If you’ve worked on social media marketing for any amount of time, you’ve probably found yourself blessing any and all available scheduling tools! Busy posting strategies, busy schedules, and multiple accounts can all make social media an intense job – but scheduling tools like Hootsuite can help relieve some of that stress.
In today’s post, I’m going to share a review of one popular social media scheduling tool – Hootsuite. What are the pros? The cons? Why might this be a good fit for your business (or not)?
What IS Hootsuite?
Let’s break it down to the basics. Hootsuite is a social media management system that allows you to pre-plan your posts and schedule them in advance. This perk allows you to take a day or two to plan out all your posts for your chosen platform (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), schedule them, and then let Hootsuite automatically post them at the correct time and day. When you’re in business online, you want to be able to “chunk” your work and focus on one thing at a time – and Hootsuite allows you to do just that.
Then, once you’ve planned all your posts out, all you need to do is check on your engagement every so often or reply to comments/DMs – your social media schedule does most of the “heavy lifting”, so to speak.
What are Hootsuite’s features?
This is where you can start considering whether or not Hootsuite might be a good tool for you, or if you would prefer something else.
Hootsuite does have a free plan, which gives you the opportunity to test it out, try different functions, and also compare it against other scheduling tools. This can seem a bit time-consuming, but before you start spending money, you definitely want to make sure you have the right tool and the right plan for you. You want every penny you’re investing to help grow your business in the smartest way possible.
You can schedule up to 30 posts on two different social media platforms during a month’s time, which is often a great fit for small businesses. However, the free plan does have its limitations. If you’re ready to move beyond what the free trial offers, the “pro” plan may be a better fit. If you prefer to get further ahead on your social media, the pro plan will let you plan out posts on up to ten different profiles with unlimited scheduling. The pro plan also provides analytic reporting, which can advise you on the best time for you to post, your keywords that are most effective, etc.
At the end of the day, you get to decide what plan works best for you. Take a good look at your business. What features do you need? Do you require advanced scheduling? Analytics? Extra users from your team? Jot these things down, and bring them with you to your search.
Hootsuite is a very “visual” platform. This is one of the features I personally appreciate. Hootsuite is set up to allow a multi-channel view so you can see all your platforms at once. This allows you to visually check what you’re posting, what’s upcoming, and what the same post might look like from one platform to another. Not all social media management systems offer this feature; some of them require you to view each platform individually.
There are also available apps that allow you to use Hootsuite from your phone as well as your laptop. Therefore, you can use any device you wish.
There are some cons to Hootsuite’s features, however. On the free account, they do provide you with a free monthly report; however, if you’ve already viewed the report once for the month, that’s it. If you make changes and want to re-check your analytics, it’s a $50 report (as of the date of this blog post).
There are also no content extensions. This refers to extra extensions that help you build your business, track engagement and write better posts, etc. However, these aren’t allowed in Hootsuite. I personally use tools like “Pretty Links” to style and track engagement with my links, but this isn’t allowed in Hootsuite either. Therefore, users have to use the included “ow.ly” shortener. This may not be important in the initial stages of your business, so it depends on what your own needs are.
In conclusion, social media schedulers are powerful (and highly recommended!) tools. They can make a night-and-day difference in your social media marketing. Hootsuite is a great tool. However, there are several out there – so decide what your business’s needs are and compare your options against that standard!
As a final “bonus” tip, social media schedulers can also be a powerful business tool to CREATE a business. Not just run your own. Some businesses manage social media for other people. If this is up your alley, you can use tools like Hootsuite to do just that.
For more information, you can check out the Hootsuite site for a free trial and more tutorials on the ins and outs of the program.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for there check out Loomly! Compare and see which one best fits your needs.
You’ve got this!