Buffer vs Hootsuite

The ongoing debate between fans of HootSuite and Buffer has been raging in the social media marketing circle for a number of years. Like with so many things in life, there is no definitive answer to which is better. This is because each product has its own unique features that will cause some people to prefer one over the other. There are even some people who use both for different aspects of their marketing.

Below you’ll discover some of the strengths and weaknesses of both, allowing you to gain insight into which one is better for you.

1. Scheduling

For most marketers, scheduling is the most important aspects of any social media management tool. After all, there are more than 100 hours each week you’re not going to be at your desk working on your social media profiles, much could mean 100 hours of missed opportunities. Allowing you to schedule posts well in advance is the only way the you can reliably ensure your profile will remain active and engaging, even when you’re sleeping or not at work.

With HootSuite, scheduling options might be described as run-of-the-mill for this type of software. You can schedule a tweet by writing it directly into the app, or using the HootSuite extension. There’s also an auto schedule feature that can help you preselect the optimal times for posting.

On the other hand, Buffer has quite a bit to offer when it comes to scheduling. To begin with, it allows you to create a daily posting schedule to automatically post tweets at routine times. Second, the Buffer browser extension is considerably superior to Hootsuite’s extension, enabling the scheduling of your next tweets to be as simple as clicking the Buffer browser icon once. And if you want to make your own Tweet, just highlight some text and the extension will pick that up for you.

2. Shortening Links

Cutting down on the size of your links can be critically important, and the way you do it matters. If you look at the performance history for some of the most popular URL shortener, you’ll find that there are considerable differences between their uptime and daily loading performance. The default URL shortening for HootSuite is ow.ly, with additional options on ht.ly, owl.li, and htl.li. Unfortunately, these are some of the lesser performing and less popular URL shorteners. Additionally, because they’re not as popular as other services, it’s likely that there less likely to be clicked. Buffer is slightly better in this category as well because it uses the popular and well-known bit.ly, which may translate into a higher click-through rate for your links.

3. Pictures

Sharing photos is an essential ingredient for boosting your engagement. Sadly, HootSuite lacks any real means of scheduling tweets with pic.twitter content. While it’s still possible to share images through HootSuite, they will appear as shortened links as opposed to actual embedded images. This means photos shared through HootSuite won’t be automatically expanded or even displayed in someone’s twitter feed unless they bother clicking the link.

With Buffer, there’s several ways to schedule content using pic.twitter images. You can directly upload through the Buffer app, right-click an image in your browser and share it with the Buffer extension, or even retweet someone else’s image content directly. Additionally, Buffer allows you to disable link shortening, helping to ensure that your shared image appears as an embedded photo rather than a bit.ly link.

5. Social Listening

Finally, it’s worth mentioning the social listening aspects of these two platforms. Keeping tabs on what your followers are saying about you and your brand is absolutely essential to success on social media. Not only do you need to keep a close eye on brand mentions, you also need the capabilities to monitor what other people are saying about similar brands and companies.

Unfortunately, because Buffer is primarily a scheduling tool, it has very little to offer in the way of social listening. By contrast, HootSuite wins almost by default. This is because social listening is one of HootSuite’s best features, largely due to its ability to generate multiple individualized content streams for you to listen to. The easy-to-use listening interface also makes it very simple to get an overview of what people are talking about on Twitter.

6. The Verdict

As you’ve seen, there are different pros and cons for both tools. If you’re looking for stronger scheduling features, it’s hard to beat Buffer simply because the app has specialized in offering first-rate scheduling. On the other hand, if you need social listening, HootSuite should be your choice hands down. Although using both won’t be possible for everyone, doing so would probably be an ideal solution for those who have the available resources.

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