There’s no denying the importance of properly accounting for social media when it comes to your company’s digital strategy.
However, as much as we all understand the importance of creating and effectively implementing a well-defined social media strategy, many of us all too often come up short.
It’s no wonder — in order to see a worthwhile ROI from your social media marketing efforts, countless hours of planning, research and continual implementation are necessary.
The truth of the matter is that for most small businesses and entrepreneurs the two main resources necessary to make it work are often the two that are always coming up short: time and money.
Fortunately, many platforms have burst onto the market making social media marketing and management easier than ever.
This article will provide you with a detailed overview and comparison of our platform alongside of two other popular industry platforms in order to help educate those currently on the search for the right social media management solution to fit their specific needs.
With over 4 million digital marketer customers and 8,000 business clients such as Fortune and Shopify, Buffer is another social media management tool that is easily one of the top five most popular platforms on the market.
Buffer promotes their product as a simple solution to meet all of your social media marketing needs, whether that be post scheduling, managing multiple accounts at once or analytics.
In addition, the platform offers a free 14-day trial for their business clientele, flexible payment options (monthly & yearly), as well as an RSS Feed feature, a video and GIF uploader, a convenient browser app and mobile apps for both iOS and Android users.
Buffer offers a variety of plan options ranging from “Free” and “Pro”, for individual users looking to manage their social accounts, and “Business Plans” for small businesses and enterprises in need of more robust features.
1. Free Plan
The free plan has the capacity to manage up to three social accounts at a time and gives users the ability to schedule up to 10 posts in advance. This is a great option for those just beginning to get their feet wet when it comes to social media marketing, but presents some obvious limitations for individuals a step above this level.
Another downside to the free plan is that users are unable to add team members and Pinterest is not a supported platform.
2. Pro Plan ($15/month)
The Pro Plan presents a rather significant upgrade from the Free Plan and is a great option for digital marketers or individuals at a more intermediate stage of awareness and competency for social media marketing. This plan has the capacity to manage up to 8 social accounts at a time and gives users the ability to schedule up to 100 posts in advance. Another added benefit to forking over the $15.00 per month is the addition of Pinterest as a supported platform.
However, an obvious downside to this plan is the inability to add team members in addition to the fact that 8 social platforms won’t quite get you too far as a digital marketer managing multiple accounts given that most businesses maintain at least 2-3.
However, if your business operations can fall within these parameters, then it’s safe to say this is a great plan for you.
3. Small Business Plan ($99/month)
The small business plan presents a significant step up into the big leagues from the Free and Pro Plan, and not just in pricing. This plan gives you the ability to manage up to 25 social accounts at once and schedule up 2,000 posts in advance.
This is also the lowest plan option necessary for those needing the ability to add others for contribution or management as this plan allows up to 5 team members.
One major downside to this plan is the cost, as forking out $100 per month as a digital marketer or small startup could easily present a problem in a stage where cash flow is often restricted.
4. Medium Business Plan ($199/month)
If you’re a medium-sized business and can afford to dish out $200 per month on your social media management tool, then you’ll be happy to find you’ll gain twice the social account capacity (up to 50 social accounts) as the small business plan in addition to the ability to add twice the number of individuals (up to 10 team members).
However, those looking for additional post scheduling capacity are out of luck because the number of caps at 2,000 scheduled posts regardless of which business plan you choose.
5. Large Business Plan ($399/month)
If you’re a large business with a decent bankroll, then the large business plan offers organizations the ability to manage up to 150 social accounts at a time and add as many as 25 team members for contribution or management purposes.
Again, the schedule posting capacity remains capped at 2,000 scheduled posts -- but let’s be real -- that’s a pretty darn good number.
6. Enterprise Plan (Custom)
Finally, Buffer offers a customizable Enterprise Plan for large enterprises looking for an even greater capacity.
So, if you’re an enterprise in need of managing over 150 social accounts and more than 25 team members, then Buffer offers a customized solution for you.
Hootesuite is arguably one of the top 3 most popular social media management platforms out there on the market today and caters to individuals, entrepreneurs and enterprises and businesses of all sizes.
When using the app one immediately is made aware that the platform offers a much less streamlined and sleek user-experience than its competitor in Buffer.
However, what it lacks in presentation it makes up for in performance as the features in general are more robust than those presented with Buffer.
Additionally, Hootesuite offers users a 30-day trial, flexible payment options, integration with 80+ apps, 35+ social networks, and convenient mobile apps for both iOS and Android users.
Hootesuite offers 3 main plan options available to all of their users that are as follows:
1. Professional ($29/month)
The professional plan has the capacity to handle 10 social profiles and allows up to one user. It also offers the base features associated with the platform which include bulk scheduling, real-time analytics, social sweepstakes and unlimited RSS integrations.
2. Team ($129/month)
The Team Plan has the capacity to manage up to 20 social profiles and 3 users. It also offers upgraded professional features such as custom analytics reports, team assignments, 6 contest templates, 1 custom branded URL and 1 social media certification.
3. Enterprise (Custom)
The Enterprise Plan is targeted towards large organizations and offers additional benefits including but not limited to advanced analytics, personalized training and more.
So how does it stack up to its Buffer counterpart?
Well, for one, you’ll find there’s no free/base level plan with Hootesuite. This presents a downside for those looking for a quick and painless fix to their social media management needs and as a result, Hootesuite also loses out on a clientele that they could eventually cultivate into paying customers where Buffer does not.
Additionally, while you may find that Hootesuite offers the most bang for your buck when it comes to plans under $50/month, many may find that Buffer’s $99/month Pro Plan is smarter choice than Hootesuite’s second tier Team Plan, which also happens to be more costly.
Overall, it really depends on your specific needs.
If you’re main objective is ease-of-use -- then Buffer is going to be the answer for you. However, it’s also worth mentioning that many of the essential functions in Buffer such as the scheduling, reporting and analytics tools are noticeably weaker than in Hootesuite.
At VisioneerIT we offer a comprehensive approach to social media marketing and management.
Whether your company is looking for a robust social media marketing/management tool to assist in your efforts or an agency to handle the social media process from content creation to finish — we have a solution for you.
Our mobile-friendly product features include a convenient post calendar, rich, in-depth analytics, and a ready-to-post content library which also allows you to utilize your favorite RSS feeds to curate awesome content.
We also offer a comprehensive dashboard with direct scheduling capabilities and easily configurable notifications for each of your users so you get only the notifications you want — nothing more.
With our plan, you also get unlimited post scheduling capabilities, the ability to sign on unlimited team members and whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or GooglePlus — our tool has you covered.
Did we mention our awesome tool also has native Advertising Intelligence so you can better understand your ad performance and grow ROI? Advertising Intelligence brings your ad campaigns under one roof so you can compare campaigns side-by-side and see the big picture of your advertising efforts.
Pinpoint what’s making you money, get rid of what’s not and gain smart insights, maximize results and gain confidence in your process.
Need leads? Our Twitter tool can help alert you to potential hot leads by using relevant keywords.
Need an aggregate view of all of your customer posts? Our tool does that — and also gives you the ability to respond to them directly.
We also offer geo-targeted content searches so you can find relevant and timely content to republish to your social media audiences — and we offer all of this — at just $40/month.
That’s because at VisioneerIT, we believe every business of every size deserves access to a reputable, robust social media management tool.
Or maybe you’re looking for a less hands-on approach — we can handle that too.
At VisioneerIT, we’ll monitor your social channels daily and continuously search for the best engagement opportunities available with key influences and promoters within your audience.
We’ll curate and post valuable and interesting content and keep a steady hand on the pulse of your analytics, constantly tweaking your strategy so that it is optimized to the best of it’s ability.
We’ll also check out your website, to make sure it’s optimized for social media. We’ll be sure to keep it current with the latest social media platform changes, help aid in exposure and engagement by adding social share and follow buttons, as well as add a social login option to your site (a proven means of increasing registration conversions and retention).
With over 3 billion users in 2018, social media has officially reached a penetration for 42%. That’s pretty insane. With access to such a massive pool of potential customers, you’re going to want to make sure you’re bringing your A-game.
Let’s face it — it’s pretty darn near impossible to effectively and properly implement your social media strategy and run a full-time business all at once because when it comes down to it, they’re both full-time jobs.
There’s no shame in needing a little bit of help to optimize your processes.
When it comes to choosing the right social media marketing/management tool, it really all boils down to your specific needs. Perhaps your primary concern is cost-effectiveness. Perhaps you’re main issues is a lack of time, and you’re looking for a platform or company that can effectively take the reigns and get it done while you focus on other important aspects of your business.
Whatever the case, don’t go at it alone. If you’re going to put forth valuable time, energy and money into your social media strategy, then make sure every ounce of resource you spend is going to give you the highest ROI possible. Otherwise — it’s just a waste.