Social media has become one of the most effective ways to market and sell your products and services whether you are a B2B or B2C business. From viral beauty products on TikTok to innovative tech solutions on LinkedIn, almost every product or service can benefit from social media promotion.
However, social media management can be a time-consuming task. That’s why many businesses use a social media management tool to streamline the process. Hootsuite and Sprout Social are two of the most popular options, and each vendor offers unique benefits for a wide range of businesses. Keep your business’s unique needs in mind while comparing Hootsuite and Sprout Social features and pricing.
- What is Hootsuite?
- What is Sprout Social?
- Hootsuite vs. Sprout Social: Post scheduling
- Hootsuite vs. Sprout Social: Analytics
- Hootsuite vs. Sprout Social: Collaboration tools
- Hootsuite vs. Sprout Social: Integrations
- Hootsuite vs. Sprout Social: Social listening
- How to choose between Hootsuite and Sprout Social
What is Hootsuite?
Hootsuite has been around for well over a decade. Its capabilities originally focused on Twitter, but quickly expanded to support all of the major social platforms. Hootsuite is particularly popular because it integrates with so many of the applications that businesses already use including productivity tools, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and more.
Hootsuite can be used to:
- Create and schedule posts.
- Manage incoming messages on your social platforms.
- Optimize your social campaigns with recommendations on posting times and trends.
- Track content and paid advertising performance with detailed analytics and reports.
The company offers a number of pricing and package options to meet different business needs and sizes. Here’s Hootsuite’s pricing breakdown:
- Free Plan: No cost. Includes one user with up to two social accounts.
- Professional Plan: $49 USD per month when billed annually. Includes 1 user and up to 10 social accounts.
- Team Plan: $129 USD per month when billed annually. Includes up to 3 users and up to 20 social accounts.
- Business Plan: $739 USD per month when billed annually. Includes 5 users and up to 35 social accounts.
- Enterprise Plan: Pricing varies and is customized to fit the business’s needs. Designed for businesses that have a larger number of users or accounts.
What is Sprout Social?
Sprout Social offers an expansive set of features that allow businesses to optimize their social media and content strategies. The platform has a very user-friendly UI and provides strong data insights to help a business understand how its social media strategy is performing.
Sprout Social can be used to:
- Publish and schedule posts.
- Stay on top of conversations and trends with social listening tools.
- Leverage detailed social media analytics and reporting.
- Engage with your customers and followers.
Sprout Social does not offer a free plan, but they do offer a free trial. They have three paid plans:
- Standard Plan: $89 USD per user per month when billed annually. Includes up to 5 social profiles.
- Professional Plan: $149 USD per user per month when billed annually. Includes up to 10 social profiles.
- Advanced Plan: $249 USD per user per month when billed annually. Includes up to 10 social profiles.
Hootsuite vs. Sprout Social: Post scheduling
Both Hootsuite and Sprout Social allow users to schedule posts and messages across the major social media platforms. They also both provide posting time suggestions to help your content reach a larger audience and receive more engagement.
Hootsuite is a better option if you want to schedule a large number of posts at once. While they both offer unlimited manual posting, there is a daily limit with Sprout Social of 10 scheduled posts per day. Manual posting can take a significant amount of time, so restrictions on bulk scheduling capabilities can create significant productivity issues in the long run. This is especially true for startups or very small businesses.
Hootsuite vs. Sprout Social: Analytics
Hootsuite offers robust reporting and analytics, but you will need to pay for the more expensive plans or special add-ons to get access to many of the service’s best analytics features. For example, Hootsuite Impact is an analytics tool that helps you measure and prove the return on investment (ROI) of your social media efforts, which is great for businesses that want clear data to drive decision-making. However, this feature is only available with Business or Enterprise plans.
Sprout Social also has a strong analytics dashboard that allows users to easily create customized reports. Their platform is very data-oriented with reporting available on post performance, trends, competitor comparisons, and employee activity metrics. Sprout Social does a good job of offering complex reporting while still maintaining an easy-to-use interface that won’t overwhelm new users.
Hootsuite vs. Sprout Social: Collaboration tools
Hootsuite offers basic collaboration tools that allow users to review and edit each other’s work before posts go live. They also have team assignment tools so that teams can divvy up social media tasks, and incoming messages or customer questions can be directed to the correct team member.
It’s worth noting that Hootsuite’s higher-level plans include multiple users rather than charging per user like Sprout Social. This makes Hootsuite more affordable for large teams.
Sprout Social also has team assignment and task features, plus Team and Task reports. These reports can help managers or small business owners see how efficiently specific team members are replying to incoming messages or completing social media tasks.
In addition, Sprout Social has features for content approval, so you can implement safety measures to ensure all content has the right branding and messaging.
Hootsuite vs. Sprout Social: Integrations
Both platforms integrate with all of the major social media platforms that businesses frequently use:
- Google Business
Neither service integrates well with TikTok, so you’ll still need to use the app’s native creator and business tools to post those videos manually and track analytics.
Hootsuite and Sprout Social offer many third-party software integrations, including CRM systems, productivity tools, and social commerce tools. Hootsuite offers more than 150 integrations, and you can search for your preferred software options here to see if they integrate with Hootsuite. Sprout Social offers significantly fewer integrations, which you can explore here.
Hootsuite vs. Sprout Social: Social listening
Social listening is the practice of tracking conversations related to your company, industry, or relevant topics related to your brand. It helps you keep track of what everyone is talking about, even when they aren’t tagging you. This helps you keep up with trends, optimize your content with popular keywords, and maintain awareness of any discussions regarding your company.
Both solutions have decent trend monitoring and reporting features. Hootsuite has strong social listening capabilities for small businesses just starting to get their feet wet with social listening. However, Sprout Social offers more advanced social listening features, including industry- or event-specific tools that can help you dive deeper and gain even more actionable data.
How to choose between Hootsuite and Sprout Social
Each of these solutions offers robust social media management features you can use to improve your digital marketing strategy and social media presence.
While you’ll likely be happy with either option, there are some key factors to consider when choosing between the two services, including:
- Your budget. Hootsuite offers a free plan and its plans overall are cheaper than the comparable plans from Sprout Social.
- The size of your team. Sprout Social has slightly stronger collaboration tools, but they can be costly for teams since you’ll have to pay for each extra user individually.
- The necessary integrations. Both offer a variety of third-party integrations, but Hootsuite has a larger partner network. The right solution will integrate with the CMS, design, commerce, and productivity tools you already use to run your business.
Sprout Social is a stronger contender if you want to dig deeper into insights, automate messaging and engagement, make use of advanced social listening features, and build organized team workflows. Hootsuite is a much better value for small businesses that have smaller budgets and are more focused on post publishing and scheduling.
If you’re still not sure which solution is right for you, compare Hootsuite and Sprout Social with the other vendors on our list of the Best Social Media Management Tools & Software.