As a self confessed marketing nerd and social media lover (I’m seriously cracked out on social media marketing), Hootsuite and I have had a lovely, long and generally happy relationship.
Consider this my “so long and thanks for all the fish” and why I broke up with Hootsuite story.
The glance across a crowded market
When I first met Bufferapp, I honestly thought “gee, another new kid on the block trying to win my social media affections.” The truth is, there are a bucket load of social media schedulers and reporting cubes out there, most of which seem to think $40 or more isn’t a fair chunk of change to a freelancer. Well, let me tell you guys, it is. Especially when Hootsuite does pretty much everything you can do on their free plan.
Anyway, my first introduction to Buffer was as a paid service. I was looking after my client’s existing social media while she went off to have a baby. So my experience was a little more interesting than the free version (sorry Buffer App but Hootsuite still kicks your butt in terms of what it can do in a free setting).
When I first met Buffer, it seemed way too simple- cute, but ultimately not as robust. After all, it doesn’t support Instagram or offer a thousand other cute Apps that Hootsuite readily clicks into. It seemed a little too thin.
But we were stuck with each other for the month, so I figured I’d just advise my client what she was missing out on once it was time to hand over again.
Getting to know you, social media marketing style
The first half an hour scoping out Buffer App was pretty much a non event. It wasn’t until I realised it had things like randomising the order of Tweets through the shuffle feature that I started to get excited, or how simple things were to load in. I set aside half a day for some scheduling and nailed it in two hours. That was with quotes, shortened links, across Twitter and Facebook, photos and all. I was left feeling uneasy for the day, as though it simply wasn’t going to work.
Something inside me changed that day.
The dreaded comparison
I started seeing cracks in Hootsuite when I went back to do some of my own scheduling. For example, I had recently upgraded to a paid account and still for the life of me couldn’t work out how to run a report. In frustration, I’d already paid for a Commun.it account (not realising ironically this is Buffer’s main reporting). I felt dumb until I spoke to a dear friend who, despite being able to build WordPress sites like a champion, also had the dunces cap on when it came to Hootsuite reports. Then other stuff started to bug me, too.
Unable to get the timing right for the excel upload, I was scheduling my tweets manually. Hootsuite simply didn’t like the time codes I used (another thing that made me feel very stupid).
Having to click in and out of profiles all the time to schedule really got on my nerves- Hootsuite seemed clunky and not as flexible. Buffer is super simple in that regard. You can do it on the fly with each entry.
Having to go to manually shorten my links in order to use bit.ly as opposed to Hootsuite’s own Owl.y also bugged me. Having the choice in Buffer is so much more appealing. I resented it more because I knew this was probably the reason why I found the reporting so useless. I felt trapped.
The Apps I’d love having “just in case” weren’t being used.
So I started to wonder just exactly why I was persisting with one when the other seemed a hell of a lot more flexible and fun.
The break up
Don’t get me wrong, if I was able to use the excel scheduling, choose something other than Owl.y and understand the reporting, I’d still be with Hootsuite. I like what they do and the system is reliable. If I wanted to schedule across more feeds, they would win hands down.
I’m not saying it doesn’t do a good job with your social media marketing and scheduling. It simply makes it harder than it has to be.
The problem came down to feeling like a dope and seeing no difference in my paid account to the free one. I still couldn’t report, the scheduling was still clunky and I felt a little cheated.
Also, I realised I had bells that I simply didn’t need instead of the things I actually wanted.
It’s not you, it’s me…and maybe a little bit them too
I’ve since moved my Unashamedly Creative social media, plus the social for 3 clients to the one account. It takes me a day to do 11 social media feeds when before it was a heck of a lot longer.
I can understand the reporting, I’m not yelling at the screen and Gibson T. Dog doesn’t hide in the other room on social media scheduling day.
And this is pretty much all my fault.
I’m much more strapped for luxury time these days so I can’t afford to puzzle over things. I’m plugged into the internet and App world all the time and have lost my patience for things that slow me down.
So I’ve left poor Hootsuite behind because of my own inadequacies and self esteem issues (using anything and feeling like a dick these days is just not on the menu) and I’m currently courting Buffer App.
Let’s hope the romance continues to be a happy one, and maybe even matures into love as Buffer App unveils more of its charms in the future.