I cancelled my Hootsuite subscription yesterday. It felt a bit odd because I had been using Hootsuite since 2009, but I’m kind of glad that I did, and now I will save close to $600 every year.
You’re probably wondering why did I cancel my Hootsuite subscription? Does Hootsuite suck? Is there a better Hootsuite alternative out there?
First of all, no Hootsuite does not suck.
As a platform, they offer tons of functionality, but some aren’t as good as their competitors while others simply aren’t as useful.
So why did I switch away from Hootsuite?
It’s because for the first time ever, I had to use their customer support — and it was terrible!
You see last year, I officially joined forces with my business partner Thomas Griffin and his two products SoliloquyWP and Envira Gallery became part of the Awesome Motive family (read more about it here).
So I ended up inheriting a new organization in my Hootsuite account and because it wasn’t high enough on the priority list, we never bother consolidating — until yesterday.
I asked one of my team members who was the owner of that Hootsuite organization to reach out to Hootsuite and change the permissions. In other words, my account will be moved from Super Admin to owner, and his account will be moved to Super Admin.
I thought this was simple, but apparently what went down was chaotic.
Instead of escalating my account permissions, they swapped our accounts altogether.
So now my team member, Kevin, had access to all the accounts in my account, and I had access to his accounts. Now I know Kevin isn’t going to do anything with my account because I trust him.
But what upset me was the level of incompetency displayed by the Hootsuite support team. Why would anyone do this?
When I asked them to revert the changes, they said it’ll be more complicated and will take till end of day.
As it turned out, we were able to revert the changes ourselves because what you really have to do is update your email addresses — that’s all. Which at least brought us back to where we started, so I have my Hootsuite account back and Kevin can have his back.
By this time, several members in the team had expressed that they don’t like Hootsuite as much and that I should give Tweetdeck a look.
So I decided to download Tweetdeck because the first time I used it in it’s early days – it was a desktop app. But nope, it’s a full web application now (cool).
What’s more important is that you can even have your team added to the accounts which is what we really need Hootsuite for.
Next thing you know, I got in touch with Hootsuite cancelled our accounts and asked for a refund. This time, the chat agent was very helpful and candid. She definitely made the refund experience a good last impression.
Lesson that I Learned
I got really complacent with Hootsuite and stopped evaluating it with our business needs. It solved a problem, and that’s all I cared about.
However in reality, the problem it solved could be solved with a free solution, TweetDeck.
But TweetDeck doesn’t support Facebook… Yes I know.
We stopped Hootsuite for Facebook because it’s very apparent that posting on Facebook from third-party applications reduce your post reach.
So our team manually manages posting on Facebook through the native app or from web.
The instagram integration on Hootsuite is really minimal, but that’s more Instagram’s fault. We simply ended up switching to Latergramme, and it gives us the same functionality.
I already have analytics from Twitter and all other platforms which are far more accurate.
Lastly, I love using Buffer for scheduling my posts and have been a Pro user there for quite sometime. Not to mention, they allow me to use my branded shortlinks such as wpbeg.in or syed.io or optin.to wihtout being on the Enterprise plan.
I need to constantly evaluate the technologies that we use and give new solutions an honest trial.
I’m now using TweetDeck for a day, and have really no complains. It does the job very well.
Some folks suggested I use SproutSocial, and I know my friend Kim Garst swears by it – but paying $59 / month per user is more than what I’m willing to pay for a social solution at this time.