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Sprout Social vs Buffer vs Vista Social: Which is Better?

by Jimmy Rodela

Nov 14

7 min to read

Sprout Social vs Buffer vs Vista Social: Which is Better?

This Sprout Social vs Buffer vs Vista Social comparison validates a point that we’ve all suspected…

…That not all social media management platforms are created equal.

Back in the day, Sprout Social and Buffer are both pioneering tools in the SMM space. But does that make them the best?

In this post, we’ll revisit the veterans in the SMM world and see how they stack up against Vista Social—a modern, industry-leading SMM platform with an unbelievably-low price tag. 

Let’s go.

Bottom line: Vista Social spearheads innovation in modern social media management—for only $3 per social media profile

Vista Social has content, analytics, and automation tools that exceed other social media management platforms.

Despite the much lower price tag, we continue to lead the SMM industry with ground-breaking features. 

We are the first to introduce direct publishing to Instagram/Facebook reels and TikTok audio recommendations.

We also offer font customization, comment moderation, unlimited white-label reporting, Instagram product tagging, reputation management, audience-targeting, content calendar live links, and more. 

What’s more? We have a handful of exciting features queued in our product roadmap

Vista Social’s flexible pricing also makes us perfect for growing startups, agencies, and individual users.

Just pay a small fee of $3 for each social media profile you manage. (You can add unlimited users and publish unlimited posts.)

Lastly, we have best-in-class customer support you can connect with via live chat, video call, email, and social media. 

Must-read: Buffer vs Later vs Vista Social

Overview: Sprout Social vs Buffer vs Vista Social

Sprout Social, Buffer, and Vista Social are among the most popular social media management tool of all time. But there can be only one for your agency.

1. Sprout Social

SproutSocial's homepage
Image Source: SproutSocial.com

Sprout Social is a social media management platform designed for agencies and enterprise marketing teams. 

It has tools for almost every aspect of your client’s social media presence, including social media listening, user engagement tracking, social media publishing, and analytics.

Sprout Social supports social media profiles in these networks:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook 
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • TikTok

Sprout Social also integrates with WhatsApp—a messaging mobile app sprinkled with social media networking elements. It’s also worth noting that Sprout Social can also pull reviews from social networks and review sites like Glassdoor, Yelp, and TripAdvisor.

Vista Social, however, can pull reviews from more sites. Our platform can consolidate reviews from Yelp, Trustpilot, OpenTable, Facebook Business, and Google My Business. 

And despite our lower pricing, we bring much more features like cross-platform competitor reports, TikTok trending audios, location tagging for Instagram, and more.

2. Buffer

Buffer's homepage
Image Source: Buffer.com

Buffer is a social media management platform that can help you on three fronts: social media publishing, tracking analytics, and generating user engagement. 

It can help you optimize your posting schedule with automatic time recommendations based on your client’s previous social media posts. 

As far as analytics goes, Buffer lets you look at the performance of your managed social media channels. It’s also effective for conducting audience research—able to reveal information such as the top gender groups, age groups, and cities. 

Buffer supports the following social media channels:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn 
  • Twitter
  • TikTok
  • Pinterest
  • Google Business Profile

Buffer also integrates with Shopify to reveal your eCommerce client’s most profitable social media channels. It also features a Canva integration that lets you design custom graphics without leaving the app.

3. Vista Social

Vista Social's homepage

Vista Social disrupted the industry with its enterprise-grade social media management features and ultra-affordable pricing model. 

We’re equipped with tools for social media scheduling, user engagement tracking, advanced reporting, social media listening, and even reputation management—at an extremely low price that supports social media teams of all sizes.

Our platform also offers features no one else has, like post scheduling for ALL short-form video sites, trending TikTok audios, and font customization. 

We also have power features like two-factor authentication, priority customer support, Twitter threads publishing, product/user tagging, audience targeting, and comment moderation.

Vista Social supports the following social media platforms and review sites:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Google Business Profile
  • TikTok
  • Bitly
  • TrustPilot
  • Yelp
  • TripAdvisor
  • OpenTable

Vista Social also has a Canva integration that lets you create branded designs—from Instagram image quotes to full-fledged infographics—in the same intuitive interface.  For in-app video editing, use Vista Create for impactful YouTube intros, TikTok videos, Instagram reels, and more. 

Social media management platform features

Sprout Social vs Buffer vs Vista Social

For more solutions, check out Zoho Social vs Hootsuite vs Vista Social

Buffer vs Sprout Social vs Vista Social: Most notable features

All of the featured social media management platforms in this post, like Loomly vs Hootsuite vs Vista Social, offer basic tools that let you:

  • Schedule posts at automated posting times
  • Track and respond to all your messages in one inbox.
  • Analyze real-time analytics.
  • Use the calendar view to track social media content strategies.

It’s about time we cover features that are unique to our contenders.

Below are some of the core features that make Sprout Social, Buffer, and Vista Social essential to your agency: 

1. Sprout Social

Sprout Social is developed with team collaboration in mind. 

In addition to the task management component, Sprout Social lets you create custom approval workflows. Define multiple approval steps and designate up to 100 approvers in each step to ensure every piece of content abides by your agency’s content quality guidelines.

SproutSocial's content approval workflow
Image Source: SproutSocial.com

Sprout Social also supports additional integrations with third-party business tools, like Salesforce, Zendesk, WooCommerce, and Microsoft Dynamics 365. This is useful for small businesses that want to manage multiple aspects of their business in one user interface.

SproutSocial's integration
Image Source: SproutSocial.com

2. Buffer

Buffer not only lets you schedule posts and optimize user engagement. It also lets you create “Start Pages,” which are template-based, mobile-optimized, and shoppable landing pages designed to resemble a social media app. 

This allows you to design seamless user experiences that can turn social media engagement into conversions.

Buffer's start pages
Image Source: Buffer.com

If you work with multiple clients, Buffer lets you consolidate relevant tasks into trackable campaigns. 

Buffer also provides additional features through integrations with external platforms. This includes automation tools, blogging platforms, content curation tools, and more. 

Buffer’s integrations make it possible for full-service marketing agencies to manage and scale all their services with a single account. 

3. Vista Social

Vista Social can do everything Sprout Social and Buffer can do for a fraction of the cost. Even better, our platform makes power features accessible to everyone regardless of how expensive their subscription is. 

Some examples are:

  • Two-factor authentication. Prevent unauthorized access to your Vista Social dashboard using apps like Google Authenticator. 
  • Instantly grab loads of user-generated content. Quickly import content using a hashtag, username, or through social media listening. 
  • Get trending hashtags and TikTok audios. Incorporate trending hashtags and TikTok audio tracks to help you on the path to virality. 
  • Directly publish short-form videos. Automatically publish short-form videos on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. 
  • Shared calendar. Give your clients and colleagues a live view of your content calendar through a link. 
  • White-label competitor analysis reports. Generate visual reports that compare your client’s social media presence with their competitors. 

Another one of Vista Social’s strengths is the flexible post editor. 

Fire up this tool through the “Quick Add” menu—or click ‘Publish’ from the main dashboard and select ‘Publish a single post.’

Vista Social's publishing dashboard

The Vista Social post editor lets you use recommended hashtags, customize fonts, create automated first comments, and more. 

Other social media platforms like Later vs Hootsuite vs Vista Social may have similar scheduling tools. But none of them come close to matching Vista Social’s advanced capabilities and automation tools.

Vista Social also lets you build custom workflows for automated content curation. 

By creating a “Smart Publisher,” you can automate content curation from a specific blog’s RSS feed or relevant news websites.

Vista Social's automated content curation workflow

Sprout Social vs Buffer vs Vista Social: Platform pros and cons

Like our previous comparisons (see SocialPilot vs Hootsuite vs Vista Social), we look at the pros and cons of social platforms. 

Sprout Social pros

  • Customizable approval workflows. Structure approval workflows to ensure your team only pushes out polished and brand-aligned content.
  • Content feeds. Get relevant updates and ideas from Twitter, Instagram hashtags, and RSS feeds. 
  • Reviews tracker. Sprout Social lets you manage reviews from social networks and a few review sites.

Sprout Social cons

  • Expensive. Sprout Social’s entry-level plan costs $249 per month—more expensive than the top-tier plans of other social media management tools.

Buffer pros

  • Start pages. Buffer lets you build a funnel from social media engagement to conversion through its landing page builder.
  • Integrations. Since Buffer integrates with automation platforms like IFTTT and Zapier, you can connect it with hundreds of other third-party services. 
  • Two-factor authentication. Protect your (and your client’s) social media accounts with Buffer’s two-factor authentication feature.

Buffer cons

  • Limited networks. Buffer has the least number of supported social media platforms (through direct integration)–it doesn’t even connect to YouTube channels. 

Vista Social pros

  • Advanced post editor. Get hashtag recommendations, use location tagging, automate first comments, customize fonts, and find trending TikTok audios using Vista Social’s advanced post editor. 
  • Schedule for 9 channels. Vista Social is the only SMM platform that supports nine networks (not including review sites), namely Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, Google My Business, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Reddit. 
  • Import and bulk upload curated content. Import content via RSS feeds, hashtag search, username search, CSV, social media listening, and more. 
  • Generate white-label reports. Create in-depth reports about campaign performance, team productivity, competitor analysis, and online reviews to communicate value with your clients. 
  • Community management. Maintain a healthy and positive community through consolidated conversation tracking and social listening across all social media platforms. 
  • Scalable pricing to fit all budgets. Don’t pay for additional users—just pay a tiny amount for every social media account you manage. 
  • Review management. Vista Social connects to multiple review platforms to help your agency improve and maintain your client’s reputation. 

Vista Social cons

  • No ad management. Vista Social’s current version doesn’t manage ad campaigns.  

Pricing

To wrap up this post, here’s a quick rundown of each platform’s pricing: 

Looking for a free version?

Both Buffer and Vista Social have a free version you can use indefinitely, but Vista Social’s free plan lets you publish more posts per month. Sprout Social, on the other hand, only offers time-limited trials.

Managing 5 profiles or less?

To manage up to five social media profiles, Sprout Social charges a minimum of $249 per month. 

Buffer charges $5 per profile per month, which means five profiles will cost you $25 per month

Vista Social offers the most affordable plan at $3 per profile per month or $15 for 5 accounts per month. 

Find more alternatives by reading our guide on Sendible vs Hootsuite vs Vista Social

Get the best deal with Vista Social

Ready to experience top-tier social media management without paying monstrous rates? 

Vista Social not only has the features to compete against the most expensive social media management platforms. It also offers a budget-friendly pricing structure that scales as you grow.

Get a firsthand look at Vista Social’s features by creating a free account today. 

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