Anyone who’s ever worked managing social media knows it is virtually impossible to manage several profiles for different clients without losing your mind. Open sessions, close them, reopen them, retrieve passwords…
When you surpass a certain amount of accounts to manage at the same time, it becomes necessary to use a tool that helps to make things easier and faster, specially when it comes to planning and scheduling.
So, from that basis, we got on with it. After a lot of research about which tools were available to us, we finally chose Hootsuite.
A priori, Hootsuite seemed to be everything we needed. It is slightly overpriced if you ask us, but it also looked like it would be the best problem-solving tool for our particular needs at that moment.
What is that we found most appealing?
- We thought the option of viewing data in different forms on the control panel was brilliant, and also the ability to organise it by columns.
- It’s not entirely based on post scheduling. The columns we just mentioned allow us to keep up with searches, mentions, DMs… and interact with users directly through the platform.
- It gives room for team work: add members of your team and limit or manage their functionality or access as needed.
In one word, there are so many advantages. It is by far the most advantageous tool we’ve found. However, after several months of work, we also discovered a few details we are not so fond of.
Why did we leave Hootsuite?
Intermittence in programming
Imagine for a second that you buy an overly expensive pair of trousers. The expectations are high: you hope that the trousers will have something to offer that cheaper pants don’t. But one day, the zipper starts to malfunction. It doesn’t happen every day, but it happens often enough.
That is how our problems with Hootsuite started. For no apparent reason, and with an email notification: “The scheduled message on Hootsuite couldn’t be sent”. Some of the posts we had scheduled never saw the light of day, and this was something we couldn’t look past.
Conflicts with Instagram
We encountered the first real problem when we wanted to add our clients’ Instagram accounts. At first, Hootsuite didn’t allow to post directly. The only option was to schedule through the tool itself, and once the post was programmed, accept the publishing from the smartphone’s app. However, a few months ago, Hootsuite started to offer the option of posting directly on Instagram, which made the whole thing much more simple and manageable. Everything seemed fine, but troubles arose again soon enough.
One of the requirements for posting directly was to have a company profile on Instagram, linked to a Facebook page which you had to be the administrator or editor of. Back to the process, when we tried to verify any of the accounts, Hootsuite asked for the Facebook’s account user and password, but only granted access to posting if said user and password were those of the page creator itself, and not the administrator or editor (even though Hootsuite claimed this wasn’t the protocol). We did our fair share of reading, researching and investigation, and found no answers.
This became an actual problem, since it made no sense to ask our clients to provide for us users and passwords that, in most cases, belonged to their personal profiles.
Irrelevant (or plainly inexistent) statistics
Another feature that promised a lot and delivered nothing is the statistics management. A priori, Hootsuite cared enough as to send a monthly email containing a week by week report. Right, the email was delivered and received, but 90% of those emails had 0 data on each parameter, regardless of the changes made to an account. In one word: the service was utterly useless.
The technical support service didn’t do much either, as we thorougly reported the incidents we encountered. In most cases, they replied promptly and kindly -which is nice and much appreciated-, but they solved nothing: acknowledgement of receipt, transference of the complaint to a different department, and, on ocassion, no answer at all if we weren’t
So, to sum up
Hootsuite is, without a doubt, a powerful tool, but, regretably, the ammount of incidents it generates make it inconsistent to manage social media profiles at a professional level. Besides, social media platforms are slowly but steadily incorporating programming features within themselves, so we are inclined to try out other less powerful but more accurate and solid tools. Loomly and Buffer are next on the try-list… we’ll see how it goes!