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Business Engineering

Hootsuite or Zoho Social – which platform reigns supreme?

by | Marketing Automation

Social media has become an integral part of our lives, and businesses have also recognised the importance of having a strong social media presence, but managing multiple platforms and audiences can be time-consuming and stressful. So, it is no surprise that social media management software has emerged as a powerful business tool to manage all your accounts efficiently.

To help you make an informed choice for your business needs, we sent our very own Marketer, Becky, on a secret mission, to test out these two rival platforms. 

“In the realm of social media management, Hootsuite and Zoho Social have both established themselves as notable contenders. Though they may seem very similar on the surface, there are some feature differences to bear in mind when selecting which tool to go for.”

“As a marketer, I’ve faced the same challenges as any business trying to conquer the social media universe,” says Becky. “I’ve taken a deep dive into both Hootsuite and Zoho Social to provide a comprehensive comparison and help businesses choose the right tool for their needs.”

Social media management software: Why is it important and what should you know?

“Social management software allows businesses to manage multiple social media accounts all from a single tool. This eliminates the need to log in and out of different platforms, saving time and streamlining the social media management process.” says Becky. “It also allows businesses to monitor social media accounts more effectively, schedule posts, analyse performance, optimise marketing efforts and engage with customers.”

When choosing a social media management software, it is essential to consider the number of social media accounts you have, the size of your team, and the features and tools offered by the software. In addition, it is important to consider the pricing plans and the level of customer support provided by the software.

So let us take a closer look at two of the top solutions in this space and what they offer:

Firstly, Hootsuite and Zoho Social: What’s similar?

Both Hootsuite and Zoho Social offer a variety of common features that are typical for social media management tools. Here are just some of the key similarities between both platforms:

Social media integrations: Both Hootsuite and Zoho Social allow users to connect and manage multiple social media platforms from one central location. Hootsuite supports integration with over 35 social media platforms, while Zoho Social integrates with popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google My Business.

Post scheduling and publishing: Both tools allow users to schedule and publish posts on social media platforms in advance. This feature can save users time and help them stay consistent with their social media strategy.

Analytics and reporting: Both Hootsuite and Zoho Social provide users with data and insights about their social media performance. Users can track engagement rates, follower growth, and other metrics to measure the effectiveness of their social media strategy.

Team collaboration: Both tools offer features that facilitate team collaboration, allowing users to assign tasks, track progress, and share content with team members.

Customisable dashboards: Both Hootsuite and Zoho Social provide users with customisable dashboards that allow them to monitor their social media presence and track important metrics in real-time.

Overall, Hootsuite and Zoho Social provide you with all the necessary functionality you’d expect from a social media management tool. But, what sets them apart?

Zoho Social: The good, the bad, and the ugly

“Zoho Social provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface that is particularly helpful for those who are new to social media management,” Becky notes. “The platform’s layout and design make it easy to navigate and understand.”

Advantages of Zoho Social

Easy-to-use interface: Zoho Social provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface that is particularly helpful for those who are new to social media management. The platform’s layout and design make it easy to navigate and understand.

Cost-effective pricing: Zoho Social offers pricing plans that are better suited for small businesses compared to Hootsuite, with lower starting prices that are more affordable.

Customisable reporting: Zoho Social offers a highly-customisable reporting feature with excellent data visualisation. Additionally, it can be integrated with Zoho CRM or Zoho Analytics to provide a more comprehensive analysis of your marketing team’s efforts.

Powerful scheduling features: Zoho really nailed this one. Their powerful scheduling features make managing your content pipeline a breeze. With the ability to schedule repeat posts, use AI smart time-slotting, and publishing queues that avoid overlapping, the platform’s publishing calendar is an organizer’s dream.

Real-time social media listening: Social provides an easy to customise, multi-column dashboard to monitor conversations that are relevant for your business. So you can stay tuned to every social interaction with contextual information that helps you engage better.

Zoho integrations: Zoho Social integrates into many of the other Zoho applications, including Zoho CRM, Analytics and Desk. With the Zoho CRM integration for example, social media data can be linked with customer data, enabling businesses to have a 360-degree view of their customers’ social media interactions, preferences, and behaviours.

Zoho Social features

LImitations of Zoho Social

Third-party Integrations: While Zoho Social’s integration with other Zoho tools is a great advantage for businesses that are fully committed to the Zoho ecosystem, it may not be as helpful for those who use a variety of non-Zoho tools. This limitation is particularly significant for large enterprises that may already be using a wide range of applications to manage various aspects of their operations. If a business is already using multiple tools, adding Zoho Social to the mix may result in more complexity and a disjointed workflow, especially if it does not integrate with the tools already in use.

Slow customer support: Zoho Social provides extensive documentation and resources, but their customer support response times can be slow. This can be frustrating for users who need immediate assistance or are experiencing technical issues that require a prompt resolution. However, there is a solution to this problem. A2Z Cloud, offer additional support and expertise to help fill this gap. A2Z Cloud’s team of Zoho-certified experts can provide personalised support and training to help users get the most out of Zoho Social and other Zoho applications.

Hootsuite: The good, the bad and the ugly

“Hootsuite’s acquisition of Heyday has allowed them to offer a powerful customer messaging platform that integrates seamlessly with Hootsuite’s existing social media management tools,” Becky points out. “This means that businesses can now use Hootsuite to manage not just their social media presence, but also their customer messaging across multiple channels.”

Advantages of Hootsuite

Customer service management: The integration with Heyday has introduced a comprehensive customer messaging platform into the mix.

Paid advertising: Hootsuite’s paid advertising tools allow businesses to manage their paid content across multiple social media platforms from a single dashboard. This means that businesses can create, publish, and track their ads on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn without having to switch between multiple platforms.

Third-party Integrations: Hootsuite’s third-party integrations allow businesses to connect their social media accounts to a wide range of other applications and services. This can include things like CRM systems, marketing automation tools, and content management systems. While these integrations can be incredibly powerful, they can also add up in terms of cost. Many of these integrations require businesses to pay for additional subscriptions or licenses on top of their Hootsuite subscription.

Employee advocacy: Hootsuite’s employee advocacy tools allow businesses to empower their employees to become advocates for their brand on social media. This means that businesses can provide their employees with pre-approved messages and content to share on their personal social media accounts. This can help businesses increase their reach and engagement on social media while also reducing the risk of non-compliant or off-brand posts.

Hootsuite features

Limitations of Hootsuite

Expensive: Hootsuite’s pricing can be a bit steep compared to some other social media management tools. While the tool does offer a wide range of features and integrations, the cost may be prohibitive for small businesses with limited budgets. Hootsuite’s pricing plans are structured in a tiered system, with more expensive plans offering additional features and capabilities. For businesses that only need basic social media management tools, Hootsuite’s pricing may not be suitable.

User Interface: Hootsuite’s user interface can be a bit overwhelming for beginners, particularly for businesses that are new to social media management. The tool offers a wide range of features and capabilities, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Additionally, some of the terminology and concepts used in the tool may be unfamiliar to beginners, which can make it even more difficult to navigate.

What’s the verdict?

In the final analysis, both Hootsuite and Zoho Social stand out as exceptional social media management tools, each offering a diverse range of features to help businesses streamline their social media presence,” Becky reflects. “Like any tool, each has its strengths and areas for improvement, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.”

She continues, “The optimal choice is deeply rooted in a business’s unique marketing needs and strategies. If your business leans heavily on strategies such as employee advocacy and paid advertising, Hootsuite’s functionality might align better with your needs. On the other hand, if you’re seeking a tool that prioritizes simplicity, swift publishing processes, and efficient content distribution across multiple platforms, Zoho Social could be your perfect match.”

Becky concludes, “As a Marketer, I’ve learned that the key to successful social media management is not just about choosing a tool with the best features, but about finding the one that best complements your business’s unique needs and strategies. It’s about strategic alignment and how well the tool can help you achieve your marketing objectives.”

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If you’re still feeling unsure about which social media management tool to choose or need support with your Zoho tools, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. 

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