Anyone that’s ever considered implementing Social Media Automation for their business knows about Hootsuite, one of the pioneer and most popular tools for Social Media Management.
Since its inception, many other social media management tools have flooded the market with various differentiating features and value propositions, so it’s gotten harder to discern which one is the best for your company.
Since small businesses generally start with minimal marketing budgets, the vast majority might not able to afford the Hootsuite limited-feature, Team Plan for $99/month, while others might require the support of larger teams or more features in this price range.
For such businesses and professionals, we have curated a list of the Top 5 Hootsuite Alternatives in 2020:
If your top priorities looking for a social media management tool are value for money, integrated function-sets, and a clean interface, SocialBu is your best bet.
With its unique value coming from Social Media Automation functions, it specializes in features revolving around this by offering support for multiple platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Stories, LinkedIn) and data sources for scheduling Posts.
Other than Posts, SocialBu also supports the Instagram Stories API so that you can directly preview, publish and recycle posts on your Insta Feed and Stories. You can also go a step further and monitor hashtags mentioned in your content on Instagram and Twitter.
Another two examples of unique features are RSS Scheduling and Bulk Import, where you can either set up posts on any platform to be automatically sourced and published from either an RSS Feed or be uploaded in bulk from a .CSV File. Both these and many other similar options save immense amounts of time for digital managers.
Because it’s set up for teams handling multiple social media accounts (up to 150!), features like Social Inbox, Calendar, and Feeds are highly helpful in getting a bird’s eye view of what’s happening across all the accounts in a specific period.
Such features allow you to monitor all information needed regarding your social media posts and interactions in one place, so with these, teams can also interact in-app by leaving comments or suggestions for the next steps to take.
Unlike Hootsuite, SocialBu also offers free and trial packages if you’re not convinced at first whether to use the tool long-term. Once confident, you’ll even notice that their pricing is also much lower ($19 Package supporting four team members while HS’s $99 Package only supports three), making this a great Hootsuite alternative for small businesses.
2. Meet Edgar
With a focus on sourcing, publishing, and re-purposing content’ auto-magically,’ ME seeks to minimize the repetitive nature of Social Media Management by saving time for its users in many ways.
At its core, ME differentiates itself based on the Unlimited Content Library functionalities that are crafted specially to make and keep content running for more extended periods. These features include the likes of Evergreen Content Shuffle, Auto-Publish from RSS Feeds, websites or podcasts, and Category-Based Scheduling.
ME also features innovative features like Auto-Variations, which takes whatever link is inputted, to automatically scan and present you with multiple possibilities of posts. One example of this can be an article that you’ve chosen to incorporate into your posts, and ME will automatically choose different excerpts of text to create content based on that piece.
Results on these variations can also be tracked using the in-built shortener or with A/B Test Social Messaging so that you know what worked best and what type of content is to be prioritized with each audience in upcoming schedules.
Source: Meet Edgar’s Feature Page
While it does have a bit of a learning curve due to such unique features, Meet Edgar has the option of a 1-month free trial with the full set of features so you can decide whether the complexity fits your posting needs.
With most other Social Media Management tools, you’ll see a generalization in their features and platforms as they pitch themselves as all-in-ones.
With Later, this isn’t the case as it brands itself as the ‘#1 Marketing Platform for Instagram’ but also offers support for Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. This has meant a specialization and focus on Instagram features while also providing support for other platforms if you require their usage.
Just like Instagram, Later’s priority has also been the visual aspect of social media. By offering a seamless and intuitive interface, it competes with Hootsuite based on ease of use rather than the number of features.
Source: Later’s Features Page
For Instagram specifically, Later offers unique features such as Story Scheduling via Instagram’s API (no chance of TOS Violation), Trackable Links, plus detailed analytics like reach, completion rate, comment count, and others.
These insights are created explicitly according to each brand’s following as location data is used to pinpoint the time zones of your audience and then output a ‘best time to post’, instead of just showing generic ones.
For Integration, Smart Scheduling shows you the best times to post with Drag-and-drop enabled on the layout of a visual Instagram Planner. Later can even find user-generated-content to post, allowing you to see both content and the best timings to post on a single page, offering an unparalleled experience.
Because Later markets primarily to the growing business category instead of Enterprises, their pricing plans start from $0 Trials, and their brand package goes for $41/Month, presenting them as a highly affordable Hootsuite alternative.
Content Sourcing, Posting, and Analytics. These are the three functions where Sendible stands apart from the pack of Social Media Management Tools.
Although Hootsuite offers more content features in their dashboards, Sendible offers value from their analytics and CRM Section. As customer-side CRM is included in the tool, LinkedIn and Klout accounts can be integrated for lead management and customer profiling.
Once profiles and leads are developed, geographical, or any other form of targeting can be applied to them, so the results of these outreach efforts are organized and published in reports shown on regular intervals.
If your plan doesn’t allow for direct contact, Sendible also enables the building of influencer lists so that you can choose between each of those brand ambassadors and compare each one’s performance of posts.
As shown below, Sendible’s Dashboard provides a comprehensive, integrated overview of your Social Media Accounts’ performances across the chosen timeline alongside a Social Inbox that displays all the brand mentions in a real-time feed.
Within this feed, there are also options available for Teams to communicate through messaging or macro-responses for common queries. These Feed items can be filtered to show analytics and interactions on specific campaigns or for accounts on any of the supported platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and even Google Analytics!).
Competing with Hootsuite based on its detailed analytics, Sendible also offers various price packages to be affordable for all customers, in the form of free trials, $16 monthly base package for ‘Solopreneurs’, up to $254 monthly for Large Teams.
Competitive pricing, unique automation features, and an uncluttered interface are what make SocialPilot special.
Because Hootsuite doesn’t have a Social Media Calendar and SP does, this gives you the immediate advantage of being able to easily drag-and-drop content, organize it at any frequency, and even see which posts are performing best, so they can be termed ‘evergreen content’- prime for repetition.
As shown below, this Editorial Calendar shows you the schedule for content across any filter level: monthly, weekly, daily, or across all accounts vs. specific ones. This level of customizable focus allows you to take a macro and micro view of what’s happening across all accounts and campaigns, not bogging you down in clutter.
Source: SocialPilot Feature Page
Another primary difference comes in with how Hootsuite only allows for text posts to be scheduled in advance. In contrast, SP does supports Bulk Scheduling of Posts with Images (up to 500) on all supported platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Instagram). This allows SP Users to simply add URL’s of Images in a .CSV file and have the tool attach all linked images directly into posts.
With SP’s Collaboration features, the responses to incoming interactions and other work tasks can be easily split between team members and enable them to collaborate on campaigns within the app.
Due to its aim of targeting businesses in the growth phase, pricing is also competitive with support for 35 accounts at $100/Month instead of Hootsuite’s 35 Accounts at $610/Month.
With all these fantastic tools having unique value propositions and features, it’s pretty hard to discern between them.
We suggest you take the trial periods of each and compare your requirements with their functions offered to see which one offers the best fit, in terms of cost-benefit.
If you’re already using one of these or any other Social Media Management Tool, be sure to tell us which in the comments below and why they’re your favorite.