Those of us who work in the social media world are constantly looking for new management and analytics tools to help us to improve our content and track our performance. Chances are that, like us, you keep running across two of the biggest management platforms on the market: Buffer and Hootsuite.

We’ve noticed that, although advertised as being vastly different from each other, the two platforms seem remarkably similar. Because of this, many social media marketers shrug their shoulders and blindly choose one or the other based on price or the aesthetic of the platform.

However, what many people fail to realize is that Buffer and Hootsuite are not the same thing. Buffer is a content publishing tool which gives users the ability to publish and schedule content on a range or various platforms. Hootsuite, on the other hand, is a social media management tool, which is made specifically for social media as opposed to networks in general. It is built for team collaboration and extracts a variety of useful metrics to help optimize engagement.

Link Humans has compiled a list of 5 ways in which the platforms vary: supported networks, publishing and scheduling, analytics, teamwork and security and integrations.

  1. Supported Networks

Buffer supports the following social networks: Twitter, Facebook (profile, page, group), LinkedIn (profile, page), Google+ (page), and the latest addition – Pinterest.

Hootsuite supports the following social networks: Twitter, Facebook (profile, page, and group), Google+ (page), LinkedIn (profile, group, company), WordPress – officially. However, with the further integration of “applications” (which you can find in the Hootsuite App Directory), there are other social networks you can add, like Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Reddit, Flickr, VK, Tumblr, Foursquare, and several more.

  1. Publishing and Scheduling

Buffer and Hootsuite don’t differ that much when it comes to publishing and scheduling. However, out of the two, only Hootsuite lets you engage with content on your timeline/stream (there are a few exceptions with Buffer, which we’ll get into in a minute). That aside, Buffer offers much more flexibility in terms of automation, thanks to the likes of IFTTT and Zapier.

  1. Analytics

Hootsuite offers analytics of your social networks, while Buffer offers analytics of the posts you’ve published via the platform. This is mainly due to what each tool does: Hootsuite is more of a social management tool, so it’ll offer you analytics around content you post, how your social networks are performing, your social traffic (via the Google Analytics integration), and more. On the other hand, Buffer is primarily a publishing and scheduling tool, so all of its analytics revolve around the content you post from the platform. That means that content you post natively on the platform or through another tool won’t appear in Buffer.

  1. Teamwork and Security

If you’re going to be managing social networks with multiple people (your team or other teams), both Buffer and Hootsuite will be able to help you.

The best thing about both these tools is that you can work on a social account with multiple people without having to disclose any passwords, and they’re both robust tools (in terms of security). However, when it comes to user permissions for each team member, Hootsuite is more granular in its approach, with the intention of letting you scale up the usage of the platform without compromising on security.

  1. Integrations

Both Buffer and Hootsuite have a number of plugins and extensions that you can install and use on your personal browsers and favorite apps. You can easily share content through these extensions, even if you’re in another social platform. For instance, if you have the Buffer extension installed on your browser, you can send tweets to Buffer or schedule retweets whenever you log into Twitter or Tweetdeck (you also have similar features for Facebook too). You can find the long list of Buffer extensions here. Hootsuite, on the other hand, has a big focus on its main plugin called Hootlet, which lets you share content from anywhere on the web.

At the end of the day, one platform isn’t necessarily better than the other. Assess your priorities and the needs of your company and from there, you can determine which one of these platforms best suits them!