ALTERNATIVES TO HOOTSUITE THAT DON’T SUCK

Successfully managing social media presence is without a doubt the biggest challenge for small businesses that are developing a digital marketing strategy. Time and effort is often wasted on logging into multiple social media platforms, writing and scheduling posts across multiple accounts, and keeping track of multiple streams of data.

lion-tools alternatives to hootsuite

Small Business Social Media Management in 2017

While the web has awakened the world to the buzz and power of social media, it has not applied the technical improvements that can handle business presence properly. It is difficult to find effective social media management tools without cutting deep into learning curves, confusing businesses and reducing budgets without providing any measurable performance.

Hootsuite Alternatives

Applications like Hootsuite are great for leveraging the power of social media for small businesses and help save time from the busy day-to-day social media updates, but these tools can become overwhelming to manage and try to figure out. Imagine a business using social media professionally without properly utilizing these tools? This is why people hire marketing agencies or millennial interns to manage their social media presence. It can be a difficult task, often a headache, for anyone who doesn’t understand the point of doing it.

It is difficult to justify someone sitting on twitter.com all day, or if it is worth paying for in-house.

Comparing Alternatives for Hootsuite

Alternative Free Version Monthly Estimated Cost Our Summary More Information
Buffer Yes $50 Great product, slightly more technical than Hootsuite. Review
Cision No N/A Enterprise solution for big business Review
Edgar Yes $49  Competitive technical solution Review
SproutSocial  $59 Review
SocialOomph  $39 Budget friendly alternative Review
Social Clout  $49 Valuable features for LinkedIn Review
Oktopost  Yes  $49 Budget friendly alternative Review
AgoraPulse  Yes  $29  Popular alternative for management Review
Lion Eater No N/A Hands free solution Contact

Benefits of SMM tools

The benefits offered by a social media management tool like Hootsuite is that it is a SAAS solution accessible from home, work, or anywhere with an internet connection. It saves time and money by allowing easy access to manage social media profiles from multiple streams in a single web-based dashboard.

image of motherboard on top of globe

It also enables you to schedule your messages and publish them at your preferred times, experiment with copy and access detailed analytics reports similar to Google Analytics to review and optimize monthly campaigns. This makes it easier to track goals such as increasing likes on Facebook, followers on Twitter, or drive traffic to your website. Hootsuite offers some flexibility with pricing plans, but for the sake of this article we will explore the range of free to premium plans, as well as other social media marketing solutions that can be used in lieu of a Hootsuite subscription. The focus is to review features, pros and cons of effective tools that are realistic competitors to the most popular social media marketing tool on the web, Hootsuite.

Tools of the Trade

Applications like Hootsuite provide solutions to these issues, sometimes it is better to try alternatives. Spending time on Facebook and Twitter delivering content across multiple networks can feel impossible without the right tools. Limiting yourself to Hootsuite can also become costly as your brand grows from baby-steps to big-boy pants. This can mean big costs to business and disappointment with social media budgets altogether.

We wrote this to combat the traditional attitude that brands cannot afford professional social media presence.

Buffer as a general Hootsuite Alternative

buffer as hootsuite alternative

One of Hootsuite’s closest and most recognizable competitors is Buffer. If you find it difficult to monitor the progress and drive more traffic to your Facebook business pages, Twitter profiles and so on, Buffer could be the alternative tool for you.

It can fulfil most social media management requirements for small social media brand profiles or Facebook business pages.

If you can’t be at the computer 24/7 writing social media posts, Buffer allows you to schedule posts similar to Hootsuite so that the company social media presence remains active. Taken a step further, advanced users can automate this process. Save time by scheduling content weeks in advance through the Buffer dashboard. There are even recipes on IFTT that allow for further integration and automation.

Its single dashboard makes it simple to keep track of social media conversations and increase engagement rates with audiences across various platforms.

Buffer also offers you browser extensions (for Google Chrome) and mobile apps (for iOS and Android) making it easy to integrate with marketing teams. Most importantly, by using Buffer you gain access to valuable reports and insights. This makes it easier to understand the effect on your audience.

Plans & Pricing

If you are an individual and have multiple social media profiles, then you can either use the free Buffer plan or the Awesome plan (price starts at about $10.00).

If you run a business, you can choose from the small, medium and large plans, the prices of which range from $99.00 to $399.00. Additionally, Buffer also provides you with an enterprise plan, which costs around $899.00 per month.

Added Benefits
  • It enables you to manage Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and more.
  • You get the ability to post content to your social media profiles or pages, without having to individually schedule them.
  • Buffer enables you to create your own images (using Pablo) which have the perfect size and format for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
  • Buffer supports RSS feed integration with all its plans.
Drawbacks
  • All Buffer paid plans are configured for a team of at least five members. So, if you have a team of only three members, you still have to purchase the plan for five members.

 

Back to top

CISION as an Enterprise Hootsuite Alternative

cision example as alternative to hootsuite

Formerly known as Viral Heat, this tool was acquired by Chicago based marketing company CISION. This enterprise management solution provides comprehensive utility across a wide range of social platforms. CISION has a proven track record of providing scalable business solutions It also provides you with the ability to identify trends for analysis and review. Adjust new campaigns to make well-informed decisions for your website, blog, business, brand or products.

Additionally, CISION is able to capture the most relevant data across all your social channels in real time to empower you with an appropriate measurement of your social efforts.

CISION also helps you get plenty of content for reference, schedule your own posts in advance and stay organized. With an easy to use content calendar, monitoring  conversations and interacting with your audience becomes manageable in real time.

Pricing

Custom pricing plans, which could mean negotiable rates depending on what you need.

Added Benefits
  • Easily manage all social media presence, from Pinterest to Glassdoor, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and so on.
  • Monitors key metrics to measure success of campaigns
  • Customizable features for advanced users
Drawbacks
  • It is not geared to non-enterprise customers
  • Costs are determined on a case-by-case basis based on needs

Back to top

Social Clout as a competitive Hootsuite Alternative

social clout web image

This social media management tool is help for maintaining a social presence for brands focused on audience engagement and analysis. This is useful for getting the most out of your social efforts as a small business, making digital marketing reports for social media easier to communicate. This can help simplify business objectives and make better campaign decisions.

Social Cloud is an excellent Hootsuite alternative for tracking conversations and maintaining outstanding relationships with all your customers and key influencers online.

The real-time feedback can be helpful for customer service issues and help build better business strategies for the evolution of your brand. It also enables you to monitor keywords used by your customers to determine an audience’s opinion about your products, brand, business and marketing efforts.

An affordable alternative to Hootsuite, Social Clout is a service we would recommend to any team working for a small business.

Pricing
  • Starter – around $49.00 per month
  • Enterprise – custom quote based on service requirements
Added Benefits
  • You can use the Starter paid plan for free for the first 30 days to compare against Hootsuite.
  • You can manage all the major social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest.
  • Engagement workflow to pitch and engage detractors, prevent customer service and PR disasters
  • Keyword search and competition analysis
Drawbacks
  • It is not as detailed and comprehensive as other tools in the market.
  • The free version is limited, and it is not as large or reputable of a company as Hootsuite.

Back to top

EDGAR as a Underdog Alternative

edgar_hootsuite-alternative

Edgar is a social media scheduling tool like no other. Instead of publishing your updates just once and throwing them away like yesterday’s rubbish, it carefully catalogues them in a limitless library that you build over time. Use Edgar to get more mileage out of every update.

With this tool, all of your updates are sorted into categories that you create and published on a schedule that you choose, so Edgar publishes what you want, when you want it. No manual scheduling, no busywork, and no hassle – just the peace of mind!

After Edgar publishes every update in a category, it simply pulls more from your library. You never run out of messages in your queue, and your handcrafted updates get the chance to be seen, shared, and loved by brand new people.

Pricing
  • Starter – around $49.00 per month
  • Enterprise – custom quote based on service requirements
Added Benefits
  • You can use the Starter paid plan for free for the first 30 days to compare against Hootsuite.
  • You can manage all the major social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest.
  • Engagement workflow to pitch and engage detractors, prevent customer service and PR disasters
  • Keyword search and competition analysis
Drawbacks
  • It is not as detailed and comprehensive as other tools in the market.
  • The free version is limited, and it is not as large or reputable of a company as Hootsuite.

Back to top

SproutSocial as a Management Alternative

sprout-hootsuite-alternative

SproutSocial is a social media management tool created to help businesses find new customers and grow their social media presence. This is an engagement management tool that helps businesses provide exceptional consumer experiences across social networks.

SproutSocial is one of the best Hootsuite alternatives you can use to manage your business social media. In fact, it’s 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). No doubt about it, Sprout Social is one of the most popular social media dashboards for social media enthusiast and agencies. But the fact is that there is no free account(though they offer a free trial) making it difficult for small businesses to use the tool.

Pricing
  • Starter – around $49.00 per month
  • Enterprise – custom quote based on service requirements
Added Benefits
  • You can use the Starter paid plan for free for the first 30 days to compare against Hootsuite.
  • You can manage all the major social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest.
  • Engagement workflow to pitch and engage detractors, prevent customer service and PR disasters
  • Keyword search and competition analysis
Drawbacks
  • It is not as detailed and comprehensive as other tools in the market.
  • The free version is limited, and it is not as large or reputable of a company as Hootsuite.

Back to top

Ocktopost as an Aggressive Alternative

oktopost-hootsuite-alternative

Oktopost is a social media management tool designed to publish social messages, converse with prospects and generate leads. It’s an tool primarily built for Business to Business (B2B) marketing. It helps you bridge the gap between social media and lead generation.

Oktopost supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (profiles, company pages and groups) and Google+. It allows 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 $49/mth to $249/mth.

Pricing
  • Starter – around $49.00 per month
  • Enterprise – custom quote based on service requirements
Added Benefits
  • You can use the Starter paid plan for free for the first 30 days to compare against Hootsuite.
  • You can manage all the major social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest.
  • Engagement workflow to pitch and engage detractors, prevent customer service and PR disasters
  • Keyword search and competition analysis
Drawbacks
  • It is not as detailed and comprehensive as other tools in the market.
  • The free version is limited, and it is not as large or reputable of a company as Hootsuite.

Back to top

AgoraPulse as a Multiple Management Alternative

agora-pulse-hootsuite-alternatives

AgoraPulse is one of the best and most powerful social media management tools out there today. AgoraPulse integrates with Twitter and Facebook pages (with Instagram coming soon).

One of the big advantages in using the tool is that you can add and manage unlimited team members. It synchronises Facebook page roles and you can even add custom roles to give custom rights to each team member. There are different plans, but this is based on the number of social networks you want to manage.

This tool aims to offer enterprise level features at a much lower cost. The $29/mth plan allows you to manage 1 Twitter profile and 1 Facebook page where as the $99/mth plan allows you to manage up to 5 Facebook pages and 5 Twitter profiles- all with unlimited team members.

Pricing
  • Starter – around $49.00 per month
  • Enterprise – custom quote based on service requirements
Added Benefits
  • You can use the Starter paid plan for free for the first 30 days to compare against Hootsuite.
  • You can manage all the major social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest.
  • Engagement workflow to pitch and engage detractors, prevent customer service and PR disasters
  • Keyword search and competition analysis
Drawbacks
  • It is not as detailed and comprehensive as other tools in the market.
  • The free version is limited, and it is not as large or reputable of a company as Hootsuite.

Back to top

SOCIALOOMPH AS A BUDGET TIGHT ALTERNATIVE FOR HOOTSUITE

 social-oomph

This tool is focused on effective management strategies of Twitter. For budget restricted businesses who are too shy to invest, SocialOomph offers a range of professional social media management features such as:

  • Keyword searches,
  • Following accounts who follow you.
  • Schedule posts, monitor social media activities
  • Track mentions, retweets
  • Schedule blog posts
Pricing

SocialOomph gives you the opportunity to get several SMM services for free but eventually you will want to buy services to get full functionality Payments are cheaper than competitors, starting at 17.97 every 2 weeks after a 7 day trial period. They have flexible payment structures to cater for different productivity services required by your business.

Added Benefits
  • Affordable management of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and more. In addition, you can manage Tumblr, RSS feeds, etc.
  • Manage unlimited accounts on free plan.
  • Advanced mail (Direct Messages) management for cleaning up brand accounts
Drawbacks
  • Primarily a Twitter alternative tool for small budgets. Not effective for enterprise solutions.

Upgrading with an Agency

If you can afford the leap, the most hassle free way to eliminate social media marketing issues is by hiring a competent agency that has access to tools and resources. At Lion Eater we offer competitive rates for social media management, consulting, as well as training for teams. Contact us today and we can guide you through one of our winning strategies.

 

Back to top