Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. Klout
Content is king, or at least that's what everyone keeps saying. Whether this is true or not is up for debate, and is not the focus of this article. What I think most people can agree on is how important content is and how crucial providing useful, entertaining and informative content to your audience is in determining how successful you are going to be within your social channels.
Content discovery has become a very popular topic, and many companies are pushing apps, utilities and other tools in order to help you find quality content quickly and easily. The better the tool and the easier it is to use the less time overall it will take you daily in finding and sharing this content with your audience.
Content discovery has become so important that tools once used for other purposes have now integrated this feature into their offerings. Three of these tools that we're going to explore today include Hootsuite, Buffer and Klout.
Hootsuite is primarily known for social media management, Buffer for content scheduling and Klout is the service that ranks influencers. Now all have decided to jump into the content discovery game and all have a different approach to how they do this.
Hootsuite Vs Buffer Vs Klout: Let's Get Ready To Rumble!
I've never been a huge fan of Klout as I always believed that measuring influence was subjective and something probably not achievable. Yet, many people find value in this number and as such Klout is a popular service used by many.
With that out of the way, Klout has begun to move away from being known solely as the company that measures influence and in February of 2014 began experimenting with content discovery. When first launched I found this feature to be weak at best and quickly dismissed it.
As they say time heals all wounds and I have found myself actually using Klout not for their influencer number but for content discovery.
This Is How It Works
After choosing your topics to follow you can then share content directly to Twitter from within Klout or schedule it for later sharing.
After logging into your Klout account, navigate to Create.
From this screen you will need to add topics of interest by either Exploring or by searching through what Klout calls Content Filters. You are permitted to follow up to 20 topics.
Klout will now populate your stream with new content that you can then choose to share to your connected Twitter account. Klout even will suggest a best time for you to schedule your content for sharing to your Twitter audience.
Thoughts On Klout
The content that Klout digs up and presents is pretty decent but the quality of content and the amount presented to you can be significantly altered depending which topics you follow and how many topics you follow overall. I have noticed that sometimes the content isn't always high quality or even relevant to my needs or don't fit into the topics I am following.
Klout is also currently limited to sharing content only to Twitter which means that if you are digging for content to share to other networks and want one place to find and then share this content, Klout isn't going to work for you. You can always follow through to the original source article and then share to your other networks but Klout is probably not the all in one solution for discovery and sharing you are looking for.
Klout also has both an Android and iOS app available and having experimented with the Android app can say that it is well built and easy to use but suffers from the same flaws as mentioned above.
Overall I feel that Klout has come a long ways since it first started offering up content to share but it still has a long ways to go as there are far better options that do more available for you to use.
Is there nothing this social media management tool can't do? As my go to social media tool of choice, Hootsuite can do pretty much anything I need it to do at a price that won't break the bank.
While most well known for its easy to use social media management console, Hootsuite has recently taken to content discovery as well. They have called this feature Suggested and you can find it under the publisher tab but only if you are a paid Hootsuite subscriber.
This Is How It Works
The schedule view after using Hootsuite Suggestions. You can edit, modify, delete and move around any of the content.
From within your Publisher screen, click on Suggested and provide three topics of interest you wish to receive suggestions on.
Choose which networks you wish to publish this content on and click on Review Suggestions.
Hootsuite will then auto-populate a schedule of content that will be published to your connected social accounts, once you have reviewed and approved the content.
Just as with your scheduled posts on Hootsuite you can review, manage, delete, update and change the content description and times at which it will be published.
If you are already a Hootsuite user this will be intuitive and easy for you to learn, non-Hootsuite users will have no issues in familiarizing themselves with the system either.
Thoughts On Hootsuite Suggestions
Hootsuite keeps getting better and better but I have to wonder just how much this tool can do before the pieces become unusable? Will it ever become a case of jack of all trades; ace of nothing?
Currently the Suggested offerings are usually serving up high quality content that your network will hopefully find useful but I find the usage of only three topics to be limiting. In this case I prefer the Klout model of allowing me to select up to 20 topics to follow.
The ability to schedule posts to any or all of your connected social accounts could be a huge time saver for many over-stressed small business owners and social media managers as they have a one stop solution to finding and sharing content at their fingertips.
The one downfall to this is that you must be on your desktop computer as Suggestions is currently not available on the mobile app. With how much social media management is done using a mobile device this is a feature that I hope they implement sooner rather than later.
The bottom line is that if you are already using and paying for Hootsuite the Suggested feature is one more great addition that you should be taking advantage of. If you're not already paying for Hootsuite or only need to send content to one service, paying for Suggested may not be the best option for you.
Buffer is one of my favourite social media tools not only because of how often I use the tool or how much time it saves me each and every day but also because of how awesome the team behind Buffer is.
Primarily known as a social media scheduling tool, Buffer has now entered the content discovery race with their recent addition of Suggestions.
Suggestions are easy to use and are available to both desktop and mobile users and for both free and Awesome plan users. On mobile (at least on Android) suggestions work almost identically to the desktop version with the one exception; sharing to Facebook with one click is not supported.
This Is How It Works
To use Buffer Suggestions simply login to your Buffer account, click the Suggestions tab and then add content to your Buffer schedule.
To use suggestions simply login to your Buffer account on either your desktop or mobile device. Navigate to Suggestions under your content tab and start adding content to your Buffer queue by clicking add.
Thoughts on Buffer Suggestions
The content found within Buffer Suggestions range from social media stories, productivity hacks, inspirational quotes and even some marketing content. The stories are very high quality and are easily shareable.
The problem is that while for me, the content is perfectly suited for what I am looking for, this may not be the case for others outside the marketing niche. With no way to modify or alter the content suggestions from Buffer you are limited to what Buffer deems worthy.
The ease of use at which I can schedule and send stories to my queue and the quality of content discovered on Buffer make this easily one of my favourite places to discover new content.
Finding content to share with your social networks can be one of the most time consuming tasks you encounter daily, yet one of the most vital. A steady stream of insightful, informative, entertaining and useful content that you curate and share with your audience helps keep you in their social streams and part of the conversation.
Any service that can provide the discovery and the sharing tools in one bundle can go a long ways in helping you free up some of your valuable time each day. While each of the three tools above can alleviate some of the daily pain you may feel, ultimately it is still your responsibility to vet each story before sharing it with your audience.
If you simply rely on the suggestions of these tools you may in fact one time find yourself sharing content that your audience find distasteful or worse and this can reflect poorly on you.
While my favourite service happens to be Buffer I feel that a combination of multiple tools is ultimately the way to go as each service typically will surface different content and this allows me the opportunity to find exactly the content I feel my audience is looking for.
Over To You
What is your favourite content discovery service?
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