In our days social media is getting more and more important, and it also has a lethal affect on your SEO. If you want to get good ranking, you better take usage of social media. But, there are several dangers awaiting in the social media world. You can easily use tons of energy and time, with little or no results. That is why a social media tool can help you a lot and make you get much more effort and results from the time and energy you spend. But, what tool to use? In this article I will present to you the battle between HootSuite and Buffer!
Comparing the free versions
Both HootSuite and Buffer offer free versions of their social media services. That is great and it makes it easy to join and try it for yourself without taking any risk or paying any money. The biggest difference between the free services is that Buffer only allows you to add two social profiles to your free acount while HootSuite lets you add five social media profiles. That is quite a big difference. Let us say that you have a personal Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ profile that you would like to use regularly and to share to from a social media tool. With HootSuite you can get this all going using the free version, while BufferApp only lets you add two. After that you will have to pay. In other words, for many the free package from HootSuite can be enough for quite a lot, while the free version from Buffer is to little for almost anything (as we all have more than two social media profiles somehow).
Comparing HootSuite and BufferApp in action
If I were to give my wife a social media tool that would help her organize her social media profiles and post to all of them at the same time I would for sure give her BufferApp. As you visit the site for the first time it is so clean, easy and you simply get it at once. The first time I opened and used HootSuite I was overwhelmed by all the windows, possibilities and opportunities, that I felt like giving up a bit before I really got started. Luckily I did not give up, because after using it for thirty minutes I fell in love with the service and now I do not find it hard to use anymore, at all!
Sharing to your added social media profiles is very easy in both BufferApp and HootSuite. Just write, add images, add links and press share. You can schedule messages in both tools, so if you do not want to post your message or picture or URL at once, that can be scheuled easily with both tools. Adding social media profiles is also very easy in both, so that should not cause any challenge to anyone.
Is your social media work carrying fruits?
An easy way to find out if your social media work is carrying fruits is by checking how many people see your posts, like your posts, share your posts and click the links. Both BufferApp and HootSuite have different statistics available in their tools. The BufferApp statistics are very easy to use, so again this would be the tool I would recommend to my wife. After publishing something to for example Facebook you can easily see using Buffer how many people have seen your update, liked it, commented it and shared it. If you post to Twitter you can see the amount of potential viewers, amount of retweets, favorites and mentions easily. The same is a bit harder in HootSuite, but if you get into the analytics part of HootSuite you will soon fall in love with that as well. It is a bit more complicated to use, but here you can get much more detailed statistics and you can also get data from Google Analytics and add them to statistics. The most detailed reports cost extra money, but you can get beautiful statistics without paying any extra and they can be exported as PDF files, and then you can show then to people around you like a really professional display of your social media efforts.
On the right you can see a picture of such an exported file from HootSuite. These numbers are from October 2013 where I worked very little with this blog. It can be seen in the first graph that I got some new followers on Facebook, in the second graph it can be seen that there were no likes or interaction at all at the Facebook page of Business and Faith and the third graph shows amount of clicks on the links shared on social media. To be honest, quite devestating, meaning that at the moment I am not at all succesful in my social media work surrounding the Business and Faith blog. But, at least such a tool as HootSuite help me realize that, and maybe it will help me make some changes that will make future graphs and statistics look better. It does not get as detailed and nice looking in BufferApp, but the general statistics that most people are looking for are much easier to get. Just click the analytics button and the profile you are interested in, and you can see your latest posts and what kind of effect it has had on social media. Here you can see an example of what that might look like.
So, both tools has its charm. Buffer is much easier, but for detailed and nice looking reports that you can show to people around you and make them think how talented you are, HootSuite is a sure winner!
HootSuite and Buffer prices
As I mentioned you get to add 5 social media profiles to the free version of HootSuite and 2 social media profiles to the free version of Buffer. As soon as you grow and need to add more social media profiles you can upgrade your account. With BufferApp you can go Awesome (as they call it) for 10 USD a month and then you will be allowed to add 12 profiles in total. With HootSuite you can add 50 social media profiles as you go PRO and the prize is 9 USD a month. You can pay extra using HootSuite to add even more social media profiles later, you can pay more to get more advanced reports available, but in general the PRO package should be enough for most people (at least it is for me at the moment).
Which is my favorite? HootSuite or Buffer?
These were the very basic functions from both tools. If you have read through it all you might feel as if I am a big fan of HootSuite. If that is what you feel, then that feeling is true and can be trusted. Since I signed up for an account quite some months back in time I am using HootSuite almost every single day, and often several times a day, and it saves me incredible amounts of time. Another great thing is that I do not have to change between profiles and pages on Google+, Facebook and Twitter to post to different profiles, but I can post to wherever I want at the same time. BufferApp works great as well, but I feel as if that is more for those who want it to be easy and do not have many social media profiles.