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7 Sprout Social Alternatives to Try in 2024 (Free + Paid)

A look at the best Sprout Social alternatives, how much they cost, and some of their best features. 

Jun 11, 2024 9 min readSocial Media Marketing
Photo of Kirsti Lang
Kirsti Lang

Content Writer @ Buffer

Sprout Social is a great social media tool for social media managers or creators lucky enough to have the budget. 

But it's on the pricier end, at $249 ($199 if you pay annually) per user per month. It’s no doubt money well spent for large social media marketing teams at enterprise companies, but marketers at smaller companies or creators will have to work hard to justify that spend. 

Thankfully, there are plenty of other great social media management tools out there that can do everything Sprout Social can do and more — at a more affordable price point or even for free. 

I’m a former social media manager and creator, and I’ve been around the block when it comes to social media management and analytics platforms. In this article, we’ll explore several the best Sprout Social alternatives, how much they cost, and some of their best features. 

1. Buffer

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

Best Hootsuite alternatives buffer

Yes, I am a content writer at Buffer, so I’m definitely biased here. But I’ve worked in social media in some capacity for my entire career, and no matter how many tools I tried, I kept coming back to Buffer.

Like Sprout Social, it allows you to plan and schedule posts to major social media platforms, including Twitter/X, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Google Business Profile, Pinterest, and YouTube (with Threads and Bluesky on the way too). It also connects with decentralized network, Mastodon, something you’re unable to do with Sprout Social. 

The best part about Buffer? It’s incredibly flexible, meaning you can set it up to work for you as a creator, a social media manager, a member of a marketing team at a company, or even an agency. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the features that rival Sprout Social beyond simple automation and social media scheduling:

Simple collaboration

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Buffer is a great option for teams, thanks to its straightforward team collaboration system. With it, you can:

  • Add unlimited users on the Teams plan: Each user has their own login and permission levels (more on this below), making it easier to keep track of who is working where. 
  • Set permission levels for different users: Choose exactly who can post on each of your social media channels. 
  • Set up an approval system: With these different permissions, certain users will require or can ask for approvals on their posts before they’re published, so you can always ensure quality and consistency. 
  • Collaborate on ideas: Work together on social media content in Create, a dedicated space for all your ideas. 
  • Leave notes for team members: Make comments or suggestions for other users on your plan.

Engagement tools

Best Hootsuite alternatives buffer engagement

Buffer's social media engagement tools for Facebook and Instagram are a lot like Sprout Social’s social media inbox: a single dashboard where you can manage and respond to all Facebook Page and Instagram comments in real-time. Buffer will even flag the comments for sentiments (for example, comments with questions, comments that are positive, and those with a negative tone you’ll want to address).

Analytics and reporting

Best Hootsuite alternatives buffer analytics

Rather than just pulling all the metrics together (which is already pretty helpful!) Buffer's analytics will help you understand and take action based on your content performance across channels. 

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 user-friendly reports you can download and share (essential in content marketing).

Buffer's paid plans

If you're looking to manage more than three social media accounts or need social media collaboration features, analytics, and engagement tools, here’s a quick look at Buffer’s pricing plans:

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

If you’re not ready to take the plunge, Buffer offers a 14-day free trial on all of its plans so you can put every feature through its paces first. 

Buffer’s free plan features

If you’re not quite sure you need these advanced features just yet, Buffer also has some powerful functionality available on its free plan — a great option for creators and solo social media managers. 

Here's a look at some of my favorites:

  • Schedule content for up to 3 channels: Buffer's free plan lets you publish and schedule up to 30 social media posts (10 per channel) with a drag-and-drop calendar and queue for each platform. 
  • Create: A 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 board view, to help you keep track of your content.
  • Handy integrations to streamline your workflow: Buffer connects with Canva, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and Photos, Zapier, and more. 
  • Start Page: Set up your own 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.

2. Hootsuite

Hootsuite pricing: 30-day free trial, with plans starting at $99 per user per month for up to 10 social channels.

Sprout social alternative hootsuite

Hootsuite is another powerful social media management platform. It is very similar to Sprout Social in that it works well for marketing teams (but it does also come at a high price point). It’s a great option for well-resourced marketing teams that collaborate with others, like customer support and success teams. 

Hootsuite allows you to publish and schedule content for Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Threads (beta), LinkedIn, and Pinterest. It also boasts more than 100 apps and integrations — think, Canva, Figma, Monday.com, HubSpot’s CRM, stock photo sites, and more. 

The tool also has some great social listening features, approval workflows, bulk scheduling, and an all-in-one social inbox that will combine public comments and messages from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp. 

3. Agorapulse

Agorapulse pricing: Limited free plan, with paid plans start at $49 per user per month for up to 10 social channels.

Sprout Social alternative agorapulse

Agorapulse is similar to Hootsuite in that it would be a good Sprout Social alternative for medium-to-large marketing teams. Agorapulse connects with all the major platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

It has similar features, too — an all-in-one inbox, robust reporting, and social listening tools that will allow you to keep your finger on the pulse (see what they did there?) of all the conversations that mention your brand. 

Unlike some of the other options on this list, Agorapulse is really focused on proving the ROI (return on investment) of social media, so you can drill down on what content is actually driving leads, sales, or whatever is meaningful for your marketing goals. This can be particularly helpful if you’re looking to prove the success of your social media strategy to company leaders. 

4. Sendible

Sendible pricing: 14-day free trial with plans starting at $29 per month for one user and up to 6 social channels.

Sprout Social alternative Sendible

Sendible is another social media management and analytics tool versatile enough to work for both social media marketers and agencies. It’s a slightly pared-down system, but I’m sure some users will prefer this to the overwhelm of platforms like Sprout Social. 

Sendible allows post scheduling on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Google My Business. Its dashboard is neat and streamlined, and you can view your scheduled, draft, and undelivered posts at a glance.

For teams, Sendible also has a handy 'tasks' system, where team members or clients can assign social media tasks, which is pretty nifty if you don’t work with a separate project management software. It’s a particularly great marketing tool for agencies, thanks to the white label option and the Client Connect portal, where you’ll be able to give clients limited access. 

Sprout Social is one of the few social media management tools that has customer relationship management (CRM) features, which sales teams will love.

5. Coschedule

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

Sprout Social alternative coschedule

If you’re juggling a blog, newsletter, events, and other content alongside your social media channels, Coschedule offers you a way to view everything at a glance. 

It can be helpful to think of it as a project management system for a content marketing team. I can also see it being useful for full-time creators or influencers who are monetizing their content beyond social media. 

It connects with a good variety of social media channels too (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Bluesky, and Mastodon), along with WordPress and MailChimp. 

Coschedule is laser-focused on being a marketing calendar tool, so you’ll have to look elsewhere if you’re after deep analytics or social listening tools. 

6. Later

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

Sprout Social alternative Later

Later was created as an Instagram scheduler, so while the tool has expanded well beyond that, visual content planning is still at its core.

That said, Later allows you to publish to most major social networks, including TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter, along with some analytics for these channels. 

It has some nifty features, though all of them are largely centered around Instagram — Best Time to Post on Instagram, Instagram hashtag suggestions, and of course, that helpful visual planner for an aesthetic feed, for example. 

While Later is expanding its agencies and enterprise features (like ways to create a custom UCG library for clients or a creators database for partnerships), it’s probably best suited for creators or small businesses with Instagram as the primary focus. 

7. Metricool

Metricool pricing: Limited free plan, with paid plans starting at $18 per user per month.

Sprout Social alternative Metricool

Metricool is an easy-to-use platform largely aimed at social media managers focused on paid social. 

It allows for publishing on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitch, and Google Business Profile, and boasts some pretty detailed performance analytics. With it, you can also schedule ads for Facebook Ads Manager and Google Ads, a handy addition.

Beyond the usual offering, there are some interesting tools, like a heatmap-style content calendar that recommends the best times for you to post, a competitor analysis, and a hashtag tracker. 

Need more options? These resources could help: 22 Top Social Media Analytics Tools 20+ Social Media Management Tools

How to find the right Sprout Social alternative for you

I’ve always found round-ups like these to be a helpful starting point in choosing the right tool for my use case. But there’s no better way to figure out which one will help you reach your social media goals until you try it. 

I’d recommend finding the one on this list that feels like the best fit for you and giving yourself at least a week with the tool to understand all the nuances of the platform. You might discover some functionality I didn’t mention here that’s a game-changer for you! You might also find that, no matter how simple the system is, it’s just not intuitive for the way your content calendar or brain works. Trial and error is key — which is why most of the tools I’ve chosen for this list have a solid free trial option. 

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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