To be honest, I have no idea what social media managers did before social media marketing tools like Hootsuite were created. Although, I guess the reason there was a social media manager position to begin with was to be the social publishing tool themselves, but that is a topic for another post.
When social media exploded and businesses decided they needed in on some of that action, someone clearly saw an opportunity, and created a social media publishing tool. And then several other someones decided that was a good idea, and before you know it we have 32+ social media marketing tools, according to a Buffer article written a year ago.
I can't even imagine how many there might be now.
Many would probably argue that Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media marketing tools we have right now. I have used Hootsuite for clients that we have had that were not on HubSpot, but for the most part we at NR Media Group use HubSpot's tool.
As to which one I personally prefer, I actually do not have a preference. I do think that if your organization currently has a HubSpot license and you aren't using HubSpot for your social media marketing, you're kind of missing the point of a single-system marketing automation tool. All of that aside, I don't prefer one over the other.
However, I will let you draw your own conclusions from the Hootsuite vs. HubSpot comparison listed below!
Hootsuite vs. HubSpot
Hootsuite. Hootsuite has analytics, and I'm sure they are awesome, but they are tough to get to find within your Hootsuite dashboard, and they are completely open to your own interpretation. Which is sometimes not the best idea. And the legit reports, like Twitter and Facebook insights, cost points, aka. $$.
Considering it is a freemium tool, you probably wouldn't mind paying $45 a month for all the reports you could want in comparison to the hundreds of dollars a month you'll pay for HubSpot. Then again, if all you want is social media marketing tools, then you probably shouldn't be buying HubSpot anyway.
HubSpot. What I like about HubSpot's analytics is that not only are they very easy to find and understand, but HubSpot understands which ones you use as an organization. From the social media publishing dashboard, without clicking out to anything, I can see how well previous posts have been doing in terms of click rate, engagement, and impressions.
I can see that that one Facebook video of dancing kittens is killing it with 50 clicks and 10 shares, so I will want to repost that in a couple of weeks.
If I want more detailed analytics, HubSpot will tell me how many people clicked to my website from LinkedIn as opposed to Twitter, and even how many of them became customers. As a marketing manager, that is the information that I would find incredibly valuable. If I wanted to know what percentage of my followers were women, I would look on Facebook for free.
2. Publishing Messages
Hootsuite. As with most social media marketing tools, Hootsuite, has a Chrome browser extension, shaped like a very cute little owl, that allows you to publish posts as you browse the internet looking for interesting news.
It also has auto-publish, a function that allows you to manipulate the settings so that as you create posts, it was automatically publish two Facebook posts, three Twitter posts, one LinkedIn post, and etc per day as you go. It is very good at randomizing the times as well, so no one will ever know.
Also, if you come across something incredibly relevant that you want to post to multiple social channels, you can simply choose your Twitter account and your Facebook account, and others as well. Something to keep in mind by scheduling your post to multiple channels this way is that you will not be able to alter the message between channels.
HubSpot. HubSpot and Hootsuite are pretty evenly matched on this point. HubSpot has a very similar Chrome browser extension, and an auto-publish function. With HubSpot's auto-publishing tool, you can't choose how many posts will be scheduled to each channel, but you can choose what times you would like to target that work best with your social marketing strategy.
HubSpot also gives you the ability to schedule one post across multiple channels, although with HubSpot's tool you can completely alter each message from channel to channel.
3. Social Monitoring
Any organization that involves social media marketing in its marketing strategy should have a plan for monitoring said social media marketing efforts. They easiest way to do this is by using a tool that will sift through all that social media so you don't have to.
Hootsuite. Hootsuite allows you to set up "streams" in a horizontal grid pattern that will monitor Twitter handles, companies, keywords, and hashtags. Once you set it up to monitor the correct things, you can easily keep tabs on any mentions of your company across the social landscape.
And remember to always respond, especially if the post includes negative feedback for your company.
HubSpot. HubSpot offers a similar option to set up streams that monitor Twitter handles, companies, keywords, and hashtags. However, HubSpot currently only has the capability to monitor Twitter. However, HubSpot does have a few extra properties for your streams that allows you to exclude companies and keywords, or only see those messages that came from a certain, city, state, country, or language.
There are the facts. I am not entirely unbiased, but that bias mostly revolves around my preferences towards HubSpot as a complete system. When looking at the social media marketing tools by themselves, it is a pretty even draw.
From your experiences, which social media marketing tool do you think is the best? Share the love in the comments below.