Social media management doesn’t have to be an overwhelming time suck. Two great services- Hootsuite and Sprout Social can save you a boat load of time at a reasonable monthly rate.

We all know the power of social media to engage, promote, and convert, but who has time to navigate the ever changing landscape of social?

Every time I drop into Facebook it looks different. There’s new tools, updated features, and deeper analytics to wrap my head around. These updates tend to be beneficial for targeting and refinement, but it’s a chore to stay on top of it (especially if you’re a busy small business owner)!

There’s also the other relevant social channels that most small businesses should be actively engaged on like Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest — they too are in a constant flux of new and different.

Save your time and rescue your sanity

Recently I’ve been weighing two heavyweight social media management tools to make posting and social promotion a timesaver rather then a time suck. They are Hootsuite and Sprout Social.

Social media management software comparison

What is a social media management tool?

Hootsuite and Sprout Social are the preeminent social media management tools on the market today. Both allow you to tackle your social posting in one spot as apposed to logging into and managing your social accounts independently. It’s all done through a single dashboard (more or less). Phew!

Schedules and calendars oh my!

The savvy business owner knows that time is a precious commodity! Use your time more effectively by scheduling your posts over time. Jump in once, set up a few posts, lock in release times/dates, reposts, event alternate headlines, then allow the automation to kick in! Out of site out of mind.

Social media management software comparison

Features and functions to make your life easier.

Hootsuite and Sprout Social are both appealing and in many ways comparable: They both do the following in similar ways:

  • Aggregate all of your social feeds in one spot.
  • Craft a post in the dashboard, add imagery and content, then select which channel(s) it will be posted to.
  • Draft posts and save for later.
  • Schedule posts over time using a content calendar.
  • AI helps to determine the most effective times to post for ideal engagement.
  • Assign users with different roles within your business.
  • Deep reporting for a birds eye and micro view of how your posts are performing.
  • Native mobile apps for drafting, posting and scheduling on the go.

Both are great, but the differences are worth noting.

Hootsuite:

  • More robust reporting and measurement tools.
  • Displays multiple feeds adjacent to one another.
  • Added bells and whistles like the option to build a landing page, plus integrations with a ton of third party services.
  • The entry level plan starts at $19 a month, with a limited free version as well.

Sprout Social:

  • Awesome social CRM shows a short history of your social conversations.
  • Displays one large feed for all content.
  • Limited integrations, but all are native so you know they will work flawlessly.
  • I love the streamlined, clean interface.
  • The entry level plan starts at $99 a month, with a 30 day free trial.

Social media management software comparison

Verdict

I place a great value on user interface/experience so for me Sprout Social has the edge in terms of ease of use and good looks. It’s a bit pricier then Hootsuite, but the free trial makes it worth a look. Seriously though, both are effective software solutions to save your time and streamline your social media outreach.

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