Fat Stacks quote from Breaking Bad by Jesse Pinkman

14 Top Hootsuite Alternatives for Automating Social Media

People bored in a meeting

I loathe posting to social media.  I really do.

The problem is the benefits are just good enough to make it worthwhile and so I do it.

I’m not alone of course.  That’s why there are umpteen social media automation software platforms.  We all hate posting to social media but do it because there’s value doing so.  The software makes it a lot less painful without compromising benefits.

Over the years I’ve tried many such platforms.  I’m currently using MeetEdgar for Facebook and Twitter and Tailwind for Pinterest and Instagram.  I automate as much as possible and leave it at that.

Stop wasting time posting to social media manually unless taking absolute care in your posts is totally worth it.  If I were Kylie Jenner pulling down $1 million per Instagram post, I wouldn’t risk using the software.  I’d be manually crafting each post.

However, few of us can command $1 million per social blast, so why waste more time than is necessary?

Do I dislike Hootsuite?

No, I don’t dislike Hootsuite. I’ve used it.  It’s feature-rich.  It works.  It’s one of, if not the biggest social media automation platforms.  I don’t use it because I find MeetEdgar and Tailwind combined meet my specific needs better.  However, I know many people are looking for alternatives to Hootsuite so here’s the list.

Which Hootsuite alternatives below have I used?

I’ve used the following extensively:

  • MeetEdgar
  • Tailwind
  • Buffer
  • Sendible
  • Viraltag

The rest listed are included because they qualify as alternatives, but I don’t know a whole lot about them.

1. MeetEdgar

I’m listing MeetEdgar first because I currently use and like it.  I only use it for auto-posting to Facebook and Twitter for my niche sites.

The main reason I use MeetEdgar is that I can categorize posts so that I can control the posting schedule for different types of posts.  While I don’t need this feature on all my sites, I do use it daily for my biggest niche sites.

I also love how MeetEdgar recycles posts so that if ever I don’t have any new content posting to FB and Twitter, MeetEdgar pulls some old posts from the inventory.

Pros

  • Fast:  The automation features such as RSS import and recycling feature make this my go-go social media posting software platform.
  • Easy-to-use dashboard:  I say this after having spent quite a bit of time working with the dashboard.  I admit that it took a week or so to fully grasp the features, but now it’s dead-simple to use.

Cons

  • Import RSS feed limitation:  My biggest site has well over 3,000 blog posts.  When I imported posts via the RSS feed, only 650 or so imported.  This was a big disappointment.

2. Tailwind

I use Tailwind for posting to Pinterest and Instagram.  While there are many social media posting platforms that post to all the major social media networks, I find using two different platforms, each focusing on different platforms, gives me the most control and the best features.

Pros

  • Bulk post/schedule:  With the Chrome Extension I can bulk schedule many images very quickly.  I love how it pulls the alternative text into the description which saves a ton of time.
  • Great reporting: I love the various reporting options I get with Tailwind which quickly gives me information on how my various Pinterest and Instagram accounts are doing.
  • Apply Pinterest boards to all images at once:  Pinning to Pinterest is faster on Tailwind than posting to Instagram.  For bulk Pinterest pinning, you can apply aboard to all images with one click of the mouse.  This is a huge time-saver. Sadly, the same function can’t be applied for hashtags for Instagram posts.

Cons

  • No select-all option with Chrome extension:  My biggest beef with Tailwind is when I’m pinning via the Chrome extension, there is not a “select all” option.  This is a major oversight.  Often I want to pin or post to Instagram 30+ images on the page but have to select each one manually.
  • Can’t post to both Pinterest and Instagram at the same time:  I wish I could bulk schedule all images via Chrome extension to both Pinterest and Instagram at the same time. Sadly, you can’t with Tailwind so to the operation must be done twice if you post to both channels.
  • Can’t mass-apply hashtags in bulk: While I like how you can save hashtag lists, you can’t insert them into all images being scheduled at one go.  You still have to insert the list of hashtags for each image which is very tedious.

I realize I have several grievances about Tailwind, but it’s still my favorite tool for posting to Pinterest and Instagram.

3. Sendible

Everything about the Sendible service is about quality and excellent user experience. The service offers a varied range of features that allow users to easily manage their social media daily tasks and campaigns with efficiency, accuracy, and speed. The user interface is intuitive and very easy to navigate.

Pros

  • Complete integration with all relevant social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +, and LinkedIn, as well as blogs such as Blogger.com, WordPress and Medium.
  • It features an RSS Feed poster, plus content suggestions, access to Canva (design tool) and an extensive content library.
  • You can bulk-schedule your content complete with images through a CSV file upload.
  • The automation tools are designed to boost engagement and following on Instagram and Twitter.
  • You can generate reports within 15 minutes, and you can even customize them with your logo.
  • Team workflows and user permission settings are easy to set up and manage.
  • The suite comes with a mobile app for Android and iOS.

Cons

  • The geographic keyword monitoring feature is not always accurate
  • Sendible, because it can do so much, has a lot going on in the dashboard so it takes a while to figure it out.

4. Agora Pulse

AgoraPulse consolidates all your social media posts and messages so you can access them all in one place. Its social media inbox works like an email inbox and lets you keep all previous conversations.

All of your social media accounts can be synced in real-time and you can set it to send you updates on all the likes, comments, tweets and re-tweets you receive. This way, you can review filtered content, reply to messages or comments, and place tags quickly and easily.

You can easily monitor the level of engagement and progress of your campaigns via customizable reports that come in PowerPoint formats.

Pros

  • Easier consolidation and management of all your social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • The reports are customizable and easy to understand because the PowerPoint presentations come with great graphics.
  • You can automatically categorize your audience via badges and you can also tag your users manually.

Cons

  • Support is limited to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You cannot consolidate Google +, Pinterest, YouTube, and others.
  • The Micro Plan (most basic) starts at $15/month and only allows management of 1 social media account.

5. Buffer

A trend in itself, Buffer has gained more than 3 million users within 7 years of operations since it was founded. More than 2000 of these users are agencies and big brands such as Fortune, About.com and Business Insider.

Buffer offers worldwide support, so bugs, complaints, and technical issues are responded to immediately.

Pros

  • You can schedule your Pinterest posts under their paid plans
  • You can set posting times for each of your profile in any social media platform of your choice
  • You can share content with all of you followers and audience with just a click using the browser extension
  • Buffer features the Pablo extension which enables its users to overlay text on any image with ease
  • Compared to Hootsuite, Buffer is simple and streamlined

Cons

  • The free version offers limited functionality
  • Some complications with Instagram posting

6. Sprout Social

Sprout Social features a cleaner interface and it comes with additional analytics to monitor your social media posts. This Hootsuite alternative not only helps you create drafts, queue, schedule and post your messages to your social media accounts, it also enables you to assign tasks to team members.

Pros

  • Offers brand monitoring
  • You don’t have to pay extra for reporting capabilities
  • The featured analytics are connected with Google Analytics
  • Also features a social media image editor

Cons

  • Influencer identification and social listening tools are not as laden with features compared to other social media monitoring tools such as offered by Hootsuite
  • Many users complain about the bugs and the frequency of crashes when used on a mobile device

7. Cision

Cision managed to acquire an advantage in its social media monitoring and posting when it bought Viralheat in 2015. With this boost, Cision users are able to schedule their posts to different social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Foursquare.

Pros

  • The drag and drop interface allows for easier posting of photos
  • Enables access to different social media accounts
  • You can choose how many people can use the plan
  • Can be integrated with Desk.com, Google Analytics, SugarCRM, Zendesk and Omniture

Cons

  • The plan prices may be too steep for the number of features offered by the service.

8. SocialOomph

SocialOmph is a decade-old Canadian company and the social media brand monitoring service they offer comes fully packed with features that include schedule updates and finding influencers to like and follow. They started out as a Twitter-focused service, but over the years they have expanded to cover more networks such as Facebook, RSS feed, Plurk, LinkedIn, blogs and App.net for premium plans.

Pros

  • The Auto DM feature allows you to follow and unfollow automatically
  • You can easily filter out spam with its direct message management feature
  • It allows easier scheduling and publishing of blog posts from many different sources
  • The free version allows unlimited accounts
  • Features an auto-responder function
  • You can edit posts with its in-software WYSIWYG editor
  • This tool is inexpensive and offers more features than its competitors

Cons

  • Limited support for other social media platforms

9. TweetDeck

TweetDeck is completely free and the service allows you to manage as many Twitter accounts as you want. You can organize your Twitter lists, activities and searches, and you can also easily find what you are searching for by using filters such as hashtags, topics, and events.

Pros

  • You can download it as a desktop software
  • Unlimited number of Twitter accounts can be used
  • You can set to receive pop-up and audio notifications
  • It is absolutely free

10. Social Clout

This social media monitoring tool is a great tool if you are looking to engage more with your audience. The reports are detailed and tailored to the analysis of the data generated from your results so that you can make better business and marketing decisions.

You can easily keep track of your social conversations with Social Clout which makes it one of the better Hootsuite alternatives and has a feature that enables you to monitor and analyze the opinions of your audience regarding your product or business.

Pros

  • Social Clout offers a free plan and 3 other paid plans
  • You can easily manage different social media platform accounts such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube
  • The tool enables you to monitor mentions of your products or brand in real-time.

Cons

  • The analytics report feature is not unlimited
  • The free plan only allows you to manage Twitter and Facebook accounts.

11. Social Booster

Social Booster is probably Hootsuite’s strongest competitor. This service helps you easily monitor the progress of your campaigns on your Twitter profiles, Facebook pages, YouTube channels and many others.

You don’t have to worry about going offline for some time, Social Booster keeps your profiles active via the message or post scheduling feature. You can fully automate the process by scheduling tweets and posts a few weeks or even months in advance via the Social Booster user interface. This dashboard also helps you keep track of all the conversations in your social media account so that you never lose an opportunity to engage with your audience.

Pros

  • You can manage many different social media platforms and accounts
  • It is great for both small and large businesses
  • Customer support is excellent with their 24/7 hotline
  • Upon sign-up, you automatically get 500 Twitter followers for free
  • You can manage paid marketing campaigns straight from the Social Booster dashboard
  • The paid plans feature RSS feeds, advanced analytics, ads manager and many other useful tools

Cons

  • Although the service supports a wide variety of platforms, it does not cover Google+ business pages.
  • Pricing plans are not transparently shown on their website. You can only see them when you sign up for the free account.

12. Sprout Social

The first thing you’ll notice with Sprout Social is its clean and streamlined dashboard which helps in making sure that your social media management is more organized.

It features a unified inbox that consolidates all your social media messages in just one stream and allows you to join conversations with your audiences which is great in boosting your engagement levels. You can easily delegate different tasks to your SMM team members and allow them to collaborate with live updates to ensure that there are no duplicate posts among the team.

Sprout Social is one of the best Hootsuite alternatives as it features an analytics tool that allows you to keep track of your results, monitor keyword searches and generate weekly reports. Big brands and companies such as PepsiCo, Hyatt, Dove, Stanford University and UPS use Sprout Social.

Pros

  • You can easily manage your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn account with this SMM tool.
  • You can also add customized logos to your analytics reports which are handy for businesses that need to report weekly or regular results to their clients.
  • You can try Social Sprout for free within the first 30 days.

Cons

  • Social Sprout does not cover Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn groups.

13. Viraltag

I used Viraltag for a number of years and liked it but stopped using it because I kept having social media accounts disconnected.  It was a real nuisance.  I’m not sure this problem still exists.  I’m happy with my MeetEdgar/Tailwind combo, but if Viraltag doesn’t have that problem, the list of features and ease-of-use are very, very good.

14. Statusbrew

Statusbrew platform

Statusbrew is a complete social media management tool that empowers brands, businesses and individuals build and grow stronger relationships on social. No matter the size of your organization or the scale of your social efforts, Statusbrew helps to understand and reach an audience, engage community and measure performance all from a single dashboard. It lets you stay in full control of all your social profiles on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google My Business with the complete suite of Social Media Management tools.

Pros

Statusbrew allows you to:

  • Plan and publish content on your social media
  • Engage with your social media audience
  • Form reports on the effectiveness of social media practices
  • Understand the demographics of your audience
  • Analyze the performance of posts and campaigns
  • Monitor related mentions and trends

Cons

  • Statusbrew does not support Pinterest and LinkedIn groups.
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