Hootsuite Review: Most Popular Platform for Managing Social Media Activity

Ideal for businesses looking to take their social media presence to the next level.

Hootsuite is a social media management platform that is designed to help users manage all of their social media activity in one central location. Whether you’re a an enterprise business or a startup, Hootsuite can be a powerful tool that helps you optimize all of your social media efforts.

Pros

  • Suitable for businesses that need to update many social media accounts at once.
  • Provides easy access to custom "streams" of content on your dashboard, which can track your own social media streams, and also help aggregate relevant content from other accounts.
  • Automatically collects analytics to help you track the success of your social media campaigns.
  • Low learning curve.

Cons

  • Will periodically lose its connection to certain social networks for security reasons, which means that you’ll probably need to reconnect your social media accounts from time to time.
  • 30-day trial requires a credit card, so if you don’t plan to continue using Hootsuite, you need to set a reminder to cancel your membership before the trial ends, or you’ll automatically be charged.

Price

  • Ranges from $19/month-$499+/month, depending on number of users and social media profiles.
  • Free tier also available.
  • 30-day free trial for Professional and Team pricing tiers.

Table of Contents

Full Review

Cultivating and maintaining an active, professional social media presence is a crucial part of running a successful business. With more than 10 million users (including more than 800 Fortune 500 companies), Hootsuite is a powerful tool that enables teams manage and execute their social media marketing efforts from one central, easy-to-use platform. If your team manages social media accounts across several platforms, then Hootsuite can be a substantial timesaver that reduces a lot of manual effort that goes into publishing content on all of your accounts.

Most individuals and companies that are just starting out with social media will find that Hootsuite's free plan will meet most of their needs. However, there are also premium plans which include a number of features that will appeal to larger teams, including the ability to set different permissions and workflows, assign tasks to other team members, and analytics capabilities.

Which social media platforms does Hootsuite integrate with?

Hootsuite integrates with more than 35 popular social media platforms, including:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube

Hootsuite also offers some other integrations and extensions to allow users to connect Hootsuite with Flickr, MailChimp, and other services. Some of these are free, while others will require an additional cost to use.

Key Features

Below, we discuss the key features of Hootsuite, and how they can benefit your business.

Automated content scheduling

One of Hootsuite’s most important features is its ability to schedule posts across all of your social media profiles. This means that instead of manually posting your content on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter one by one, you’ll be able to use Hootsuite to schedule your post across all of your social media accounts at a specified time. Not only will this save you time (especially if you post frequently) and help you distribute your content so that each post spends enough time at the top of your profile, but it will also help ensure that you have consistency across all of your social media profiles.

It's easy to get started using Hootsuite. To user the scheduler to automate your posting schedule, you simply need to select the time the post should publish, and the accounts and platforms it should publish across. In the screenshot below, we’re scheduling a post to publish on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram on October 9th, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. The scheduler also displays a character count that corresponds to each social media network’s character count requirements. For example, we can see in the lower left corner that we are 13 characters over Twitter’s limit of 140 characters per tweet, but we still have 536 and 2047 characters remaining for LinkedIn and Instagram, respectively.

Hootsuite scheduler

Hootsuite will automatically notify you if it runs into a problem with one of your scheduled posts, or if it detects a problem with one of your accounts. The system will occasionally disconnect from one or more of your social networks, either because your credentials no longer work, or because some social media networks require you to periodically reactivate the connection for security reasons. Whenever one of your accounts disconnects, you will receive an email, which lets you know that you need to reestablish the connection, so that Hootsuite can regain access to that particular account.

Hootsuite lost connection

Hootsuite will also notify you if a scheduled message failed to publish on one of your social media accounts. You’ll receive a notification, complete with information about which account was involved, and the content of the failed post:

Hootsuite failed to send

With these automatic notifications in place, you can be sure that Hootsuite will execute your social media marketing campaign, and notify you if it runs into any issues along the way.

Social engagement and content creation

Sharing interesting and engaging content with your audience is an important part of any social media strategy. But maintaining a robust social media presence isn’t just about posting original content and sharing news about your own business -- it’s also about being social.

Hootsuite helps teams address both of these challenges, by aggregating relevant content that you can engage with or use as inspiration for creating future content for your audience. When you log in to Hootsuite, you'll see a dashboard of activity in the form of "streams". You can set up each stream to show activity from your own social media accounts, or you can also set up streams to populate with relevant content based on a search for a term or hashtag (for example, you can set up a stream to monitor the major social media networks for posts related to “dental whitening”). Analyzing these streams can help you determine what type of content is receiving a lot of engagement, and use that information to help guide your own content generation strategy. You can also directly retweet and/or engage with tweets or other posts directly from a stream.

Hootsuite dashboard

By providing easy access to important streams of information on one central dashboard, Hootsuite makes it easy for businesses to quickly react to relevant content, respond to other social media influencers, and cultivate a robust social media presence without having to hop from one social media account to another.

Analytics

Hootsuite can also be a powerful tool that helps analyze the performance of your various social media campaigns. The system provides dashboards that aggregate various social media KPIs in one central location. This can be helpful in understanding how effective your past social media efforts have been, so that you can use that information to tweak and improve future posts to ensure the highest rate of engagement.

Hootsuite analytics

Although you could manually scroll through your business’s tweets to see which ones gained the most traction, it is a lot more effective to automate this process with a service like Hootsuite. Plus, the more social media accounts you have, the more time-consuming it becomes to have to manually gather analytics about all of them. Hootsuite will automatically track your company’s past social media activity across all of the accounts you connect with. The reports can be exported as a PDF, Excel spreadsheet, PowerPoint, or CSV file. You can also use Hootsuite analytics to track how long it takes your team to react to social media mentions, posts, and comments that require a response.

Some basic analytics capabilities are included in Hootsuite's free tiers, but you'll have to upgrade to a higher tier in order to leverage custom reports, and some of the other more powerful analytics capabilities.

Should you go pro?

The free tier is a great option for people who are looking to dabble in using a social media management platform, and don't plan on scheduling more than 30 posts at once. It includes many of Hootsuite’s core features, like the ability to schedule social media posts simultaneously across multiple platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.), and basic analytics to track the success of your social media campaigns. On the free plan, you can have one user login and connect to up to three social profiles. We recommend trying out the free tier if you don’t want to post across more than three social media platforms. If you foresee the need to post across more than three accounts or need to provide access to more than one user, then you’ll likely need to purchase one of the premiun plans. In addition, you'll also want to upgrade if you want the ability to create custom reports, or want access to some of Hootsuite's more sophisticated analytics capabilities.

Is Hootsuite the right software for you?

Hootsuite is a popular platform that helps teams manage their social media presence across multiple platforms. It provides businesses with access to a helpful dashboard of relevant content across multiple social media platforms, which helps them easily interact with social media influencers to gain more followers, and schedule more timely content that is more likely to resonate with their audience. If you’re looking to streamline the management of your social media activity, then Hootsuite is a must for your business.

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