Hootsuite is one of the best-known names in the world of social media. If you’ve got any kind of interest in tracking and analytics using SEO tools (opens in new tab) then it is one of the best options you can use, plus it’s been around since 2008, so has been nicely honed over the years.
The current incarnation lets you manage multiple social media accounts, all from within one interface that allows quick and easy administration. It can be called upon to schedule content for the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest plus LinkedIn and YouTube too, while lining up tweets is a doddle too.
- Sign up for a Hootsuite plan (opens in new tab)
There’s a limited free plan that’ll help you get started and explore its potential, but the real power of Hootsuite lies in its paid-for plans, which are outlined below.
Plans and Pricing
Hootsuite has something to offer all sorts of social media managers and in any kind of business environment. There’s a free plan (opens in new tab) available for those with simple needs or anyone with little or no social media budget to play with. However, if you’re looking to boost your social media activities you’ll be wise to head in the direction of a Professional plan (opens in new tab), with prices that start from $49 per month.
A Team plan (opens in new tab) option costs $129 per month while the beefy Business package (opens in new tab) costs $739 per month but delivers hefty performance. Those with more specific needs should also investigate the Enterprise edition (opens in new tab) of Hootsuite. Meanwhile, get started with a 30-trial if you just want to see what’s on offer on any of the plans.
This one also has the benefit of letting business uses manage team access and roles, using permissions. Better still it’s possible to assign posts and/or comments to team members to help spread the workload. However, those with more muscular social media requirements will prefer the Business edition that comes with a 5 user capacity, 35 social accounts, the same team options as above plus extended functionality thanks to an array of premium apps.
As is the case with any software program or service, the free edition of Hootsuite will offer much less in the way of features and functions compared to the paid-for plans. So while you’ll get a limited array of social media management tools, you’ll really want to head in the direction of one of the paid-for plans outlined above to see what Hootsuite can really do for your business fortunes.
While many people still enthuse about Hootsuite it does tend to have its detractors. A frequent bone of contention for some is the way the Hootsuite interface looks, feels and behaves. It’s been improved over the years and the latest edition is perhaps the best to date, but it can be an acquired taste.
Nevertheless, setting up a Hootsuite account is easy using an email and password combination to get going. Once you're into the interface, adding social networks is a slick procedure and these can be managed via a central dashboard. This also offers up a full range of tools for monitoring and managing each social network. A real benefit is the ability to integrate any one of over 150 apps into your workspace, which further boosts the appeal of Hootsuite.
The Professional plan gets you one user account, ten social accounts, the ability to schedule unlimited posts and you can access messages in one inbox. There’s also the option of scheduling posts in advance as well as queuing up multiple posts at a time. A beefier option is the Team package, which offers 3 users, 20 social accounts and the ability to schedule unlimited posts, along with the option to access message in one inbox.
There’s a whole area within Hootsuite that will let you tackle analytics, especially if you’ve gone for a beefier package with all the bells and whistles. Depending on your package you will get options for taking a deep dive into your social media stats, all of which can subsequently be compiled and readied for detailed reporting.
If you’re looking for data to report back to bosses with then Hootsuite is great, especially in the way it can do much of this using graphics. Pro users will really appreciate the quality and power of the reporting potential in the higher-end 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 reports are an essential requirement.
Interface and in Use
Having that central dashboard at your disposal makes Hootsuite a breeze to administer, even if you’re working with multiple accounts. There are some quirks, which may not suite everyone’s taste, but the platform feels stable on the whole. The Business plan is a good one to chose if you have staff members who might feel the benefit of the 24/7 priority support that comes as part of the package.
There's a lot more to the interface than initially meets the eye too, with some great integration with the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive, which offers a more seamless experience for busy social media executives. The software can also be used in conjunction with many of the Microsoft business apps too, which adds additional appeal especially to corporate users.
As mentioned above, you'll really want to invest in the Business plan option if you think either yourself or your staff using the system will need the benefit of 24/7 support. That may mean more of an outlay, but to keep staff going if they get stuck along the way is often worth a little more expenditure.
Hootsuite also has a dedicated help center that makes a good place to start if you’re looking for assistance with the package. Unsurprisingly, some of the best ways to contact support involve using social media means including Facebook and Twitter.
Not everyone will want all of the extra functionality provided by a business-focused edition of Hootsuite. There are plenty of alternatives in the social media arena however, with the likes of SocialPilot, Buffer, eClincher, Sendible, Statusbrew, Loomly and Zoho Social all being perfectly decent competitors worth considering.
Hootsuite continues to have plenty of appeal to all levels of social media managers, though anyone at the lower end of the business spectrum will find it’s basic edition a little too spartan. You’ll get more joy with the beefier plans though, with an Enterprise edition packing in everything needed to take care of social media requirements for companies of all shapes and sizes.
- You can signup to Hootsuite here (opens in new tab).