Vanessa DeBurlet

Hootsuite vs Buffer? 5 Key Comparisons
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Vanessa DeBurlet

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Hootsuite vs Buffer? 5 Key Comparisons

Scheduling tools can be a social media lifesaver to the busy marketer. In this article, we’ll compare Hootsuite vs Buffer to see how they stack up.

If you’re in the majority of marketers, entrepreneurs, creators, or content managers (or wherever else you hang your hat), odds are your schedule isn’t conducive to posting on social media every day – and yet countless studies remind us of how important a strong social media presence is to your brand.

One of the challenges inherent in online business, affiliate marketing, digital marketing, and other online arenas is the need to protect our time. Fortunately, scheduling platforms allow us to do just that. Now you can take a single day, really plan out your social media posts, schedule them, and then move on. You no longer have to constantly come up with ideas, and you can lighten up your social media workload to a few regular checks on engagement. 

But let’s take this a step further. There are many tools out there to help us with this; what are the best scheduling tools for you and your specific needs? Because Hootsuite and Buffer are two of the most affordable and widely-used tools, they’re excellent for beginners – and in this post, I’ll be comparing five of their key factors. I give credit to Ben Beck for his excellent article in which he compares these and many other factors as well. 

Online Platform

According to Ben, Hootsuite’s platform is a bit “clunky”; it feels rather old in comparison to some of the newest-and-hottest tools on the market. To borrow a metaphor, it has a “Microsoft look” as compared to Apple’s sleek, modern appearance. However, its functionality and features are still up-to-par. It does have a free plan, although the paid plans definitely provide greater functionality. 

In contrast, Buffer’s platform provides a very clean, easy-to-use interface. For beginners, this can be very appealing. However, it does lack some of the robust tools that Hootsuite provides, such as scheduling content recommendations, reporting, and analytics. 

Widest Social Media Account Coverage

At the time of this comparison, Buffer provides allows you to post on five different accounts. Hootsuite, however, allows you to post on more platforms. What platforms do you use, or will you want to use in the future? Take a look at this and see which scheduling tool will best support the platforms you need. 

It’s worth noting that when I first started, I constantly asked, “What is easiest for me as a beginner?” This is a fair question. However, I found myself starting in one place and then having to switch later when I started needing more out of my processes and systems. Now my philosophy is that if I am going to make a career out of my online work, then I want to have the best tools from the start – and it saves me complications down the road. 

Easiest to Use

Speaking of “easy”, which scheduling tool is more user-friendly? Buffer is simpler with a cleaner-looking layout, but Hootsuite isn’t too difficult either. Let’s borrow from our earlier example: do you prefer Apple or Microsoft? If you’re an Apple devotee, you might prefer to use Buffer from simply a user standpoint. If you like Microsoft, Hootsuite might fit better. 

Scheduled Posting:

Which tool will post most conveniently? Buffer is more straightforward, but Hootsuite is more robust. If powerful scheduling functionality is most important to you, Hootsuite is probably the way to go. As mentioned above, it also allows you to schedule on more platforms. 

Ad Hoc Posting: What if you have everything scheduled for a month – and then decide today that you need to post something extra? This is “ad hoc” posting – basically “on the go” posting. Both use a Chrome plugin, but Buffer is definitely the easier option here. Buffer helps you make the most of your plugin, but Hootsuite makes you work a bit more for it. So if you don’t do much ad hoc posting, Hootsuite is a good option. But if you’re constantly posting on the go, you may want to stick with Buffer. 

Content

Interestingly, Buffer does not allow to keep a significant amount of content on its platform. It’s not as large a space as Hootsuite. So if you’re a small company or just starting out, Buffer may be a great choice. But if you are planning on significant growth or you already have a medium-to-large amount of content to share, you probably want to go with Hootsuite. 

Another note: Hootsuite will allow you to “tag” your content. This lets you search and sort it if you want. It also allows you to view usage statistics. If you want (or need!) your posts to get top engagement and you’re actively working on growth, you probably want these features. If you’re posting for your own enjoyment or to engage with friends and community, Buffer would work fine. 

In conclusion, compare the pros and cons of each platform against your own situation and decide which would be best for you. Hootsuite supports more networks and is better for scheduling functionality and storage. In contrast, Buffer is easy to use and a good option for someone who likes simplicity and in-the-moment posting. 

Which platform will you use – or have you used already? Let me know in the comments! 

If you haven’t found what you are looking for you might want to explore my favorite post scheduler here!

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