There are seemingly countless social media management software platforms available today, with more cropping up on what feels like a weekly basis.

This makes it difficult to decide which platform will best suit the user’s needs.

Following are comparisons of two popular platforms – Hootsuite vs. Sprout Social, to help you get started.

Let’s dive right in!

Hootsuite vs. Sprout Social at A Glance

When comparing Hootsuite and Sprout Social, two leading social media management platforms, the choice boils down to your specific needs and budget.

Hootsuite, established in 2008, is known for its user-friendly interface and affordability. It offers a robust free version and reasonably priced plans, making it an attractive option for small businesses or individuals.

While it has a bit of a learning curve and its publishing features are somewhat basic, its organizational tools and customer support are strong points. Hootsuite excels for those seeking a cost-effective, straightforward approach to social media management.

Sprout Social, on the other hand, launched in 2010, positions itself as a premium option with its intuitive design, superior organizational capabilities, and advanced publishing features.

It stands out for its exceptional customer service and the ease with which users can navigate and utilize its comprehensive suite of tools. Sprout Social is ideal for businesses willing to invest in a more sophisticated, feature-rich platform for their social media management needs.

In Summary:

  • Hootsuite is best suited for users looking for an affordable, user-friendly platform with solid basic functionalities and good support.
  • Sprout Social appeals to those who require a more advanced, intuitive system with superior organizational and publishing capabilities, and who are willing to pay a premium for these features.

Ultimately, whether Hootsuite or Sprout Social is the better choice for you will depend on your budget, the level of sophistication you require from your social media tools, and the importance you place on customer service and user experience.

Usability

Even though it’s easy to use, there is a learning curve involved with Hootsuite but that’s the case with any similar program. That said, the company provides user-friendly customer service and support, including webinars, informative blogs, video tutorials and a “help” section as well.

Organization

Hootsuite’s organizational features include managing accounts using a combination of tabs, dropdown menus, along with “streams” (automatically updating columns). Unfortunately, unless you’re used to working with robust interfaces, theirs can be confusing initially.

Publishing

Hootsuite’s publishing functionality is limited but easy to use. There’s a great link shortening feature, a calendar and you’d have the ability to schedule posts from 5 minutes to months in advance.

You can also use their “bulk schedule” option and schedule up to 350 messages throughout all of your channels. That said, there’s also a couple of downsides – the shortened link appears at the end of your content and you can’t add images.

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Pricing

If you’re working with a tight budget, Hootsuite is for you. Its free version is actually fairly robust and you can sign up for their pro feature for an affordable $14.99 a month. One consideration is extra charges for analytics, reporting, and additional users.

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Launched in 2010, Sprout Social actually still has a fairly long history compared to social media management systems that have since come and gone. It has also earned its place next to industry leaders like Hootsuite and others that have been around longer.

Usability

Sprout Social provides a multitude of awesome features, however, it can be overwhelming for non-techies initially. That said, Sprout pairs users up with a rep when they first sign up for a free trial.

The rep gets in touch with you, sets you up with a free webinar and also acts as your contact as you learn the program. Even though neither program is notably intuitive, Hootsuite for the most part provides a more straightforward guide to social media management when it comes to usability. On the other hand, the customer service provided by Sprout is unmatched.

Organization

Sprout Social comes out ahead when it comes to organization. Their interface is straightforward and easy to navigate, with all of the primary essentials strategically placed on the header navigation bar. In contrast to Hootsuite, it’s virtually impossible to end up scheduling posts under the incorrect account with Sprout, since every account you create is placed in its own named folder.

Publishing

Sprout Social rocks in terms of both publishing and scheduling. It offers an auto-scheduling function referred to as “Queue” which lets you schedule your content for a future, automated delivery. For an added cost, Sprout also offers a feature referred to as “Viral Post,” that analyzes your posts and target audiences, at optimum times of engagement.

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Pricing

You can expect to pay for all the innovative features that Sprout Social offers, including its attractive, easy to use design and flawless organizational features. With Sprout Social, a single user will pay $99 a month.

If you’re only planning on needing a couple of accounts, Hootsuite is a great choice and its price makes it the most affordable option as well.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a robust social media management system, Sprout Social’s powerful functionality renders it well worth $99 a month.

Our Verdict: Hootsuite vs. Sprout Social

In the face-off between Hootsuite vs Sprout Social, the decision largely hinges on individual needs and budget. Hootsuite shines with its user-friendly interface, robust free version, and affordability for small businesses or individual users.

Its ease of use, coupled with comprehensive customer support, makes it a great choice for those new to social media management or working within tight budget constraints.

On the other hand, Sprout Social stands out for its superior organizational capabilities and advanced publishing features. Its intuitive design, coupled with exceptional customer service, positions it as a premium choice for businesses seeking a more sophisticated social media management tool.

The higher price point of Sprout Social is justified by its advanced functionalities and seamless user experience.

Ultimately, if cost-effectiveness and a straightforward guide to social media management are your priorities, Hootsuite is your go-to platform.

However, for those seeking an all-encompassing tool with high-end features and don’t mind the higher price tag, Sprout Social is the clear winner.

Both platforms offer distinct advantages, making the choice a matter of aligning with your specific business needs and budget.

Original Post: Social Media Management Software Comparison: Hootsuite v. Sprout Social