Social media has become an important component of marketing. A 2020 survey shows 83% of marketing specialists use social media as part of their digital campaigns. Instead of using native platforms to manage these platforms, businesses can now access automation tools like Later and Hootsuite.
If you compare Later vs. Hootsuite, each of these solutions has the necessary features to help businesses grow and reach more users through social media. However, they also have some differences in terms of features, pricing, and user experience.
So how do the two platforms compare?
This article will look at the differences between the two social media management tools to help you make an informed decision.
What is Later?
Later is a well-known social media management platform that works with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and TikTok.
With this tool, you can analyze, plan, and schedule content in advance to be automatically published on all your platforms. You can then save time to focus on other areas of your business. Founded in 2014, Later started out as an Instagram social media marketing tool before expanding to other platforms.
Some of the key features of this social media management tool include scheduling, auto publish, analytics, content planning, curation, and hashtag analyzer.
Later works with multiple social media platforms, but its features are tailored for Instagram marketing. You can get the Later app for both iOS and Android for easier access. More than 7 billion businesses use Later for marketing.
What is Hootsuite?
Hootsuite is one of the pioneer social media management platforms. With more than 25 million users, Hootsuite is common among government, healthcare, financial services, and higher education professionals. Today, this tool is the most popular platform globally.
You can manage all your social media accounts through one platform with Hootsuite because it supports all networks. It easily integrates with Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. In addition, you can also connect it to messengers like WhatsApp to help you manage customer care.
It also allows you to schedule emails, plan content, post on time, track social media performance, run ads, stay on top of the trends, and improve your online presence. Therefore, if you have a community manager for your business, they can use Hootsuite for automatic processes.
Later vs. Hootsuite
Let’s take a closer look at Later vs. Hootsuite and compare them in different aspects.
1. Supported Social Media Platforms
Both Later and Hootsuite support almost similar social networks. They work for popular platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. The only difference is that while Later supports TikTok, Hootsuite does not.
This is not a major drawback if your business does not use TikTok for promotion. However, statistics show that TikTok had 1.2 billion active users in the fourth quarter of 2021, and this number is expected to grow to 1.8 billion by the end of 2022. Therefore, if your company is trying to tap into this huge TikTok audience, it’s better to use Later.
2. Sign-up Process
Onboarding is an important element for your business. You are more likely to get more users if your platform allows users to sign up quickly. Both Later and Hootsuite have a simple sign-up process whereby you need to provide some personal details to create an account.
To sign up for Later, follow these steps;
● Click on the “Create Free Account” button
● On the next tab, fill in your name, email, and password
● Tap on “Create Account”
● On the next tab, fill in your user goals
Later has a 14-day free trial period. Choose your ideal plan, enter your payment details, and get started. You can start the trial period immediately or postpone it for later. Later has a free plan for individual users that you use to try out the features before paying.
On the other hand, Hootsuite offers a 30-day free trial period. To sign up;
● Click on the “Start Your Free 30-day Trial” button
● Select a plan depending on whether its an individual account or a team account
● Fill in your full name, business email address, and password in the next tab
● Enter your billing details to complete the sign-up process
You can also choose to skip the free trial and get a 20% discount.
The difference between the two, Later and Hootsuite, is that the latter expects you to enter your credit card details to use it. They also validate your name and email address after you’ve entered your credit card details. This complicates the Hootsuite sign-up process, which can be a turn-off for most users.
3. User Interface & Dashboard
You need to compare the user interface if you are conflicted between Later and Hootsuite for your business. The design plays a role in attracting users. The user interface needs to be simple and seamless for users to enjoy using it.
One advantage of using Later is that the tool has a simple, modern, and appealing interface. The dashboard is quite straightforward, with a simple sidebar and well-arranged options. Therefore, the features are not confusing for users. If you are a beginner, you can use the tutorial provided on the site.
If you choose Hootsuite, you’ll notice that it has many more features than Later; however, the dashboard is still easy to use. The downside is that it has a lot of panels opening in columns next to each other. This can become confusing if you have added multiple social media accounts to your Hootsuite account.
Although the interface is more complex than Later, it has all the necessary functions like reporting, calendar, streams, and advertising. If you have any challenges finding some functions, you can use the onboarding features to learn more about the features.
4. Key Features
When comparing Later and Hootsuite, you have to look at the features. Here’s how the two social media management tools compare.
Social media marketing tools like Hootsuite and Later are designed for content scheduling. You can create content weeks or months before and schedule them for posting on specific days. Businesses and social media professionals save a lot of time by using these platforms.
The Hootsuite scheduler allows you to easily create, schedule, and publish content from a single dashboard. You can use the planner that includes a social media content calendar to help you visualize all posts. You can also cancel scheduled posts to make urgent ones. In addition, you can schedule multiple posts for different platforms using Bulk Composer.
Since it has an intuitive UI, you can collaborate with your team members in real time, especially if you need to work on a content schedule. The scheduler also has an editor that lets you preview the posts before publishing. This will help you avoid mistakes.
Once you design a post and check the preview, you can choose the account and date the post should go live, which will get posted automatically.
The Hootsuite calendar view makes it easy to view your posts week by week. You can also move them around using the drag-and-drop feature. However, it only shows part of the month, like other social media management tools.
On the other hand, Later allows you to see the calendar either by week or month. It works like Hootsuite because you can use the drag-and-drop feature to change when the posts go live. The dashboard has a visual planner; therefore, you can upload visuals from your device or the library.
For instance, if you want to schedule posts on Instagram using Later, you have to download the app on your phone. After you log in to your account, you can schedule posts on your phone and PC. However, Later does not have a feature to schedule Instagram stories; you’ll get a notification at the planned time to post manually.
Calendar scheduling for both tools is easy to use. However, if you compare the two, Later’s calendar view is more modern than the one on Hootsuite.
Bio Link Tools
According to a study by Social Insider, the “link in bio” phrase is used in Instagram captions only by 32.4% of brands. If you run an e-commerce business, you can use social media to get more business by adding a link to your bio.
Later has the “Linkin.bio” feature that makes your content clickable and redirects visitors to your website. With this feature, you can drive traffic from Instagram & TikTok to an e-commerce shop or the latest blog posts or manage all your links in one place. The insights give you more information to plan your content strategy.
On the other hand, Hootsuite also has the “oneclick.bio” feature that allows you to create a link tree. Just like with Later, you can link your Instagram with buttons that redirect users to your store, products, or website.
Social Media Monitoring
As one of the earliest social media management tools, Hootsuite has robust monitoring tools. This monitoring feature, known as Streams, allows you to determine what needs to get monitored. For instance, an e-commerce business can create a stream to monitor if your brand name gets mentioned anywhere.
Additionally, you can track specific comments and hashtags from different platforms. This information is essential to determine the performance of your posts. You can reuse content from best–performing content in advertising campaigns. The Hootsuite Insights feature allows you to search for any keyword and filter results.
Unlike Hootsuite, Later does not have robust monitoring features. However, you can use the Instagram Hashtags feature to track relevant hashtags on social media. It allows you to view comments and hashtag recommendations to improve visibility. With Later, users view other Instagram profiles and get inspiration for future posts.
To maintain an active social media following, you need to interact and engage with your audience. This becomes challenging when you have multiple platforms. Hootsuite and Later can help you overcome this challenge thanks to their set of features.
Hootsuite has an “Inbox” feature that allows you to see comments and messages from multiple platforms. If you have a lot of customer inquiries, Hootsuite filters out those that require immediate action, bulk dismisses the ones that don’t, or assign other team members to the task.
On the other hand, Later has the same functionality known as “Conversations.” With this tool, you can reply to Instagram messages and comments directly. If you compare Later and Hootsuite, the former manages Instagram interactions much better.
However, if you need a tool that manages comments on other social media platforms, Hootsuite might be a better option.
5. Reporting & Analytics
Social media performance is important for your business. Although you might have in-built tools like Instagram Analytics, they might not be enough. Fortunately, you can use Later and Hootsuite to check the analytics. So, what’s the difference between Later and Hootsuite?
Later gets you insights from Instagram, calculates engagement rates, information on the best times to post, and more. Through the dashboard, you can see how each post is performing, plus the overall performance.
Later analytic features include;
● Profile Overview
● Stories analytics
● Hashtag analytics
● Traffic and sales
The analytic reports from Later are available weekly. Because of this, you can use the data to improve the posts and schedule other posts that boost engagement.
Hootsuite’s analytics features are ideal for companies that have a huge number of social media platforms for multiple clients. Some of the analytics you can get include individual post-performance, a 360-degree view of your results on all social networks from a single platform, post-engagement rate, and brand awareness details.
You can get actionable insights on the best times to post; whether your goal is to boost engagement, build awareness, or drive traffic, set yourself up for success. Hootsuite is one of the most robust platforms in terms of analytics. Therefore, this is the best option if you are looking for an option with the best reporting tools.
As mentioned, Later and Hootsuite both integrate with several social media platforms. Apart from this, they need other integrations that are necessary for social media management.
If you choose Later, it already works well with platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. For content curation and storage, Later comes with these cross-platform integrations; Dropbox, Adobe, Unsplash, and Google. Therefore, if you need images, you can access a library of visuals from Unsplash.
Additionally, Later integrates with Shopify. Therefore, if you are an e-commerce business owner, you can connect it to your Instagram and add the link in the bio to redirect customers to your store.
Compared to Later, Hootsuite has more extensive integrations. Apart from the social media platforms, Hootsuite connects with multiple apps that will help you create content from one unified dashboard. Some of the Hootsuite integrations include HubSpot, Canva, Shopify, Google My Business, Spotify, Slack, and Zendesk Pro.
Therefore, if you are looking for advanced integration, examine the differences between Later and Hootsuite and choose the best alternative for your business.
Before choosing a social management tool for your business, you need to consider the price. The cost should be a perfect fit for your needs and budget. Let’s look at how these two tools compare.
Hootsuite has different plans for different businesses. They offer four different pricing plans: Professional, Team, Business, and Enterprise. Their prices are a bit more costly than Later and other competitors. This could be due to the high number of services they provide and the wide range of features.
You can take the Professional option at $49 per month if you need the tool for yourself. This option is ideal if you are starting out in your social media journey. You are allowed up to ten social accounts, unlimited posts, and post scheduling.
However, if you have a business, you have to start with the Team option, which accommodates three users at $249 per month. This plan will work if you have several people on your social media marketing team. It comes with the features in the Professional plan plus collaboration tools.
If you have five users, the price goes up to $739 per month for the Business plan, which is quite steep for most companies. This plan comes with the basic features plus additional ones like approval workflows, inbound/outbound tagging, content & asset library, and Hootsuite customer support.
However, if you feel that these subscriptions don’t meet your needs, you can contact the Hootsuite team for a customized plan. The Enterprise plan is customized and allows 50 social media accounts, making it a good option if you have multiple clients. Hootsuite has a free 30-day trial period; however, you have to provide your credit card details.
On the other hand, Later’s prices are more reasonable than Hootsuite’s prices. They provide multiple services, but they are less expensive. When you sign up, you can choose between one of the three plans; Starter, Growth, or Advanced.
For the basic plan, Starter Later charges $18 per month. Compared to Hootsuite, this is way cheaper; therefore, ideal if you have a small budget. With this plan, you get 30 posts per social profile, a customizable Linkin.bio page, and limited analytics for up to 3 months.
The Growth plan costs $40 per month and covers three users. Some of the features you get include 50 posts per social profile, full analytics for up to 1 year of data, a customizable Linkin.bio page, collab tools for creators and brands, and team and brand management tools.
You can subscribe to the Advanced plan at $80 per month if you have six team members. The Advanced option comes with all the features from the Growth plan plus unlimited posts and live chat support.
Based on this comparison, Later is much more affordable; however, the features are not as extensive as Hootsuite. The Starter plan is ideal for beginners, while the other premium versions work well for businesses with social media teams. You can also use the 14-day free trial period to learn how the tool works.
8. Customer Support
When you compare the two, Hootsuite is better when it comes to customer support. You can access the help center from the website. Just click on the chat option to talk to a representative. They also provide their social media handles on Facebook and Twitter in case you want to contact them.
On the other hand, Later’s customer support is not as direct. They only have a help center on the website that just covers popular articles. However, they don’t have a chat function; you can only email them and wait for replies. The other way to get some answers is to join the Later community.
So, Which One Should You Go For?
Later and Hootsuite are social media management tools that are commonly used by individuals and businesses. While they perform the same functions, they are also quite different. This Later vs. Hootsuite comparison clearly shows that Hootsuite has more functionalities and robust monitoring features, but it’s more costly.
On the other hand, Later has fewer integrations and features, but it has a more modern look and is affordable. Before choosing an option for your business, consider these factors and ensure that the tool meets your needs.
Which Is Better Between Later and Hootsuite?
Later is ideal if you are looking for a modern and affordable social media management tool for platforms like Instagram and TikTok. In contrast, Hootsuite is better if you want more features, robust monitoring and reporting features, and integrations.
Is Later For Instagram Only?
Although Later started out as a tool for Instagram, businesses and marketers can now use it to plan content for Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. However, if you are looking for a tool for Instagram marketing, Later is much better because its features are more customized for the platform.