How to Choose a Social Media Management System (AgoraPulse vs. Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. Zoho)

We launched Feisworld.com in October 2014 as part of our podcast. Over the course of nearly five years, we experimented with every platform shown below and decided to share a single comparison article with you based on our findings related to pricing, core features, pros and cons. As the years went on, our business changed as well. AgoraPulse offers the most flexibility to suit our needs. However, this is not to say that something like Buffer or Hootsuite won’t work for you.

Please leave us a comment on what you end up choosing and why. Hope this helps!

AGORAPULSE

PRICING:

Agora.png

CORE FEATURES:

·       Upload content in bulk

·       Queue categories

·       Social publishing tools

·       Social ads comment management

·       Social inbox zero

·       Social listening. Listen in to important conversations and manage your reputation.

·       Social media reporting

·       Profiling your fans&followers

 

PROS:

·       Agorapulse team and culture. Customer service is at the core of business at Agorapulse. Their staff focus on client experience more.

·       Agorapulse integrates with most of the major networks.

·       Instagram Direct publishing (image & video) or scheduled publishing via mobile app (images, videos and stories)

·        YouTube (comment management & listening)

·       As well as that, Agorapulse offers a wide variety of features including...

  •     Inbox zero - get through all your comments, mentions and messages quickly in one stream. Reply, archive, assign to a team member or label it and get down to inbox zero.

  •     Inbox assistant - set up automated moderation rules for social comments, mentions or messages to tag, assign or archive based on certain keywords

·        Amazing reports - the reports in Agorapulse are amongst the best I’ve seen

·        View and engage with Facebook & Instagram Ads unpublished “dark” posts - most social media management tools won’t show you the comments in chronological order to your Facebook or Instagram Ad posts, Agorapulse does.

·        Full team management - all Agorapulse plans allow you to have multiple team users, but from the large team upwards it offers full team management. This gives you the ability to create draft posts and assign posts to other team members and much more.

·       Queuing system - the ability to queue and recycle evergreen content from different categories.

·       Fast and friendly support

·       Mobile app for iOS and Android

·       Official Facebook and Instagram Partners

 

CONS:

·       Can be expensive

·       Not an Enterprise Level Tool

·       You can’t Customize Reports

·       Lack of Twitter Power Tools

·       No Unified Feed or Reports

·       No assets library

·       No Pinterest integration

 

HOOTSUITE

PRICING:

Hootsuite.png

CORE FEATURES:

·       Scheduling. Save time and keep your social media presence active by scheduling your posts.

·       Content curation. Easily find, manage, and share compelling social media content and images.

·       Boosting

·       Analytics

·       Monitoring

·       Team management

·       Security

·       Apps and Integrations

 

PROS:

·       There’s a Free Plan. One of the only social media management tools to have a free plan.

·       Schedule updates (including on a calendar and even upload from a spreadsheet (csv file)

·       Team Features. Collaborate as a team (delegate replies, tweets, mark as done, track messages etc)

·       Mobile apps (iOS & Android)

·       Customised analytics (including scheduled reports)

·       RSS integration (post updates from an RSS feed)

 

CONS:

·       While Hootsuite already had Instagram integration, it “couldn't automatically send the post directly to Instagram” however it could schedule the post.

·       Expensive Analytics Reports & the Point System

·       Forced to Use Owly Short Links

·       Expensive Custom URL Shorteners

·       Facebook Image Problem

·       Does not have queuing content feature

·       No Data in Facebook Insights

·       Lower Facebook Reach & Engagement

·       Expensive for Teams

 

 

BUFFER

PRICING:

Butter.png

CORE FEATURES:

·       RSS feeds connectivity

·       Multiple posts and tweets

·       Informative social analytics

·       Social profile sharing

·       Multi-media format sharing

·       Profile management

·       Agency/business planning

·       Stats comparison

·       Analytics and insights

·       iOS and Android support

·       Standard buffering

·       2-step account login

·       Team collaboration (via administrator rights)

·       Customized scheduling

 

PROS:

·       The main benefits of Buffer are helping you save time on managing your company’s social media accounts, scheduling posts, and providing you crucial analysis on your marketing performance. Read on to know more about the product’s benefits.

·       Buffer contains an organized layout which easily keeps all accounts in social media updated. Its automated feature streamlines scheduling for posts and its user interface contains an attractive appearance with options for adding social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

·       Apart from that, it also offers you the ability to write “tweets” and updates on your status. You can post on different social media platforms at the same time with the option to schedule the posts. Your posts can be published immediately, or you can choose the “Add to Buffer” button to let the app decide when the posts will be created.

·       Buffer also offers a browser extension created for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox to allow content sharing on different web pages. The icon will be added to your current browser which allows you to share a link via Buffer within the current web page. Also, it suggests texts that can go together with the link. The option to make an instant post or create a post through Buffer is available.

·       Buffer’s analytics can figure out whether or not the decisions on your posting content and schedule are effective. Its embedded analytics offers a balance of whether you are a home-based or small-sized business owner. The data it offers can be helpful when it comes to describing the numbers of clicks, retweets, mentions, and potential reach of your posts which are all neatly laid out without a tedious work process.

 

CONS:

·       Instagram posts can now be 'scheduled' ahead of time via Buffer. However, Buffer “could not directly post the content to Instagram”. A notification will be sent to you to manually post content.

·       No time-based analytics. Buffer analytics show post-performance per day, but not in smaller time increments. The charts won't show you if you get more engagement in the morning than at night, for example. If you want to find out what’s the best time to share content with specific audiences, the raw data would be there, but you would have to manually encode and analyze the data yourself in a spreadsheet.

·       Provides no monitoring tools for searches, mentions, or hashtags. These would need to be monitored via another tool or through the networks.

·       Can easily get more expensive if you’re working within a team. Getting profiles for team member’s costs much more than other platforms.

·       No content post queuing.

·       It’s much more difficult to schedule a post for a specific time. If you need posts to go out at specific times as opposed to confining yourself to a specific schedule, then Buffer will create some problems for you.

·       Buffer disconnects and the scheduled posting never appeared.

 

ZOHO SOCIAL

PRICING: 

Zoho.png

PROS:

·           Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google My Business, and Instagram

·           Publish and Schedule

·           Could post content directly to Instagram

·           Repeat Posts

·           SmartQ for queuing content

·           Pause/Resume Scheduled Posts

·           Bitly integration & URL shortener

·           Published Post Statistics

·           Summary Reports

·           Collaborate

·           Monitor (5 columns/Brand)

·           Zoho Desk Integration

·           Zoho CRM Integration

·           zShare Browser Extension

 

CONS:

·       Email review process can still be slow at times, which is tough when you have an urgent email to send.

·       It doesn't intergrade directly with Wordpress

·       The lack of being able to connect YouTube

·       Social module doesn’t allow for multiple Twitter, Facebook, etc. accounts

·       Support team, as nice and helpful as they are, can be a little difficult to understand on the phone.  In spite of customizable quality, isn't quite as malleable as Salesforce, for example.

Conclusion:

Our #1 recommendation is AgoraPulse as it’s most effective for us at the moment. If you are looking for a more affordable option, our second recommendation would be Zoho.

 

Hey it’s Fei, I’m so glad you found me! 

make your first DIY docuseries (1).png

I created Feisworld Podcast in 2014 to help independent creators live their creative and financial freedom. We have over 200 episodes and listeners from 50+ countries. Yeah!

About Me & My Story

What We Do For Creators

 

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

You’ll also receive a FREE guide on “How I made a living & built a business with my podcast”

 

Most Popular Episodes

FREE resources and mini-series created just for you!