When I started automating the social media posts for two of my websites 8 years ago, a trusted person recommended HootSuite. Since they seemed to be the market leader at the time and they were affordable, I did not look any further.
But over time, I became more and more frustrated with their limitations and bugs. Some bugs I reported were fixed, others just lingered on.
So I researched alternatives to HootSuite. I found that there are many alternatives, and that there is no lack of articles comparing HootSuite vs. other solutions. Sometimes, these comparisons are written by the providers of these other solutions and their conclusions are what you would expect.
The best solution for social media automation is of course dependent on your specific requirements. In my case, I have the following requirements:
- Two websites (or “brands” as some vendors call them).
- Three social media accounts for each website: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- I prepare social media posts in a spreadsheet. I want to be able to upload the relevant section of the spreadsheet once a month and not have to worry about my automated social media posts the rest of the time.
Here are some HootSuite Alternatives that I explored. Pricing is for the least expensive plan that satisfies my requirements, as of the time I did the research (June 2021), in US dollars based on a yearly contract.
|Tool||Cost per Month||Bulk Import|
|Sprout Social||$99*||Don’t know|
HootSuite vs. Sendible Comparison
I believe my situation is probably representative of many small businesses, but your mileage may vary, so do check the various solutions against your own requirements.
That being said, here are the five reasons I chose Sendible over HootSuite.
1. Bulk Scheduling
HootSuite: The Bulk Composer does not work well. I needed to upload the CSV file twice every time. The first time, the system systematically complains about not being able to load the file. The second time, the exact same file is accepted. I reported this several times but it was never resolved.
Another annoyance was that HootSuite often reported a URL as potentially invalid (“Check out this link”), even if there was nothing wrong with the page pointed to by the URL.
Sendible: The Bulk Composer function works flawlessly and has not given me any trouble.
2. Instagram Images
HootSuite: There is no way to bulk schedule Instagram posts without manually adding an image to every post. I thought I could solve this by using the API, but the API does not support Instagram Business profiles.
Sendible: The bulk scheduling CSV file has a column for images. This makes it possible to apply the same image to each post on all social media accounts. I even developed an automated way to populate the image column, but I’ll talk about that in another article.
3. Twitter Images
HootSuite: When bulk scheduling posts to Facebook and Twitter, the preview always showed the same image for both, even if the page referred to by the post does not have a Twitter card. This forced me to manually check all bulk-scheduled Twitter posts using the Twitter card validator.
Sendible: Since I am able to include an image URL in the CSV file (see #2 above), I am assured that a valid image is used for all social media accounts.
4. URL Shortening
HootSuite: In the Bulk Composer, URLs are not shortened or the posts contain both the shortened and the original URL.
Sendible: All URLs are shortened using bit.ly
5. Bulk Delete
HootSuite: There is no way to delete multiple scheduled posts in one operation. This may seem like a silly complaint, but there have been times where I made a mistake, e.g. uploading a CSV file and selecting the wrong social media accounts. I had to individually delete every post in every social media account to correct the mistake.
Sendible: You can select multiple (or all) scheduled posts and delete them in one operation.
Yes, I said there were 5 reasons, and this is number 6. Read on, and you’ll understand.
HootSuite: The current rate for a HootSuite subscription would be twice what I pay for Sendible. However, since I subscribed 8 years ago, I have been paying the same yearly rate, which had become a very good deal indeed. It is to their credit that they did not increase the price for me during all those years.
Sendible: I could not benefit from any “grandfathering” for my new Sendible subscription. I am now paying almost three times what I was paying to HootSuite. But the higher cost is well worth it, given the amount of time and frustration I save every month.
In my case, I found Sendible to be preferable over HootSuite by a wide margin. But don’t take my word for it: find out for yourself what Sendible can do for your social media automation! Get a free trial!
Save 20% on your Sendible subscription if you use this link to sign up for a free 14-day trial!
Disclosure: I aim to provide honest information based on my actual experience with the products I review. In exchange for referring sales, I may receive a small commission. This comes at no extra cost to you.