Hootsuite review 2020

hootsuite owl logo

By Dan Barraclough

We take a look at one of the powerhouses of social media monitoring


  • Operates entirely out of your browser – no installation required
  • Handy integration with cloud file storage services
  • Compatible across multiple platforms
  • Free trial for two paid plans and limited free version available

X Cons:

  • Lacks automated Instagram posting
  • Requires payment for each report generated
  • Customer support is poor with the lower-range plans

Hootsuite logo

Hootsuite is the social media monitoring tool redefining the way small businesses operate. If you haven’t heard about it, you soon will – it’s billed as one of the most complete tools on the market. But does it live up to the hype?

We dug deeper to look at Hootsuite’s best features. Where does it stand opposite its biggest rivals? What benefits can Hootsuite give your business? And should you open your mind – and wallet – to what it has to offer? Let’s find out.

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Hootsuite interface

Hootsuite’s dashboard interface is easy to use with an attractive design.

Visual Appeal
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4 best features of Hootsuite

1. RSS Feed Integration

Save time updating your social networks

Hootsuite lets you distribute compelling content to your audience with ease, auto-reposting new content from your favourite blogs as soon as it’s published. It’s a great way to stay connected with your audience and provide them with fresh, engaging material – fast.

2. Custom staff permission levels

Stay secure and avoid mishaps

As your small business continues to grow, the expansion of your social team gets harder to manage – luckily, Hootsuite has you covered. Make sure your staff members have access only to the networks and profiles they need. Avoid sending out any ‘rogue’ posts or errors that could misrepresent your business. And prevent any suspicious activity with immediate alerts to keep you in the loop.

3. Wide range of app and social platform integrations

Manage the face of your business from one place

One of Hootsuite’s best qualities is the simplicity it brings to coordinating your social platforms. The Hootsuite App Directory integrates with over 250 different applications. Connect your tried and tested apps to Hootsuite and boss every aspect of your workplace. And make sure you tap into Hootsuite’s partner ecosystem to keep growing your network.

4. The Hootsuite Academy

Earn industry-recognised qualifications in social media

Hootsuite offers a range of courses (paid and unpaid) run by industry pros, with its Team plan providing Hootsuite platform certification for one of your team members. Giving your staff free social training is a handy way to upskill them while boosting morale.

What are the benefits for your business?


Manage your team members and their social media tasks with ease. Lessen your workload by delegating tasks to your colleagues through Hootsuite, assigning work easily, and ensuring your customers get the fast response they deserve. This frees you up to do what you do best: growing your business!


Measure the success of your social media campaigns. Shape the way you build for the future and track your growth. Build good-looking reports and crunch the numbers like a pro. All while tracking the performance of each of your team members from the Hootsuite dashboard.


Map out your content and automate your posting to social media. Schedule statuses, pictures and links to share with your audience months in advance. Easily curate your content. Ensure only pre-approved posts get sent out and maintain the consistency of your brand image. Stay in touch with your international clients and beat the time zone trap.


Monitor online mentions of your brand anywhere, anytime. Hootsuite finds conversations happening about your business across a range of social platforms. It can target words, hashtags and URLs about your brand or competitors and mine feedback in other languages.

Competitor analysis

There’s a few social media monitoring tools out there. How does Hootsuite stack up against the rest?

Buzzsumo’s smart influencer feature makes it better than Hootsuite for targeting the key people in your industry. There’s no free plan, but the pricing goes up in a similar way to Hootsuite. Buzzsumo also only offers a seven day trial, making it a bit harder to get to grips with.

Talkwalker’s range of unique features and pioneering approach make it a more advanced tool overall than Hootsuite. It’s better for more experienced users of social media monitoring, which means you’ll need a higher level of expertise to use it well. Talkwalker offers no free plan nor option to trial. It’s also one of the most expensive tools out there!

It’s close, but Sprout Social offers a more attractive way of presenting data and creating reports than Hootsuite. It also makes it a bit easier to export data to presentation-ready formats. Plus you’ll get slightly more advanced analysis. However, there’s no free plan or lower priced option to get you started – and like Hootsuite, Sprout Social’s more basic packages won’t pack as big of a punch.

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Hootsuite’s range of pricing follows the old saying, “You get what you pay for” – the great news, though, is that you can try before you buy. Hootsuite offers a free version with some pretty cool features. You can integrate over 150 apps, plus there’s a range of free courses available to help get you up to speed.

The less great news is that if you’re serious about social, you’ll need to open your wallet. Hootsuite’s free version allows a maximum of just three social profiles – a Facebook page, a LinkedIn business listing, or a YouTube account – and comes with the most basic of customer support. Put simply, it’s not enough for ambitious businesses.

Want more advanced insights and better social listening? Let’s look at what Hootsuite’s paid plans can do for you.

Professional (£25/month)

A solid, inexpensive way to begin your foray into paid social media monitoring. And if you’re a solo operator? Perfect! This plan only supports one user. As well as ten social profiles, you get:

  • Live chat support within the Hootsuite dashboard
  • Real-time analytics
  • Unlimited message scheduling
  • Up to £400/month ad spend to boost your posts

Team (£99/month)

The big draw with this plan is that Hootsuite offer a 30 day free trial for it. Even if you choose not to stay with this plan, it’s an opportunity to take a more in-depth approach to your business’ social management. Its best features include:

  • Can be used by three team members
  • 20 social profiles
  • Delegation feature
  • Custom analytics reports
  • £1,600/month ad spend limit

Business (£520/month)

This next level is a huge step up, and the price is steep. It supports five users, so if your social media team is growing quickly, then it’s probably the plan for you. You receive:

  • 35 social profiles
  • Advanced, real-time analytics
  • Extended support from the Hootsuite team
  • £4,000/month to boost your ads

Expert verdict

We think Hootsuite is the perfect tool for small businesses wanting to embrace the power of social media. Regardless of your team size or desired price, there’s a plan for you.

The numbers say it all: over 16 million people are using Hootsuite to own their approach to social media. Will you be one of them? Fill out this quick form to get quotes and start comparing social media monitoring tools today.

Dan Barraclough

Dan’s a writer for Expert Market, specialising in a range of cool topics. He loves web design and all things UX, but also the hardware stuff like postage metres and photocopiers.

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