Hootsuite Review 2013 – Social Media Management Tool


Internet marketers, content marketers and social media community managers are always looking for new ways to promote their content and make their job easier.  When trying to increase brand awareness on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube requires consistent management, consistency and interaction, so any social media management tool that makes that easier is incredibly valuable.  In this Hootsuite review, we’ll dig into the Hootsuite social media management tool and how it can help you increase brand awareness, make interacting on multiple social networks easier and see how Hootsuite compares to the other tools available.

For a while now, I have discussed Hootsuite in comparison to tools like Sprout Social and Tweetdeck, but have yet to provide a detailed review of Hootsuite on it’s own.

Hootsuite Review – Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Manage multiple social networks in one place
  • Great team management
  • Excellent mobile apps
  • Large number of social networks and apps
  • Custom analytics including Facebook insights and Google analytics
  • Custom social media training via Hootsuite University
  • Excellent free version

Cons:

  • Paid vanity URL shorteners
  • Expensive analytics reports
  • Forced Hootsuite branded URL shorteners
  • Teams can be expensive

Hootsuite Dashboard

Hootsuite Review - Dashboard

Hootsuite Dashboard

The Hootsuite interface hasn’t changed much over the last few years and is similar to what you might find if you’ve been using Tweetdeck.  The dashboard allows you to see all of your social media profiles, divided into various tabs, all on one screen without a lot of clicking around.  The dashboard allows you to quickly and easily update to multiple profiles at once and monitor the interactions and streams from each network.

Streams

HootSuite: Social Media Management for Business

The first tab on Hootsuite is your streams tab, which is where all of the social media streams will be displayed.  Each social network will be added as it’s own stream (or tab) and will display your published posts, scheduled posts, tweets/retweets, social mentions, wall posts, and of course your regular Twitter and Facebook streams from your friends and followers.  The way that Hootsuite has it’s streams section setup is incredibly straight forward and relatively easy to use, even for the beginner.

Publisher

The publisher tab allows you to schedule message in advance with several different ways to do so.  One unique feature of Hootsuite is that they allow you to schedule your posts in bulk via CSV file.  While I originally found this feature incredible, I found that the format they require to use a CSV bulk schedule is cumbersome, and overly complicated.  In the end, I prefer to use their browser widget which I will discuss later.  The publisher tab will show you all of your scheduled posts for all of your networks in one place, scheduled posts from your team that require approval, previously scheduled posts and will also allow you to input RSS feeds to use on your profiles.  The RSS feed feature of Hootsuite is incredibly valuable.  It allows you to provide constant content generation related to your niche without any effort on your part beyond find feeds.  This means you can continue to push out relevant content in between your own custom posts.

Analytics

Hootsuite Review - Analytics

Hootsuite Analytics

Hootsuite offers a huge number of analytics reports to keep track of your social media profiles.  Sadly, this is one of the features where I feel Hootsuite needs some work.  Compared to the other tools out there, Hootsuite is lacking on free or included reporting tools.

What Hootsuite analytics allows you to do is monitor all of your networks in one place and pull your insights into all-in-one reports.  The downside here is that you have to pay some pretty hefty fees in order to get any real value out of them.  To get a detailed report, you have to customize your report yourself and build it the way you want it to look, or you can select/pay for already designed reporting templates.  They offer a TON of customization options, but it just isn’t nearly as efficient as it should be.

Assignments

Hootsuite Review - Assignements

Hootsuite Assignements

As with many other social media management tools, Hootsuite offers great team collaboration options and team management right in their platform.  On the assignments tab, you can manage client accounts, create teams of employees and assign those teams to different tasks.  This tool allows you to monitor all network activity and task completion and keeps you up to date with the status of your social campaigns.

Hootsuite Mobile Apps

HS-iphoneHootsuite is unique in offering full fledged mobile apps that almost exactly replicates the experience of the browser version.  The mobile app allows you to access each one of your streams individually, schedule postings and manage all of your profiles, regardless of whether you side with iPhone or Android.

Other Features

Hootsuite offers a lot of other options for account management.  The other minor features of the tool include:

  • App directory (tons of apps to integrate different networks, APIs and enhance Hootsuite)
  • Settings
  • Tools – includes the incredibly powerful Hootlet browser addon
  • Help – find EXCELLENT support and knowledge base

Hootsuite Pricing

One of the best features of Hootsuite is the pricing structure they offer and the benefits it yields to small business owners, content marketers and entrepreneurs.  Where other tools offer a 30 day free trial, Hootsuite offers a full fledge free account that allows you to take complete control your brands profiles for free.  They further enhance your brand profiles through their paid and enterprise level accounts.  Hootsuite’s pricing structure is broken into the following packages:

Hootsuite Free – $0 per month

  • Manage up to 5 social profiles (which is all a small business owner needs)
  • 0 team members
  • Basic analytics and reports
  • Advanced post scheduling
  • Unlimited apps
  • Up to 2 RSS feeds

Hootsuite Pro – from $8.99 per month

  • Up to 50 social profiles
  • 1 extra team member
  • 1 enhanced analytics report
  • Advanced post scheduling
  • Unlimited apps
  • Unlimited RSS feeds
  • Hootsuite university option
  • Hootcare option

Hootsuite Enterprise – unlisted pricing

Unlimited Social Profiles

  •  5-500,000+ Team Members
  •  Enhanced Analytics
  •  Advanced Security
  •  Compliance Integrations
  •  Geo-Targeting
  •  Tier 1 Enterprise Support
  •  HootSuite University Included
  •  Professional Services

For a small business owner, the free option is incredible and allows you to manage all of your social media profiles at no cost.  Since most entrepreneurs and business owners are only managing a few networks, the limit of 5 profiles allows you to cover your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts with a few leftover should you add more specific profiles.

Conclusion

Hootsuite is one of the best values in social media management tools because of their easy to use interface and the fact that they offer their platform at no cost for basic users.  When it comes down to social media management for small business, being able to manage your accounts in one place at no cost and still get the major features you need is an incredible benefit that makes Hootsuite one of the best options out there.

Sign up for a free 30-day trial of HootSuite Pro.

Taylor Clark is a web designer, internet marketing expert and blogger from Gonzales, LA. Taylor has been working with small business owners and entrepreneurs to improve their online marketing strategy through use of social media, website marketing, PPC advertising and much more.

You may also like

4 Comments

  • John O'Riordain
    October 10, 2013 at 7:31 AM

    The unlisted pricing is what makes me hesitate. I myself am using BuzzBundle and I love its simplicity and awesome functionality.

    • Taylor Clark
      October 10, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      Were you wanting to use it for Enterprise level service?

  • Rob
    September 29, 2014 at 10:45 PM

    Great article! We’ve actually tried out this app, and done quite a bit of research on it ourselves, and posted some of our findings (bugs, ideas etc) onto our app wall over at http://w.appto.us/hootsuite-social-media-mgmt ,which I thought you might find interesting 🙂

LEAVE A COMMENT