In this modern era, everything is related to social media. It is very common for people to check their social media accounts several times in a day. Many businesses have acknowledged the importance of social media presence by making their own official pages and accounts. However, with the number of available platforms, one can get overwhelmed by the number of pages and accounts that need to be managed. Fortunately, there are now several options for social media management tools available, such as Sprout Social and Hootsuite. Such tools can function as a management hub for multiple networks and social media, allowing you to manage and control things effectively and efficiently from just a single place.
Sprout Social and Hootsuite are two of the most popular social media management tools right now. Many companies and business owners use either Sprout Social or Hootsuite to take care of their various pages and accounts. So, what advantages do Sprout Social and Hootsuite offer? Should you be using Sprout Social or Hootsuite? See the comparisons between these two great services below!
Sprout Social was first founded in 2010, and is a privately held company headquartered in Chicago and supported by venture funds of New Enterprise Associates, Lightbank, and Goldman Sachs. Sprout Social is a social media management platform where you can integrate Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Zendesk, Feedly, UserVoice, and Google Analytics. It has been designed to help customers communicate more effectively through various social media channels while providing the tools needed for management, advocacy, and analytics. So far, Sprout Social has been used by huge companies such as Microsoft, Hyatt, Marvel, Uber, and Zipcar.
Hootsuite is also a private business, developed by Ryan Holmes in 2008. It is based in Vancouver, Canada. The user interface is a dashboard where you can integrate various social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+. Additional integrations are possible by using the Hootsuite’s App Directory; you can further integrate channels for Reddit, Tumblr, Storify, MailChimp, and Marketo. Now used by over 10 million people, Hootsuite’s notable customers include MailChimp, Virgin, SXSW, and Monster.
Sprout Social vs. Hootsuite: User Interface
When dealing with multiple accounts, organization becomes an ultimately important factor. If the interface is messy, the platform will hardly become a help. Hootsuite organizes multiple accounts by showing them as a mixture of tabs, dropdown menus, and streams (automatically updating columns).Well, the interface can be somewhat confusing until you get used to it. Once you get used to it, though, it can be fast and efficient. However, if you have several social media accounts active, be very careful not to post on a wrong account.
In terms of organization, Sprout Social wins the battle by a landslide. The interface is very easy to navigate. All major necessities are put on the top navigation bar. When dealing with multiple accounts, every account is segmented into a named folder, making navigation and operation very intuitive. It is hard to post on a wrong account with Sprout Social.
Sprout Social vs. Hootsuite: Publishing and Scheduling Features
Publishing on Hootsuite is extremely easy and simple – way too simple, perhaps, that it has somewhat limited features. Well, there is the “Bulk Schedule”, which enables you to plan up to 350 posts across all your social media channels. There is a built-in link shortening feature, which is incredibly useful for Twitter. However, the shortened link can’t be moved from the end of the content. And the biggest downside is Hootsuite’s inability to post images!
Sprout Social features an automatic scheduling feature named “Queue”, allowing you to schedule your posts for later. There is also an additional feature named “ViralPost” that, for a price, can analyze your audiences to determine the optimal engagement times. And Sprout Social does not only allow you to post images – but it also provides a free tool for resizing your images.
Sprout Social vs. Hootsuite: Monitoring and Reporting Features
Hootsuite is a great resource for real-time monitoring. It allows you to set up multiple real-time “streams”, on each you can watch in real-time a particular social media channel for engagements. Hootsuite simply beats Sprout Social in real-time monitoring. Hootsuite also has more advanced reporting features. For example, the overview report divides your social media accounts into four views for posts, followers, engagement, and metrics. You can dig deeper into the details of different data points. Hootsuite provides several template reports that you can use to make custom boards.
Sprout Social, on the other hand, sends you a real-time notification for every potential engagement. The notifications can be grouped based on the type, whether it is a mention, direct message, new follower, retweet, etc. However, in addition, Sprout Social has built-in CRM functionality, through which you can create lists of keywords to monitor. The reporting features are nowhere as customizable as Hootsuite, but Sprout Social is still practical and intuitive.
Sprout Social vs. Hootsuite: Collaboration Features
In our context, collaboration usually refers to the permission settings for multiple users. Collaboration features are needed when you are working with a group of people. On Hootsuite, if you need to manage employee accounts, you can apply one of the three permission levels (super admin, admin, default) to each of them.
Sprout Social has richer collaboration features. There is a similar administrative functionality for permission levels of different users. You can also set up a multi-step publishing approval, for example, if you want to check each post made by your team prior to publishing. And then, you can tag any post in the feed view as a task and assign the task to a person or team. There are three task categories: default, sales, and support. Finally, to ensure that there won’t be two people replying to the same post in the feed view, Sprout Social can show if there is a user currently responding to the post.
|- Simple, intuitive, and very organized interface; multiple accounts are segmented into named folders||- Somewhat crowded and overwhelming interface; multiple accounts are displayed in tabs, dropdown menus, and streams|
|- Rich, powerful publishing and scheduling tools||- Limited publishing and scheduling tools|
|- Engagement notifications, built-in CRM, intuitive reporting||- Powerful real-time monitoring through streams, detailed customizable reporting|
|- Extensive collaboration features||- Good collaboration features|
Hootsuite can be a great choice if you are only managing a few social media accounts or if you need the customizable reporting function. However, if you are working with multiple accounts or with a team, Sprout Social should be the way to go, as the robust features are very handy useful.