Must Have Tools in Social Media Marketing: Hootsuite vs Sprout Social

hootsuiteThe first must have tool if you use social media marketing is Hootsuite.  By far and away, Hootsuite is the most useful platform to keep all of your social media accounts organized, to schedule posts, and to monitor those who interact with you.  According to Pingdom.com, over 10 million people use Hootsuite including some of the biggest brands in the world such as IBM, Gap, Tiffany&Co, and Ebay.

Hootsuite allows you to organize all of our social media platforms including:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • WordPress blog and more

In this single platform, you can:

  • Write and schedule your posts
  • Publish your posts to your accounts- any or all of them
  • Monitor what people are saying about you
  • Reply directly to your followers
  • Have multiple logins under one account
  • Easy access from a desktop or mobile app
  • Access analytics that give you weekly likes, mentions, clicks and most popular posts

Here is a snapshot of what my Hootsuite dashboard looks like.  It may look a little daunting but trust me, after a little practice, it will soon become your social media go-to and organizational calendar.

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Hootsuite has a number of different pricing packages that work for both individuals and businesses.  There are plans that are free, and Pro starting at $9.99 and go up in price depending on how many users needed to access one account.  People can sign up for the free account and link up to three accounts.  For all the organization lovers (like me) out there- Hootsuite is for you!

Sprout Social integrates all the social media platforms Hootsuite does and has many of the same features including:

  • organizational abilities
  • monitoring
  • publishing and scheduling
  • multiple accounts

Sprout Social has great usability and a really easy interface to use.  For social media newbie’s- this a superior platform to use.  The downside is their price point is higher than Hootsuite, at $99.00 a month.  For agencies looking to manage clients’ social media, Sprout Social is the way to go.  They offer a scalable platform that allows an agency to manage hundreds of accounts.  Sprout Social also offers an account management team that can assist with training and support 24/7.  This platform also has a robust analytics capability that allows a user to track engagement, hashtags, influencers, keywords and integrates Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Twitter Reports, and Instagram Analytics.  You can also create custom reports in analytics to share with people in your organization or clients.

Here is what the dashboard in Sprout Social analytics looks like:

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Choosing to use Hootsuite or Sprout Social really depends on the user’s needs.  Some users may even use both.  I use Hootsuite for both my personal use and for the company I work for but- I don’t have that many accounts to manage and have limited budget.  If I had more accounts and a bigger budget, I would most likely try out Sprout Social- the custom analytics tool looks amazing! Follow my blog and Twitter at @Sara_Given for more info on Social Media Marketing.

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