In this digital era, social media management has become a critical part of running a business.
There are two clear frontrunners in the world of social media management: Sprout Social and Hootsuite. Both platforms offer a comprehensive suite of tools to help users manage their social media accounts.
Sprout Social vs. Hootsuite: Which is the best platform for you? This post will help you answer that question.
We’ll review the features, pricing, and key differences between these two popular social media management platforms so you can choose the best for your business needs.
What is Sprout Social, and What Does It Offer Users?
Sprout Social is a social media management platform that helps businesses grow their online presence.
It offers users a suite of tools to help with tasks like analyzing social media, scheduling posts, and engaging with their audience.
1. Scheduling Posts
One of the most time-consuming aspects of social media management is creating and scheduling content.
Sprout Social makes this process much easier by allowing users to create and schedule posts in advance. This feature is especially useful for businesses that need to post regularly but may not have the workforce and time to do so daily.
2. Analyzing Analytics
Another critical aspect of social media management is analyzing your performance. Sprout Social’s analytics tools allow users to track their progress and see how their posts perform.
This information is valuable in understanding what content resonates with your audience and what content doesn’t. It also allows you to adjust your social media strategy accordingly.
3. Understanding Your Audience
Sprout helps businesses to understand their customers better. With its robust suite of listening and reporting tools, you can track what people say about your brand, identify customer sentiment, and get real-time insights into how your social media campaigns are performing.
You can use such valuable feedback to make informed decisions about your marketing strategy and adjust your approach accordingly.
4. Engaging With Your Audience
A critical element of social media management is engaging with your audience.
Sprout Social makes it easy to do this by providing users with tools to help them listen to conversations, reply to messages, and monitor mentions. This feature is essential for building relationships with customers and fostering loyalty.
Features of Sprout Social
Some of the most notable features of Sprout Social include:
1. Comprehensive Analytics
The analytics and reporting features offered by Sprout are comprehensive and enable you to track your progress over time.
With Sprout’s analytics, you can track your engagement rates, reach, impressions, and more. You can see how your social media activity is performing, which helps you adjust your strategy accordingly.
2. Multiple User Support
The platform supports multiple users, which is ideal if you have a team working on your social media presence. Each user has their login credentials and access levels, so you can control who has access to what information.
3. Team Collaboration Tools
In addition to supporting multiple users, Sprout also offers collaboration tools that make it easy for team members to work together on social media campaigns. These tools enable assigning tasks, leaving comments, and tracking progress over time.
Sprout Social integrates with several third-party applications (e.g., CRMs), which makes it even more powerful and versatile.
For instance, you can connect Sprout with Hootsuite Insights or Google Analytics for even more insights into your social media activity.
5. Post Scheduling
With Sprout’s post-scheduling feature, you can easily plan and publish content on your social media channels.
Simply compose your message, select the date and time you want it to go live, and hit publish. It’s that easy!
6. Engaging With Followers
Sprout Social also makes it easy to engage with your followers online.
With Sprout’s engagement tools, you can quickly:
- Respond to comments and messages
- Track mentions of your brand
- Create custom lists of influencers
- Message customers
Sprout’s smart inbox feature ensures you never miss an important mention or message again.
7. Reporting Features
Sprouts’ reporting features allow you to generate detailed reports on your social media performance quickly.
With these reports, you can track your progress over time and measure the ROI of your social media campaigns. Plus, Sprouts’ reporting tools enable sharing reports with clients or colleagues with just a few clicks.
What is Hootsuite, and What Does It Offer Its Users?
Hootsuite is another social media management tool that lets you track all your social media accounts in one place. This can be extremely helpful for small businesses that want to be active on social media but need more time or resources to do so.
With Hootsuite, you can see who’s talking about you and what they’re saying and respond accordingly— all in real-time. Hootsuite also provides users with powerful analytics so you can see how your social media campaigns are performing and make necessary adjustments on the fly.
In addition to tracking all of your social media platforms in one place, Hootsuite also offers users a suite of tools to promote their social media marketing efforts.
How Does Hootsuite Work?
Hootsuite lets you connect all your social media accounts into one central dashboard.
From there, you can see everything happening across your social channels — who’s talking about you, what they’re saying, etc. and respond accordingly.
Plus, with Hootsuite’s robust suite of tools, you can schedule posts ahead of time, track who’s unfollowed you, and measure your social media ROI.
Features of Hootsuite
Here are the most notable features of this popular social media management tool:
1. Hootsuite Dashboard
The Hootsuite dashboard is your command center. From the dashboard, you can view all your social media activity in one place, so you never miss anything.
You can also quickly respond to any mentions or messages. The Hootsuite dashboard is highly customizable, so you can tailor it to fit your specific needs.
2. Hootsuite Insights
Want to closely monitor your social media activity? Hootsuite Insights has you covered!
With Insights, you can track your progress over time, get detailed reports on your social media activity, and compare your performance to other users in your industry.
3. Hootsuite Publisher
Hootsuite publisher is the tool that will help you schedule and publish content on all your social media channels. With Hootsuite publisher, you can upload content directly from your computer or create new content using the built-in editor.
You can also easily schedule your content to get published at a later time or date. And if you’re ever in a bind, you can even use the publisher to publish content immediately!
4. Hootsuite Engage
Engage is Hootsuite’s tool for monitoring and responding to social media comments and messages. With Engage, you can see all your mentions in one place, so you never miss a beat.
You can also reply directly to comments and messages or even DM (direct message) other users right from the Hootsuite Engage interface.
5. Scheduling and Publishing Content
Hootsuite makes scheduling and publishing content on all your social media channels easy. With the Hootsuite Composer, you can compose and schedule posts in advance. This way, you can focus on other tasks knowing that your content is taken care of.
6. Analytics and Reporting
Hootsuite also provides detailed analytics and reporting to track your progress and see how your social marketing campaigns are performing.
With Hootsuite analytics, you can get insights into your social media activity and see which posts resonate with your audience. You can also use the built-in reporting tools to create custom reports for clients or stakeholders.
Difference Between Sprout Social and Hootsuite
While both Sprout Social and Hootsuite offer relatively similar functionality, there are some notable differences between them:
While both Sprout Social and Hootsuite offer multi-user management, Sprout Social’s team management features are more robust.
With Sprout Social, you can assign tasks to team members, view who’s working on what, and get real-time alerts when someone completes a task. Hootsuite also offers team management features, but they’re less comprehensive than what you can find on Sprout Social.
Sprout Social’s content scheduling features also give it an edge over Hootsuite.
For instance, it allows you to bulk-schedule content, meaning you can upload several pieces of content at once and schedule them to be published at different times. Second, Sprout has a “recurring posts” feature that lets you automatically publish content regularly (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly).
It also has a “smart queue” feature that automatically schedules your content based on the best time to post for each social media platform. Hootsuite also offers some content scheduling features but lacks recurring posts and smart queues features.
Both Sprout Social and Hootsuite offer analytics capabilities. However, Sprout’s analytics are more comprehensive than Hootsuite’s.
With Sprout Social’s comprehensive reports, you can see how your content performs across all your social media channels. You can also see detailed information about your audience (e.g., demographics), engagement metrics (e.g., likes, comments, shares), and more.
Sprout Social and Hootsuite offer free trials, so you can try them before you buy. After the free trial ends, pricing for both tools is based on the number of users/accounts/profiles you need to manage (e.g., the number of Facebook pages or Twitter accounts).
For small businesses managing up to five social media accounts, pricing starts at $249/month for Sprout Social and $49/month for Hootsuite Pro (for ten social accounts). For larger businesses managing more than ten social media accounts, pricing starts at $399/month for SproutSocial and $249/month for Hootsuite.
These pricing ranges show that Sprout Social is a relatively more expensive platform for managing your social media accounts than Hootsuite.
Another key difference between Sprout Social and Hootsuite is their ability to integrate with other platforms.
Sprout Social offers a built-in CRM tool that allows users to track customer relationships across all channels (email, social media, etc.). On the other hand, Hootsuite does not have a built-in CRM tool but does offer integrations with popular CRM tools like Salesforce and HubSpot.
Pricing of Sprout Social
Sprout offers three different pricing plans: Standard, Professional and Advanced.
1. Standard Plan
The Standard plan starts at $249/month. It includes all of the basic features you need to manage your social media accounts, such as scheduling posts, analyzing your audience, and monitoring your brand mentions.
This plan helps you manage up to five social profiles and offers features such as:
- Publish, schedule, draft, and queue posts
- Social content calendar
- All-in-one social inbox
- Profiles, keywords, and locations monitoring
- Tasking and social CRM tools
- Review management
2. Professional Plan
The professional plan starts at $399 per month. It includes the Standard plan features, plus some advanced features like
- Team collaboration tools
- Competitive Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter reports
- Incoming and outgoing message tagging
- Scheduling for optimal send times
This plan supports unlimited social profiles.
3. Advanced Plan
The advanced plan starts at $499 per month and includes all the features of the lower-tier plans, plus extras like:
- Message Spike Alerts
- Saved and suggested replies
- Digital asset and content library
- Chatbots with automation tools
- Inbox rule builder for automated actions
Aside from the three pricing plans, you can get a custom enterprise plan designed to meet your specific business needs.
Pricing of Hootsuite
Hootsuite also offers three pricing plans: Professional, Team, and Business plans.
1. Professional Plan
The Professional plan is designed for small businesses that are ready to take social media management to the next level. It starts at $49/month and includes up to 10 social media profiles.
This basic plan comes with:
- Unlimited posts
- Post scheduling
- Access to messages in one inbox
2. Team Plan
The Team plan is perfect for businesses with multiple team members who need to collaborate on social media.
The Team plan starts at $249/month and includes:
- Up to 20 social media profiles
- team collaboration features
- Dedicated account management
3. Business Plan
Finally, the business plan starts from $739/month. This plan includes everything in the lower-tier plans, unlimited social profiles, and data export.
It also offers:
- A dedicated social manager
- Inbound and outbound tagging
- Content and asset library
- Prompt customer support
Like Sprout Social, Hootsuite also has a custom-priced enterprise plan that can be tweaked according to your needs.
With this plan, you’ll get all of the features from the team plan, plus some additional features designed for enterprise-level businesses, like single sign-on (SSO) and customized training and onboarding.
If you’re unsure which pricing plan is right for you; both platforms offer a free 30-day trial period so you can try all the features before committing to a paid plan.
Pros and Cons of Sprout Social vs. Hootsuite
If you’re still spoilt for choice between these two social management platforms, let’s review the pros and cons of working with each platform:
Sprout Social Pros
- Easier to use than Hootsuite: Has a user-friendly interface
- Offers a range of features beyond just social media scheduling and reporting, including CRM, analytics, and listening
- Integrates with a wide variety of business tools, including Google Apps, Slack, Salesforce, and Zendesk
- Automated reporting that makes it easy to track your performance
- Excellent customer support
Sprout Social Cons
- More expensive than Hootsuite; pricing starts at $249/month for the Standard plan and goes up to $499/month for the Advanced plan
- Some features can be difficult to figure out
- New users find the interface overwhelming and challenging to navigate
- Affordable monthly price
- Easy to use, even for beginners
- Offers a wide range of social media management features
- Responsive customer support
- Limited integrations with other platforms and tools
- The interface can be confusing for some users
Sprout Social vs. Hootsuite: Which Platform Is Right for You?
So, which platform is the best? It all depends on your business needs and personal preferences.
If you’re looking for a platform that offers robust tools for growing your social media following, then Sprout Social is a good choice. However, if you’re looking for a relatively cheaper platform offering more integrations with third-party applications, then Hootsuite may be a better option.
Ultimately, the best way to decide between Sprout Social vs. Hootsuite is to try both (utilize the free trials) and see which meets your business needs.