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Best Hootsuite Alternatives for 2024 (Free + Paid)

There are plenty of alternative social media management tools out there, many of which are on par with — and some a bit better than — Hootsuite. Here are some of the best options.

Apr 17, 2024 8 min readSocial Media Marketing
Photo of Kirsti Lang
Kirsti Lang

Content Writer @ Buffer

Hootsuite is an incredibly powerful social media management platform, but with its higher-than-average $99 starting price, many creators, entrepreneurs, and small businesses have to look elsewhere.

Hootsuite's free plan was discontinued on March 31st, 2023 — so there's no way to get Hootsuite for free beyond the 30-day trial. Existing users on the free Hootsuite plan were encouraged to sign up for the $99 per month professional plan. The plan is billed annually, which means an upfront payment of $1,200.

Many customers on their free plans happily upgraded to keep their access to the social media scheduling tool. But for most of the creators and small businesses we work with, $99 a month is simply too costly. Given the host of different tools required to create high-quality social media content, shelling out an extra $1,200 a year isn't always possible.

The good news is that there are plenty of other great social media management tools out there, many of which are on par with — and some a bit better than — Hootsuite.

Here are the best budget-friendly and free Hootsuite alternatives for both creators and businesses.

1. Buffer

Price: Free, with paid plans starting at $6 per channel per month

Best Hootsuite alternatives buffer

At Buffer, we are really into transparency — we have a whole transparency hub dedicated to sharing every company metric (even our salaries).

So, I'll be the first to admit I'm definitely biased here. But I've worked as a social media manager and creator for more than a decade, long before starting at Buffer.

I've been around the block when it comes to social media tools. But no matter what, I keep coming back to Buffer, in no small part because it is the best value-for-money social media management tool I've used.

Here's a look at some of the powerful features available on the free plan:

  • Schedule content for up to 3 channels: Buffer's free plan lets you publish and schedule up to 30 posts (10 per channel), which is significantly more than most other free plans. You'll also be able to choose from a broad range of different channels, including Twitter/X, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Google Business Profile, Pinterest, Mastodon, and YouTube (with Threads and Bluesky on the way too).
  • Drag-and-drop social media calendar: The intuitive calendar shows all scheduled posts and drafts at a glance, so you can monitor all your social accounts from a single dashboard, in real-time.
  • Create Space: A free content library where you can save and plan out all your ideas — something I find incredibly helpful in my content creation workflow. It has powerful organizational features, like tags and a Kanban view (beta), to help you keep track of your content.
  • Start Page: Set up your own beautiful landing page within minutes —a great option for your link-in-bio. You can even schedule updates to your Start Page as you would your social channels.
  • Buffer's AI Assistant: Creating enough content for all your social media profiles all the time can be overwhelming — which is where our AI Assistant can help. The social media smart AI can create fresh posts for your Buffer schedule, repurpose existing content, and generate unlimited new ideas to help supercharge your engagement, grow your following, and amplify your social media presence.

Buffer's paid plans

If you're looking to manage more than three social media accounts or need social media analytics and engagement tools, you might want to check out Buffer's other plans:

  • Essentials: $6 per month per channel
  • Team: $12 per month per channel
  • Agency: $120 per month for 10 channels

Engagement tools

Best Hootsuite alternatives buffer engagement

Keeping on top of all comments is tough, especially as your following grows — which is where Buffer's social media engagement tools come in. Buffer surfaces all your Facebook Page and Instagram comments in a single place so you can respond to them right on the platform. It's brilliant both for boosting engagement and building trust with your audience, as well as customer support.

Analytics tools + reports

Best Hootsuite alternatives buffer analytics

Buffer's analytics will help you make sense of all the metrics available across channels to draw conclusions — so you can take action. You'll find answers to questions like: "When is the best time to post on Instagram for me?" and "How often should I be posting?"

You'll also be able to get in-depth demographic information on your audience, plus generate custom reports you can download and share (essential in content marketing).

All of Buffer's paid plans come with a 14-day free trial, so you can put all the advanced features to the test to see if they're really necessary for you right now.

2. Sendible

Price: 14-day free trial, with plans starting at $29 per month thereafter. 

Best Hootsuite alternatives

Sendible is a no-frills, no-fuss social media management platform at an affordable price. It connects with Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Google Business Profile, and the streamlined dashboard lets you view your scheduled, draft, and undelivered posts at a glance.

The tool also has a handy 'tasks' system, where team members or clients can assign to-dos related to the content calendar, making it a lightweight content management system for agencies and teams.

Along with social media management tools, Sendible users can generate instant social media analytics reports for all their connected channels. 

3. Metricool  

Price: Free up to a limit of 50 posts per month, with paid plans starting at $22 per month. 

Best Hootsuite alternatives

Metricool is a user-friendly social media management platform that supports scheduling and automation for Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitch, and Google Business Profile. It also allows for bulk scheduling across social platforms.

One of the platform's key features is its heat-map-style planner, which shows users the best times to post their content.

Along with social media scheduling, Metricool offers the ability to monitor competitor performance and analyze influencer performance, making it a great option for brands. The tool has slick approval workflows for social media posts and a central social inbox for comments from the majority of its connected platforms. 

4. Later

Price: 14-day trial, with plans starting at $25 per user per month thereafter.

Best Hootsuite alternatives

Perhaps best known for its visual content planner, Later got its start as a social media management tool for Instagram. Now, the platform has expanded functionality to cover TikTok, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter as well.

While users will be able to plan, manage, and schedule posts across all these major social networks, Later is still quite focused on Instagram. The platform has its own AI offering, though it's exclusively trained to write Instagram captions. It also offers Best Time to Post on Instagram features, Instagram hashtag suggestions, and a helpful visual planner for an aesthetic feed — so it's definitely worth exploring if Instagram is your primary platform. 

5. CoSchedule

Price: Free, limited-use plan for two social media channels, with plans starting at $29 per month per user thereafter. 

Best Hootsuite alternatives

CoSchedule is a great option if you're managing content beyond social — think a blog, newsletters, and the like — and want to see everything in one calendar. It's a great way to streamline your content marketing efforts.

Along with scheduling on most social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter/X, YouTube, Mastodon, and Bluesky), Coschedule can help you project-manage marketing campaigns that include blog posts, newsletters, and podcasts.

There's also an AI chatbot, Mia, that can help you draft a host of things, from blog posts to message responses. 

6. Sprout Social

Price: 30-day trial, with plans starting at $259 per user per month thereafter.

Sprout Social is another great Hootsuite alternative, though it does come at an even steeper price point. That said, it has great team collaboration features and combines several social media tools into one platform — from social media scheduling to social listening to its analytics tool for better reporting.

Sprout Social is one of the few social media management tools that provides customer relationship management (CRM) features. Its visually appealing reports are also a strong selling point and really helpful if you're looking to prove the success of your social media strategy to senior company leaders. 

7. AgoraPulse

Price: Free for 3 social profiles (limited to 10 posts per month), with plans starting at $69 per user per month thereafter

Hootsuite alternative

Agorapulse is another powerful Hootsuite alternative that could work for marketing teams with a bit of a budget to play with. It connects with Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter/X, and Google Business Profile. It also integrates with Google Analytics to help you measure the impact of your social posts on website traffic. 

Along with this, Agorapulse users will have access to a single social inbox to monitor engagements, and social listening features, a helpful tool in fine-tuning your marketing strategy. 

The platform does offer a free plan, but it limits you to 10 social media posts per month (across channels). In my opinion, that’s not quite enough to maintain the volume necessary for growing and engaging a following, but it’s feasible if you’re happy to post some content natively.

Does Hootsuite have a free plan?

No, Hootsuite no longer offers a free plan. You can technically get Hootsuite for free, but only as part of the 30-day free trial. After that, you'll have to choose one of the social media management tool's paid options, which start at $99 per month for a single user.

Teams plans cost $249 per month for up to three people (also billed annually). Hootsuite's custom plans for enterprise customers start at five users.

The best Hootsuite alternative for you

What is the best budget-friendly or free version of Hootsuite? While I wish there were an easy answer to this question, the truth is that it depends. There’s no single best Hootsuite alternative — it all depends on your needs and preferences.

If you’re a Hootsuite fan looking for a cheaper alternative, all of the options on this list are worth trying. I’d suggest making a list of two or three of your favorite things about Hootsuite and prioritizing platforms that have those features.

Then, take the free plans and trials for a spin, giving each platform at least a week to see if they’re the right fit. 

Whether you’re on a social media marketing team or a solo creator, social media management tools are a pretty personal choice. If you land on Buffer, great! We're so happy to have you as part of our community. If not, no sweat. I hope you've found the tool that makes the most sense for your brand right now!

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