Hoostuite Free - A Must for Start Ups and Small Businesses
Matthew Veil | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated April 16, 2020

Hoostuite Free - A Must for Start Ups and Small Businesses

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

Hootsuite Free

Overall Satisfaction with Hootsuite

We used Hoostsuite Free when we first started the business. We needed a low cost solution, free is definitely low cost, I heard about Hootsuite from online blogs I follow, and searched on the web more about it. The main functions I wanted to use were to schedule social media posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ so I didn't have to manually do it. I know Facebook has the option to schedule it for later but logging onto 3 different platforms and copying pasting over was a lot more time consuming. Still at the time the other social platforms didn't allow to schedule the post for later. It was easy to get started with and freed up our time in scheduling social media posts. Initially it was just myself, and now I have others using the upgraded version of it. I meet with a lot of smaller businesses who don't have a large budget for marketing and I recommend Hoostuite free to them all the time. We have since upgraded to the version where you can have more social profiles and are still happy with it. Pricing is hard to beat, and the time savings is very helpful.
  • For small or startup businesses, time is scarce, and being able to schedule up to 30 messages at one time means you sit down once per month and you are done. Spending one to two hours focussed on content relieves the stress of remembering to log on multiple times per week when other things get in the way.
  • I also like the analytics, you can log into each social site and look at it, but again that is time that could be spent doing something else. I like seeing how each post is performing over different channels, especially because each channel will vary in the way content is consumed. Very helpful for planning future content and posts.
  • When I was starting up it was nice to have a trusted source of information helping me determine what and how to post to social media, Hootsuite provides some online free courses to help a small startup business get off the ground with what to post. Helping with information on specific social media platforms, optimizing your social media profiles and pages to get more out of social media. Some people tend to think it's just creating a profile and posting, it's way more than that and Hootsuite provides a lot of information for non experts to become proficient for their own business.
  • They have the Hootlet owl that can be used to schedule posts on the fly for Chrome and Firefox browsers. Very helpful, I have noticed it can be quite buggy at times, so I generally don't even use install it or use it. I'd like to see it work better because a small part of posting is done on the fly. But considering it is a free resource I don't complain.
  • I'd love to see a keyword report or hashtag report which is currently not available on the free version, but considering it's free, again I wouldn't complain. When I used the free plan the main goal was to just post content and show more presence that was consistent on multiple channels.
  • When I first signed up there wasn't a lot of information in regards to how the dashboard worked and the functions of streams but I believe they have added more information, for non techy people that may seem a bit confusing at first, but they have added more information in explaining that and the publishing stream.
  • Simplifying. It simplifies posting content into multiple channels because you only log in once, and can post to multiple channels in different ways. Which also means remembering less layouts on different social channels to post content. You can also post content during non business hours so you have more availability for more customers.
  • Saving time. WIth being able to sit down once per month versus multiple times per month to post content I don't have to worry about scheduling content posts when a busy day happens, plus once you are in the social media mode, you don't have to switch gears to think about other projects and that can relieve some stress,
  • Training. For my interns or people needing to learn how to use it, I can just refer them to the training guides Hootsuite free has already. So that frees up my schedule to train them how I want my content to be posted online, when to schedule posts to be published and other details that are specific to my company niche.
Compared to IFTTT it is simple to use and pruposed mainly for social media. You need to have some tech skills if you are going to use IFTTT versus you can be a non geek to use Hoostuite free. If you are a tech novice you can use Hootsuite's tutorials and guides to get you up and running a lot faster than trying to learn the IFTTT system.
Compared to buffer, you can have more social posts per month on the free level than buffer and a few more social profiles to choose from. The upgraded plan can scale more with buffer but again for the free version you have more options to get started with. SO if you are brand new or just getting started than Hoostuite free would be the way to go.
Compared to Sprout Social, Sprout does not have a free version like Hootuite provides, and has a lot more robust features, but you also need a much larger budget for the premium version. So for starters Hoostuite free would be much easier and less costly to get started with.
The system is pretty self-guided so I haven't had much need for support. The support forum and could be better, chat feature and email work when needed without too much time to wait for help. You'll know if they are online to chat or not. I find chat is the fastest way to get questions answered.

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I would recommend Hoostuite Free for small businesses, start-ups, and people willing to put some time into creating their own social content and not wanting to outsource social media posting. I'd also recommend it for companies needing to learn social media basics as well. Larger companies who have more than three social media profiles and have a budget to run contests and ad campaigns I would recommend upgrading to a pro version and looking to hire a part-time/ full-time social media manager.
Small businesses need to understand that social media posts alone typically won't generate a lot of return on investment by posting alone, unless they have a campaign to go along with it, but also needing to just have regular social posting that shows you are still in business and are relevant to seasonal content will greatly benefit from Hoostuite Free.

Hootsuite Feature Ratings

Content planning and scheduling
Content marketing
Paid media management
Campaigns and promotions
Not Rated
Campaign success analytics
Real-time tracking
Mobile access

Using Hootsuite

1 - We have one main user who currently creates and post content online, we do use the upgraded version from free now because we can have more social profiles and a few other options when it was just myself I started out with Hootsuite free, I would create and schedule social posts to help with being found online and just to show that I was consistent on channels other than my website. I noticed people would check out my website and then check out my social profiles to further research my company. By posting to my social media profiles with Hootsuite and having consistent (or somewhat consistent) content being posted online, the leads had more confidence in my company and being able to provide what I said I could provide. Social media is kind of funny that way, and I am grateful for Hootsuite free to simplify the process of posting more content online than I probably would have without it.