What we will cover
- Choices, choices, choices!
- Do I need to look at hootsuite alternatives?
- Sprout Social: an industry favourite
- Zoho Social: consistently rated
- Buffer: the small business’s friend
- eClincher: The Marmite option
- Agorapulse: Impress the board
- Sendible: The social media CRM
- Social Pilot: A generous package
- HubSpot Marketing Hub: Unique Facebook integration
- Loomly: The brand success platform
- Making your decision
Choices, choices, choices!
Managing social media is a task most businesses need to organise these days. From scheduling blog posts and monitoring brand reputation to analysing engagement reports, there is a lot involved.
When people attend a Vu Online Social Media Training Course, whether in person or online, our social media specialists introduce them to Hootsuite (which often leads to huge sighs of relief). We are one of those many millions who love Hootsuite but we also know that there are hundreds of other social media management tools out there.
Do I need to look at hootsuite alternatives?
We love hootsuite, but if you’re just starting out it can be a considerable investment, so this post is here to help you get started, please trust that we have not received any financial reward from any of the below options.
If you have a bit of time to spend on research, we recommend checking out a few hootsuite alternatives just to see if there’s a tool out there that more closely matches your unique business needs.
We have curated the nine Hootsuite alternatives below from a combination of industry recommendations and review sites. Many offer free trials so have fun exploring and see you on the other side!
Sprout Social: an industry favourite
When industry magazines like PCMag and Tech Radar are raving about a software product, it’s smart to take notice. Sprout Social covers the three major areas of social media management well (scheduling, monitoring, reporting) and adds CRM capability to the mix. PCMag named Sprout Social as their top platform in 2019 – and who are we to argue?
The lead in Standard package costs $99 per month for five social media accounts and a free trial is now available.
Zoho Social: consistently rated
Along with Hootsuite and Sprout Social, Zoho Social is a top five regular in many industry and popular review sites. Again, Zoho adequately covers scheduling, monitoring and reporting while also offering novel features like a ‘panic button’ for stopping all social media activity during a brand crisis. The generous standard package unlocks seven platforms and two team members for just £8 per month which is about as budget-friendly as you can get.
Buffer: the small business’s friend
One of the few Freemium social media management platforms out there, Buffer is popular with startups and small businesses. If you only have up to three social media accounts to manage and never schedule more than ten posts at a time, the free version might be OK. Otherwise, the lead-in Pro tier will cost you $15 (around £12) per month. Buffer is mainly prized for its simplicity and ability to post to all social media platforms at the same time.
eClincher: The Marmite option
While some users rave about eClincher’s ease of use, others find the user interface a little dated and complicated. Just as well they are offering a 14 day free trial with no credit card details then. The lead-in Basic package costs $59 (£47) per month which gives you the option of up to 10 social media profiles and up to 100 posts in your queue. One bonus of eClincher is its content suggestion feature – perfect for those brain freeze moments.
Agorapulse: Impress the board
When it comes to analytics and reporting, few social media management tools can match Agorapulse. If presenting social media marketing reports to the board is important to you, consider accessing the free trial. For $99 (£79) per month, Agorapulse provides unlimited post scheduling for two users and up to ten profiles. With powerful collaboration tools and a built-in CRM to boot, this is definitely one to look into.
Sendible: The social media CRM
For $25 (£20) per month, Sendible offers unlimited post scheduling and detailed reporting for up to 12 services (described as one way interactions with a social network). Sendible combines social media and customer relationship management in one platform which might be just the ticket for companies that mainly drive their business through social.
Social Pilot: A generous package
If you have a lot of social media profiles, Social Pilot could be the cost-effective social media management tool of choice. The generous Professional package enables up to three users to manage up to 25 profiles for just $30 (£24) per month. With capacity for 2,500 scheduled posts, all but the most active companies will find Social Pilot able to fly along with them with no problem.
HubSpot Marketing Hub: Unique Facebook integration
While social media marketing is not HubSpots forte, it has been praised by PCMag for its Facebook integration. For example, the ability to inject lead capture forms into a Facebook stream was described by PCMag’s Juan Martinez as a ‘unique option, with no clear rival in the marketing automation space.’ The Starter package is £42 per month which includes HubSpot’s renowned customer relationship management (CRM) platform.
Loomly: The brand success platform
Finally we have Loomly, a brand that kept popping up on our radar as we scoured the reviews and ratings lists. Loomly markets itself as a brand success platform that brings together post suggestions, brand asset management, post scheduling, social media management, analytics and paid ad promotion into one place.
The base package will set you back $25 (£20) per month for up to two users and ten accounts.
Making your decision
How do you choose from such a smorgasbord of fantastic social media management? We recommend making a list of all the ‘must have’ features and eliminating any platforms that don’t contain them all.
Next, set a budget and try to stick to it. Try not to be distracted by the bells and whistles and hopefully you will find your hootsuite alternative, the reality may be that hootsuite is the only alternative, and that investment is worth the reward.
Finally, these things are ever-changing so be sure to read a variety of in-depth reviews on your shortlisted platforms before deciding which free trials to go for. Happy hunting!
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