HootSuite Enterprise: Great functionality but at too great a price?
Updated April 08, 2015
HootSuite Enterprise: Great functionality but at too great a price?
Score 7 out of 10
HootSuite Enterprise: browser cloud version as of 9/13/14
- Everything available except the Conversations/team chat function; use multiple apps
Overall Satisfaction with Hootsuite Enterprise
We are a small advertising/marketing/PR agency and we have a social media team that uses HootSuite Enterprise to manage client social media accounts, as well as our agency's own accounts. HootSuite Enterprise lets us monitor conversations, schedule messages and run analytics for multiple clients, each with multiple social media accounts, from one shared dashboard without each person having to know passwords or sign in to multiple accounts. Most (but not all) clients also have one or two of their staff members who can share the same dashboard with our staff to form a joint team. After we do initial orientation for our staff or client team members, we can enable them to enroll in "HootSuite University" to continue their education independently. We can quickly build client-specific Twitter lists and integrate a client's existing apps (e.g., Salesforce or Mail Chimp, or Constant Contact) to efficiently implement an advanced social media strategy for our nonprofit, public sector, and small business clients.
- Works well with a broad range of social media networks (Google+ pages, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn corporate/groups/individuals, YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, FourSquare, Instagram, Storify, ScoopIt, SurveyMonkey, etc.) so everything can be managed (and analyzed) in one place securely.
- Customized analytic reports can be built for each client and scheduled for automatic distribution on a set schedule.
- HootSuite University enables self-paced independent learning for new staff and clients.
- "Template" posts/messages can be developed and saved for each social media team, which ensures quality for routine hiring/recruitment and customer service messages.
- When monitoring/listening for certain topics, you can easily email or assign specific posts and comments directly to the responsible or interested party.
- Although at the Enterprise level there is an expedited support function, we have found the speed and quality of the responses to be spotty.
- The Enterprise level is extremely pricey and clients routinely downgrade to the Pro version to save money.
- Only ow.ly links are tracked, so if clients or staff forget or use another app or web version of a social network, no analytics are available. (There is a custom url shortning function, but it is outrageously expensive.)
- We find that the integrated HootSuite Syndicator and the RSS Reader app are extremely slow and bog down everything, so we continue to subscribe to Feedly to monitor RSS feeds for individual client industries.
- While pricing at the Pro level is published, the Enterprise pricing is not -- which continually makes us (and our clients) worry that as small firms we are overpaying relative to the Fortune 1000 and other 'big guys.'
- Reduced staff time needed for training new clients on HootSuite and social media in general from using HootSuite University.
- Negative ROI because after training and set up, clients migrate to Pro version to save money. (We are not resellers and do not mark up HootSuite charges, but smaller clients can save significantly by switching from paying their pro rata share of our Enterprise version to a Pro version.)
- Increased employee efficiency from logging in and scanning/monitoring multiple client accounts from one dashboard.
For one year each, we tested both Meltwater and Vocus for social media management (running in parallel to HootSuite Enterprise). For monitoring client mentions and issues, both missed far more posts than HootSuite did. We demoed the others >> Radian6 clearly functions and is priced for a Fortune 500 internal team (versus our small agency situation). Buffer's team functionality was new and weak at the time. (We plan to test again.) Although it handles the majors and we like its interface, Sprout Social does not integrate with a number of the social media networks our clients use.
If/when we renew, we are likely to downgrade from HootSuite Enterprise to the Pro version, or switch to Sprout Social or Buffer as they enhance their team and social media network breadth and functionality. Overall we think HootSuite Enterprise is very well done, but as a small agency we and our small clients cannot afford to continue it at its current price.
HootSuite Enterprise is best suited for large-to-mid-size companies or organizations. Ask if you really need the Enterprise version, or can you get by with the Pro version available for 10 users or less? When evaluating the Pro version, don't forget to consider the cost of each analytic report, premium app and individual enrolled in HootSuite University.
Hootsuite Enterprise Implementation
Based on your existing resources, practices and software platform, implementing HootSuite Enterprise will seem like a dream (or brief nightmare).
- Beta testing of HootSuite Enterprise as it first became available.
- Each team member works through HootSuite University to become certified.
- Implement/test using our agency social media accounts.
- Set up a dashboard and implement for each client sequentially, providing an orientation and custom training.
Change management was minimal - Coordination seems like a more appropriate term than change management. We see HootSuite Enterprise as a tool to implement our existing social media strategies/policies more efficiently.
Using Hootsuite Enterprise
HootSuite Enterprise is intuitive and easy to use except for a few advanced functions, such as specific app integrations (which may reflect the app versus HootSuite). HootSuite University offers how-to training on every function.
Like to use
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
- Building a custom dashboard with streams for each social media network, list or group is a breeze.
- Building and scheduling custom reports is easy.
- Integrating apps such as Salesforce or Constant Contact is easy.
- Adding a new staff team member or client team member to a fully set up existing client team. People get confused and we'd like to be able to simply 'copy' an existing set up for them
- Enrollment in HootSuite University is all or nothing. For clients, we'd prefer to be able to select specific modules for them and block modules more appropriate for the agency.
- The work around for adding more than 10 streams to a tab, or more than 20 (?) tabs to a dashboard is annoying. Just let me add more, rather than make me "add an app" and then convert it to something else.
Yes - The HootSuite Enterprise mobile app is excellent as it provides access to essentially the same dashboard as is available via a desktop browser. It does, however, periodically crash or freeze up, which requires rebuilding it all over again -- and it is much slower than using a single network app such as Twitter or Facebook.