Best Social Media Management Tools: HootSuite versus Sprout Social versus ..?

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Social Media Management Tools – Which one is the best one?

We hear this question asked constantly across social articles, posts on Google Plus, tweets, communities, and so on. From Reporting and Scheduling to Design and Customer Service, and Pricing plans (of course), we are going to break down some of the best social media management tool contenders!

 

 

 

hootsuite-social-media-management-tool

Reporting

HootSuite states: Get a better view of your social campaigns with powerful analytics tools and customizable reports that will give you a complete and comprehensive picture of your participation in social spaces.

The advanced monitoring and listening tools allow you to perform and save advanced searches, filter for content and create and manage Twitter lists and followers.

  • Create search streams
  • Search by @mentions
  • Search by hashtag
  • Filter by geo-location, Klout, keyword and language
  • Create search streams based on any keyword
  • Use smart queries for multiple terms

What is also pretty handy, is that HootSuite has their own URL shortener when posting across social media – so none of those super long URLs taking up your post or limited character space! In similar fashion to Bit.ly, their shortener is aptly called: Ow.ly.

Scheduling

One of the best features of any social media management tool is that you can schedule in advance. With HootSuite, you can draft messages and schedule. There are settings in order to require approval before posting. And if you are a Pro plan member, you can even bulk schedule posts via CSV files.

Design

Admittedly, HootSuite’s dashboard design is left with wanting more. It gives you the information, but it’s not visually stimulating to the user. Simple and clean, but sometimes we just want more “oomph”!

Plans and Pricing

HootSuite offers three plans. Free, Pro, and Enterprise! Having a free plan is great, because you get a trial of what you can possibly use from this Social Media management tool. It is limited, but thankfully HootSuite offers a free 30-day trial to their Pro plan! It really gives you a better overall grasp of the tools.

The Pro plan starts at $8.99 and scales up depending on add-ons, such as users, HootCare, HootUniversity, and so on. The Enterprise plan is customized, so speaking with a HootSuite representative is the route to go.

Customer Service/Help Desk

HootSuite has customer service help that you just want to take out on a date and buy ice cream sundaes..

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Ahem. There are articles and FAQs that you can go to with your questions. Still not enough? There are community forums where you can ask questions and find answers. STILL not enough? How about their designated twitter account, @HootSuite_Help? There is even an international account for global: @HootSuiteGlobal

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There are feature requests and HootCare. HootCare provides prioritized support (four hour reply time) for HootSuite Pro customers. This service is operational 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday, and is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. Also, HootCare is an optional $5/month/user add-on service if you are not a Pro user.

Mobile?

Definitely an option!

hootsuite mobile dashboards


sproutsocial-social-media-dashboard

Reporting

analytics-report-img

Sprout Social has some great dashboards for reporting. There is a clear description of the information.

Scheduling

Sprout Social states: Whether you want to jot down a quick idea for a post, or save content for peer review, the Drafts feature in Sprout helps you capture your thoughts for future social publishing.

Sprout Social also has a calendar feature. Their shared Team Content Calendar gives you a comprehensive view of scheduled messages across your entire team. Review published content, make changes to the existing schedule and add content where needed. Easy peasy.

Design

Sprout Social takes the whole cake here, and not just a slice. They display their information through a clean layout, with wonderful colors and simple graphics. From charts to statistics, the information is visually easy to grasp and understand. You aren’t hit over the head with just numbers and feeds.

Plans and Pricing

Sprout Social offers three plans. The levels are: Standard, Deluxe, and Premium. Although there is not a free plan, Sprout Social does offer a 30-day free trial. The Standard plan is $39 per user/per month. The Deluxe plan is $59 per user/per month. And the Premium plan is $99 per user/per month.

Customer Service/Help Desk

Sprout Social offers a Help Desk, providing responses to support tickets, even via social media platforms on the dashboard.

Track and Resolve Tickets Without Leaving Sprout: Create, track and manage support issues to resolution without leaving your dashboard. All customer support ticket communications are tracked in both applications, so it’s easy to coordinate between your customer support and social media teams and ensure everyone’s in the loop.

Sprout Social has also integrated with the companies ZenDesk and Uservoice. More company integrations will be coming soon! If you already use these platforms, they collaborate really well with the Sprout Social dashboard in order to get your questions answered.

Sprout Social also prides on their quick response and turnaround time.

Mobile?

Yes!

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HootSuite and Sprout Social have a lot in common, but there are differentiating factors to consider too!

Sprout Social

  • Sprout Queue button for bookmarking and sharing content
  • Social CRM tools for keeping better track of contacts/followers
  • Slick design!
  • 100% free analytics dashboard

HootSuite

  • Bulk scheduling, which you can upload from a CSV file and schedule up to 50 posts at a time.
  • Unlimited social profiles/apps (Pro plan)
  • A free option plan!
  • Unlimited social profiles/apps (Pro plan)
  • A cute owl mascot! (Come on.. we love it!)

 

 

Alright, but what other social media management tools are there?? Maybe you aren’t an apples and oranges person, and you would rather pick the pineapple out of the basket. There are many other platforms that vary here and there, to fit your needs, interests, and wallets. Some other tools that we enjoy are:

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Buffer

 

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CrowdBooster

 

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Sendible

 

Sources and sites which address the same questionWordstream, Vodori, Digitalry!

 

By KJ Mason, G+ profile.

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