Battlefield of the Social Media Management Tools: Hootsuite vs Agorapulse vs Sprout Social

Struggling to keep up with Social Media? Missing comments, tweets, updates?  Still searching for a Social Media Management Tool that fits?

In this post, I show you some of the latest findings about the most popular social media mangement tools. Which tools are we are loving for user satisfaction?  Product direction? Customer Service? Pricing? 

And I share my favourite of the social media management tools right now. You might be surprised!  

Archer by Shutterstock

There are so many social media management tools out there that it can be hard to keep up!

Luckily for us, G2 Crowd (the world’s largest business software review platform) teamed up with Blogger Ian Anderson Gray to produce an awesome infographic to make it easy for us.

G2 conducted detailed customer reviews as reported in this post at Seriously Social.

And please note – these are management tools, not just sharing tools – they all allow you to engage as well as schedule and post.

So, Which tools lined up for the battle?

4 Social Media Management Tools:

  1. Hootsuite
  2. Sprout Social 
  3. Agorapulse
  4. Sendible

Before we jump into the results (and which tool or tools I am loving) I want to share a little of my Social Media Management Tool History – because I have used 3 out of 4 of these tools at one time or another.

The Search

I started out with Hootsuite early on and after a while realised that I wasn’t keeping up with the multiple columns and needed a more linear approach. Price was fine, useability was fine, but I was forgetting to check all the columns and needed something more linear. 

I quickly moved on to Sprout Social – which I LOVED. But unlike a few friends of mine who were smart enough to get Grandfathered in from beta, the $59 per month was a little pricey at the time, even though I loved the features such as:

  • Singular inbox (I stopped mission mentions!)
  • Queue function for scheduling posts
  • Publishing functionality
  • Brand monitoring
  • Gorgeous reports.

Timing meant that pricing was a factor for me. So, when I stopped working with clients and focused on my own products and services, I was at a loss as to which tool to use. One thing was for sure. I was losing track of a LOT of mentions!

Enter Agorapulse.  Why do I love Agorapulse?  Because it’s linear like Sprout Social, has great reporting and analytics, is super user friendly (I love their mobile app) and allows me to keep track of tweets, comments and shares across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To me, Agorapulse IS Engagement.   Without it, I would miss the conversation, like I had been for years!  I had no idea how many hidden tweets I was missing that were not direct @mentions!  Now I can also quickly see who my advocates are, who is sharing my content and engage with them.

I should add that I use other tools for scheduling content such as Post Planner but for an all round engagement tool you can’t beat Agorapulse. And you can use it to schedule posts to Facebook too if you wish.  I get to inbox zero often.. before that, inbox zero was unheard of.

Agorapulse also has awesome analytics and handy functionality for running sweepstakes and contests.

Note: I can’t really comment on Sendible having not used it before and the number of ratings was low in this sample, but it may be one to check out and watch based on the results below.

Don’t just believe ME, however. See what the crowd of reviewers at G2 Crowd said about the top Social Media Management Tools:

Battle Results:

The Top 4 Rated Social Media Management Tools of 2015 Infographic brought to you by Seriously Social and G2 Crowd

The verdict?

On Agorapulse

Surprising to some (but not to me and those of us that use and love Agorapulse) this all-round soldier of a tool hit the top of the rankings for just about EVERY parameter scored.  You can read the full article here and analysis by Ian Anderson Gray about each tool.

Agorapulse scored in the Number 1 Ranking for User satisfaction, Support, Product, Direction and meeting Business Requirements for the tool.  Read more here. 

Agorapulse scored second next to Hootsuite for

  • Base Price at $29 (affordable compared to many other tools and Hootsuite has long had a low-entry version at $9)
  • being Easy to Learn
  • Useability (with Sprout Social taking the top spot in both categories.  Again, not surprising given that Sprout Social is definitely easy to learn, easy to use and has a great user interface and functionality.

In fact the only place that Agorapulse fell down a little was in Market Share… though I suspect after these findings, it won’t be long before that is a different matter!


On Sprout Social

Always a favourite for useability – Sprout Social is worth checking out if it is within your budget.  If you need a tool that schedules as well as for engagement then this is definitely a winner in my book.   Sprout performed well on all parameters .. the only place it lost out a little was on pricing.

Again – great tool, but with exchange rates at a low here in Australia at the moment, it’s starting to get up there in price.  Check it out but maybe explore more affordable options first.


On Hootsuite

A clear winner for price, but when it comes to paramaters like Useability, Useability, meeting needs and Customer Service, Hootsuite scored low.  Again, Hootsuite continues to have a big share of the market, and functionality like scheduling for Instagram has been a good drawcard lately.

But for how long? I would say that with tools like Sprout Social and Agorapulse in the field of battle, Hootsuite had better keep on its toes!


Now, Go Find the Right Tool!

Are you stuck finding a social media management tool that suits your needs?  What are you using now and is it doing the job?   If not, try some of the suggested tools here. You’ll be getting the best of the best, and I am sure there will be one with a good fit for you.  


Battle of the Social Media Management Tools - HootSuite vs Agorapulse vs Sprout Social
Archer by Shutterstock
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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is the founder of Socially Sorted, a Top 10 Social Media Blog Winner in 2015 & 2016, and winner of the 2014 Best Australian Blogs Competition (Business Category). Donna helps businesses, bloggers and entrepreneurs use visual social media and content strategy to get more traffic, shares and sales in their business. She is a contributor to Entrepreneur Online and Social Media Examiner and has been featured in Forbes, NBC, Yahoo, the Huffington Pos, Entrepreneur and Problogger.
  • I love Hootsuite. I’m a little suprised at the low scores, but you have to keep in mind stats can be skewed based on various of elements. Still, I agree concerning Hootsuite and Instagram. Hootsuite really needs to go back to the drawing board with that and come 100% better.

    • Yes I have no issue with Hootsuite – it was a personal preference for me to love linear type tools, but I know a lot of people that love it. However, I know that Sprout and Agorapulse’s results here seem on the money to me, so it’s good to have some other great options!

  • Ernesta

    Amazing review of social media tools. I’ll keep it as a guide in using this kind of tools.

    • Thanks – it was a great overview for sure and glad to see Agorapulse do so well against the big guns!

  • Asja Svilans

    That infographic is awesome – I am heading over to check out Agorapulse now! Great post!

    • I think you’ll like it – and they have a lot more in the pipeline too this year – I’ll have to do an update!

  • Andrés Reitze

    I’m using Sprout right now. But was between Agora and Sprout before. I found that agora des not help completing @ user names for Twitter. Does not have LinkedIn. Spout does both. But the app does not have apps for contests nore push notifications with sounds on the mobile app(what’s up with that. Push notifications with no sound, like a car with no wheels). And it’s reports are very limited. To get real info that analyze you have to get it through the screen, not the pdf it exports. Agora, on the other hand has push notifications with sound on its mobile app, reports very detailed and editable with a Ppt download and a lot of apps for contests. But then again it’s schedule section is kind of clumsy. I still can’t see its CRM features for this are closed for trial. Sprout’s CRM is a joke.

    Anybody here have any opinions on these issues as to help me on making the change to Agora?
    Thanks. Andres.

    • Yes Andrés, it’s a challenge! I think all of them have benefits vs drawbacks – I love Sprout and Agorapulse – I am just liking Agorapulse at the moment mainly for engagement (I actually use a different tool to schedule but I have used Agorapulse too) … I would highly recommend you send an email to their support, outlining the things you love and those you would love to see on Agorapulse. I know Emeric the owner and his team are always listening and trying to add features that help their customers. Even if you are not currently using it I am sure they would appreciate the feedback. I know they are working on a couple of things at the moment that I have asked for so you never know!

  • Sendible

    Great article Donna! These results are a bit old now, but you are right, Sendible is one to look out for. Developed with Businesses in mind, Sendible gives more than just social media management – it is a listening tool, a content marketing tool and has the ability to publish to the most amount of publishing sites out there, with an agile approach that allows it to quickly adapt to changes in the market. We would be happy to give you a short demo – 15 minutes is all we need to prove its value to businesses :-). Let us know!

  • Emma Wilson

    Out of from the above 3 tools there is one more tool named Blog2Social. I personally believe that Blog2Social is one of the great social media cross-posting plugin as there are no server side installation process to be done. It allows the post author to advance directly to the posting dashboard of Blog2Social Word-press, in which pre filled posting texts are provided. After customizing the texts the author schedules the posts or publishes them without delay.

    • Hi Emma – I gather you work for Blog2Social? I had a hunch from the way your message was posted, but when I clicked through on your profile you seem to be posting the same message everywhere (ie on about a dozen blog posts that talk about tools). It’s great to love your company, but kind of uncool to keep posting about it on everyone’s blog comments. There are better ways to get your tool noticed, but thanks for stopping by. Here’s the updated version of Ian’s post in case you want to check it out: