Social media tools Hootsuite vs Sprout Social
Managing social media is becoming one of those things every business has to do. The question is how do you manage it effectively without it taking all your time. Hootsuite vs Sprout Social a review of the tools to manage your social media.
The first step in managing it is to have a plan. If you do not have a social media strategy in place it does not matter how well you manage it, you will not get any traction with social media.
This post is not about developing your social media strategy, that would take a whole post in itself. I read a great post today “The Fractured Foundation of Social Business” which highlights the problems when you go into something without a strategy.
Let’s assume you have your social media strategy in place, now how do you manage it? Here is a review of Hootsuite vs Sprout Social two of the tools that we know and use.
Want to know what is in the future for Sprout Social? Check out our Interview with Nate Turner from Sprout Social.
Hootsuite Social Media Tools for Business (affiliate link)
Price: $5.99/month they also have a Free plan
One of the most popular tools used right now, it was one of the first tools that allowed you to manage multiple social media accounts. This is great if you have multiple accounts or an agency managing social media for clients.
Hootsuite Features at a glance
- Dashboard – Hub of what is happening on the networks
- Multiple Networks – Yes one place for it all Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.
- Custom Analytics – If you have your social media strategy in place you need to track the progress so you know how it’s working
- Team Collaboration – Great if you are working with more than one person
- Scheduled messages – Let’s face it you can not be on all the time. Scheduled messages are a must to get your message out when eyeballs are on the screen.
- Automated Reports – This is nice once a week my analytics report rolls into my inbox for review
- RSS Integration – great to be able to auto-post from your blog or a blog you may follow.
- Custom Links – built-in url shortening that help track your clicks
That is just some of the features of the professional version, they do have an enterprise version with more features and secure profiles etc.
Ease of use: 3.5/5 Some people find the scrolling and tabs a bit confusing
Effectiveness: 5/5 Great tool for following different search terms, keywords etc.
Ideal User: Business with more that one team member. If you are a single user you might find Sprout Social to your liking.
Overall Rating: 4/5 I think this is to much of a tool for one person show. Lots of features however to many things for some users and that is why it is a 4/5
Price: $9/month for the Pro version $49 bucks for the Business
New post on the updated post on Sprout Social S2
Now, this tool looks great, that is the first impression that I like about it, visually it is more appealing and makes it a little easier to navigate. I know that Hootsuite vs Sprout Social should not just be about looks so I will highlight some features below.
This is a new tool in the social media space but from our experience they are working hard to deliver a good application. The biggest drawback I see right now is it does not support any team features.
Sprout Social Features at a glance
- Dashboard – great overview of what is happening
- Social Media Inbox – a different approach than HootSuite as it uses an inbox to track incoming and outgoing message
- Multiple Accounts – Supports Twitter, Facebook, Facebook pages, LinkedIn and if you go for the Business version it has Foursquare and Gowalla check-ins.
- Bit.ly Support – If you use Bit.ly to track your short links this is a nice feature.
- RSS Integration – Just like Hootsuite however in the pro plan you are limited to 5 feeds
- Scheduled Post – Important!
- Influence and Engagement – Tracks your influence and engagement scores, however like Klout scores I think we need to take this with a grain of salt.
Ease of use: 5/5 Clean design, makes it easy to use.
Effectiveness: 3.5/5 because everything is in one panel I find it a little hard to drill down to what I am watching for.
Ideal User: Business or single person that wants a portal to manage their main social networks. Because it does not have any team features yet, I am told they are working on it, it does not fit that great for a business with more than one person managing social media.
Overall Rating: 4/5 This is a great tool, just a little too hard to follow messages compared to the tab design in Hootsuite.
What do we use?
Hootsuite vs Sprout Social what do we use? We have played with both, currently, we use both, I use Hootsuite and Allie who does a large part of our social media uses Sprout Social. This is not ideal, being that there is just two of us doing the social media here at DMG it works.