sprout Social.

What Next?

So there you go, 7 valid reasons not to use Hootsuite. Of course, you may well feel these aren’t strong enough reasons, but they are annoyances that I have found with it. Despite all this, I would still recommend Hootsuite to businesses in many situations. If they have the resources to pay for the extra features and especially if they want to use it for customer service.

What do you think? Please do add your comments below.

Let me help Choose the best tools for you!

I hope this article has helped you, but perhaps you feel you need some expert help. As well as asking a question in the comments below, you might benefit from a one to one service. I offer a social media consultation service in which I can help find the best selection of tools and solutions for you or your business. If you are interested, get in touch!

What the * means above…

If a link has an asterisk by it, it means it is an affiliate link and generates a little income for the site. If you end up signing up for the service and paying it may result in a small proportion going towards the upkeep of this site. You shouldn’t notice any difference in the sign up process.

The editorial line is NEVER impacted by these links. I will only ever recommend a product or service if I think it is worth recommending! If a product or service does not have an affiliate scheme, then we will still include it in the same way.

In the interests of transparency, here are the non-affiliate links which will not help iag.me:


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About Ian Anderson Gray

Ian is a speaker, coach, social media consultant, web developer & Partner of Select Performers. In real life he is a husband, dad and geek and is rather partial to tea, coffee & Indian cooking. Find out more



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707 Comments on "7 Reasons NOT to use Hootsuite"

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Alice
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Alice
14 days 10 hours ago

Hi Ian, thanks for writing this article – another person it’s been useful to: a university worker who is part of a large team, all of whom have the password to one social media account (one of our projects we want lots of people involved in, citizen science)! I’m choosing between Hootsuite and Crowdbooster for this. Our priorities are to schedule posts in advance and to find out how many people we’re reaching, especially outside our speciality.

I wonder if you, or anyone else, could tell me some REALLY basic stuff: for one Twitter account, but with multiple users, does this count as “one account”? Or do the multiple users (if it can tell!) mean it’s going to be lots of accounts? I’m looking at price plans, you see, and can’t find the answer anywhere. Also – I take it that although Hootsuite is “free”, we’d very soon be starting to pay for the analytics? Thanks so much if anyone can help!

Anne W
Member
Anne W
23 days 10 hours ago

Hi Ian, your article was very interesting to a relative social media newcomer like me. I am a freelance marketer and copywriter and two of my clients have asked me to manage their social media on a pretty low budget. Please can you let me know which company would be best may be best for me to use and whether you’d recommend me setting up an account for each client or one account to manage both? I’d ideally like each clients to be able to access the facility so they can post social media messages too. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. With thanks

Lukas
Member
Lukas
28 days 6 hours ago

Hi Ian!

It´s very useful article, thank you so much! I would like to ask you: Do you know which combinations of the social media tools are the most common? I read that big companies usually use more of them, but which one?

Thank you,
Lukas

Siddhant Minocha
Guest
1 month 11 hours ago

Hi! That is indeed a very well researched article.

I’m the Founder of Twitics. Twitics is a Deep Social Media Intelligence Company. We have also launched a free version of our software. It’s way ahead of Hootsuite for analytics. Get free analytics for unlimited Facebook Pages and Twitter Profiles on a Single Dashboard. You can export reports also. I would recommend everyone to try it.

Twitics Social is pure Social Media Analytics and no posting. Try it out now, it’s safe, customisable and you’ll love it. Hit me up if you have any queries and I’ll make sure to answer each one of them.

Here’s the link: http://twitics.co/twitics-social

Lemari Asam
Guest
1 month 2 days ago

I had previously thought to use HootSuite. But, after I read your article, I began to understand the risk when I use hotsuite. Thank you, Your article was very helpful to me and others

Sewa Kantor
Guest
1 month 2 days ago

I actually about to purchase hootsuite, but then.. I read your article for 3rd time in a year! I then started to hesitate to use it when there is a term “Posting with a 3rd party tool results in 89.5% less engagement than directly posting to Facebook.”, that suck.. 🙁 Also, when i tried facebook in hootsute, i dont see any way on how to like an article from a website… Ian, I will always read your article for sure from time to time!

Neslihan
Guest
1 month 12 days ago

Hi!
I am Neslihan from Istanbul! This is the most comprehensive review of a marketing software I have ever seen. You really try demo, use the product then write your review.
I would like to hear your opinions about our digital marketing platform namely Pointro. It is location based marketing tool for small businesses like cafes, restaurants.
With Pointro a venue owner can monitor what is being talked about his venue, what is shared by customers on social media and (s)he can reply, retweet,follow, comment those customer sharings on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Foursquare within one single platform.We offer 30 days free trial without getting any credit card info.
Please try Pointro!
Neslihan Yurt
Marketing Specialist @Pointro
Istanbul/TURKEY

Amy
Guest
Amy
1 month 17 days ago

I just dont understand who posts on the sites. Is it an automated thing? Or are actual people posting on my sites for me? How does it work?

Mukena Tasik
Guest
1 month 22 days ago

Thanks for this article Ian. Very helpful, and it made me sign up to your newsletter because of how thorough you obviously are before you make suggestions. Great work.

PlanReduc
Guest
1 month 30 days ago

Since RSS grafitti closed i use Hootsuite to send automatically my news from an RSS feed, problem : hootsuite don’t post any message from the rss feed, so i’m searching for another provider, can you give me some good names ?

PlanReduc
Guest
PlanReduc
1 month 30 days ago

I just found one that appear as the best solution because it’s the same price compare to hootsuite : dlvr.it

My first test shown that the body message of my rss feed are correctly posted !

Dane
Guest
2 months 5 days ago

Hey Ian. Great article. I hope you can help me out. I’m new to the whole social media thing. I have spent years as a sign guy and I have some of my customers asking me to their social media stuff for them. We’re talking about mom-and-pop outfits. Now, I Facebook, Tweet, and etc so I’m meagerly familiar with it all. I’ve put up a few websites for customers.
At any rate, what I am looking for is something that I can use to manage the customer social medias. For instance, if I have 10 customers who say, “Dane, I want you to build a WordPress site for me and handle all of the social media marketing for me” then that’s 10 Facebooks, 10 Twitters, 10 Pinterests, 10 Instagrams….. GEESH!
Is there some interface available where I could open it, log into all 10 accounts, monitor and post from without having to log out o font customer’s Facebook, into the nest one, post for their business, log out, log into the next customer Facebook, and so on and so forth?

Alanna
Guest
2 months 7 days ago

I guess it’s too much to ask for a product that covers all the social media platforms for free, huh? I really don’t like the whole monthly fee thing. If I had to pay for a product, I’d prefer to pay a once-off price especially in light of what Hootsuite was doing–upping their prices like that. Then you feel trapped. If you are a small fish in this massive pond, it would be great if there was an option for people who were trying to make a go of it with one site. I had heard good things about Hootsuite in the past but I think I’ll give it a miss. I’ve been using Buffer but that’s only for Twitter. Would be nice to have everything in one place without going back to creating a spreadsheet again!Thanks for the great article! Alanna

wayne
Member
wayne
2 months 20 days ago

Great article. We are seriously looking into HootSuite at my work. There was a brief mention of SocialPilot but no elaboration. Any thoughts on this platform? It looked very comparable with a lot of additional features included, such as 5 team members and custom FB branding at the comparison price to HS Pro.

Johan
Member
2 months 22 days ago

Interesting.

1) Why would you use Buffer and Friends+Me everyday?

2) I was looking at Hootsuite only because it scheduled instagram as well and my favs (Buffer and Friends+Me) do not. Any thing else a good value for money doing what these do as well as Instagram?

CS9255
Guest
CS9255
2 months 23 days ago

Any thoughts on Social Owl’s platform?

John Carter
Member
John Carter
2 months 24 days ago

Hi Ian,
This is unbelievably beneficial post. Thanks for sharing and engagement, it took several hours of mine to read it with comments.
I’m quite new at social media marketing and I need a solution for my small business. I’m on a small budget but I would like create best solution for below needs of mine.
What do you suggest?
Thanks.

Content curation (discovery and feedly rss support) and integration with wordai
Automatic scheduling with editorial calendar, posting and monitoring to below platforms with rss integration (feedly)
Facebook page, group, profile
Instagram (video posting)
Twitter
Linkedin
Youtube
Google+
Pinterest
Tumblr (optional)
Vimeo (optional)
Vine (optional)
Xing (optional)
Foursquare (optional)
Free image library integration and basic photo editor to resize images and add filters (optional)
Social media and web monitoring/listening (track keywords, mentions, company pages, and competition)
Identifying influencers
Unified inbox/outbox
Social media analytics for above platforms (engagement, content, audience)
Linkedin profile visitor, endorser would be good as well.
Contest creation and management
Url shortener integration for posts
CRM integration possibility
Ad management for Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram
API integration with marketing automation tools / CRMs

Kristi
Guest
Kristi
2 months 29 days ago

Hey Ian, I work for a nonprofit providing services to survivors of domestic violence. It’s important for us to keep our information secure, so additional tracking isn’t necessarily the best option for us. But I really want to save myself time and kick out tailor-made posts for each of our platforms – currently facebook, twitter, and linkedin. Scheduling is important, but I don’t think it needs to be so strictly scheduled. Do you have a recommendation for me? And if I use a management system like on of these, can my coworkers still post directly to the page without using the management tool?

Nibha
Guest
Nibha
3 months 6 days ago

Hey Ian! This a great list. There’s another cool app out there that serves as an alternative to Hootsuite- DrumUp. It’s great for social media management, content curation and employee advocacy. You could check it out here: https://drumup.io. Please consider adding it to the list if you find it interesting 🙂

Stacey
Member
Stacey
3 months 14 days ago

When will the social management tools include Instagram in the management line-up?

NexToronto Web Development
Guest
3 months 21 days ago

One thing I don’t like about hootsuite is that you can’t specify images through the CSV import tool.

Mark Holland
Guest
4 months 9 days ago

Great Article then you put AgoraPulse as an alternative which is way way way more expensive than Hootsuite.
Im confused

Nate
Member
Nate
4 months 22 days ago

I like HootSuite for monitoring pages but once it got to over 50 due to competition it became a cluttered mess. I’ve yet to find a good alternative to monitor allies and competitors and share their news on my own page! All Facebook posts are done via Facebook for me because (1) I have no hard evidence (i.e. the algorithm) if third party posting does or does not affect reach (2) it’s easier to tag people/pages (3) clients like to see what’s coming up and have little interest in navigating hootsuite daily and (4) when acting as a thought leader and sharing from other pages to a flagship page I’ve only seen this done inside Facebook itself and not via a third party system…yet.

Have you ever tried Edgar for post scheduling? I’ve heard good things about it but haven’t tried the paid version yet. The creator is super nice online and I like how they brand themselves. If you could post an expert review it’d be much appreciated 🙂

Nate
Member
Nate
4 months 22 days ago

p.s. when I googled HootSuite this was the 2nd link to pop up. 😉

Frank
Member
4 months 27 days ago

I am THROUGH with the idiots at Hootsuite. I had a problem where things were posting to the wrong area and not where I wanted them to go. I put in a ticket for help and over a dozen emails later – they are “SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE” but have still not solved my problem or even come close to helping me. I asked for a phone number or for them to call me so we could resolve the problem instead of confusing emails answering questions I didn’t ask. They won’t do that either – I’m paying $9.99 a month for this? They are not user-friendly and evidently don’t want to be. So I am shopping around for a better alternative to Hootsuite that actually has some kind of directions on how to understand their system and get real help when you need it.

Using that bulk sender from hootsuite works – but unfortunately even though you choose otherwise, it still sent items where it shouldn’t and their answer was that it was YouTube’s fault. HUH??

Kristin
Guest
Kristin
5 months 5 hours ago

Is there a one stop shop for small business to track, offer url shortners, schedule, engage and offer a free account for 3-4 social media accounts?

frann leach
Guest
5 months 5 days ago

I tried out Hootsuite’s auto scheduler for the first time yesterday, and I can confirm that the thumbnails were posted in every case on Facebook.

Ian Plumlee
Guest
5 months 20 days ago

I’m surprised that CoSchedule is not on your list of alternatives. In nearly 10 years of creating content for the web, I have found CoSchedule to be the most robust, user-friendly, and cost-effective solution for managing the content cycle. It simplifies the entire process—scheduling, publishing, distributing, and analyzing content all from one interface. Not only that, but is is web-based so you can view your data from anywhere. If you haven’t looked into it yet, I highly suggest it.

Stacey
Guest
Stacey
6 months 6 days ago

It definitely affects reach!! Seriously thinking of dropping Hootsuite. You CANNOT post the same message to all of your social media accounts. They get flagged as spam and Facebook, for example, will reject the message. Therefore, you spend a huge amount of time changing all of the verbiage for each post and then arrange to have the articles post at different times. If I have to do this every day for every account anyway, why pay to do it through Hootsuite? The reports and dashboard are the only advantages I see, but honestly, not worth the price.

Lisa
Member
Lisa
6 months 7 days ago

Thanks for this article! I noticed that this article was posted originally some time ago. Just wondering if your thoughts have changed at all. I am just looking for a simple, cost effective, easy to use social media management tool that will allow me and one other admin the ability to post to all accounts from one dashboard. We also want analytics and we do use bit.ly and tinyurl and don’t want to get dinged with charges. I am sure there is more we should be looking at…but that is all we need for now. Would you recommend Hoot Suite or another one of the applications in your article? Thank you!

Jonathan
Guest
6 months 26 days ago

Does facebook downgrade your business account when posting from Hootsuite? I have checked on this all over the place and can’t seem to find a clear answer if it does or not. Can someone shed some light on this and if your posts are downgraded vs. using facebook scheduling? We use a cms integrated with hootsuite to easily schedule and post our content across the social spectrum.

Jenny Woods
Guest
7 months 5 days ago

Hi Ian. I’m the cofounder of Zaapt, a new social media planning tool for teams that launched in November and has already received hundreds of signups! We would love for you to try it out and include it at the end of this article? visit zaapt.com plus drop me a line and perhaps we can chat more?

Jenny

Samson Luk
Member
Samson Luk
7 months 5 days ago

I never saw image auto show up from my twitter feed, I am not talking about posting, my incoming feed is plain text only…

bonnie eaton
Guest
9 months 30 days ago

Do users have to pay a fee for posting photos on hootsuite free? I am confused. I have been posting about 10 days now with hootsuite free. Am I going to be billed a humongous amount for posting photos?

Landon
Guest
10 months 3 days ago

I currently use Hootsuite but would like the ability to search for hashtags among my scheduled posts. It doesn’t do that but it would be helpful for marketers using post themes. I read the article (great btw) and the comments and didn’t see anything regarding searching scheduled posts. Please keep an eye out for this feature as I’d love to try out a tool that includes this.

Patrick Killeen
Guest
10 months 7 days ago

What are your thoughts about 17 Hats? Looks very powerful, maybe too much? Trying to find a comprehensive scheduler for our social media and maybe emails. Have been using MailChimp for that, Would love to hear your thoughts.

Stacy
Guest
Stacy
10 months 24 days ago

Thanks for this. I’m curious if you’ve taken a look at Post Planner? Would love your thoughts that tool as well if you’ve taken a look. Thanks!

Yves Kimenyi
Guest
Yves Kimenyi
10 months 29 days ago

Hi Ian,

One the features that I am looking for is security…specifically from hackers. Is it possible to achieve security with a service like Hootsuite or does that have to be managed directly from the social media account?

Thanks in advance!

Tarah Scott
Member
Tarah Scott
11 months 3 days ago

Ian:
Do any of these services have the capability to include images through their bulk uploader? I’ve been using Hootsuite, which doesn’t have that feature. It’s very time consuming to have to upload each message individually so that I can include an image.
Thanks.

Violet Weed
Guest
11 months 6 days ago

You do NOT need to use owly and in fact you NEVER needed to use owly for shortening links. It is TRUE that hootlet uses it, but you can also take a url and shorten it in bit.ly etc and delete the owly shortened link and replace it with the bit.ly (etc) shortened link. You just don’t like HOOTLET.

Donni Araujo
Guest
Donni Araujo
11 months 6 days ago

Very helpful.

Thanks!

alyson
Guest
alyson
11 months 7 days ago

So cool What about Buffer. They include pinterest.

Mariah Lockwood
Guest
11 months 17 days ago

I thought that I would mention that Hootsuite (free), when I joined it, allowed you 5 social accounts and now it’s reduced to only 3. It’s just not enough for me now, I made the mistake of trying to clear one account today, to make room for another (as it still stated my account could only allow 5 accounts)…. after deleting the one account the message suddenly said that I was only allowed 3 social accounts. *sigh* Time to move on to another service! Thank you for your post, I will be checking out MavSocial now. 🙂

Ruth O'Keefe
Guest
11 months 19 days ago

Thank you for this article! What platform to you like the best for companies who have to maintain multiple client accounts, each with several networks? I’ve had Hootsuite for a while but feel like there’s got to be something better out there. I took a look at MavSocial but when I tried it, my posted said “Posted by MavSocial”. Is that just because I had a trial account? Thank you for the information!

ChrisHodgeman
Member
11 months 6 days ago

Ruth, re your comment when it says “Posted by MavSocial” – this only occurs for Facebook personal pages and LInkedIn when we are posting images. Unfortunately this is out of our control and is imposed on us by Facebook and LInkedin.

Ruth O'Keefe
Guest
11 months 19 days ago

Angora looks promising but is there a different dashboard for multiple accounts or to handle different companies?

Mary
Guest
11 months 20 days ago

To the alternatives for Hootsuite i can also add KUKU.io – startup with a free service. You can use it for Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. It’s a very simple software which allows you to customize content for different social nets.

ava
Guest
ava
11 months 23 days ago

Thank you for this. Two problems I experienced recently with Hootsuite were:
1) They created a second account for me (with an email address) when I went pro and when I noticed half of my posts were not going out to my networks they were unable to locate the problem themselves. It took them over 30 days to resolve it probably because I would not renew my account the following month, and 2) If not being able to know where half of your work is going for over 30 days was not enough, when I did finally delete EVERYTHING, I lost it all, not just my own account, but the other one, also, which I found, and after deleting all of the team members, etc, it kept putting them back on and refusing to let me shut down without ‘their’consent. Since I was all of the team members, actually, with different accounts, this was just another way to HOLD ME HOSTAGE. They offered me a FREE consultation and tutoring session to retain me. BAH HUMBUG!

Joseph
Guest
Joseph
11 months 25 days ago

Great article.. Do you have any suggestions on which social media tool has a good reporting functionality other than hoot suite? I use agora now but I have to manually create my reports for Twitter and Instagram since they do not have the ability to export these reports yet…

Sandi
Guest
1 year 2 days ago

Great article! I’ve been searching the web in hopes to find a solution to cross publish material across different sites and this article helped me narrow down the programs to use.
I’m going to try using some of the trials to see which one I like. But I do have a question for you. Do you know of any inexpensive program that can take a Facebook post and automatically post it to my google+ page. This is what I am really looking for. Thanks Sandi

Anne
Guest
Anne
1 year 5 days ago

I use Colour me social, really good and FREE!! Lets you post to all of the social sites and the scheduling works really well.

Kevin Hix
Guest
Kevin Hix
1 year 5 days ago

The problem that I’ve found with facebook schedulers is that they also include a link to their website within your post. Hootsuite use to have “posted via hootsuite” under every facebook post. I think they’ve changed it to just “hootsuite”. Regardless, I still find it annoying to have this advertising in your posts. Are there any schedulers that don’t have their name within the post? It makes your messages appear to be less engaged and more spammy, in my opinion.

Digisha Patel
Guest
Digisha Patel
1 year 9 days ago

Excellent list indeed but I would like to add SocialPilot because it is the handy and affordable tool for scheduling post on social media. It’s a wonderful tool who wants to schedule 100 posts in a queue. The starter plan is free, the pro pan starts at $ 4.99/month and pro plus starts at $9.99/ month. SocialPilot allows personalized Facebook branding as well as I can create unlimited Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn account for my posts. Over all it is a great alternative to Hootsuite and I hope this will help you.

Bitcoin Marketing
Guest
1 year 10 days ago

Thanks for this. I have been switching between the free and pro version for about 2 years now! It’s weird.. I can’t find a reason to leave Hootsuite completely but at the same time I don’t feel that paying for it is ultimately worth it in the long run. I’m going to give Jollor and MavSocial a try I think

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