Our organization used Hootsuite Free to manage social media channels for our clients. In our case, we had a few different clients that used Hootsuite, but most of my experience is was with one particular client. This was used to help keep track of social posts and social trends for this client.
3 - We had two writers/creatives on staff that would create the posts, and one manager who would review and submit the posts and do research on trends and topics of interest. They would then send that information back to the writers/creatives. Hootsuite was used by all these people to create the content and do the research.
Most competitors offer more robust, scalable, and complete solutions than Hootsuite Free, but they also cost more than zero. The biggest sell of Hootsuite Free is that it has not entry fee and can help you get into the world of social media marketing. It can do many things for you, but if you are serious about social media marketing, it is time to pony up some money and go for a paid version.
Hootsuite, being free, is a good choice for someone who is running on a limited budget or testing the waters on a certain brand or product. It allows someone to "get their feet wet" in the social arena. It is less appropriate for a serious social marketer or for those who have the desire to expand beyond the three services that are offered.