If you need an alternative to Hootsuite to manage your social media presence, our selection for the best option is Sprout Social, thanks to its impressive versatility. Try Sprout Social today with a 30-day free trial offer!
With nearly 20 million marketers using its software, Hootsuite is a highly popular brand in the social media marketing arena. Hootsuite organizes your social media content from the planning and creation phase through to the publishing date and beyond.
However, Hootsuite’s prices and feature set may not perfectly fit your needs, no matter how popular it is. The research team at Quick Sprout spends quite a bit of time studying social media marketing software, and we know that Hootsuite alternatives may fit your needs better. We have a few social media marketing software packages that we recommend as an alternative to Hootsuite.
The 5 Best Social Media Marketing Software Services
Sprout Social is a strong alternative to Hootsuite, as it delivers features that help you understand the people who are interacting with your brand. You can test Sprout Social’s features through a handy 30-day free trial period. Or take a look at our list of the top social media marketing software platforms and see our reviews.
- Sprout Social – Best for Learning Your True Brand Perception
- Hootsuite – Best All-in-One for Posting on Multiple Platforms
- Later – Best for Planning and Scheduling Features
- SocialPilot – Best for Small Teams Managing Multiple Accounts
- Agorapulse – Best for Streamlining Messaging
Sprout Social – Best for Learning Your True Brand Perception
As a business owner who relies on social media to drive customer interactions, understanding your followers is vital. Sprout Social is a social media marketing software tool that focuses on helping you measure your social media successes or failures by measuring audience interactions.
Sprout Social measures your brand impact with customers who directly interact with you. It also seeks mentions of your brand in other areas of social media and in conversations happening on social media platforms.
Sprout Social calls this measurement capability its listening tool. It automatically alerts you when your social media work is generating positive and negative benefits. You can use these insights to tweak your social media campaigns and to quickly capitalize on situations where your brand suddenly is part of conversations.
Should you need to improve the way you respond to your followers across all social media channels, Sprout Social simplifies this process too. It gives you a unified inbox that makes responding to direct messages an easier process.
If you believe you would benefit from having social media influencers helping you with brand promotion, Sprout Social can help. It makes suggestions on the influencers and thought leaders who would give your particular brand the most benefit.
How Sprout Social Compares to Hootsuite
Both Hootsuite and Sprout Social give you the basic features you’d expect from a social media marketing software package. You can plan and organize your social media posts using a calendar format with both packages. This ensures you are introducing new content on a regular basis and keeping your followers engaged.
Hootsuite makes managing your content calendar slightly easier than Sprout Social. When you have gaps or holes in your social media campaigns, they stand out clearly within the Hootsuite calendar, allowing you to make adjustments.
The Hootsuite calendar interface has an extremely helpful design. It simplifies the process of taking a long-term overview look at your planned posts. Yet, it also allows you to drill down into any aspect of the calendar to see significant details.
Sprout Social offers similar features, but they lag just a bit behind Hootsuite. Sprout Social does give you the ability to draft a single post and schedule it for use on multiple social media channels, which is helpful.
Where Sprout Social has a noticeable advantage is in its ability to understand how your followers perceive your brand. It gives you a wide range of analytics about how customers are seeing and interacting with your brand on social media.
Additionally, it keeps an eye on how other social media users perceive you, even if they don’t directly follow you. This type of information is invaluable as you seek out new followers. It gives you information on areas you can make improvements in how you are introducing your brand and in campaigns that are successful in drawing new followers.
Hootsuite has a similar feature, as it offers real-time monitoring and measurement of your social media campaigns. You can learn how your audience perceives you. However, Hootsuite’s features don’t quite stack up to what Sprout Social can deliver in this area.
For businesses that have a large number of social media profiles or that need to have several team members involved in managing social media, Hootsuite provides better pricing options. If you only have a few social media profiles to monitor, Sprout Social has beneficial price points.
Later – Best for Planning and Scheduling Features
When you need help with visualizing how your social media campaigns should progress days and weeks into the future, Later provides impressive features. You can schedule your planned social media posts up to a month in advance, all using a drag-and-drop interface. Later even gives you a preview mode that lets you view the posts in the order that your followers will see them, so you can be sure they are presenting the message perfectly.
Rather than scheduling your posts haphazardly, Later helps you select times where your posts should have the most impact. Later measures the days of the week and times of the day when the highest percentage of your followers are actively looking for content on your social media accounts. It then can automatically schedule your new posts to match those times.
It provides a significant number of analytics regarding the performance of your social media posts. You can use Later’s analytics to drill down to the way the same post is performing on each site, so you can adjust your approach for better results based on the site.
Later also helps you figure out which topics and hashtags to use to help you connect closely with your followers. When you schedule your posts, Later gives you a preview option where you can receive feedback from the software about which posts will deliver the best results for your brand.
If you want your social media posts to go beyond the traditional text-based posts, Later simplifies the process of publishing reels, videos, and carousels.
How Later Compares to Hootsuite
Because Later started as a marketing platform for Instagram, its interface has a far greater visual aspect to it compared to Hootsuite’s features. (Later now covers all the major social media platforms, including TikTok, Twitter, and Pinterest.)
Some people find the heavy reliance on visuals with Later to be a significant advantage, while others may prefer a more traditional text-based interface.
Hootsuite has post scheduling capabilities similar to what you find with Later. However, Hootsuite is not quite as detailed in terms of the options it provides for scheduling your posts.
Even though Later has support for all major social media platforms, the depth of its features can’t quite match up to Hootsuite. If you need to manage paid advertising campaigns, or if you need to keep a close eye on trending topics, Hootsuite’s features will give you better results.
Additionally, Hootsuite provides support for more than 20 social media platforms, while Later sticks with only the several largest platforms.
Pricing plans for Later are significantly cheaper than what is available with Hootsuite. Both Hootsuite and Later have free tiers with limited features. When you move into the paid tiers with both services, though, Later will offer a better deal for most users.
SocialPilot – Best for Small Teams Managing Multiple Accounts
When your business doesn’t have the budget for a feature-rich social media marketing software option, yet you need to post on multiple accounts regularly, SocialPilot is a strong choice. It has a budget-friendly price point, yet it delivers access to far more social media accounts than an average marketing software package.
SocialPilot is especially useful for smaller teams that don’t have a lot of spare resources to devote to social media management. You can save time by managing several social media accounts through the SocialPilot interface, giving you more time to manage other aspects of the business.
Although SocialPilot gives you the ability to create bulk posts that you can share across all your social media accounts, you also can customize each post. After all, your audience on one social media account may be significantly different than on another account. Adjusting the post slightly to match the social media platform where it will appear is an easy process with SocialPilot.
Use the analytics included in the SocialPilot platform to determine the best day of the week or the best time of the day to release a new post. SocialPilot measures when you should interact with your followers. It even can automate the release time for your posts to fit times when your followers are seeking new content.
If your small team runs into trouble while making use of SocialPilot, you can take advantage of the strong customer service it offers.
How SocialPilot Compares to Hootsuite
Although SocialPilot is a strong performer for small teams on a budget that need social media marketing software, it doesn’t match up to the depth of features found with Hootsuite.
With Hootsuite, you receive far more analytics and data about the types of followers you have and the performance of your posts. Additionally, SocialPilot does not measure analytics for all the social media platforms that it supports, which is frustrating. (SocialPilot does track your analytics with the major social media platforms.)
In terms of price, SocialPilot gives you the ability to manage far more social accounts at each of its pricing tiers versus Hootsuite. However, if you have a large number of team members who need to be able to make social media posts, Hootsuite is the better choice. SocialPilot significantly limits the number of users you can have on your account, making it tough for large teams to use it efficiently.
SocialPilot does not offer a free tier like Hootsuite does, but SocialPilot has a 14-day free trial period on any of its pricing tiers. Hootsuite has a 30-day free trial with its two highest pricing tiers.
Agorapulse – Best for Streamlining Messaging
When you need to communicate with your customers and followers through your social media account, managing the volume of messages can become overwhelming quickly. When you select Agorapulse as your social media marketing software, you are able to track these messages more effectively, keeping your followers engaged.
Agorapulse starts by managing direct messages as your followers send them to you. Agorapulse displays all the DMs in the software’s interface. It sorts the messages by the platform from which they originated.
Your team members can add notes to the messages, making it easier to collaborate on the message you want to send back. When the return message absolutely has to strike the perfect note, collaboration is important.
Additionally, Agorapulse is able to scan comments on your social media posts for information that may require a response. It then pulls those comments into the Agorapulse interface, allowing you to decide whether you want to respond.
Beyond tracking your social media messages, Agorapulse provides help with creating and managing social media campaigns. It allows you to schedule content to post to your social media accounts. It delivers analytics and statistics that give you insight into what topics are important to your followers.
Agorapulse makes it easier for the entire team to collaborate on your posts, just like you can collaborate on DMs.
How Agorapulse Compares to Hootsuite
Hootsuite and Agorapulse have similar price points, leaving both of them a little bit above average versus the typical social media management software package. Both services also have a free tier that you can use if you are a small business with only a few social media accounts.
Agorapulse has an advantage over Hootsuite in its ability to help you manage comments your social media followers make on your posts. Hootsuite and Agorapulse both give you the ability to see and manage your direct messages inside the software’s dashboard, no matter which social media account generated the DM.
When you need a wide range of features from your social media marketing software, Hootsuite is going to outdo Agorapulse for the majority of users. Hootsuite has a greater list of features than Agorapulse, and Hootsuite tends to give you the ability to use those features at a greater level of depth.
Additionally, Hootsuite works with more than 20 different social media platforms. Agorapulse only works with the several biggest and most popular social media platforms.
If you believe you will need to access the customer support team with your social media management software on a regular basis, Agorapulse would be the better choice. Its customer service team routinely receives higher marks than Hootsuite’s customer support team.
We spent a significant amount of time researching Agorapulse and all the engagement features that it provides in our Agorapulse review. It really is a great choice when you need to interact with your followers on a regular basis.