Social media has spawned a plethora of management and marketing products, services, and tools to help individuals execute their activities. These tools are used to manage, schedule, listen, curate, report, and automate. On the one hand, you have several all-in-one services that handle all the essential functions, for example, Hootsuite and AgoraPulse. On the other hand, you have single or dual-purpose applications that concentrate on one or two capabilities, for instance, Post Planner and Edgar. The two categories of tools make for a competitive marketplace, but customers can lose by choosing the wrong services. Where an all-in-one tool may be more than a user needs, single-purpose services can inhibit a person from achieving his or her full social media potential and return on investment. Also, some single-purpose tools cost more than some comprehensive services, which doesn’t make sense.
Social media is a critical traffic source for many of us. Mainstream social media platforms have millions to billions of active users, so their value can’t be denied, only prioritized. In 2013, I went on a hunt for a service that would allow me to manage my social media activities efficiently. I didn’t want to operate from each profile or platform in isolation. Instead, I wanted to operate from a single app. I found Hootsuite and have been using them since. I’ve experimented with other tools like Buffer and Crowdfire, but they fell short of my goals. I haven’t tried Edgar because strangely enough, they don’t offer a trial period, which is commonplace among software as a service (SaaS) providers. I watched their tutorial to understand them better. Let’s review Hootsuite and Edgar to see how they compare. Hootsuite has five plans, so I’ll compare their pro account to Edgar’s only offering.
- Hootsuite – LinkedIn description
Hootsuite is the most widely used social media management platform. We have 16+ million customers and are recognized as a leader in social media management by Forrester, one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. Our battle-tested technology, extensive ecosystem, and social DNA help organizations create human connections at scale.
- Edgar – LinkedIn description
Edgar is a social media scheduling tool like no other. Instead of publishing your updates just once and throwing them away like yesterday’s rubbish, he carefully catalogs them in a library that you build over time. All your updates are sorted into categories you created and published on a schedule that you choose, so Edgar publishes what you want when you want it. No manual scheduling, no busywork, and no hassle. Edgar eliminates the tedious busywork of always writing and re-writing social media updates, so you can break the cycle of writing and posting new updates every day and spend more of your time on social media interacting directly with your audience in real time.
1) Number of Profiles You Can Connect – Winner: Edgar
- Hootsuite: up to 10 profiles.
- Edgar: up to 25 profiles.
2) Directly Supported Networks – Winner: Hootsuite
- Hootsuite: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Google+.
- Edgar: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (some of Edgar’s features don’t apply to Twitter).
3) Apps, Integrations, and Partners – Winner: Hootsuite
- Hootsuite: 250+ apps, which are accessible mainly through its app directory.
- Edgar: 12 apps, which are accessible externally through Zapier.
4) User Interface – Winner: Edgar
- Hootsuite: bulky and can get confusing.
- Edgar: clean and minimal.
5) Content Curation – Winner: Hootsuite
Content curation is the act of discovering, gathering, and presenting digital content that surrounds specific subject matter.
- Hootsuite: find, add, and share content instantly or schedule via web and mobile apps. Stream and share content by hashtag, location, or keyword. Share content stored in your cloud service. Automatically post content from RSS feeds, and use apps to post content on your behalf. Gather content from any webpage with the “Hootlet” browser extension, then post or schedule (without having to log in to your social accounts). Bulk upload and edit content to save time.
- Edgar: find, add, and categorize content for your library, then share instantly or schedule via the web app (Edgar doesn’t have a mobile app). Use the browser extension to add and share content. Add content from RSS feeds and through apps on Zapier. Bulk upload and edit content to save time.
6) Content Promotion – Winner: Hootsuite
- Hootsuite: Set custom rules for objective, audience, budget, and duration to automatically boost your top-performing content. Shift your strategy to where organic and paid work together.
- Edgar: does not offer.
7) Scheduling and Automation – Winner: Hootsuite
- Hootsuite: automatically and manually schedule posts via the web, mobile, and Hootlet apps. Set the days and times when messages can be automatically posted (via AutoSchedule). Bulk schedule hundreds of posts at once (up to 350 posts per profile). Customize how often RSS feeds are checked and how many new posts are sent.
- Edgar: create a schedule to post content automatically from your library based on category. Automatically save posts to your library to recycle/reshare for future use (except for Twitter). Set posts to expire.
8) Social Monitoring and Listening – Winner: Hootsuite
- Hootsuite: find and filter social conversations by keyword, hashtag, and location—in multiple languages—to hear what people are saying about your brand, competitors, and industry. Capture more conversations with a wide selection of monitoring apps, letting you do everything from reviewing site ratings to tracking the tone of voice for your brand.
- Edgar: does not offer.
9) Analytics & Reporting – Winner: Hootsuite
- Hootsuite: create and export custom reports that show your results with Hootsuite social media analytics. Get a clear, concise snapshot of your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter activities to track trends and measure growth in real-time. Access the most extensive collection of social analytics integrations and apps available, including LiftMetrix, Klarity Analytics, Crowd Analyzer, and others.
- Edgar: users get a general, non-customizable weekly performance report by email, which highlights how many posts they’ve sent to their social accounts, from which categories, their follower changes, and clicks.
10) Team Members – Winner: Hootsuite
- Hootsuite: must upgrade to the team plan to add users.
- Edgar: does not offer teamwork functionality.
11) Ad Campaigns – Winner: Hootsuite
- Hootsuite: can upgrade to access Hootsuite Ads and AdEspresso. Then, create, manage, and optimize your Facebook and Instagram advertising.
- Edgar: does not offer.
12) User Training – Winner: Hootsuite
- Hootsuite: blog, podcast, courses, webinars, resources, team training, research/case studies, and Hootsuite academy.
- Edgar: blog, guides, and FAQs.
13) Plans – Winner: Hootsuite
- Hootsuite: five different plans including free, pro, team, business, and enterprise.
- Edgar: one plan.
14) Pricing – Winner: Hootsuite
- Hootsuite: a free 30-day trial and prices starting from $19 a month (billed annually) or $29 paid monthly.
- Edgar: $49 and requires credit card information to begin. Get one month free for annual billing. A 30-day money-back guarantee.
Hootsuite is almost everything that Edgar is not at a much lower cost ($29 vs. $49 billed monthly). Hootsuite is an all-in-one solution that tackles managing, publishing, scheduling, listening, curating, automating, ad management, analytics, and reporting. They continue to innovate, acquire companies, and add features. For example, they recently introduced a content promotion feature to boost your top-performing content on Facebook automatically. Edgar supports publishing and scheduling and provides basic reporting. Innovation and features are lacking. That said, Edgar has one interesting value proposition; the ability to recycle/reshare posts automatically (Post Planner recycles content too). Category labeling is not as special since AgoraPulse and Sprout Social have this feature too.
Edgar’s automated content recycling feature dominates the wording on the site with statements like:
- “No more social media babysitting. You plan Edgar posts. (It’s that easy.)”
- “Kick back and relax!”
- “Check in when you feel like it, or to refresh your feeds with live updates and new content.”
“(Don’t spend all your new-found free time in one place!)”
- “Edgar is a super friend to many popular social schedulers that don’t have an automated content resharing feature.”
The folks at Edgar want you to believe that automatic content resharing is a gift from the social media Gods and the answer to all your problems and time management. Although a neat feature, it encourages disengagement and laziness that might result in a set it and forget it approach that won’t benefit you. While automation leads to efficiency, it doesn’t guarantee success (engagement and continuous improvement yield success).
Edgar’s automated resharing doesn’t appeal to me and doesn’t work on Twitter, where I need it most. Instead, I prefer and use Hootsuite’s bulk scheduling feature to recycle my content. It keeps me engaged and aware of what I’m posting and pushes me to improve. For bulk scheduling, I update my CSV file once a month and upload it once a week. I could upload it once or twice a month by tweaking my content, but weekly achieves my goals. I have content being posted automatically on Twitter and LinkedIn. I don’t bulk schedule or auto-schedule posts on Facebook (but I could) because native posting aligns with my Facebook strategy. Like Edgar, Hootsuite enables RSS feeds to drip content.
Edgar has a post about how they compare to Hootsuite with a couple of statements worth addressing.
Hootsuite gives you as much control over posting as Edgar. Edgar uses a different approach that’s not necessarily better but could be worse because the average user doesn’t know optimal posting times. As Hootsuite states,
“Instead of our users manually selecting what time they want to schedule or post their social media messages using our scheduling feature, they can opt to use our new AutoSchedule technology to optimize and automate the scheduling process. We want our users spending more time finding and sharing content and less time worrying about the best time of day to share it.”
- Transparency and plans
The Edgar team makes a pathetic attempt to infer that Hootsuite hides fees, which is untrue. Hootsuite is very transparent about their prices. Secondly, Hootsuite is comprehensive in its offerings, so it makes sense to have different plans. Edgar is one-dimensional, so tiered plans would appear foolish. Lastly, Edgar fails to highlight all the ways they don’t measure up, which is misleading and disingenuous.
Unlike the Transformers, Edgar is less than meets the eye and costly at that. If you want to focus exclusively on social media publishing, scheduling, and automating, Hootsuite‘s free plan might suffice, and their pro plan with bulk scheduling is a fantastic substitute for Edgar’s content recycling. Alternatively, Post Planner does everything Edgar can do for much less ($19 vs. $49). As a social media tool, Hootsuite is a heavyweight contender whereas Edgar is an overambitious lightweight.