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Blog 6 Best Hootsuite Alternatives for 2023 (Tried & Tested)

6 Best Hootsuite Alternatives for 2023 (Tried & Tested)

As a leading social media management platform, Hootsuite provides powerful features and integrations that help businesses handle their social media accounts. However, there are other tools out there.

Maybe you’re a Hootsuite customer who wants to switch. Maybe you need vital approval or collaboration features to make your life easier. Maybe you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative. Or maybe all of the above plus something extra.

I went over 6 alternatives to Hootsuite with a fine toothcomb and tested 3 key elements: social media calendar, collaboration, and approval. Here are Hootsuite’s top competitors:

  1. Planable
  2. Buffer
  3. Agorapulse
  4. Sendible
  5. Sprout Social
  6. eClincher

Hootsuite overview

Hootsuite calendar | Hootsuite collaboration | Hootsuite approval | Hootsuite takeaway

log out screen on Hootsuite website

Hootsuite is a social media management tool created by Ryan Holmes in 2008. Since its inception, it has become one of the biggest social media management platforms, having accrued more than 18 million users at the time of writing.

Among its more notable features are social media post scheduling, social media monitoring, performance reporting, and task management, making it a valuable tool for mixed content creation-performance social media teams. 

Calendar

The first thing that caught my attention was Hootsuite’s dashboard UI. Their calendar section is located under “Planner.” From there, you can access Hootsuite’s Calendar and another section called “Content.”

The main things that I noticed about Hootsuite’s Calendar are:

  • 3 ways to view the calendar: List, week, and month.
  • 2 sub-views (or filters): view month by post status, view month by social network.
  • The calendar features drag & drop, but only in weekly view.
  • Post details like visuals & copy are visible only in week view as well

The Content section is basically a team command center that contains:

  • Drafts
  • Scheduled
  • Past scheduled 
  • Require approval
  • Expired approvals
  • Rejected

These filters are meant to help teams easily track the status of their content. I think they’re well-structured UI/UX wise and it was easy to find what I was looking for. 

Hootsuite calendar takeaway: Overall, Hootsuite offers a solid, if a bit limited, content calendar. Upon testing it, its most significant downside is its tendency to hide useful features ( see the menu division I mentioned above) behind layers upon layers of menus, which makes it more challenging to navigate than it should be. 

Collaboration

Hootsuite’s main collaboration features are:

  • The ability to assign social media posts to team members. Task assignment is a huge pain point for social media teams with a multitude of roles and responsibilities, so a feature such as this one is always welcome.
  • Roles & permissions control. Again, an extremely important aspect of social media management. I can’t say I encountered any issues here, it’s very straightforward and easy to assign roles and permissions.
  • No centralized “Media Library”, which is a huge disadvantage. There is a workaround in that you can connect Google Drive and Dropbox to Hootsuite and access assets, but it’s far from ideal.

Hootsuite collaboration takeaway: While I didn’t encounter any issues, I still found Hootsuite’s collaboration offerings limited compared to other tools. The lack of a centralized, in-app media library to store assets stings the most.

Approval

Hootsuite offers approval workflows, but there’s a catch: the approval feature is only available on Business plans. You can’t test approval on the trial or team plans. The only way to see the approval processes in action is by booking a demo.

Still, I watched this explainer video to see how it works. Here’s the takeaway:

  • Users can set up custom approval workflows with multiple approvers. 
  • Users can set posting permissions for individual team members within that approval workflow. The options are Limited, Editor, Advanced and even Custom.
  • When a team member attempts to publish a post, approvers get a notification in a dedicated notification center and also by email if they opt for that.
  • Approvers can check content awaiting review in the “Publisher” tab. This tab offers an overview of all the content that requires approval.
  • Rejecting a post gives the option to send it back to the author with a message.

Final Hootsuite takeaway

Hootsuite is an excellent choice for large organizations, but its limited approval, team collaboration features, and high cost of entry make it a hard sell for agile, collaborative teams. 

Additionally, collaboration & approvals, which should be a requirement in any social media team with more than 2 members, starts at quite a steep price of $739/month.

That said, let’s deep dive into 6 Hootsuite alternatives worth considering.

Hootsuite alternative #1: Planable. The best Hootsuite alternative

Planable calendar | Planable collaboration | Planable approval | Planable vs Hootsuite pricing | Planable takeaway

The first item on our list of Hootsuite alternatives is Planable. It’s the social media collaboration tool that helps teams create posts, plan content, review & approve it and, more generally, streamline their social media efforts.

Here’s a breakdown of why Planable is amongst the best Hootsuite alternatives:

  • Clean UI that mixes excellent design with functionality. A big gripe users have with social media tools concerns the clunky design — not in Planable.
  • An easy-to-use interface that mimics the feel and flow of social media. It’s very handy for teams working with stakeholders who are less fluent in social media. Also, it’s comforting to know there’ll be zero surprises when posts go live. 
  • Multi-level approval system for organizations with multiple social media team members and stakeholders.
  • In-app team collaboration functionalities that allow teams to share feedback in real-time via comments and replies next to the post. You can’t have collaboration without good communication, and texts, phone calls, and endless email chains kill it. 
  • Multiple views for content: List, Grid, Feed, and Calendar. These views help you see content at a glance for easy planning or in detail for the nitty-gritty details. Oh, and being able to actually plan how the Instagram grid will look like in the end is a big bonus. 
  • Syncing content across all the major platforms. If you post the same content across different platforms, you can group your posts in Planable — and, if needed, tweak each one individually. 
  • In-app image editing tool. No need to boot up a different software just to resize an image.
  • Schedule one-time and recurring social posts. 
  • Free trial. All features are unlocked with a 50-post cap.

See an interactive comparison of Planable vs Hootsuite’s calendar by sliding the divider across

Planable vs. Hootsuite

With a firm focus on providing a premier collaborative and approval experience to teams of different sizes, Planable is the best Hootsuite alternative on the market if you’re looking for a time-saving solution that doesn’t break the bank.

Calendar

Planable’s social media calendar provides immediate access to the Media Library, filtering options, post composer, team members, and the workspaces selection screen.

  • Custom calendar time slots, a feature that is missing from Hootsuite. This allows you to set date and time shortcuts for when you schedule posts.
  • Users can drag and drop posts in Planable’s calendar.
  • Sync content across social media platforms; useful when you want to post the same content but need to tweak hashtags, page tags, or other details for each channel.
  • Custom labels to color code and categorize posts by topic or team. If you’re a fan of content pillars, this is how they can finally be integrated in your day-to-day workflow.
  • Filters to sort posts by many criteria, from new, approved, and scheduled to “with feedback” and “with errors.”
  • Planable’s calendar supports scheduling recurring/recycled posts.
  • Connected social media accounts are displayed above the calendar. Tapping on the icons of your social media pages will reveal/hide posts associated with them in the calendar.
Drag-and-dropping posts to be scheduled in Planable’s social media calendar

 

Planable vs. Hootsuite calendar takeaway: Planable provides a visual and intuitive social media calendar that sports a practical mix of clean design and useful features. That, coupled with its “everything one click away” design philosophy, makes Planable’s calendar an excellent alternative to Hootsuite’s.

Collaboration

  • Team feedback is displayed via comments and replies right next to the post, ensuring discussions happen in one place and with context.
  • Teams and clients can tag one another and add attachments to comments, eliminating potential back and forth via email or texting.
  • Collaborating with external parties is possible by generating a link directly to the post in question. No need for one-time approvers to create accounts, unlike some social media tools.
  • Dedicated media library for storing and sharing team assets.
  • Teams can collaborate on posts via internal notes, right next to the posts that require feedback. Meaning you can first share thoughts and feedback with the core team, without stakeholders having access.
  • Users can create mock-up pages to preview what content will look like once live. It’s also helpful in presenting work to stakeholders if you’re not ready to connect the actual pages.
Team collaboration happening right next to social media post in Planable

 

Planable vs. Hootsuite collaboration takeaway: Planable is designed to bring everybody under one roof and provide all the tools teams need to collaborate efficiently and visually. Because Planable virtually eliminates all the back-and-forth communication involved in the collaborative process, it’s a worthy alternative to Hootsuite.

Approval

  • A layered approval system: None, optional, required, multi-level. The latter allows for a complex workflow where multiple parties are involved, from team members to clients to stakeholders.
  • One-click approvals.
  • Post activity history.
  • Toggleable option to auto-schedule posts upon approval. No need to go back and do it yourself.
Multiple layer approval process for a social media post in Planable

 

Planable vs. Hootsuite approval takeaway: Planable’s approval features are available on all plans (including the free trial) and the point of entry is $11/month, whereas Hootsuite offers approval workflows only on their Business plan, which starts at $739/month.

Pricing

All pricing options are calculated based on the pricing of the annual subscription.

Planable
Hootsuite
Platforms
Instagram, Facebook. Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Business Profile (aka Google My Business), TikTok
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok
Free to test
✅ Unlimited features available for first 50 posts
✅ 30-day free trial for plans with limited features to test
For agencies
(3 users & 10 social media accounts)

$66/month for:

  • 10 social media pages
  • approval workflow on 3 different levels
  • 50GB content library
  • no social inbox & monitoring
  • 10 labels/ tags for posts
  • tagging team members in comments for each post

$179/month for:

  • 20 social media pages
  • 0 approval workflows
  • no content library
  • social inbox & monitoring
  • 0 labels/tags for posts
  • assigning post to team members
For small businesses
(1 user & 3 social media accounts)

$11/month for:

  • calendar & feed view
  • 10GB content library
  • 5 labels/tags for posts/li>

$49/month for:

  • calendar view for posts
  • no content library
  • 0 labels/tags for posts
Verdict
Flexible pricing based on the number of users and workspaces, which easily allows both agencies and brands to add/remove users and not overpay for something they don’t use.
Stiff pricing that doesn’t offer collaboration features – what we think is essential for small agencies that handle social media. Following this pricing plan, I did feel like I was overpaying for features I might not need.
Planable
Platforms
Instagram, Facebook. Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Business Profile (aka Google My Business), TikTok
Hootsuite
Platforms
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok
Planable
Free to test
✅ Unlimited features available for first 50 posts
Hootsuite
Free to test
✅ 30-day free trial for plans with limited features to test
Planable
For agencies
(3 users & 10 social media accounts)

$66/month for:

  • 10 social media pages
  • approval workflow on 3 different levels
  • 50GB content library
  • no social inbox & monitoring
  • 10 labels/ tags for posts
  • tagging team members in comments for each post
Hootsuite
For agencies
(3 users & 10 social media accounts)

$179/month for:

  • 20 social media pages
  • 0 approval workflows
  • no content library
  • social inbox & monitoring
  • 0 labels/tags for posts
  • assigning post to team members
Planable
For small businesses
(1 user & 3 social media accounts)

$11/month for:

  • calendar & feed view
  • 10GB content library
  • 5 labels/tags for posts/li>
Hotsuite
For small businesses
(1 user & 3 social media accounts)

$49/month for:

  • calendar view for posts
  • no content library
  • 0 labels/tags for posts
Planable
Verdict
Flexible pricing based on the number of users and workspaces, which easily allows both agencies and brands to add/remove users and not overpay for something they don’t use.
Hotsuite
Verdict
Stiff pricing that doesn’t offer collaboration features – what we think is essential for small agencies that handle social media. Following this pricing plan, I did feel like I was overpaying for features I might not need.

Planable vs. Hootsuite final takeaway: the best Hootsuite Alternative

Planable addresses social media management’s most significant pain points — collaboration and approval — by design. For this reason, brands, small businesses, and social media managers shopping for Hootsuite alternatives will find a lot of value in this social media tool.

Hootsuite Alternative #2: Buffer

Calendar | Collaboration | Approval | Buffer vs Hootsuite pricing | Buffer takeaway

Like Hootsuite, Buffer was part of the first social media management tools wave in the early 2010s.

Since then, Buffer has gained a sizable client base, from big brands to small businesses, that uses this solution for its scheduling, approval, social media analytics, and task/project management features.

Buffer vs. Hootsuite

Unlike Hootsuite, Buffer sports many integrations with over 200+ tools, from Canva, Slack, and MailChimp to HubSpot and Discord.

This makes Buffer an ideal social media scheduling tool for one-man-shows. As tools and workflows become increasingly interconnected, the option to integrate tools with one another is extremely useful.

As for the three main criteria I took into consideration in my analysis, here’s what caught my eye:

Calendar

  • Drag & drop calendar, which Hootsuite also offers in a more limited capacity than Buffer. 
  • Syncing posts across social media networks. Similar to Hootsuite. 
  • Multiple views for content
    • By channel
    • Drafts, scheduled, sent posts, scheduled, pending approval
  • You can tweak grouped posts.
  • No labels/tags, just like in Hootsuite. So no content pillars or topics to organize your content by. 

The two most significant downsides of Buffer’s calendar are the inability to tweak grouped posts and the absence of tags (labels). 

Social media managers have to handle large volumes of content, and tweaking posts individually adds to the workload. That’s why I believe tweaking grouped posts is an essential feature that all social media tools should have. 

The same logic applies to labels and tags. Large volumes of content require a solution to easily sort and filter by topic, content, workflow and team. Small teams could make do without this option — however, that’s not the case for teams with more than 3 pages to manage.

Buffer vs. Hootsuite calendar takeaway: After several rounds of testing, I noticed that Buffer and Hootsuite’s calendar offerings are similar in practice. However, Buffer’s calendar has two significant advantages over Hootsuite’s: the drag & drop option and the cleaner interface. However, if you’re fond of the ability to tweak content for each individual channel, Buffer’s not the right alternative.

Collaboration

  • A neat feature called “campaign”. You can create posts there directly, and it offers an overview of scheduled and sent drafts and approvals.
  • Robust user permissions that streamline collaboration processes.

Buffer vs. Hootsuite collaboration takeaway: Similar to Hootsuite, there is no way to collaborate on posts with stakeholders) beyond approving and editing posts. However, Buffer’s collaboration infrastructure sports higher visibility than Hootsuite thanks to its “Campaign” feature.

Approval

  • 1-to-1 approval workflow — users request approval for a draft post. 
  • Draft posts that require approval pop up in the approval tab, where account owners and users with full posting access can review and approve them. 
  • A “Queue” functionality, which I found very useful during my tests as I could easily order, arrange and manage posts and approvals.  

I was impressed by Buffer’s approval infrastructure in how straightforward and easy to grasp it was. While some tools opt to store all notifications in one place, Buffer has a dedicated approval tab that makes it easier to visualize the content’s approval status and act. Then there’s the “Queue” feature which greatly simplifies content management. The big downside is that approvals and rejections come without context so an actual feedback process can’t happen in Buffer. 

Buffer vs. Hootsuite approval takeaway: Buffer offers a simple and straightforward approval process. 

Pricing

All pricing options are calculated based on the pricing of the annual subscription.

Buffer
Hootsuite
Platforms
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, Google Business Profile (aka Google My Business)
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok
Pricing model
Per social media account
Predefined packages
For 10 social media accounts

$50/month ($5 per social media account):

  • 1 user/li>
  • 2,000 scheduled posts per social media account
  • scheduling posts on predefined time slots
  • save draft posts

$49/month

  • 1 user
  • unlimited scheduled posts
  • recommended publishing time
  • social inbox
Both include
  • calendar view
  • reporting
Buffer
Platforms
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, Google Business Profile (aka Google My Business)
Hootsuite
Platforms
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok
Buffer
Pricing model
Per social media account
Hootsuite
Pricing model
Predefined packages
Buffer
For 10 social media accounts

$50/month ($5 per social media account) for:

  • 1 user
  • 2,000 scheduled posts per social media account
  • scheduling posts on predefined time slots
  • no social inbox & monitoring
  • save draft posts
Hootsuite
For 10 social media accounts

$49/month for:

  • 1 user
  • unlimited scheduled posts
  • recommended publishing time
  • social inbox
Both include
  • calendar view
  • reporting

Buffer vs. Hootsuite final takeaway

Overall, Buffer is a simpler-to-use and cheaper alternative to Hootsuite for small teams.

This, coupled with Buffer’s more accessible pricing and the possibility to actually test approval before whipping out your credit card, make it a good alternative to Hootsuite. 

Hootsuite Alternative #3: Agorapulse

Calendar | Collaboration | Approval | Agorapulse vs Hootsuite pricing | Agorapulse takeaway

Agorapulse has made a name for itself for covering a wide range of social media marketing tasks, from publishing, keyword monitoring, social media analytics, and social listening to community management. It’s one of the better tools out there by virtue of just how much ground it covers. 

Agorapulse vs. Hootsuite

Upon testing, the biggest difference I noticed between Agorapulse and Hootsuite is that Agorapulse’s collaboration and approval features are more expansive and well-fleshed out.

Calendar

  • Drag & drop calendar. A lot more visual and easy to understand than Hootsuite’s thanks to Agorapulse’s simplified calendar design.
  • Multiple ways to view the calendar sorted by posts’ status: scheduled, queued, published, to approve, assigned to you, failed. 
  • Shared calendar add-on to share calendar externally (awkward phrasing, I know). Externals can view the scheduled content you assign to them, and they can add comments and assign them back to you. This is a massive advantage over Hootsuite, which doesn’t have this feature. 
  • Users can add notes in the Calendar, a feature missing from Hootsuite.
  • Agorapulse offers draft posts, but under a different name, “Assigned for approval.”
  • I found the icons in the calendar too small, which required me to zoom in.

By far, the biggest downside of Agorapulse’s calendar that I could identify was design-specific. Namely, the icons, which I found too small. This hitch almost counteracts my earlier praises because the calendar can end up feeling cluttered, affecting the user’s ability to make fast decisions.

Agorapulse vs. Hootsuite calendar takeaway: Hitches notwithstanding, Agorapulse’s calendar is a worthy alternative to Hootsuite’s thanks to its shared calendar add-on and visual design.

Collaboration

  • The “Collaborate” feature makes it easier to delegate tasks and share information within the team.
  • Agorapulse sports a unified social inbox feature for managing incoming messages.

Agorapulse vs. Hootsuite collaboration takeaway: The lack of a dedicated approval notifications tab could cause vital information to get lost on the way. However, Agorapulse’s unified social inbox is a great feature that cuts down on a lot of back and forth.

Approval

  • Straightforward 1-to-1 approval workflow. 
  • No multi-level approval, which I felt Agorapulse needs considering the already steep learning curve of this social media tool. 

Agorapulse approval takeaway: This is an aspect where I believe Hootsuite surpasses Agorapulse.

Pricing

All pricing options are calculated based on the pricing of the annual subscription.

Agorapulse
Hootsuite
Platforms
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Business Profile (aka Google My Business)
* Google Business Profile isn’t available on Free Plan
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok
For 10 social media accounts

$76/month for:

  • 2 users
  • limited to 2 videos & 10 images
  • social listening is available

$49/month for:

  • 1 user only
  • no content library
  • no social listening
For bigger teams with 4 users

$193/month for:

  • 20 social media accounts
  • social listening included in the plan
  • Facebook competitor analysis
  • team productivity reporting is included in this price

$739/month for:

  • 35 social media accounts
  • pay extra for social listening as an add-on
  • team productivity report isn’t available on this plan, just for Enterprise
Approval available on
Premium Plan – $193/month
Business Plan – $739/month
Agorapulse
Platforms
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Business Profile (aka Google My Business)
* Google Business Profile isn’t available on Free Plan
Hootsuite
Platforms
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok
Agorapulse
For 10 social media accounts

$76/month for:

  • 2 users
  • limited to 2 videos & 10 images
  • social listening is available
Hootsuite
For 10 social media accounts

$49/month for:

  • 1 user only
  • no content library
  • no social listening
Agorapulse
For bigger teams with 4 users

$193/month for:

  • 20 social media accounts
  • social listening included in the plan
  • Facebook competitor analysis
  • team productivity reporting is included in this price
Hootsuite
For bigger teams with 4 users

$739/month for:

  • 35 social media accounts
  • pay extra for social listening as an add-on
  • team productivity report isn’t available on this plan, just for Enterprise
Agorapulse
Approval available on
Premium Plan – $193/month
Hootsuite
Approval available on
Business Plan – $739/month

Agorapulse vs. Hootsuite final takeaway

Considering the lower price of entry, the highly useful social inbox, and the existence of a Free Plan, I think it’s safe to say that Agorapulse is a worthy alternative to Hootsuite. 

Hootsuite Alternative #4: Sendible

Calendar | Collaboration | Approval | Sendible vs Hootsuite pricing | Sendible takeaway

Sendible is a primarily agency-focused tool built for social media publishing, monitoring, social listening, and campaign management.

Sendible’s main strength lies in its ability to streamline the entire process, from content research, creation, and asset management down to reporting.

It’s a great alternative to Hootsuite for collaborative agencies looking for an all-in-one platform at a reasonable price. 

Sendible vs. Hootsuite

Since this scheduling tool is a primarily agency-focused solution, its features are built from the ground up to support extensive monitoring and collaborative efforts.

While Sendible has a bit of a learning curve, the customizable approval workflows and solid calendar functionalities make it an ideal alternative to Hootsuite.

Calendar

  • Sendible’s composer supports syncing/tweaking content across platforms. Writing/editing content for individual platforms is a huge pain point for social media workers, even without accounting for the differences in format. This feature addresses this issue head one as you can sync content across platforms while ironing out inconsistencies before publishing.
  • Posts can be dragged and dropped in the calendar. However, the first time you drag a post from a slot dedicated to a future date to a slot for the current date, it forces you to edit it in the composer. 
  • This Hootsuite alternative offers multiple views for the calendar:
    • Scheduled (next month, this month, next week, this week)
    • My queue
    • Sent (next month, this month, next week, this week)
    • Overview
    • Month, week, day
  • The built-in image editor is handy and bug-free. 

I can’t say I had any major issues using Sendible’s calendar — it’s pretty straightforward. 

However, forcing users to edit a post the first time it’s moved to a slot in the calendar is an odd design decision and can lead to some confusion. I know I was confused while testing.

Sendible vs. Hootsuite calendar takeaway: Sendible sports a solid content calendar. I found the built-in image editor bug free and tremendously useful for last-minute edits.

Collaboration

  • Shared content libraries to store assets, hashtags, and evergreen content.
  • DM monitoring.
  • The client dashboard is, in my opinion, the crowning jewel of Sendible’s collaboration functionalities. Clients can use Client connect to connect the socials you want them to manage to the platform without giving their login credentials. 

Sendible vs. Hootsuite collaboration takeaway: Sendible’s shared content library and the client dashboard provide a lot of value for collaborative social media teams. It’s definitely up there in terms of Hootsuite alternatives.

Approval

  • Sendible supports custom approval workflows. I found them very easy to set up and straightforward functionality-wise.
  • A dedicated task section where posts needing approval are sent. However, approval requests/confirmations are stored in the same general notifications tab. Things can get easily lost in translation. If you run an agency with multiple clients, this will become a problem later down the line and making scaling tricky.

Sendible vs. Hootsuite approval takeaway: I found Sendible’s approval functionalities on par with Hootsuite’s. However, Sendible’s Client dashboard gives it an edge over Hootsuite as it makes managing client approvals and collaborative efforts very simple

Pricing

All pricing options are calculated based on the pricing of the annual subscription.

Sendible
Hootsuite
Platforms
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Business Profile (aka Google My Business), YouTube
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok
For creators

$25/month for:

  • 1 user
  • 6 social media accounts
  • essentials reports
  • includes customer support & group training sessions
  • Canva integration

$49/month for:

  • 1 user
  • 10 social media accounts
  • custom reports & templates
  • in-app image editing
For bigger teams

$76/month for:

  • 24 social media accounts
  • 4 users
  • dedicated space for content suggestions
  • social media holiday calendar
  • can assign posts for approval, but no approval workflow

$179/month for:

  • 35 social media accounts
  • 5 users
  • content library
  • boost posts
  • control over users’ permissions
  • no approval of any kind
Both include
  • social inbox
  • reporting
  • campaign management
Sendible
Platforms
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Business Profile (aka Google My Business), YouTube
Hootsuite
Platforms
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok
Sendible
For creators

$25/month for:

  • 1 user
  • 6 social media accounts
  • essentials reports
  • includes customer support & group training sessions
  • Canva integration
Hootsuite
For creators

$49/month for:

  • 1 user
  • 10 social media accounts
  • custom reports & templates
  • in-app image editing
Sendible
For bigger teams

$76/month for:

  • 24 social media accounts
  • 4 users
  • dedicated space for content suggestions
  • social media holiday calendar
  • can assign posts for approval, but no approval workflow
Hootsuite
For bigger teams

$179/month for:

  • 35 social media accounts
  • 5 users
  • content library
  • boost posts
  • control over users’ permissions
  • no approval of any kind
Both include
  • social inbox
  • reporting
  • campaign management

Sendible vs. Hootsuite final takeaway

Agencies and highly collaborative teams can find a lot of value in Sendible’s offerings, chiefly because of its visual calendar and the custom approval workflows. 

Hootsuite Alternative #5: Sprout Social

Calendar | Collaboration | Approval | Sprout Social vs Hootsuite pricing | Sprout Social takeaway

Sprout Social is a popular social media automation tool for organizations of all sizes, from large multinational companies to social media agencies. Its aim is to help teams automate their workflows, simplify processes and provide a collaborative hub for companies and clients.

Sprout Social vs. Hootsuite

The main surface-level difference between Sprout Social and Hootsuite is that Sprout Social is designed for reporting and audience engagement, whileHootsuite is focused on “pure” social media management. 

However, Sprout has many areas that go toe to toe with Hootsuite and even slightly surpass it.

Calendar

  • There is no way to group posts in the calendar, making it feel cluttered and confusing to navigate.
  • Sprout Social’s calendar doesn’t support drag & dropping.
  • The composer has a togglable draft/schedule button, making things run faster. This was very useful and handy, it’s always good when an app doesn’t force me to switch windows for a simple task.
  • You can sync and tweak posts across social media accounts. As I said earlier, this is an essential feature that any tool should have — and it worked well during tests.
  • There are multiple ways to arrange the calendar:
    • Post type (queued, sent, scheduled, approved, and others)
    • By profile
    • By tag (high priority, for example)

Users can tag posts by various criteria.

Sprout Social vs. Hootsuite calendar takeaway: While the absence of a drag & drop feature definitely stings and has the potential to slow things down, Sprout’s calendar offering makes it a viable alternative to Hootsuite.

Collaboration

  •  Teams can share feedback in a conversation window located in the approval tab.
  • There is an asset manager; great for collaborative teams.
  • Teams that want to keep work under wraps until it’s 100% finished can share feedback via internal comments.
  • Edits and previous versions of posts are visible in the activity tab.
  • Teams can view the Asset Library in two modes, Grid and List. It also comes with tons of permission options. However, it’s price-gated absent from the trial.

Sprout Social vs. Hootsuite collaboration takeaway: Considering internal comments and the ability to share posts with guests, Sprout Social brings solid collaboration features to the table.  

Approval

  • Multi-step approval workflow — users with full publishing rights can skip steps of the workflow. Sometimes complex workflows are not needed, and it’s nice that Hootsuite offers this option.
  • Users can opt for specific approval workflows directly from the composer. 
  • Approval transparency is further enhanced by a separate approval notifications tab.

Sprout Social vs. Hootsuite approval takeaway: I’d argue it’s a solid offering comparable to Hootsuite’s.

Pricing

All pricing options are calculated based on the pricing of the annual subscription.

Sprout Social
Hootsuite
Platforms
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok
For 10 social media accounts

$149/month for:

  • 1 user
  • can add extra users
  • trend analysis for Twitter keywords and hashtags
  • custom approval workflows

$49/month for:

  • 1 user
  • no social listening
  • 0 approval
  • social inbox
  • message tagging isn’t available
Both include
  • social inbox
  • limited reporting
  • post boosting
  • scheduling for optimal times
Approval available on
Professional plan – $149 per user/month
Business Plan – $739/month (for 5 users)
Sprout Social
Platforms
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok
Hootsuite
Platforms
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok
Sprout Social
For 10 social media accounts

$149/month for:

  • 1 user
  • can add extra users
  • trend analysis for Twitter keywords and hashtags
  • custom approval workflows
Hootsuite
For 10 social media accounts

$49/month for:

  • 1 user
  • no social listening
  • 0 approval
  • social inbox
  • message tagging isn’t available
Both include
  • social inbox
  • limited reporting
  • post boosting
  • scheduling for optimal times
Sprout Social
Approval available on
Professional plan – $149 per user/month
Hootsuite
Approval available on
Business Plan – $739/month (for 5 users)

Sprout Social vs. Hootsuite social final takeaway

People looking for Hootsuite Alternatives could find a lot of value in Sprout Social thanks to its solid approval, asset manager, and the possibility to easily collaborate with external parties.

Hootsuite Alternative #6: eClincher

Calendar | Collaboration | Approval | eClincher vs Hootsuite pricing | eClincher takeaway

The final entry on our list of Hootsuite alternatives is eClincher, a social media management platform businesses use to centralize their social media marketing efforts in one place.

It’s a solid social media management tool that offers a bit of everything, from team management, collaboration, and generating social media reports to task assignments.

eClincher vs. Hootsuite

The main difference I noticed during tests is that eClincher’s UI verges on the “pretty hard to parse” side, at least compared to the other tools featured in this article. As for positives, I was pleasantly surprised by eClincher’s collaboration and approval features.

Calendar

  • The calendar supports drag & dropping.
  • Multiple views, including image layout, by post type, profile, and campaign.
  • Auto-post with queues, a feature which alone can significantly cut down on busy work.
  • The calendar also comes with suggested holidays, which is a nice touch.

eClincher vs. Hootsuite calendar takeaway: eClincher’s calendar is very visual and easy to use compared to other tools.

Collaboration

  • Free shared calendars, approval workflows & collaboration with internal, external, and clients. Perfect for agencies & teams.
  • Comments/internal notes. You can mention all team members, and they will get notified in Dashboard notifications.
  • You can tag & assign messages as tasks, add notes and view log history.
  • Supports content management & collaboration with Drafts, Comments & notifications.
  • eClincher allows users to hierarchize team members into two layers:
    • Internal team members who enjoy regular access to the platform’s functionalities.
    • External team members. For example, clients who don’t necessarily need access to eClincher’s features but need access to approve posts.

eClincher vs. Hootsuite collaboration takeaway: Excellent collaboration features that streamline team-client relationships. Definitely worth considering if you’re on the lookout for Hootsuite alternatives.

Approval

This Hootsuite alternative sports 3 types of approval workflows:

  • Single workflow. Essentially, you can assign the post to a certain number of users, and the post will pop up in the calendar after it’s been approved by any single user on the approval list. It’s a simple approval workflow for teams where multi-layer workflows are unnecessary.
  • Hierarchy workflow. You can use this to assign multiple approvers in a hierarchy to a post. Once the last approver gives the green light, the post is automatically moved to the calendar for publishing.
  • Third workflow (external). Once a post is assigned to an external Team Member, the platform generates a unique URL which the user then sends to the external approver.
  • Approvers can leave comments when approving/rejecting content.
  • You can bulk assign posts for approval, which saves a lot of time.

eClincher vs. Hootsuite approval takeaway: Together with the collaboration functionalities, eClincher’s approval offering is solid and a viable alternative to Hootsuite. It’s worth mentioning that eClicncher’s approval workflows are available on the Premium plan, whereas at Hootsuite, it’s an enterprise option.

Pricing

All pricing options are calculated based on the pricing of the annual subscription.

eClincher
Hootsuite
Platforms
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Business Profile (aka Google My Business), YouTube, TikTok
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok
For 10 social media profiles

$58/month for:

  • 1 user
  • draft posts
  • auto post for RSS, Atom & WP feed
  • content suggestions
  • local SEO searches
  • includes social listening&monitoring

$49/month for:

  • 1 user
  • custom reports & templates
  • recommended publishing time
  • no social listening
Both include
  • campaign tagging & reporting
  • social inbox
  • calendar view
eClincher
Platforms
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Business Profile (aka Google My Business), YouTube, TikTok
Hootsuite
Platforms
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok
eClincher
For 10 social media profiles

$58/month for:

  • 1 user
  • draft posts
  • auto post for RSS, Atom & WP feed
  • content suggestions
  • local SEO searches
  • includes social listening & monitoring
Hootsuite
For 10 social media profiles

$49/month for:

  • 1 user
  • custom reports & templates
  • recommended publishing time
  • no social listening
Both include
  • campaign tagging & reporting
  • social inbox
  • calendar view

eClincher vs. Hootsuite final takeaway

Considering its visual calendar and well-designed approval workflows, eClincher is definitely up there regarding Hootsuite alternatives.

Hootsuite alternatives wrap up

I think it all boils down to what your specific needs are and which features you value most in a social media management tool.

If you’re seeking clean design and powerful collaboration and approval features, Planable is the best alternative to Hootsuite. Sign up today and try it out for yourself.

  • If you need a solution custom-built for team approval and collaboration, Planable is the best choice for you.
  • If you need lots of integrations like Canva, Discord and Slack, Buffer is the ideal solution.
  • If you’re looking for a tool that covers a lot of ground, like publishing, keyword monitoring, social media analytics, and social listening, look no further than Agorapulse.
  • If you require an agency-focused solution, try out Sendible.
  • If social listening and reporting are a priority, look up eClincher.
Marco Giuliani
Marco Giuliani

Content marketer and aspiring YouTuber, in no particular order. Expertise in content writing, social media copywriting, and neo-noir graphic novels. Used to run a music webzine in the 2 seconds in the early 2010s when blogs were hot. I tweet very badly on Twitter.

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