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Hootsuite and Buffer are few of several simple web applications that allows you to schedule social media posts across a variety of popular social networks -Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google + and LinkedIn, Foursquare, WordPress and Mixi accounts.
HootSuite is among the best to streamline sharing for users who can conserve precious tab space by connecting their accounts at several social networks under the HootSuite umbrella, and take advantage of the convenient scheduling feature.
Buffer is a stripped down version of other popular social media management tools like TweetDeck and HootSuite and it focuses mainly on post scheduling.
Hootsuite focuses on general social media management which includes scheduling, engaging and monitoring while Buffer simply focuses more on the message scheduling side of things.
Here we highlight and compare the unique and common features available on HootSuite and Buffer and check them under categories such as the basic organization of the App, methods of Posting available on their app, their mobile version, in-built security features and comparison of Plans.
#1 Network support (HootSuite VS Buffer)
HootSuite offers direct support for social networks for Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, WordPress and Mixi and its Apps feature puts Gmail, YouTube, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr and others in your streams. There are free options for your convenience, including Evernote, Reddit and MailChimp and for some others, there is a charge (such as Gmail and Statigram). HootSuite provides for a simple way to condense the number of separate websites you check regularly.
Under HootSuite, the networks connected to your HootSuite account are displayed. From here you can add the networks and select the streams you’d like to monitor, such as your timeline, mentions and scheduled tweets. The stream options may vary for each network (for example, Facebook’s options include News Feed, statuses, events and Wall posts).
HootSuite is optimized for managing Twitter accounts though you can also post to your personal Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, as well as to pages and groups of which you’re a member or administrator. In HootSuite, there is a search option to create a stream for a specific hashtag or to get involved in a Twitter chat.
You can search for the latest happenings on Twitter with “Quick Search” which will also reveal what is currently trending worldwide.
Buffer doesn’t have Instagram integration into the platform. Buffer offers you connecting to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and App.net. There are no monitoring tools for mentions, searches and hashtags on Buffer so you’ll have to monitor these from another tool or through the networks themselves.
#2 Posting to Your Networks (HootSuite VS Buffer)
HootSuite’s most social media manager-friendly tool is Scheduling, allowing you plan ahead and keep your account actively engaged. A very powerful scheduling functionality is the true defining criterion of Hootsuite versus all other social media management solutions.
HootSuite has another social media friendly tool — a link shortener. HootSuite’s native link shortener also track metrics on posted links where you can create reports for specific accounts and observe engagement, clicks and aggregate data.
Buffer HYPESocial connects your WordPress site to Buffer app and allows you to automatically share/re-share your old and new Posts/Pages/Custom Post Types to all major Social Media Networks from your WordPress.
Tailwind for Pinterest
Buffer allows you to share and schedule on Pinterest through a third-party app called Tailwind, which is a paid application ($9.99 per month).
Buffer has a free image creation tool called Pablo that can help you create social media images for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ very quickly.
#3 Apps and Extensions (HootSuite VS Buffer)
Through HootLet which is available for both Chrome and FireFox, you can post directly from a web page or twitter. Buffer also comes with Chrome extension requiring Google Chrome to install most apps, extensions and themes.
Buffer gives you the power of integrating with 1000 other apps on Zapier – it’s the easiest way to automate your work allowing Push content from over 400+ other apps to Buffer automatically.
Many “social share” plugins for blogs have a native “share via Buffer” button integrated into them. For example, Sumo Share natively integrates Buffer into their share options, a feature you will not find for Hootsuite.
#4 Security (HootSuite VS Buffer)
There is an increasing trend in most social networks towards stepping up their security game, such as Twitter’s recent two-step authentication, and HootSuite is no different.
HootSuite lets authentication after login through Google, Yahoo, Open ID, Facebook and Mixi to make your social account inaccessible to someone who cracked your password.
Buffer Publish also has a feature called Social Sign-In, which allows you to quickly log into and out of your account via your Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn account.
#5 Mobile-Friendly (HootSuite VS Buffer)
HootSuite has mobile app for both iOS and Android users. It is almost similar to the web app’s use of simple categories and tabs to keep everything organized. The mobile app is perfect for checking on your accounts with almost all the same functionality and customization while on the go.
HootSuite is ideal for all social media lovers, from community managers, to power-users, to casual tweeters.
Buffer also has dedicated mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices so you can easily add content from a mobile web browser or app.
#6 Pricing (HootSuite VS Buffer)
Hootsuite offers a free plan that supports 3 social profiles with basic functionality such as schedule updates, publish a status update to your different platforms or even see basic analytics.
Pro plan – You can link 50 different social media profiles and one team member included for $119.88 per year (equivalent to $9.99 per month) or $14.99 per month (if paying monthly). There are ‘Business’ and ‘Enterprise’ plans that offer more social profiles and additional features like social media certification, 24/7 priority support, and custom set-up and training.
Buffer’s plans include Individual (Free).- 10 posts at a time.
A Pro plan at $15 – 8 social accounts and 100 scheduled posts per account.
Large business plan – $400 a month gives you up to 150 social accounts, 2000 scheduled posts per account and 25 team members.
HootSuite initially limits each tab to only three streams for the free accounts. Streams are so easily closed, reopened and refreshed that the initial limit is not so much a limiting factor. Buffer’s free version limits the number of accounts you can link, but also the number of updates you can post. Thus its free version is less useful than the free version of the Hootsuite.
HootSuite vs. Buffer: Recommendations
For medium to enterprise users – Hootsuite.
For small business users – Buffer.
For customer support teams – Buffer.
With their new Reply solution, Buffer takes the lead and edge over HootSuite in enabling customer support teams to provide support via social media channels.