Hootsuite is a social media management tool many small businesses use to manage multiple social media channels from one platform. I’ve been a social media manager for a few years now and I rely on management tools to keep my workload organised. I use them to schedule posts and add photos or videos, monitor mentions, followers and direct messages as well as some aspects of measuring results and reporting. There are so many platforms such with similar features so this article is a detailed review of some pros and cons of Hootsuite.
Hootsuite was created by Ryan Holmes in 2008 and is one of the most widely used platforms for managing social media. It is a third party tool designed to collate your social media account streams all into one dashboard. The system supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google Plus, WordPress and YouTube. You can also add additional integrations such as Reddit MailChimp, Storify,Tumblr via the Hootsuite’s App Directory.
Pros of Hootsuite
Let’s start with reputation, if you’re anything like me then much of your buying behaviour is based on recommendations. If I know a product works well for many then there’s a good chance it will work well for me. Since Hootsuite is the most commonly used tools for social media management I was happy to try it. There’s very little risk to getting up and running as anyone can register and create a new account for free which is great. This means you can start by managing a few accounts before you commit to any purchase. Depending on the level of the account you have you can manage between 3 and 50 different companies without having to log into each social media account individually.
You also have a team management feature which allows multiple people from your organisation to manage the same accounts, this way to can keep track and delegate work to different members of your team. For example, managers (or the administrator) can allocate lists of tasks to another team member and avoid the issue of duplicating or confusing any tasks.
Social media dashboard
Another cool feature is the dashboard that allows you to view all the activity from your different channels and post to all of them from one place. I love the fact that you have a number of streams you can choose from such as who’s mentioned you, messaged you, retweeted or liked your posts. You can even search for specific user to see what they’re saying and engage with them using the same tool.
I really like the scheduling tool, you can schedule the exact time and date you want your post to be published and preview your calendar at the same time you can also use the Autoschedule tool which lets Hootsuite determine the optimum time of day you post should go out.
If you want to make the most of your social media a efforts then its vital to monitor your analytics. Hootsuite provides various levels of reporting from the free offering that gives you a basic overview of your social media stats to the Pro plan that gives you more detailed insight. The reporting tool works in the from of points, which you have to buy as separately for each report you order.
Cons of Hootsuite
Firstly, be aware that costs might start to add up, especially with the reporting tool. You get two free reports with the free service but if you’re looking for more detailed insight then you’re most likely to require points to purchase these. Most of the reports are worth 49 points ($50.00) each, I’ve been burned by this a couple times and if you’re not careful you can end up with a huge bill you weren’t ready for – super annoying! In my experience smaller businesses find the reporting to be quite pricey, but if you have the budget Hootsuite’s monitoring can be extremely useful. Also the pro account allows you only two team members and each additional member is at an extra cost, please do check out the pricing of theses features here to get a better idea of how much you will need and how much you’re prepared to pay.
Also bear in mine that Facebook’s algorithms doesn’t always integrate well with third party software like Hootsuite, meaning the success of the post may be altered due ti the where the content was originally posted. Its very likely Facebook will not show posts published via Hootsuite to as many people as post published straight Facebook. Many users have pointed this out, so if this might be a concern for you, you may want to balance how any posts you schedule through Hootsuite and how many posts you publish directly.
As mentioned Hootsuite has various levels of pricing, if you’re looking to manage 1 or 2 individual accounts and are not that concerned about reports and analytics then the free, basic version should be fine. Before I became a full time social media manager I was using the free service for a number of years without to fuss. However, for larger companies, agencies or those managers multiple accounts then you are likely to need wither the pro or business version. Below is a screenshot of the pricing plans and what Hootsuite offers.
Hootsuite is so comprehensive so be prepare to be somewhat overwhelmed at first if you’re not used to the dashboard. A lot of small business owners may find they won’t use many of their features and with the steep learning curb I would recommend this software to someone willing to take the time to learn how to get the most out of it. It’s a product I can definitely rely on to do the job it says and has an amazing help desk to support you with almost every issue you may have. I have had to contact them on a number of occasions and I’ve always been satisfied with their service.
Alternatives to Hootsuite
What do you think of Hootsuite? Do you agree or disagree? Leave your comments and questions below and feel free to let us know what you think.Follow us on social media