HootSuite ... more like Hoot SWEET!
October 21, 2014

HootSuite ... more like Hoot SWEET!

Kelly Rates | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

Hootsuite Pro

Overall Satisfaction with Hootsuite Pro

As a business consultant I provide social media services, meaning my clients can completely outsource their social media management to me or there's the option that I could train them in the program if I believe it's a good fit. So far I have only been in the first scenario, and this program makes the job of social media management almost effortless. With the Pro account, I can have as many social accounts as I want, and I manage a LOT. I have tabs for my personal, my own business,and my clients. All of those have about 5+ social platforms that I have integrated with HootSuite. So that's a lot of social media accounts organized in one place. For someone like me, it's definitely the way to go. For an independent user just using 1 business with 5 platforms, the free version would suffice, in my opinion.
  • The dashboard - has a very easy interface that lets you customize what you see. I use a different tab for each business/client and then within those tabs, different streams from the various platforms. For example: Facebook stream next to the Twitter stream, and those are easily clicked and dragged around, added and removed.
  • Letting you schedule posts ahead of time and simultaneously - If I had to do every social post individually I would definitely not be providing this service. This is an area that I feel really gives me a competitive advantage because it saves me time, but by charging a monthly fee for my services I am not punished on my invoices for the efficiency. For example, if I read an article that I want to share, I can click all the accounts I want to share it on and schedule it to post Monday at 9AM next week in one click.
  • I like that it sends me weekly emails with quick stats so I can see which posts did the best and any new followers I gained in the week. Although it is easy to change your email preferences, I have never found HootSuite to be spammy. They only send me emails related to my accounts and I appreciate not being showed a bunch of partner offers or anything like that!
  • I use Firefox as my web browser, and there are times when I can't fully see everything I need to see, but that can be fixed by zooming out so it's not the biggest deal.
  • I have the Pro version, not enterprise. I feel like pro is the best value for me. With that being said, I wish I could get some of the cooler features that I'm sure the next level up get. I have very low overhead for my business, I don't pay for a lot. So me paying for this program is a pretty big deal. There are times I wish I had more. I tried to build a custom report, but found out it was going to charge me extra for it, so I didn't follow through with it.
  • Analytics wise I wish it would give me more. I'm not sure if there are more analytical options available to the next paid level up. I would really love to be able to do more streams of trends and account activity, and again make reporting easier. To show one of my clients monthly reports, I give them exported PDFs of Google Analytics and also a spreadsheet that I make from Facebook insights. It would be SO ideal if I could make a nice report in HootSuite that covered all of the platforms, especially those that don't provide analytics themselves, like Google+ and Twitter.
  • To elaborate on the stream of trends, right now I can set up queries, for example on my personal account I have a saved Twitter search where I have a feed of the keywords "free screening" and "Seattle" so I can find free movie screenings in my area. Great life hack. I but for my Physical Therapy client for example I wish I could have a stream that showed me related keywords that were hot at the moment, popular articles for the industry, that kind of thing. I'm not sure if competitors to HootSuite provide that kind of insight, but it would be ideal for me.
I work for myself as a consultant, so it's just me, myself and I. Simply, it works for marketing, communication, staying up on trends, and obviously, social media. I am the purchaser, the user, and the trainer. I have not become a reseller yet but it's an option I am considering for down the road.
  • As mentioned earlier in my review, if I didn't have HootSuite I would most likely not be providing social media management as a service. As a lover of social media, I would probably try my best and check out the competitors, but I've heard HootSuite is the best. There are just too many platforms and I deal with too many accounts that it would be a 24/7 job if I didn't have this program.
  • Sometimes I worry when talking with a new client. I don't want to tell them too much if they are the least bit tech savvy because honestly it is so easy to use and I want them to hire me!! Not just check it out and use it themselves. But what I do say is that I "use a program that saves me a lot of time by allowing me to schedule posts in advance."
  • When it comes to ROI, using one client for an example, comparing what I pay and how much time I spend, I make at least $100 for every $10 I spend with HootSuite. Now that I've been in the game longer and raised my monthly fee, it's more than double that. So you can see there is a clearly positive ROI for me when it comes to social media outsourcing services. More than I would expect to gain from any software program.
Because I want this to be an honest review, I didn't take a lot of time to check out competitors of HootSuite. I read some online reviews, and HootSuite seemed to be the best choice. I tried it first for free with my personal accounts and then decided I liked it at paid for the Pro version so I could use it for work. I can't speak for any of the competitors. Sometimes you just want to go with who is setting the standard, and that's what I believe about this program.
Scheduling and picking accounts to post to is the easiest and best feature, definitely. It makes it all so easy. There is an option that you can choose to "auto post" where HootSuite is supposed to determine when to post to get the most engagement, but I tried it once and there's not an expanded capability to say make posts hourly or 2 per day and let it go from there - it posted my update within minutes after I told it to auto-schedule. So that could definitely be improved. It is important to note that HootSuite does not create any content for you, it is merely the conduit for you to share your updates in the most efficient way possible.
As you'll read earlier in my review, most of my constructive criticism is in this area. I really wish there was more reporting and analytical opportunities at my level. I'm sure it's well expanded for the enterprise level, but there could be so much more for us at Pro. I was so disappointed when first trying out the report builder and making a perfect one and then it saying to use it I would have to pay more. No thanks. Now I'm bummed. I must admit, since that moment, I haven't done a lot more exploration. It would be nice if there was integration with Google trends or something similar so see what's going on out there on the web, but last time I checked there was not.
It's important to know how many platforms and accounts you're going to be dealing with. For an individual or very small business that is going to be using 5 or less platforms [say they only have Facebook and Twitter] then the free version would work just fine. For a huge corporation that may have hundreds of users on various platforms, you'd need to go the next level up. Pro is just right for me. I can say for a fellow consultant, it's the best way to go. If you're a little tech savvy and enjoy social media, it's a great choice. However, if you're the kind of person who really does not want to mess with social media but you think this will make it better - you're better off outsourcing to someone like me, because although it makes the posting easier, you still need to invest the time to create content, be engaging, and browse around what's popular in your industry. This program won't take away the need to really dive in and give it 100%. It's like the printer, not the designer.

Using Hootsuite Pro

It's an automatic renew so there's no reason I would have to worry about this. For all the functionality I get, $10 a month is a steal. I am considering upgrading for a month so that I can do their online training program, Hootsuite University, where I can earn a certificate and be listed on their site as an expert in the program. I have inquired about this, and I could earn the certificate and then switch back to my pro account. I think the whole learning program and certificate is a very awesome thing for them to do. I see myself continuing this until I am not working in this industry anymore - and I don't see that happening anytime soon because I'm just getting started!