When you land on a brand’s website, chances are they have their social media platforms listed at the bottom of their page.
Nearly every existing business in the US uses social media as a channel to reach their target audience as there are around 3.5 billion active social media users worldwide.
Why Go Social?
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected online behavior, with people finding more ways of connecting through online means. The new age of social distancing has changed the way business is done, and with your market connected more than ever, it is time to maximize your social media marketing strategy to reach out to them.
To connect with your market, you have to be present across all social media platforms. However, with the countless available platforms, managing multiple accounts may be overwhelming. Not only that, but the increased noise on the social media platforms will prove to be a challenge in making your audience care about your brand’s message.
Why consider alternatives of Buffer?
Buffer is undoubtedly a fantastic tool for social media management that divides its offering into two products - Publish and Analyze. This makes it an expensive proposition for small agencies as they have to spend more to get analytics capabilities.
If you’re looking for the social media management tools that fills the gaps that Buffer leaves, you might want to consider these 8 Buffer alternatives for the implementation of your social media marketing plan.
What are the best Buffer alternatives?
1. Buffer Alternative - SocialPilot
SocialPilot was designed and developed especially for small businesses, and agencies. It is a tool that streamlines your social media management processes from scheduling and publishing your posts to coming up with in-depth analytics which will serve as a guide regarding what can be done better on your next strategy.
Some of SocialPilot’s key features include:
- Allows you to connect to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, Vk.com, Google My Business, and TikTok
- Scheduled posting
- Social media content calendar
- Analytics and reports
- Social Inbox (a tool for managing conversations across all of your Facebook pages)
- Content curation
- Teams and collaboration
- Facebook Ad management
SocialPilot vs Buffer
Though there are a lot of similarities between SocialPilot and Buffer, the former gives you more bang for your buck. For example, SocialPilot can connect to more social media platforms.
Aside from that, it can schedule up to 5,000 posts compared to Buffer’s 2,000 posts.
On the other hand, there are extra features that SocialPilot offers that Buffer doesn’t such as giving you the option to manage your Facebook ads through their marketing tool.
Another feature to note is the SocialPilot's Social Inbox where it allows your team to manage posts, comments, and messages across Facebook Pages.
Check out the more detailed comparison of SocialPilot being one of the best Buffer alternatives, here.
Pricing: Most importantly, even though both offer free trials, SocialPilot beats Buffer by the price alone, especially for medium to large enterprises.
For small teams, you can avail of SocialPilot with only $25 for 3 team members compared to Buffer’s which is priced at $65 which can only be used by 2 users. Even at a cheaper price, SocialPilot gives you more than your money is worth.
2. Buffer Alternative - Apphi
Apphi’s main focus is scheduling your posts and converting your followers into customers through Instagram. However, they have also branched out to other popular social media platforms as well.
Apphi’s key features:
- Compatible with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
- Post scheduling and reposts
- Visual plan through drag and drop
- Repeat Schedule
- Advanced Analytics
Apphi vs Buffer
With Apphi, you will be able to plan your visuals on Instagram through the drag and drop feature, which Buffer lacks.
It also includes Analytics in their plan, while Buffer offers a separate plan for that. It also gives you more options in terms of choosing a subscription plan.
Pricing: Both offer free subscription plans, but both have minimal features, which might not be the most suitable for your marketing plan. Apphi’s services start at $13 for one user, while Buffer starts at $15.
3. Buffer Alternative - Loomly
Loomly is not only a great social media publishing tool, but it also provides you with ideas to optimize your content for your marketing strategy based on data such as trending topics and social media best practices.
Key Features of Loomly include the following:
- Post ideation and creation
- Post Optimization
- Post previews/mock-ups
- Built-in approval workflows
- Scheduling and automated publishing
- Advanced Analytics
Loomly vs Buffer
The main difference between the two is that Loomly gives a lot of focus on content creation with tips and previews, while Buffer leaves the content creation in the hands of your team and focuses on what comes after it.
Pricing: Loomly’s price starts at $25/month with two users, while its counterpart Buffer offers the same features but priced at $65/month.
4. Buffer Alternative - Salesforce Social Studio
Salesforce is a cloud-based software that specializes in Customer Relationship Management (CRM). One of their services is what is called Social Studio, where your posts are created, scheduled, managed, and monitored.
Some of Salesforce’s key features:
- Integrated with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, and more
- Create and configure workspaces
- Built-in social advertising
- Einstein Vision/Image Recognition
- Social listening
- Social post engagement and metrics
Salesforce Social Studio Vs Buffer
Salesforce guides your brand from the publication of your content to providing analytics for you to refine your marketing strategy.
They make use of Artificial Intelligence and listening tools to have a better grasp on your brand’s reputation among social conversations. For example, they have a listening tool that monitors your market’s discussions and lets you discover your customer’s sentiment about you—both positive and negative.
What’s also interesting is that they have an image recognition software called Einstein vision.
Marketers can use it to solve unique cases such as finding which of your leads are most interested in availing your products or services by classifying the objects in their photos.
Pricing: The cost of their services will depend on your needs, budget, etc. as a business. The general idea regarding their pricing is around $1,000/month for two social accounts.
5. Buffer Alternative - Sprout Social
Sprout Social offers solutions to brands and agencies through publishing, engagement, analytics, and listening, describing themselves as a “platform for all points of connection.”
Some of Sprout Social’s key features:
- Compatible with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+
- Smart Inbox which acts as an inbox for all of your social media platforms
- Comment Moderation
- Social CRM
- Image Editing
- ViralPost Technology which calculates the best time to post
Sprout Social Vs Buffer
What makes Sprout Social unique is that it not only has a CRM function but also has listening add-ons that can help improve your marketing strategy through insights and conversations about your brand.
They also offer a 30-day trial, which is twice the amount of what other automation brands offer.
Pricing: You can avail Sprout Social’s services starting at $99. While Sprout Social is priced much higher than Buffer, it covers everything that you may want to do to optimize your social media marketing plan.
If you'd like to have a look at how SocialPilot is compared as a great Sprout Social alternative, we have a detailed comparison here.
6. Buffer Alternative - Later
Later started as an Instagram marketing tool in 2014 and has expanded its platform to popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Their expertise centers around visual scheduling, media management, marketing, and analytics. This tool is perfect if you’re only handling one brand, especially with the subscription plans they have, but it also caters to enterprises.
Later’s key features are:
- Visual Instagram Planner
- Unlimited Media
- Instagram Analytics
- Hashtag Suggestions
- Instagram Stories Scheduling
Later Vs Buffer
While Buffer only has an Instagram hashtag manager where it saves the common hashtags you use, Later takes it up a notch by suggesting hashtags you could use so that your posts will be easily discoverable. It also boasts a content library where you can upload an unlimited number of photos that Buffer unfortunately lacks.
Brands such as Hippeas have used the platform to build their presence on various social media platforms. They eventually secured partnerships with huge names such as Starbucks and Whole Foods. Now, their products are available in more than 30,000 stores.
Pricing: The price at Later starts at $7.50 a month for one user while the Buffer’s plan starts at $15.
7. Buffer Alternative - Hootsuite
If your focus is building customer relationships through your social media platforms, then Hootsuite may be a good option.
They value the power of human connection by using their software to “build strong internal cultures, uncover emotionally rich consumer insights, and unify the customer experience.”
Here are the core features of Hootsuite’s platform:
- Able to connect with more than 20 social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn, WordPress, Google+, and Pinterest.
- Create, curate, and review content
- Monitor and manage incoming messages
- Create and manage advertising content
- Monitors conversation on key topics
- Measure and analyzes your social media performance
Hootsuite vs Buffer
Hootsuite lets you do more than publishing and analytics. You can create posts through ‘Composer,’ At the same time, you preview your posts on how it would look on your page.
It also lets you integrate more than 250 tools in your plan, making it a seamless experience as you have more options, and everything will be in the same interface.
Like Sprout Social, they will allow you to use their service for 30 days, giving you more time to get familiar with their interface, and eventually make a decision.
Pricing: Hootsuite starts at $19 for one user with 10 social profiles, versus Buffer’s $15 for one user and 8 profiles.
The $4 is not that big of a difference for additional features. They also have customized plans in case the subscription plans don’t cover it for you.
SocialPilot also proves to be cost-effective Hootsuite alternative, we have a detailed comparison here.
8. Buffer Alternative - Sendible
Sendible helps you amplify your brand’s voice through authentic storytelling amidst a sea of overwhelming information on social media platforms through their tools.
Although designed for agencies, they also have subscription plans which are easily accessible for small businesses.
Sendible’s key features include:
- Integrated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube, Pinterest, WordPress, Blogspot, Medium, Tumblr, and many more
- Content Calendar
- Priority Inbox
- Custom Reports
- Social Listening
Sendible Vs Buffer
Sendible does more than just publishing content for you. One of its unique features is its CRM functionality, where it gives you information about the person you’re talking to and your previous interactions with them. This will help you send out more personalized messages to your customers.
Pricing: Sendible does allow you a 14-day trial. Their prices start at $24 for one user, which puts them slightly above Buffer’s starting plans.
Check out how SocialPilot is compared as a great Sendible alternative, we have a detailed comparison here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Buffer may not be the best social media management tool. But over 75,000+ businesses uses this tool. So, you cannot simply ifgnore it. It may not be a best fit to someone who is looking for an all-in-one tool that covers the whole nine yards of social media management. There are various similar tools in the market at an affordable price.
- Traject Social
- Sprout Social
- Zoho Social
It depends on what your requirements are. If you are growing agency and looking for a social tool that does all the things social management, and doesn't eat away your profit margins, then Social Pilot is better than Buffer. In addition to organic posts management, Social Pilot also provides Facebook Boost Post and Lead Ads management that is not provided by buffer. SocialPilot also offers technical support 5 days a week for all of its clients. If you require a high level of support, with a dedicated account manager and telephone support, then Agorapulse is not for you. In this case, you should opt for SocialPilot! For enterprise accounts, SocialPilot designates a full-time customer support manager.
Buffer is one of the most popular social media automation tools. Still, other available platforms such as SocialPilot go beyond what Buffer does and do so at a competitive price.
To execute your social media marketing as seamlessly and cohesively as possible, the automation tool you decide to use should support your implementation process from beginning to end.
Find out which will best suit your needs as a business by taking the time to study the Buffer alternatives listed above. You will be able to work on your social media strategy more efficiently in no time.