The emergence of social media has been a game changer for businesses, especially small-to-midsize businesses. It provides an easy and accessible medium for marketing your brand and your products. It helps to increase site traffic and boost sales, without the same costs as traditional media. At the same time, the explosion of social media has made the process of managing your social media marketing more time consuming for small-to-midsized businesses. Even if you limit yourself to LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and , that’s four social media apps to execute, monitor and maintain in accordance with your marketing plan.
Luckily, social media management platforms have emerged to help centralize and automate your social media posts. Two of the most popular options are Hootsuite and Zoho Social. They allow you to plan and schedule posts via a calendar, which then automates the posting process. They also allow you to build out and create posts, including adding branded content and customized photos to articles. By centralizing and automating posts for multiple social media applications, they make social media marketing more efficient without limiting your reach across social media platforms.
The question that pops up is: which social media management platform should you use? As with most business software, there is no “one app/platform fits all” solution and it will depend on your specific business needs and marketing plan. In our experience, for small-to-midsized businesses, particularly ones just beginning to build a social presence, Zoho Social provides a better option than Hootsuite.
Hootsuite vs. Zoho Social – A Levelled Functional Playing Field
One of the major benefits of Hootsuite lay in its ability to use social listening on Facebook. Hootsuite’s social listening allowed you to keep taps on the mentions of your company across Facebook, evaluate trends in these mentions and in your interactions with customers, and to aggregate this data. This was a valuable feature that may have justified a Hootsuite subscription, as this was a feature that was not available on Zoho Social. But, given recent privacy concerns, Facebook restricted social listening to hashtags and page follows, both features that are available on Zoho Social. This ultimately levelled the playing field between the two apps.
While Hootsuite is oriented towards the complex needs and multiple teams and workflows of an enterprise-level business, Zoho Social has the same basic functional capacities needed to manage your social media presence and marketing. This includes:
- Saving time by uploading a bulk set of media posts to be dripped out over time;
- Scheduling posts in advance;
- SmartQ to predict and post according when it will have the greatest impact on your followers;
- Social listening/monitoring capabilities through Facebook hashtags and Twitter;
- Advanced analytics to help you assess your social media performance, including the ability to track social media revenue so you can assess your return on investment.
All of this helps boost your social following, so you can stay top of mind for clients and prospects in an efficient way. It also provides powerful tools for reconfiguring your social media approach if your current one isn’t achieving your marketing goals.
The Advantages of Zoho Social for Small-to-Midsized Businesses
While on a functional basis Hootsuite and Zoho Social offer similar features, Zoho Social has two major advantages that are particularly helpful for small-to-midsized businesses.
- ZohoOne includes a free version of Zoho Social. Ultimately, if you’re already paying for ZohoOne, it may not be worth it to pay for an additional subscription, especially if your business is in its infancy or you’re to grow or escalate your social media presence. Indeed, the similar functional features sets make the additional cost redundant. And Zoho Social’s pay options are often cheaper than Hootsuite’s monthly subscription costs.
- Zoho Social is extremely user-friendly and intuitive. On the one hand, this has the benefit of avoiding a sharp learning curve – even if you don’t have a ton of experience using social platforms, it’s relatively easy to pickup and learn. On the other, once you have the hang of it, it’s easy to onboard and train others. Because Hootsuite is oriented towards larger businesses, it will involve more time spent setting things up and more time training employees to use the platform.
Social Media Management Platforms and RFDM Solutions
As marketing management experts, we have experience across a variety of social media management platforms. Whether you’re looking at Hootsuite vs. Zoho Social, or perhaps choosing between either and another platform to implement a marketing plan, contact us for a free consultation.