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Buffer vs TweetDeck vs Hootsuite

Which management tool is best for your social media presence?

It’s 2015, so chances are, your small business is on at least a few social media sites. Once you know where your customers are, social media can be an amazing tool for reaching your target audience and growing your brand and online presence.

If you’re on more than one social network, then you know that it can get a little overwhelming to manage all of your business accounts. Thankfully, there are plenty of platforms designed to help you solve that problem. We've compared three to help you decide which is best for your needs.

  • Buffer: the user-friendly social management platform. Capability is a little basic, but for individuals & small businesses, Buffer is more than capable.
  • TweetDeck: the totally free social tool that combines Twitter specialization with powerful reporting to help you optimize your Twitter presence.
  • Hootsuite: the all-inclusive social management platform that can handle anything you throw at it. The Pro plan is all you’ll need to manage all of your networks.

When comparing these platforms, it's essential to consider the features you want, ease of use, analysis and reports, and support. All three of these tools can make managing social networks a whole lot easier. Keep reading to find out which one is right for your business.

Features and Integration

Buffer is a social media management app that allows you to share posts across various social media websites. A super user-friendly interface, capable features, and powerful integrations make Buffer an excellent option for individuals and small businesses alike. Buffer offers a suite of capable features aimed primarily at content management.

While you can use TweetDeck with other social networks, its primary focus is on Twitter, and they’ve developed a robust feature set to cater to managing Twitter. TweetDeck has tons of key features – so many that they’ve been accused of suffering from feature bloat.

One of the big features that separates Hootsuite from the rest is the ability to integrate Instagram into the platform. A clean, simple interface makes the app super easy to use. The platform has a capable suite of features and tools to help you manage your social media.

Buffer Logo Tweetdeck Logo Hootsuite Logo
Features
  • Schedule content
  • Connect multiple social networks
  • Connect RSS feeds
  • Monitor multiple timelines with real-time streaming
  • Schedule tweets
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Publishing
  • Analytics
  • Campaigns
Social media
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • Foursquare
  • Google Buzz
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • Wordpress
Mobile app Yes No Yes
Api Yes Yes Yes

Pricing and Support

You get what you pay for when it comes to social media management tools. The more you pay, the more features, reporting, and integration options you have. As a result, be sure to think about what reporting and tracking features you want, in addition to how many employees you want to have access to the tool.

For instance, Hootsuite's $10 Pro Plan allows you to connect to 50 social networks, download 1 analytics report and have 1 team member sharing. Whereas Buffer's $10 Awesome Plan gives you access to 10 social profiles and 100 post schedules.

In order to get the heavy analytics options for both tools, you'll need to spend more.

Don't forget that the more complex your plan gets, the more support you'll most likely require. What's nice about Hootsuite's Enterprise plan is that it also gives you access to Hootsuite University, where you can learn social media best practices.

Buffer Logo Tweetdeck Logo Hootsuite Logo
Pricing
  • Individual Free
  • Awesome Plan $10 per month
  • Small Business $50 per month
  • Medium Business $100 per month
  • Large Business/Agency $250 per month
  • Free
  • Free
  • Pro $9.99 - $14.99 per month
  • Enterprise Varies
Support
  • Help Guides
  • FAQ
  • Email support
  • Twitter support
  • Getting started guide
  • Standard Twitter support
  • Help Guides
  • FAQ
  • Community & Forum
  • Twitter & Facebook support

Reviews

When it comes to content management, Buffer is more than capable, but it isn’t a full-fledged social media management tool. There’s no listening function and analytics are very basic, but the ability to schedule, connect with RSS, and add multiple social networks makes it a great option for small businesses who are just getting off the ground with social media.

TweetDeck is a very capable social media management tool. It’s super customizable dashboard boils all of your social media down into one application. If you’re on a lot of social networks, want heavy focus on Twitter management, or just like a large feature set and powerful customizability, TweetDeck is a great option for you.

Hootsuite is a very capable option for your social media management. It works with tons of different social networks. The Free plan will do the job, but it’s a little limited in terms of features. If you’re willing to pay a little for the affordable Pro plan, Hootsuite is definitely a top contender.

Regardless of which tool you choose, all will drive more clicks and traffic, increase engagement, and save you time on social media.

Buffer Logo Tweetdeck Logo Hootsuite Logo
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • RSS integration
  • Provides suggestions for content development
  • bit.ly integration for tracking clicks
  • Manage multiple social accounts
  • View multiple columns at once
  • Clean, usable interface
  • Auto-update from RSS feeds
  • Can view multiple social networks at the same time
Cons
  • No listening function
  • Very basic analytics
  • No option to randomize tweets
  • No built-in analytics
  • Key features are for Twitter only
  • Not very usable on mobile devices
  • Weak contact management
  • No integration with email or calendar
  • Additional cost for reporting
Best for Individuals or small businesses who want a free but capable social management tool Individuals or small businesses who want a free tool that focuses primarily on Twitter management Small businesses who want to manage a variety of networks & don’t mind paying a little for a Pro plan

What are customers saying?

“[Buffer is] terrific for scheduling and managing upcoming posts, as well as for managing the posting schedule across multiple platforms. It has team collaboration features that are also useful for multiple person teams.”

"Live column streaming is my favorite thing about TweetDeck since the real-time aspect of Twitter is what makes it essential to my job. A close number two is that it's easy to use multiple accounts with TweetDeck."

“The scheduling is the hook that gets most people and the analytics provides the gravy to keep them coming back [to Hootsuite]. If you have a team and are making social media a priority this is a great tool.”

More Options:

Sprout Social

  • Powerful and approachable social software for businesses
  • Features include monitoring, CRM, and analytics
  • Free 30-day trial, and 3 plans range from $59 - $500 per month

Oktopost

  • Platform for managing everything involved with social media for business
  • Specifically designed to cater to B2B marketers
  • Free 30-day trial, and 4 plans range from $55 - $1,870 per month

eXo Platform

  • Social platform designed for the enterprise customer
  • Features include calendar, forum, and dashboard
  • 5 plans range from $3 per user per month - $8,000 per year

CoSchedule

  • All-in-one publishing solution that includes social media management
  • Features include marketing calendar, social scheduling, and workflow management
  • Free 14-day trial, and 8 plans range from $15 - $600 per month