Hootsuite is one of the most famous names in the social media world. If you have any interest in tracking and analytics using SEO tools, this is one of the best options to use, and it’s been around since 2008, so it’s honed nicely over the years.
The current incarnation allows you to manage multiple social media accounts, all from one interface that allows for quick and easy management. It can be called upon to schedule content for the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest plus LinkedIn and YouTube, while composing tweets is a cinch too.
There is a limited free plan that you can get started with and explore its potential, but the real strength of Hootsuite lies in its paid plans, detailed below.
Subscriptions and Prices
Hootsuite has something to offer to all types of social media managers and in every business environment. There is a free subscription available for those with simple needs or anyone with little or no social media budget to play with. However, if you want to boost your social media activities, it’s wise to head in the direction of a Professional subscriptionwith prices starting from $49 per month.
A Team plan option costs $129 per month, while the beefy Business package costs $739 per month, but delivers hefty performance. Those with more specific needs should also Company Edition from Hootsuite. In the meantime, get started with a 30-day trial if you just want to see what’s on offer on any of the plans.
It also has the benefit of allowing business users to manage team access and roles using permissions. In fact, it is possible to assign messages and/or comments to team members to spread the workload. However, those with more muscular social media requirements will prefer the Business edition which comes with a capacity of 5 users, 35 social accounts, the same team options as above plus expanded functionality thanks to a range of premium apps.
As is the case with any software program or service, the free edition of Hootsuite offers far fewer features and functions compared to the paid plans. So while you get a limited number of social media management tools, you’ll really want to head towards one of the paid plans described above to see what Hootsuite can really do for your business fortunes.
While many people still rave about Hootsuite, it tends to have its detractors. A common point of contention for some is the way the Hootsuite interface looks, feels and behaves. It has improved over the years and the latest edition may be the best yet, but it may be an acquired taste.
Nevertheless, setting up a Hootsuite account is easy with an email and password combination to get started. Once you’re in the interface, adding social networks is a slick procedure and they can be managed through a central dashboard. This also provides a full range of tools for monitoring and managing any social network. A real perk is the ability to integrate any of over 150 apps into your workspace, further enhancing Hootsuite’s appeal.
The Professional plan gives you one user account, ten social accounts, the ability to schedule unlimited messages, and you can access messages in one inbox. There is also the option to schedule messages in advance and queue multiple messages at once. A sturdier option is the Team package, which offers 3 users, 20 social accounts and the ability to schedule unlimited messages, along with the option to open messages in one inbox.
There’s a whole area within Hootsuite to tackle analytics, especially if you’ve opted for a sturdier package with all the bells and whistles. Depending on your package, you’ll be given options to take a deep dive into your social media stats, which can then all be compiled and primed for detailed reporting.
If you’re looking for data to report to bosses, Hootsuite is great, especially in the way it can do a lot of this using graphics. Pro users will really appreciate the quality and power of the reporting potential in the more expensive editions. You’ll struggle to get that same impressive reporting in the cheap and cheerful editions, so it’s always worth considering an upgrade if quality reporting is an essential requirement.
Interface and in use
With that central dashboard at your disposal, Hootsuite is a breeze to manage, even if you work with multiple accounts. There are some quirks, which may not suit everyone’s taste, but the platform feels stable overall. The business plan is a good choice if you have employees who can feel the benefit of the 24/7 priority support that is part of the package.
There’s a lot more to the interface than meets the eye, with great integration with Dropbox and Google Drive, providing a more seamless experience for busy social media managers. The software can also be used in combination with many of Microsoft’s business apps, making it especially attractive to business users.
As mentioned above, you really want to invest in the Business Plan option if you feel that yourself or your staff using the system will need 24/7 support. That may cost a little more, but keeping staff going if they get stuck along the way is often worth a little more.
Hootsuite also has a dedicated help center that is a good place to start if you’re looking for help with the package. Unsurprisingly, some of the best ways to contact support involve using social media, including Facebook and Twitter.
Not everyone will want all the extra functionality offered by a business edition of Hootsuite. There are plenty of social media alternatives out there though, with SocialPilot, Buffer, eClincher, Sendible, Statusbrew, Loomly, and Zoho Social all being perfectly decent competitors worth considering.
Hootsuite continues to appeal to all levels of social media executives, although anyone on the lower end of the business spectrum will find the basic edition a little too spartan. You’ll enjoy the beefier plans more, though, with an Enterprise edition that includes everything needed to meet the social media requirements for businesses of all shapes and sizes.