Lauren Marinigh

Hootsuite vs. Sprout Social

By Lauren | August 8, 2014 | 3 Comment

All hail social media management tools. Ask any community or social media manager, social media management tools make their life 110 times easier. They depend on these tools for easy access to all the social media profiles they’re managing.

In my previous position I was introduced to Hootsuite, which in comparison to the free version of TweetDeck we were using was a Godsend. When I recently changed positions at a new organization, I was testing out both Hootsuite and Sprout Social to determine what would be best. I never had the option to explore the different features of both of them to really see what one would get the job done!

In this post I will outline different aspects of both platforms.

Layout 

Dashboard - Hootsuite

Hootsuite Dashboard

Hootsuite and Sprout Social both have a very different approach for the layout of their software.

Hootsuite allows you to easily view the content you want to see in streams. I find this very use
ful for monitoring trends, events, and esp
ecially since I monitor accounts for different provinces, this makes it easy for me to divide them  up into different groups.

News Feed - Sprout Social

Sprout Social Feed

Sprout Social on the other hand takes a more modern approach by putting all the content you are following, including hashtags or keywords into one giant feed. You can click off the different pages you don’t want to see in the feed but it doesn’t make for a very easy experience for managing several accounts and I could easily see how things would get lost or missed.

Although Sprout Social has a much more visually appealing dashboard and look to it, as far as easy accessibility and organization goes, Hootsuite is the clear winner here.

Publishing Post - Hootsuite

Hootsuite Publishing

Scheduling 

Both Hootsuite and Sprout Social make scheduling and publishing of posts very easy for their users. The only notable thing I found annoy
ing about Sprout Social is that if I was composing a post and needed to view a different tab. For example if in the background I had my feed open and wanted to see the publishing feed instead, my post would disappear if I clicked off of it. Hootsuite on the other hand keeps your post and draft at the top at all times, no matter where I go off too.

Sprout Social Publishing

Sprout Social Publishing

One thing that does bother me about Hootsuite that Sprout Social seems to have fixed is that when I want to put spaces between sentences or paragraphs on my posts, Hootsuite doesn’t allow me too. Which can get annoying for layout wise and ease of reading. Sprout Social does allow for you to do this.

Due to both these platforms mainly being pretty even in the scheduling area, I’m going to have to call this category a tie.

Sprout Social Reports

Sprout Social Report

Analytics

Sprout Social is the clear winner here. Providing endless amounts of analytic reports included in your monthly membership cost. Hootsuite on the other hand you must pay more for the majority of the analytical reports you’d want to run. They do have a couple basic free reports but they don’t provide much detail. The unfortunate part for Hootsuite is making analytic reports adds up pretty quickly cost wise.

Sprout Social also lays out their analytics in easy-to-read colourful graphs. Sort of taking the infographic approach.

Ease of Use 

I have been using Hootsuite for a lot longer, therefore I do know how to use it like the back of my hand, but I kept an open mind when testing out Sprout Social. Sprout Social wasn’t the easiest to figure out when first starting out but you quickly get used to it. To be fair though if you are new to social media management software at all it will take awhile to figure out exactly what you want to do and how to do it.

Personally I think that as far as monitoring, and accessing the information you’d want to find, Hootsuite is slightly easier than Sprout Social. I’m taking this from a perspective of a user who is foreign to either software, and if I saw all my accounts shoved into one feed I would get really confused on what’s what and how to find that info I’m specifically trying to access.

Support

Both Sprout Social and Hootsuite are even on this. Hootsuite has awesome support, often I reach out to them directly by tweeting their support account and get a response pretty quickly. Sprout Social also is great at responding via Twitter but they also have a live chat built right into their dashboard if you ever need to hop over and ask someone a quick question!

Hootsuite Support

Overall

Choosing between Sprout Social and Hootsuite is quite the toss up for me. Both offer great advantages, and neither offer disadvantages that really make or break their software. I think it really comes down to what you are going to be using either of the software’s for.

To me, if you have the budget, both Sprout Social and Hootsuite could offer you great tools as I like Hootsuite more for scheduling, and monitoring, but I like Sprout Social for their reports. Dependent on what pros/cons are more important to you is where you’re going to find the answer of what platform to go with.

Lauren

Sharing my inspiration, advice, opinion & fun stuff one post at a time.

3 Comments

08 August, 2014 Reply

Thanks so much for sharing your experience with Sprout Social, Lauren! Understand trying a new tool can always be a bit daunting, but love to hear that you've enjoyed a number of our features and reporting capabilities. We're always working to make our platform more intuitive and build out features as we go, so stay tuned!

Sprout on!
Brit Thompson, Social Marketing Manager at Sprout Social

    Lauren

    14 August, 2014 Reply

    Hi Brit! Thanks for stopping by & reading my post :)

04 March, 2015 Reply

I know this is an old post, but it is the first one I've come across that does a really good breakdown/comparison of the two products. I will be testing them out shortly here for my company's social media and I'm not sure which one I'll like better. I'm not a huge fan of Hootsuite's interface, but the tools it offers are quite powerful.

Either way, thanks for the excellent write-up!
Quay

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