Are you looking to compare Buffer vs Later vs Vista Social?
Your search ends here.
This post is a full, side-by-side comparison of the best social media platforms money can buy.
Remember, we’re only featuring all-in-one platforms that can help brands and agencies manage multiple social accounts. That means they can match the features of anything, like carousel Instagram tools, social media analytics platforms, and LinkedIn scheduling tools.
Long story short, this could be the ONLY comparison you need to build an effective marketing plan for social media platforms.
Both Buffer and Later are popular social media marketing tools that can offer good value for your money.
Vista Social, however, is in a league of its own. Despite the crazy inexpensive pricing (and free version), Vista Social is a modern, elaborate, and easy-to-use platform with all the features that other platforms with top-tier price tags offer.
The affordability and comprehensive toolset that Vista Social includes make it perfect for small to mid-sized businesses that manage multiple social media accounts. Since it charges per profile and not per seat, it’s by far the most cost-effective tool that completely disregards the size of social media management teams.
Just recently, we did a Loomly vs Hootsuite vs Vista Social comparison to help our readers understand which SMM platform is a good fit for their business. And now, we’re about to do the same for Buffer, Later, and Vista Social.
First up, Buffer is a social media management platform that gained its popularity by streamlining the process of scheduling posts. Over the years, it has evolved into a more complete social media marketing platform with new features like a landing page builder, target audience engagement tools, and link shortener.
Buffer Supported Platforms
Later is another social media marketing platform that built its reputation through its ability to schedule posts. The rest of its unique features primarily benefit brands that want to spice up their Instagram posts.
Later Supported Platforms
Lastly, we have Vista Social—a modern, all-in-one social media management platform that blows the competition out of the water. Even though it costs a fraction of what other full-featured solutions charge, it’s packed with automation tools and extra features for social channels, like bulk scheduling Instagram carousels and review management.
Vista Social Supported Platforms
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To help you save time, below is a quick side-by-side view of our contenders. This will be followed with a detailed comparison later, so stick around!
Keep in mind that we’re looking at the base version of each tool.
Buffer does a lot more than help you schedule posts on social media.
There are a lot of things to like about Later’s dashboard, especially if you’re into Instagram marketing.
Vista Social is a top-notch social media marketing platform that gives you more options than everyone else. You can use it with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and a bunch of other networks that even the biggest social media marketing tools don’t care about.
Vista Social pros
Vista Social cons
Let’s do a quick tour of the social media scheduling tool capabilities of Buffer, Later, and Vista Social:
Buffer makes social media content scheduling easy with its intuitive and minimal “Publishing” tool.
Upon logging in, you’re immediately taken to your content calendar.
Click ‘Create Post’ in the upper-right corner to schedule new content. Alternatively, hover your mouse over a time slot and click ‘Add Post.’
In the post editor window, create your post by typing your message, uploading attachments, and modifying the publishing schedule.
Buffer also lets you source visuals from third-party services like Canva, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Giphy.
If you’re publishing on more than one channel, click ‘Customize for each network’ to tailor your post’s message to each platform.
Click ‘Schedule Post’ to finalize your post. Or, select to save the post as a draft or request approval in the drop-down menu.
Track all scheduled content by checking your visual content calendar or clicking a social media account under “Queues.” If you need to add more social channels, click ‘Manage Channels’ in the bottom-left corner.
Select the platform you want to use and follow the on-screen instructions to finish connecting your client’s account to Buffer.
Some tips for new Buffer users:
Later’s user-friendly interface lets you upload media, schedule posts, and create text posts from one location.
Schedule new posts by dragging and dropping content from your media panel into any available date.
After dragging into the visual planner portion, Later will show the post editor that lets you edit images, write a post caption, add hashtags, and set a publishing time.
If you selected multiple channels, Later lets you fine-tune your post for individual networks.
Some tips for new Later users:
There are different intuitive ways to schedule content with Vista Social.
First, use the “Publish” tool from the main menu and click ‘Publish a single post.’ Alternatively, click on any available date in the visual content calendar.
In the “Publish” window, select which profiles to use, build your post, import media, and check the preview. You can also use hashtag recommendations, add automated comments, and use targeting features on supported platforms.
Finalize your post by adding it to your automated publishing queue, setting a specific schedule, or publishing it immediately.
Otherwise, select ‘Save draft’ to finish preparing your post later.
With the “Bulk publishing” or “Find content” feature, you have six options to source content:
Finally, use the “Smart Publisher” feature to create an automated content curation channel from news sites or blogs.
Configure the publisher using filters to ensure that you only curate relevant content.
Some tips for new Vista Social users:
To help you make your final decision, here’s an overview of each social media marketing platform’s starting prices:
Buffer offers a free version with basic publishing tools and access to the landing page builder. It can be used on up to 3 social profiles.
Later does not offer a free version, but you can start a 14-day free trial on all plans as long as you provide your credit card information.
With Vista Social, you can use the free version for as long as you want on up to 3 social profiles. This grants access to key features like post scheduling and in-depth performance reports.
Buffer charges $5 per social profile, which means you’ll shell out $30 per month to manage 6 profiles (unlimited users). On Later, 6 social profiles cost a total of $15 per month (3 users), but you’re only limited to 30 posts per profile per month—nowhere near the amount of posts you should share to grow a brand in a competitive space.
With Vista Social, 6 social profiles will only cost you $18 per month, but this allows access to unlimited users and unlimited scheduled posts.
To manage 36 profiles with Buffer, your minimum spend is $180 per month—or $360 per month if you go with their “Team” plan.
Later will charge you $80 per month to manage 6 profiles per platform (36 profiles), but you’ll only be limited to 6 users.
With Vista Social, you can manage an unlimited number of profiles with unlimited users for only $108 per month.
With Vista Social’s $3 per profile per month structure, brands and agencies of all sizes can take advantage of enterprise-grade social media marketing while paying rock-bottom rates. This comes with unlimited posts and access for unlimited users.
Pro tip: If you’re choosing between Buffer, Later, and Vista Social, go for the most modern option.
Newer platforms such as Vista Social, are often developed with all the latest features in the social marketing world right out of the box. The old platforms, on the other hand, are typically updated by adding new-but-necessary features after the fact—giving them a clunky look.
To see what’s in store for you with Vista Social, don’t hesitate to create your free plan today!
About the Author
Jimmy Rodela is a social media and content marketing consultant with over 9 years of experience, with work appearing on sites such as Business.com, Yahoo, SEMRush, and SearchEnginePeople. He specializes in social media, content marketing, SaaS, small business strategy, marketing automation, and content development.
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