ContentCal and Hootsuite: Which is the Right Tool for Your Business?
It’s a question we get asked everyday, whether it’s about Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, or something else entirely. So today, we’re going to have a go at answering our most frequent of frequently asked questions….
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- There’s 4 parts to social media management and Hootsuite have 3 of them covered; publishing, community management, and reporting (with the exception of planning). As a result, a number of people will use Hootsuite as their ‘all-in-one-solution’.
- They are the longest standing and most popular social media tool meaning they are trusted and well known. They also have a great depth of features such as geo-targeting.
- They have plans to support businesses of all sizes with 10 million users (pretty impressive) and features for free. They support publishing for the widest range of social networks including Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
- There is no way to plan or organise your content. Creating a content plan that maps your business objectives is often the most time-consuming and critical aspect of social media management. Social media has evolved in the 10 years that Hootsuite has been around and success on social is no longer driven by who can publish the most, but by who can produce the most relevant, interesting, and timely content. For that you really need a visual plan.
- You’ll still be using spreadsheets. Anyone who understands social has a plan, and these plans exist in spreadsheets, word docs, or in tools like Trello. We’re yet to meet a Social Media Manager who has time on their hands, yet so much time is wasted (about 4 hours per week for our clients) creating content in one place before moving it to another for publishing.
- The learning curve is steep. For social newbies it can be hard to grasp how all their features work. This stops their users from getting the most out of their product.
- Technology, like life, is always a compromise. Having a wide range of features means that Hootsuite does 3 elements of social pretty well. However the phrase ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ is completely applicable. There are better tools to manage each element of the social media process, but having multiple ‘best of breed’ tools is not for everyone.
- It’s simple - ContentCal was built by us, a team of social managers, so we have focused on simplicity. We want less time to be spent navigating a tool, and more time creating content.
- It’s visual - By mapping out your content in a calendar format, you have a clear view of what you are creating and can therefore ensure that your content is matching your business goals. You can even choose between monthly and weekly view to suit your preference and set out a content calendar that works easily.
- Improved collaboration - ContentCal's visual layout makes it simple for you to see what’s going out and manage quality.
- Approval Workflows - Our bespoke approval flows ensure that the right content is published and the quality standards are upheld.
- It’s great for teams - Because the best content is content is made together.
We started life as a social media agency, so we’ve seen a fair few things in our time - and there’s more to social media and content publishing tools than just scheduling. In our humble opinion, the best content is created through planning, preparation, and participation from a team. With the introduction of ContentCal Analytics, our users are also able to get a broad overview of how their content is performing, and learn how to create better content for the future.
Similarly to Hootsuite, ContentCal offers publishing and scheduling to all core social channels. ContentCal is excellent when it comes to team collaboration with smart features to stimulate great ideas and make it easier to create together. Collaboration via a live updating calendar keeps the whole team up to speed with an at-a-glance overview of the latest edits and revisions while Comments and Notifications ensure you never miss a beat.
Our Campaign Manager tool allows teams to store assets and campaign briefs in shared folders which can be easily accessed and downloaded when ready to use. Meanwhile, our Approval Flows minimise risk by ensuring only approved content is published to channels. With our recent bit.ly integration, we're also able to make the entire process of creating and approving content speedier than ever.
Like Hootsuite, ContentCal has it's own analytical capabilities. ContentCal analytics allows you to examine your content according to relevant metrics, pick out your top performing content, and see quickly and easily the information needed to create better content.
P.S. It also doesn’t hurt that our Team plan is available at a much more cost-effective price in comparison to Buffer, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social...
While we do our best to remain impartial, we have seen and used many tools in our time. Here’s a couple of independent articles for further reading: 7 Reasons to use ContentCal - https://iag.me/socialmedia/7-reasons-use-contentcal 7 Reasons NOT to use Hootsuite - https://iag.me/socialmedia/reviews/7-reasons-not-to-use-hootsuite
We’ve created a side-by-side comparison of four key social media and content scheduling publishing tools - Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, and ContentCal - scoring against the high-level functionality that’s critical for creating and publishing compelling content.
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