When I started this blog, I was researching new platforms to use for work. I tried Sprout Social, and now I also use Buffer on a regular basis. I didn’t give myself enough time to try out other platforms before I needed to renew my subscription to Hootsuite, but because I combine Hootsuite with SocialReport, I have all my bases cover.
Hootsuite teamed up with Instagram in order to integrate the popular app into their dashboard,and other scheduling platforms quickly followed suit. While Instagram still won’t allow a third party to directly post to their app, scheduling posts creates a reminder notification. From that, the photo is imported and the text is automatically copied. You just have to make sure you’re logged into the right account (with five accounts, sometimes I forget to switch) and post. While it’s not a perfect system, but it certainly helps me remember to post to each account on a regular basis.
Hootsuite offers a lot of third-party integration options, many of which are free. Naturally, the ones I always want cost extra. Still, that’s how I tried Tailwind and completely fell in love. Pinterest is possibly my favorite platform. I can get lost on there, and it doesn’t matter if it’s my personal account, Creative’s, or Lucky Savannah’s. It’s very easy to get sidetracked, which is why I regulate my pinning for businesses to one day, giving me a specific deadline to get a certain amount of content curated and scheduled to keep me on task.
Since Tailwind cost roughly another $100/year, and I’m already paying around that for Buffer’s Awesome plan, AND Buffer already has scheduling capabilities for Pinterest…well, you get the picture. Tailwind is great, but Buffer is too. My only lingering complaint with Buffer is that they don’t allow you to upload Tweets in bulk. When you’re scheduling posts for multiple businesses and trying to Tweet 5x a day for each one, being able to write a week’s worth of Tweets, with links, and upload them is a really nice feature. It’s also a must have feature on my list.
Hootsuite’s biggest downfall, in my eyes, is their analytics. The basic overviews that are included in the Pro package don’t tell me much more than I can get from the individual accounts. Since Twitter has increased the amount of information that they provide to business accounts, it makes Hootsuite’s reports laughable at best. Other, better reports require the use of points – anywhere from 20 pts to 50 pts per report, with 50 pts costing $540. Yikes. That’s a lot of money, especially when analytic reports are so important for so many reasons (scheduling, gauging ROI, etc.). This is why I swear by SocialReport, but that’s a topic for another day.
While the goal of scheduling platforms is the same – to increase productivity by streamlining the content curation/creation process – they all have their strengths and weaknesses. Only by knowing what your goals are and who you’re trying to reach will you be able to determine which platform is right for you. For now, I’ll just leave you looking a little puzzled – like Dean.