Hootsuite Review: The Best Social Media Management Tool for Small Businesses

Can you find a social media management tool better than Hootsuite? Sprout Social is good, but it is a little bit too complex and give no chance to small business owners to use since it is a fully paid tool. Buffer can also be a candidate, but this tool doesn’t offer a full functionality as a social media management tool. Instead, it’s just a content publishing tool.

Hootsuite is the tool you are looking for if you need a tool to not only make scheduled posts but also interact with your social media account followers. Regardless your business scale, you will keep be able to use Hootsuite. Hootsuite has no specific target when it comes to business scale. Small businesses to enterprisse, all are allowed to use Hootsuite.

Hootsuite itself use the freemium business model. While you can use it for free, there are more features and capabilities you will get if you upgrade your account. If you haven’t used this tool before, let’s find out what are you can do with the tool.

Functionalities

One key thing you need to understand before using Hootsuite to manage your social media accounts. What kind of task you want to do regarding your social media accounts? Do you just want to make scheduled posts? Or do you need to make interactions with your followers?

Hootsuite is not the only social media management tool out there. There such similar freemium tools as Buffer and Everypost. Well, not entirely the same since Buffer and Everypost are basically content publishing tools instead of social media management. You can only use them to create scheduled posts, while Hootsuite offers more.

In addition to making scheduled posts, Hootsuite also allows you make interactions with your social media followers like replying Twitter mentions and so on. Hootsuite allows you to add columns (called Stream) to display specific activities and information. You can also use Hootsuite to track conversations using certain keywords. Simply put, Hootsuite has a full functionality as a social media management tool instead of a mere content publishing tool. Following is the glance look of Hootsuite.

Other interesting part about Hootsuite is that it comes with a tabbed interface which is very useful if you have to handle multiple social media accounts. The feature allows you to manage different social media accounts separately in the different tabs.

Supported social media platforms

Hootsuite is an evolving tool. On its initial release in 2008’s, Hootsuite only supported Twitter but you can add nearly all social media platforms by now. In addition to Twitter, Hootsuite also supports popular social media platforms like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and even Instagram. You can also even use Hootsuite to schedule your WordPress articles and YouTube videos. Even so, Hootsuite still far from perfect. There are some missed social platforms. Pinterest, for instance. It’s right that Pinterest is not as popular as Instagram, but is it bad to support it?

As a comparison, Buffer — one of the Hootsuite competitors — has supported Pinterest already, despite you have to upgrade your free account before being able to add your Pinterest account. But at least it gives Pinterest users a chance to schedule their pins.

Publishing and scheduling features

As a social media management tool, Hootsuite allows you to do a lot of things regarding the content publishing. Two major things you can do with Hootsuite regarding the content publishing: create scheduled posts and post the same content to multiple social media accounts at once. The content composer offered by Hootsuite is pretty easy to use. I am pretty sure you won’t meet any problem in using it.

The content composer allows you to attach image as well adding your location. Not much different to the native content composer offered by each social media platform. Want to shorten your link? Hootsuite offers four different URL shorteners you can choose from. There is no problem regarding the content publishing at all. Creating scheduled posts is also quite easy. While you can set your own publishing times, Hootsuite also offers AutoSchedule feature. Activating this feature meaning that you let Hootsuite to decide when your contents to be published. Useful enough if you have no idea the best hours to publish your contents.

Analytics features

In maximizing your social media channels, your job doesn’t stop on publishing content. You should also perform an analysis over their performance to find out which contents performed well and which ones that didn’t. To do so, Hootsuite offers analytics tool. Hootsuite itself uses third party analytics tools. For instance, if you want to analyze your Twitter performance, Hootsuite provides a tool from Twitter Counter. Other third party analytics tools offered by Hootsuite is Google Analytics which allows you to get analytics data about your social traffic. In Hootsuite, you can perform an analysis for each social media account separately.

Converting the analytics reports is also possible for a further analysis. Hootsuite allows you to convert the analytics report in either PDF or CSV file.

Teamwork capability

Hootsuite is a great tool to manage the social media accounts of your own business. In addition, you can also use it to manage the social media accounts of someone else’s businesses. If you have too many social media accounts to handle, Hootsuite makes it possible for you to add collaborators. The teamwork capability offered by Hootsuite will be so much useful if you are working for a social media agency firm. When adding new collaborators, it’s unnecessary to disclose the password of the social media accounts your are handling since you can invite as well as authorize them via email.

Regarding the teamwork capability, Hootsuite comes with granular options for user permissions, letting you set custom permissions and roles by organisation, teams and members. However, the teamwork feature is only available for paid version.

Free version vs paid version

Once again, Hootsuite is a freemium tool. You can use it for free for as long as you want. However, you have to work with some restrictions if you stick to your free account. One of which, you can only create the maximum of 30 scheduled posts. The number of social media accounts you can add is also limited to 10. Some features, like real-time analytics, are also available for premium version only. Hootsuite offers 4 premium packages with the cheapest package costs $19 per month. The higher the package you choose, the more features you will get. If you want to get the most out of Hootsuite, there is no bad to upgrade your free account. Each package gives you a chance to try for 30 days.

Extras

If the features offered by Hootsuite are not enough, you can also install additional apps to enhance Hootsuite functionalities. For instance, if you use Trello, you can install the Trello app for Hootsuite which allows you to select a social media post, add labels, members, a comment and send it directly to a Trello list. There is also SurveyMonkey app for Hootsuite to allow you to view a stream of your surveys and results in real-time. You can check all of the available apps on the App Directory page of Hootsuite which you can access by clicking the App Directory menu at the left sidebar.

Conclusion

As the title of this article said. Hootsuite is arguably the best social media management tool for small businesses. Although it can also be used by enterprises. Hootsuite is a great tool for small businesses to manage their social media channels since they can use Hootsuite for free although upgrading to the premium version is more suggested to get more features. Hootsuite is not a mere content publishing tool where you can create scheduled posts. The tool also allows you interact with your social media followers, build engagement on your content, join conversations by keywords an so on. As I said earlier, Hootsuite is a truly a social media management tool.

Back to my question, can you find a social media management tool better than Hootsuite?. You can share your thoughts in the comment sections below.

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Written by Haula

Music addict. Big fan of Inter football club



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