Hootsuite vs. Buffer

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Hootsuite vs. Buffer
Hootsuite vs. Buffer

Hootsuite, a social media management giant, was developed by Ryan Holmes in 2008. It was founded in Vancouver, Canada, where it is headquartered. Till date, there are more than 10 million users worldwide and spans across 175 countries.

Buffer, although a newbie in social media management, has clucked up 2 million users, since 2010, when it was founded. It was designed by group of European expats headed by Joel Gascoigne and Leo Wildrich in San Francisco.

Ease of Use – Hootsuite vs. Buffer

Buffer has enough of features, but still, has only those which are important enough. The user is able to add RSS feeds from saved blogs directly and also share the content with ease. Any analytical data can be simply refreshed with a single click. There are loads of keyboard shortcuts to fasten the processes.

In Hootsuite, one can easily create tasks and collaborate with team members straight from the work stream. Numerous streams can be viewed at the same time, thus reducing time taken to toggle between pages.

Reliability – Hootsuite vs. Buffer

Buffer is more mobile optimized compared to Hootsuite. Support and help is available over phone and chat. They treat every customer’s tweets, replies, comments etc. anywhere across the web very “happily”.

There are loads of questionnaires and FAQs available at Hootsuite. One may have to consult numerous help documents online or even visit the Hootsuite University to get more sense out of dashboards.

Hootsuite comes in with a very large support team though, which supports over phone, email, chat and the like.

Speed – Hootsuite vs. Buffer

It takes lesser time in Buffer in connecting with social pages and letting the user stick to the business straightaway. Content can be brought in from various sources at a single place. Moreover, extensions are available for Google Chrome and Safari.

Hootsuite also has the same speed in placing all the reports and contents at one table. It has a Hootlet extension for Chrome, Firefox, Safari as well as Internet Explorer. Users can create paid ad campaigns by not moving from their dashboards.

Features – Hootsuite vs. Buffer

Cloud has been a bandwagon in creating customer controls for organisations and more importantly for start-ups. Both Hootsuite and Buffer have done a tremendous job in collating all the information about a business in the social realm and serving analytics on the management’s table. One look and you are through.

The most amazing of the features is Scheduling. The auto-scheduler in Hootsuite is by far, the touchstone for measurement across any social management system.

The maximum character for a tweet is 140. As soon as you touch 140, Hootsuite will automatically break your tweet and will not allow you to continue further. This may make your tweet look incomplete. The auto-scheduler also selects an optimal impact time, self-judging, when your post can reach maximum people.

There is a manual scheduler as well. Users can upload around 350 scheduled messages vide a CSV file.

In buffer, no such auto-scheduler exists. Although it does come in with a manual or a custom schedule wherein users can set up tweets at designated times. Coupled with its Chrome Extension, it becomes easier and faster, to schedule posts or tweets.

It can check upto 5,000 of your previous interactions to find the optimal time to engage with the masses. Image sharing is a major boon for Buffer. User can easily schedule retweets by uploading it or right clicking on the picture in your browser or by re-tweeting someone else’s image.

These tweets will come up as an embedded pic.twitter image, when link shortening is turned off, else, they will pop up as bit.ly image only. Hootsuite does not support the above-mentioned actions, i.e. it does not support link shortening for images.

The images uploaded or shared across Hootsuite may retain its original size and not expand or contract based on recipient platform.

upto 5,000 of your previous interactions to find the optimal time to engage with the masses. Image sharing is a major boon for Buffer. User can easily schedule retweets by uploading it or right clicking on the picture in your browser or by re-tweeting someone else’s image.

These tweets will come up as an embedded pic.twitter image, when link shortening is turned off, else, they will pop up as bit.ly image only. Hootsuite does not support the above-mentioned actions, i.e. it does not support link shortening for images.

The images uploaded or shared across Hootsuite may retain its original size and not expand or contract based on recipient platform.

Hootsuite has the ability to create multiple streams, allowing users to monitor various sources in the internet at once. Wherever your company or brand has been mentioned, it has the ability to pinpoint the traffic.

It also comes with an out of the box keyword search facility that can fetch traffic from hashtags, mentions, geo-locations and what not. Buffer loses out big time as it misses out on this train. There is no such feature available; it has stuck to its scheduling factor very tightly.

You will also need a third party app to create a search stream. With analytics comes insight. Hootsuite has a wide variety of reports in its kitty. Pro version starts from $9.99 per month. The reports are downloadable and printable and support teamwork actions as well.

Buffer provides a classic version of reporting. The Awesome Plan comes at a price of $10 per month and can post analytics for a period of last 30 days. The number and complexity of reports increases with up gradation in plant.

Security – Hootsuite vs. Buffer

Hootsuite uses secured Public Key to keep message safe and secured. They have a team of security to take acknowledgement of your issues within 24 hours.

Even for the security team, data is accessed by SSH / Kerberos keys across all environments. Offending IP addresses are blocked as soon as they are in the firewalled network.

A first level GPG key encryption is required to confirm emails from Buffer. OAuth weaknesses are taken good care by its in-house technical team.

Summary – Hootsuite vs. Buffer

Each system has its own shortcomings and merits. The scheduling tool in Hootsuite is unbeatable. It has a wider reach in terms of listening to traffic anywhere in the web. It is not a low cost solution though; the full flexible flavour of the solution can be used at a price.

Buffer is a relatively new and budding competitor for Hootsuite. It is coming out with version releases with its new learnings. It has a clean User Interface and intuitive scheduling tool.

The weighing scale turns over to Hootsuite, with its large support team, stable solution and huge integration capabilities. We stick our neck for Buffer as well, but would need to wait for the time being, until stability arises.

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Shlomi holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Information system engineering from Ben Gurion University in Israel. Shlomi brings 10 years of IT and IS management experience in consulting, selecting and implementing information systems for small and global companies.

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