Social Media Management Platforms To Save You Time: Buffer, Hootsuite & Sprout Social

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Taking on social media can be a daunting task--and extremely time consuming, too. But thanks to a wide medley of syndication products, managing your social media is easier than ever! When time is money, this efficiency can equal significant savings. For that reason, we highly recommend investing in a social media management platform, freeing up your team's time for other important tasks!

I've put together a quick run-down on three of the most popular social media management platforms to save you time and gave a quick description to help you understand some of their major strengths and weaknesses. Check them out below!

Buffer

buffer screenshotBuffer is well-loved because the platform is straightforward and super easy to use. Initial setup takes just a few minutes, following a series of straightforward prompts, and then you're ready to go!

One of Buffer's best features is the ability to set up a posting schedule, and then simply dump a bunch of posts in the queue--they'll automatically get posted per your schedule. For those who crave a little more control, you can also schedule posts for a very specific time.

The integrated Buffer Analytics are simple and straight-forward, telling you exactly how engaging your posts were. If a post did particularly well, you can "re-buffer" it with just a couple clicks--essentially adding it back to your queue to post again. This feature is particularly great for a fast-moving platform like Twitter.

Cost:

-FREE for up to 3 social media accounts and 10 posts in your queue
- $102/yr for up to 12 social media accounts and 100 posts


HootSuite

hootsuite screenshotHootSuite is extremely popular and for good reason. It gives users a significant amount of control over content, including inbound interactions -- allowing you to reply directly to comments without leaving HootSuite. HootSuite also has integrated third party apps (eg: MailChimp, YouTube, Instagram), and an entire HootSuite University to teach you the ins and outs of this popular platform.

The two cons? The cost and the complication. While it has signficant potential for those who are willing to learn all the ins and outs of this powerful platform, getting to know Hootsuite can be challenging and frustrating. (Several people from the SEO team have given this feedback!)

HootSuite offers a free account option, which business owners can use themselves, but you'll need to upgrade to a Pro account if you want someone to post on your behalf..

Cost:

-FREE for up to 3 profiles, but can only be used by you
-$14.99/mo (or $119/yr) for Pro


Sprout Social

sprout social screenshotSprout Social is the most expensive of the three, and it feels that way too. The interface is sleek and attractive, with a simple and straight-forward layout that makes Sprout Social intuitive to learn and understand.

Like Buffer, Sprout Social allows you to queue posts (which then get published on a pre-set schedule), or to schedule specific times for posts. And like HootSuite, Sprout Social lets you monitor and respond to interactions. Sprout Social is also known for having a more comprehensive reporting system, and has a few neat features like task management and follower discovery.

The combination of features and ease of use make Sprout Social a superior option, but the price is a set back for many people.

Cost:

-$59.99/mo (and up)


Free Trials - Buffer, Hootsuite & Sprout Social

One of the awesome things about all of these social media management platforms is they want the opportunity to hook you. That means they each offer their own trial versions. Sprout Social offers one month free, while HootSuite and Buffer both have free accounts with limitations. I highly recommend giving the platforms you're interested in a trial run to see which one works best for you and your needs!


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