Hootsuite vs. Buffer: Which One Fits Best For Your Business?

Hootsuite vs. Buffer: Which One Fits Best For Your Business?

Overview

Since the dawn of social media management, Hootsuite has been a household name. Being one of the first of its kind in the market, it has built itself to be a dynamic tool with an assortment of features any social media marketer, agency, or business would ever need.

When using Hootsuite, the hassle of managing multiple social media accounts, groups, and pages on different platforms is eliminated. Since you can handle it all from one integrated dashboard of Hootsuite, switching to native platforms is hardly required.

Hootsuite also helps manage and monitor social media messages, reviews, and comments in real-time so you can proactively engage with your audience. Streams are a part of Hootsuite’s dashboard, where you can keep track of all your social pages.

Buffer supports multitudes of social media platforms, meaning you can schedule and publish posts for Facebook, Google Business, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, and Shopify, all from the tool’s dashboard without going to the native platforms. Buffer is one of the first tools to integrate with the brand-new social platform Mastodon.

The tool has four types of subscriptions, one of which is a free plan with limited capabilities. The advanced features are available under paid subscriptions only.

One of the unique capabilities of Buffer is the Start Page builder. It enables you to build a landing page from the tool and share the link on your social media. This page helps you showcase your brand and its offerings to your target audience, which is easier than creating a whole website.

Best Suitable for

Hootsuite

Hootsuite

Start with $149

Professional Teams, Small business, Enterprises

Buffer

Buffer

Start with $60

Freelancer, Small Business, Agency

SocialPilot

SocialPilot

Start with $30

SMBs, Agencies, Multi-Location Brands

At a Glance

According to user reviews for both tools, Buffer turns out to be the more liked, with a higher overall rating than Hootsuite.

It is a well-known fact that Hootsuite is a more complicated tool to learn than its alternatives. So Buffer scores much higher when it comes to ease of use. The same goes for the set-up process. For the quality of customer support, Hootsuite is closer to Buffer but still scores lower.

However, if we take the Hootsuite vs. Buffer comparison and put SocialPilot into the mix, SocialPilot comes out with the best scores. That may be the reason why it is such a well-liked tool by the social media marketing community.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite

Buffer

Buffer

SocialPilot

SocialPilot

Number of Reviews 3781 962 741
Overall Star Rating
Ease of Use
Quality of Support
Ease of Setup
Learn More Learn More 14 Days Trial

Quick Comparison – Hootsuite Vs. Buffer

After seeing what the users think of Buffer vs. Hootsuite, let us do a quick study of all the critical facts you must know before making your choice.

If we take one look at the prices, Hootsuite is a much more costly tool than Buffer. However, the latter charges users for each social account they connect, which might take a toll on expenses in the long run. Keeping a cap on the costs is possible if you go with an excellent Buffer alternative like SocialPilot. It proves to be a much more economical option.

Hootsuite allows a team of 5, but with Buffer, you can have unlimited team members, which makes it stronger than other Buffer alternatives. Also, they support all the major platforms except Youtube and Whatsapp, which are integrated into Hootsuite but not Buffer.

Note: Despite being at a much lower price point, SocialPilot comes across as an accomplished tool, with multiple avenues available for customer support. Also, considering the international users, the tool is available in various languages, which both Hootsuite and Buffer lack.

Have a look at the features, Hootsuite vs. Buffer, along with SocialPilot, to get a clearer view.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite

Buffer

Buffer

SocialPilot

SocialPilot

Can't Miss to Compare
Minimum Pricing $149/Month $60/Month $30/Month
Number of Accounts 35 10 10
Number of Team Members 5 1 2
Number of Posts that Can Be Scheduled Unlimited 2000 Unlimited
Core Capabilities
Scheduling & Publishing check check check
Analytics check check check
Inbox check check check
Collaboration check check check
Competitor Tracking check check check
Whitelabel check check check
Localization English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish English & Spanish German, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Support Email, Chat, Tweet for Support FAQs, How-To-Guides, Video Tutorials, Social Media Support & Email Support Email, Chat, Social Media, Phone
Learn More Learn More 14 Days Trial

Reviews

Positive

  • It has a 30-days free trial for marketers who are getting started and also has a Hootsuite academy that provides all resources about social media management.
  • Hootsuite is a social publishing tool that is the most user-friendly for any platform, and it makes you feel as if you are making the post on the platform itself.
  • Hootsuite has a content approval workflow through which you can share your post with editors, managers, and clients to get approval for the post.

Negative

  • While Hootsuite does offer Instagram Business functionality, it does have some limitations, such as needing to open the app in order to complete certain actions. This may cause inconvenience for some users.
  • Sometimes the social profiles get occasionally disconnected from the platform, and it is difficult to reconnect the profiles.
  • The lower plans have limited reporting capabilities, which could greatly impact your ability to effectively monitor and analyze your social media performance.

Positive

  • Buffer offers valuable insights into the performance and engagement of each individual post, allowing users to optimize their content strategies and measure their success.
  • Buffer is known for its highly helpful customer support team, who are both quick and responsive in addressing users' inquiries and concerns.
  • Buffer provides a simple and effective solution for social media collaboration, allowing teams to manage multiple clients' accounts with ease, streamlining their workflow and maximizing productivity.

Negative

  • Buffer lacks support for various hashtags and limitations in the analytics capabilities, making it more challenging for users to optimize their social media strategies fully.
  • The absence of advanced post types and features like optimal posting time suggestions and hashtag research in Buffer can negatively impact the effectiveness of users' social media efforts.
  • The lack of assistance in handling social media conversations in Buffer could hinder its effectiveness as a complete social media management solution.

Positive

  • You get a social media calendar screen in SocialPilot, which gives a bird-eye view of all the scheduled content as well as create and schedule new content from. You can also change the publishing time and date of any queued posts right from the calendar and reschedule it.
  • You can upload and schedule up to 500 posts at once using SocialPilot through its handy bulk import feature. These can be link posts, text, or even image posts to any of the platforms which SocialPilot supports.
  • SocialPilot allows users and clients to collaborate efficiently and save a great deal of time managing social networks.

Negative

  • Users have reported that accounts may occasionally become disconnected, resulting in failed scheduled posts. However, it is a simple process to reconnect the account and reschedule the post, as all posts get saved.
  • Some users have reported receiving error messages with scheduled posts. However, they acknowledge that this issue is not unique to SocialPilot and is also present in other social posting platforms. It is simply a minor inconvenience at times.
  • Some users have noted that specific posts require follow-up actions, such as importing them into Instagram and manually posting when they appear in the schedule. While this process may be necessary for particular posts, users find it frustrating.

Pricing – Hootsuite Vs. Buffer

In this section, we will take a better look at the pricing plans, be it Hootsuite or Buffer, to determine which of them offers more cost-effective social media marketing solutions.

Both tools have four different functional subscription models, but only Buffer has a free plan. For its business plan, Hootsuite costs $739 per month and lets you connect 35 social accounts and schedule unlimited posts. Buffer, on the other hand, with its agency plan coming at only $120 per month, lets you connect only 10 social accounts and publish up to 2000. However, you can add extra accounts at the cost of $6 each.

If we weigh in SocialPilot, which is considered to be a strong Hootsuite alternative, it allows users to connect up to 30 social accounts at just $100, which is just a tiny fraction of what Hootsuite costs for 35 accounts!

Note: Taking a look at SocialPilot’s pricing, it charges a fraction of what Buffer and Hootsuite are while matching them feature for feature. This makes SocialPilot a more cost-effective choice to go with.

Now let’s compare each pricing plan, Hootsuite vs. Buffer, along with SocialPilot to get a clearer picture of what is most suitable for you.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite

Buffer

Buffer

SocialPilot

SocialPilot

Professional
$149/per month
Free
Professional
$30/per month
Small Team
$399/per month
Essential
$6/per channel
Small Team
$50/per month
Enterprise
Custom
Team
$12/per channel
Agency
$100/per month
-
Agency
$120/per channel
Agency+
$200/per month
30 Days Free Trial
Credit Card Required
14 Days Free Trial
No Credit Card Required
14 Days Free Trial
No Credit Card Required
Learn More Learn More Start Your free Trial

In-depth Scheduling and Publishing Capabilities Comparison

Scheduling and publishing are the primary features on which we determine the efficiency of any

social media management tool. Hence, comparing each aspect of these features, Hootsuite vs. Buffer, can’t be skipped.

Now, both the tools have strong scheduling and publishing capabilities to match each other, but there are some disparities we’ll point out.

However, both tools do not let users schedule Facebook reels and Youtube shorts. Also, neither of them has the feature of first comment scheduling for Facebook and LinkedIn, which users have started to use actively with other tools.

Note: SocialPilot has some commendable content scheduling features which have been found lacking in top players like Hootsuite and Buffer. This includes Facebook Reels and Instagram Shorts scheduling, as well as first comment scheduling along with posts on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Take a look at all the scheduling and publishing features, Buffer vs. Hootsuite, along with SocialPilot, for a clearer picture.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite

Buffer

Buffer

SocialPilot

SocialPilot

Smart & Advanced Queueing check check check
Customize Post for Each Platform check check check
Post Preview check check check
Canva Integration check check check
Unsplash Integration check check check
Slack Integration check check check
URL Shortener check check check
Visual Post Support (Image, Video, GIF) check check check
UTM Parameters check check check
Cloud Storage check check check
Hashtag Suggestions check check check
Advance Publishing Capabilities
Save Draft Posts check check check
AI Assistant check check check
Watermark on Images check check check
Bulk Scheduling check check check
Content Curation check check check
Auto publishing from RSS check check check
Social media calendar check check check
Mobile App check check check
Browser Extension check check check
Advance Facebook Publishing Capabilities
Reel Scheduling check check check
Support Album Posts check check check
Support Carousel Posts check check check
Alternate Text on Image check check check
Support Facebook First Comment check check check
Audience Targeting check check check
Boost Post Scheduling check check check
Support Mention and Hashtags check check check
Advance Twitter Publishing Capabilities
Location Tagging check check check
Support Mention and Hashtags check check check
Support Multiple Image Posts check check check
Threads Scheduling check check check
Advance Instagram Publishing Capabilities
Reel Scheduling check check check
Story Scheduling check check check
Tag Profiles on Images check check check
Location Tagging check check check
Support Instagram First Comment check check check
Instagram Grid check check check
Advance LinkedIn Publishing Capabilities
Audience Targeting check check check
Support LinkedIn First Comment check check check
Advance YouTube Publishing Capabilities
#shorts Scheduling check check check
Mention of Other Youtube Accounts check check check
Learn More Learn More 14 Days Trial

In-depth Analytics Capability Comparison

Analytical capabilities are the backbone of any social media management tool. It is essential that we verify this aspect to make a thorough comparison of Buffer vs. Hootsuite.

It seems like the pair is evenly matched for possessing all the preliminary analytics features. But Buffer is somewhat lagging regarding the reporting aspect of analytics. The ability to email PDF reports or schedule them to be later shared with team members and clients is missing from Buffer’s repertoire.

Following is a comparative chart of the analytics capabilities of Hootsuite vs. Buffer, along with SocialPilot.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite

Buffer

Buffer

SocialPilot

SocialPilot

Whitelabel Downloadable Report in PDF Format check check check
Email PDF Report to Client check check check
Auto Schedule Report with Team and Client check check check
Custom Report Builder check check check
Learn More Learn More 14 Days Trial

In-depth Inbox/Listening Capability Comparison

Social listening is vital for gauging the opinions of your target audience. Doing so would help you take steps in the right direction to build your brand image.

When you go through specifics, you will see that compared to Hootsuite, Buffer has little to boast about regarding social listening.

Note: It is interesting that with SocialPilot’s social inbox, you can comment on a visitor’s post on your page, but this is not possible with Hootsuite or Buffer.

Here is all you need to know about the listening capabilities of Buffer vs. Hootsuite and SocialPilot for a better perspective.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite

Buffer

Buffer

SocialPilot

SocialPilot

Can Reply Message check check check
Can Reply Questions and Reviews check check check
Can Reply on Visitor Posts check check check
Real-Time Social Listening check check check
Learn More Learn More 14 Days Trial

In-depth Social Media Collaboration Capability Comparison

When marketing agencies or businesses use social media management tools, multiple people work on it. Hence the tool needs to enable multiple team members to work together collaboratively. Also, clients should be able to get involved in the flow of social media activities.

Hootsuite and Buffer both have efficient team workflows, so all the members can be onboarded and work in sync together. Account admins can give selective access and assign roles to each member. Content approval makes the back-and-forth communication between the team and clients quick and easy, making publishing content more efficient.

In the table below, you can go through each capability regarding team collaboration, Hootsuite vs. Buffer, along with SocialPilot.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite

Buffer

Buffer

SocialPilot

SocialPilot

Free Unlimited Client Onboarding check check check
Per Post Multi-User Collaboration check check check
Access Management check check check
Content Approval Workflow check check check
Learn More Learn More 14 Days Trial

Frequently Asked Questions

Which one is better, Buffer or Hootsuite?

The answer depends on the needs and spending capacity of the user. If a small to medium-sized business or marketing agency wants to use a tool for automation of scheduling and publishing content for a few accounts, Buffer would be the best for it.

But if a large business or enterprise wants an all-rounder social media management solution for managing a large number of social media accounts, the answer would be Hootsuite for them.

Which social media scheduler is best - Hootsuite or Buffer?

Both Hootsuite and Buffer are competent social media scheduling tools with a diverse set of scheduling features. But despite being one of the industry leaders, they lack Youtube Shorts and Reels scheduling, some of the top-performing content online.

To avail of a scheduling tool to do it all at a cost-effective price, SocialPilot is one of the best options.

Why is Hootsuite better?

Hootsuite has been the top player in the industry for a long time. Few tools can compete with the wide variety of capabilities Hootsuite covers, making it a complete social media solution. It is a tricky tool to master, but if used in the right way, it can be the answer to all your social media marketing needs.

Is Buffer cheaper than Hootsuite?

The pricing models of Hootsuite and Buffer are different. Buffer has a free plan, while Hootsuite does not. For paid plans, Hootsuite allows users to connect up to a certain number of social accounts according to the plan. While on Buffer, you have to pay for each social account you connect to the tool.

Is Buffer approved by Instagram?

Yes, Buffer supports Instagram, and users can connect Instagram business pages to their Buffer account.

About the Author

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Jimit Bagadiya

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