If you’ve spent any time researching how you can use social media to better market your blog or business, then you’ve probably come across HootSuite once or twice before – and for good reason! As one of the most popular social media and brand management systems, its attracted over 10 million users across 175 different countries. But that doesn’t mean HootSuite is the right fit for everyone or that it doesn’t have its own drawbacks. If you’re looking for an alternative to HootSuite or for a tool that can supplement your already bustling dashboard, here are eight options for you to check out.
Another popular social media management tool, utilized by approximately 2 million people worldwide, Buffer can be used instead of or in addition to HootSuite. With the ability to schedule and analyze posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest, it’s probably one of the more powerful and all-encompassing programs available. In addition to being able to schedule customized posts for each platform, Buffer allows you to set certain posts on repeat. You can get started with Buffer’s free, Individual plan, which allows one account on each social media platform (with the exception of Pinterest), and the ability to store up to ten posts at one time. You could also upgrade to the Awesome plan for $10/month, which allows ten accounts on each platform (including Pinterest), the ability to store up to 100 posts, and more flexible scheduling options. Small, medium and large-sized business plans are also available.
Because many of the big social media management tools either don’t work with Pinterest, or don’t work with Pinterest very well, BoardBooster is able to find its little corner of success. This tool lets you schedule pins, test pins for broken links (finally!), easily remove unwanted pins from boards, and create campaigns. Its “BoardBooster Reports” provide valuable data that can help you make decisions for your account. Included is information like a ranking of your most popular pins and suggestions on when to post pins. With the app’s looping feature, you can set your most engaging pins to repin over and over again. BoardBooster offers a free trial but you’ll need a paid plan to keep it up. Plans range from $5/month to $50/month.
If BoardBooster is the tool for Pinterest, Tweepi is the tool for Twitter. With over a million users, it’s the application that includes all the Twitter-specific capabilities the larger social media management systems tend to forget. Tweepi can help you get rid of all those zombie followers you’ve collected over the years. It can show you all the people that you follow who aren't following you back, and visa-versa. With all your follower information displayed in one place, you can quickly and easily make bulk changes. Tweepi offers free, silver, platinum and premium plans.
Already used by Forbes, Time and jetBlue, this tool brings social media analytics to a whole new level. Instead of delivering pages of data for you to sort and analyze, CrowdBooster analyzes the data for you and then tells you what decisions you should be making based on its information. With live reports, charts and graphs, you’ll learn the best times to post for best user engagement, who you should be engaging with, and what you can do to improve the quality of your content. CrowdBooster offers a range of plans that start at $9/month for one Facebook account, one Twitter account, one user and 50,000 fans and followers. Customized platinum-level accounts are also available.
DoShare is less of a program and more of a Chrome browser extension that allows you to tap into scheduling and analytical features exclusively for Google+. You can create a series of posts, save them as drafts, and schedule them for publication, all from your Google+ profile or page. One thing to note is that because DoShare is a browser extension, it only works if your computer is on and if Chrome is running. Having your computer off or asleep may prevent your content from being posted at its scheduled time.
Featured on The Telegraph, Forbes and Mashable, Sendible is the UK version of HootSuite. Already being used by 20,000 companies worldwide, it’s compatible with social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn as well as a number of blog sites. Sendible provides content scheduling, reputation management, and analysis. A variety of plans are available, beginning at $59/month for their startup plan, through a $499/month premium plan. “White Label” plans are also available for enterprises and agencies.
The perfect tool for monitoring the success of your online campaign, Keyhole allows you to track hashtags in real time. Not only can you see the popularity of your own hashtag, but you can learn what hashtags people most often pair with it. You can also spot influential users who are engaging with your hashtag. Keyhole offers a series of plans that may differ than those you’ve seen before. Users have the option of choosing a “short term campaign” plan where they can pay by the day or “ongoing tracking” where they can pay by the month. There’s also a basic plan that’s designed to provide a sense of what Keyhole can offer; however, the site cautions that its capabilities are limited. Keyhole is currently used by companies like Google, Mashable and L’Oreal. SproutSocial One more tool that could give HootSuite a run for its money, SproutSocial provides its users with scheduling and analytical capabilities across the major social media platforms. In addition to its interface and report style, what sets this tool apart from some of its competitors is its ability to funnel direct messages from multiple platforms into one convenient “Smart Inbox.” SproutSocial is used by major companies like Spotify, Fossil, Yahoo and GrubHub. They offer a free 30-day trial as an introduction to their paid packages, which start at $59/month.