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Scheduling On Social: Hootsuite vs Buffer

Trying to maintain a social media presence can be tough; trying to maintain a successful one is even harder.

The most difficult piece of knowledge to digest is that consumers anticipate most brands to be present on social platforms; 95% of Millennials expect brands to have a Facebook.

But what if your business isn’t the size of Coca-Cola or Disney, and you can’t dedicate an entire team to look after your social media? What if you’re a busy person with meetings to attend, emails to answer and other pressing matters to deal with?

The fact is that social media users don’t care; your hectic day won’t affect their expectations.

calendar 5thSo what’s the answer?

Luckily for us, platforms have been developed to help us. They act as a ‘one stop shop’ or dashboard, to which you link your social accounts, then post and schedule updates from there.

Scheduling your social media posts has huge benefits. It allows you to plan ahead, set out a proposal for the week or month and focus on what content you want to share each day.

It saves you precious time; dedicating a specific period of time to social media means you get more done. One scheduling tool, Buffer, claims it can save an hour a day.

But hold on! There are two points to consider before you jump in. Social media is a way of engaging with others and networking online. By scheduling posts in advance, you may miss out.

Also, if a user engages with your post, you may not be online at the time to reply. According to reports published on Search Engine Watch, 70% of surveyed Twitter users expect a response from brands they reach out to on Twitter and of those users, over half want that response in under an hour.

So which Social Scheduling tool should you consider?

vs 5thThe two primary ones are Hootsuite and Buffer – both offer similar features, both with pros and cons.

Hootsuite

Created in 2008, this is a comprehensive tool with several different features to suit a more advanced social media campaign.

Benefits

  • Hootsuite integrates with over 25 social networks so it’s more than likely every social platform you use will be covered.
  • Hootsuite works great as a social listening and monitoring tool – meaning you can quickly see when users mention you.
  • You can join forces with colleagues too; assign tasks, schedule messages and track analytics.

Drawbacks

The platform can appear quite complex and frustrating to understand. With its own jargon and lingo, it can be quite a steep learning curve for someone who isn’t used to it.
Both the free and pro versions of Hootsuite can be quite limiting. The Enterprise version is considerably more expensive to upgrade to.

Buffer

A simpler, but newer social scheduling tool, Buffer offers a more user friendly approach to scheduling.

Benefits

  • Buffer is easier to get to grips with, meaning it’s perfect for someone who is just looking for a quick, easy and hassle free scheduling tool.
  • Buffer offers ideas for content, by analysing what you have previously shared.
  • You can also schedule to the minute. In Hootsuite, you are limited to 5 minute windows.

Drawbacks

Buffer is simply a scheduling tool, with inbuilt analytics. It doesn’t offer the same monitoring and listening functionality as Hootsuite.

Which to choose?

Hootsuite is great as a platform and delivers everything from social listening, to the ability to collaborate with co-workers. But ask yourself if you will use all the functions before you jump in.

Buffer is perfect if you just want to dip your toe in the water, and just use the scheduling function.

If you have any questions just get in touch online, or call us on 01202 684 009 and we’ll be happy to help. Perhaps you’d like to learn more at one of our training workshops? Find out more here.

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