HootSuite is the reigning king of social media management, but it’s not the only bird on the branch. The popular app that lets you schedule posts on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Google+, with access to analytics, listening tools, and collaboration for multiple team members, has got feathers flying in the competition for a new leader.
If you’re looking for more powerful features, something better suited for managing your sales pipeline and customer support issues, or more robust analytics, HootSuite might not be your best option. Check out some of the best alternatives to HootSuite for social media marketing below to see if another solution is better at rustling your feathers.
Birds of a feather flock together, even when it comes to social media marketing. A fellow avian-named app, Falcon Social is a social media management solution for listening, engaging, and publishing on the most popular social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and YouTube. Live feeds let you monitor and respond to conversations much like on HootSuite, while a content editor and calendar let you schedule and publish social media posts on multiple platforms at once.
If you’re worried about potential social media PR disasters, Falcon Social offers controls for varying levels of access depending on the user that allow you to screen posts before they get published. Users especially love Falcon Social’s seven day a week customer service to help answer questions or concerns in a crunch.
Popular business apps suite Zoho offers a social media marketing solution with Zoho Social. Intended specifically for small and growing businesses, Zoho Social is all about utilizing data to get the most out of your social media efforts. With it’s Smart Q feature, it’ll suggest the best time for publication to reach your most engaged audience, while the advanced analytics functions give you post insights and sentiment analysis to show you what’s working, and what’s not.
Other useful features include live streams that help you keep up to date with what your competitors are doing, a connections feature that shows you everyone who has interacted with your brand, and a brand index that gives daily reports on how you’re doing on social media.
If you’re using social media to help manage customer support, Sprout Social could be a good option. With built in helpdesk and ticketing support, the app can help you deal with your customer queries quickly and efficiently. Messages can be turned into tasks which can then be sorted and organized depending on the type of query.
Almost like a social CRM, it’s great for maintaining customer relationships by showing complete profiles, with messaging history and note sharing among teams to keep updated about customer interactions. It also comes with all of the standard publishing features, and is noted for its good dashboards and reporting functions.
Another no frills alternative to HootSuite is AgoraPulse, a simple but powerful social media marketing tool. You can create, schedule, and publish all your social media posts for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the tool, along with reports for each to see the performance of your campaigns.
Agorapulse pits itself as a social inbox-zero tool that helps you answers all of your social media queries quickly and efficiently, as well as a tool that helps you spot and target potential influencers in your network. It also comes with some free Facebook marketing tools, including a page barometer to check how your page stacks up, a timeline contest manager to create competitions, and an introductory online course on Facebook marketing.
If you’re a B2B marketer, Oktopost will be your go-to alternative to HootSuite for tracking social leads and conversions. The analytics functions in Oktopost are dedicated to helping you sort through your most promising leads based on social profiles and related networks with its acquisition dashboard.
Along with leads and conversion, you can also track engagement to see which audiences are most active and which pieces of content are most successful, giving you insights into the optimal times for posting content. To get all employees involved in the social media sharing process, there’s also a so-called ‘advocacy leaderboard’ that shows which staff are most active in sharing posts in their own networks.
If it’s analytics that you’re into, NetBase is the data-heavy option that’ll do the trick. A social media analytics tool that also functions as a social media management platform, NetBase gives you tons of data that you can tailor to your company’s specific needs. Heavily focused on customer insights, it gives details about consumer preferences and sentiment in real time so that you know exactly how people are responding to your brand or product.
With one of the strongest social listening tools on the list, you can keep track of everything that’s being said about your brand and drill down to be as granular as you need. Although the software has plenty of functions and different data sets, NetBase is known for its ease of use and intuitive functionality.
While Buffer may not have as many robust features as some of the apps on this list, it still offers one of the most convenient tools out there for social media sharing. With the Buffer for Business solution, you can schedule from 100 to 2000 posts at optimal times to reach fans and increase engagement, as well as get analytical data, depending on which plan you choose.
The best part of Buffer is the browser add-on, which lets you schedule and post content with just one click.
Whether you’re looking for unique scheduling features, lots of data, or customer support options, there should be something on this list that’ll suit your needs. If you’re looking for even more alternatives to HootSuite, check out our ranking of the top 25 social media marketing solutions.
What’s your favorite alternative to HootSuite? Let us know in the comments below.
This post was originally published on October 20, 2014.