With the onslaught of tools available for individuals and businesses wanting to boost their reach on Insta through an Instagram scheduler, it has become a difficult task to differentiate between what’s worth the time and money, and what’s not. Today we’re taking a look at Loomly and Hopper HQ, two desktop-based tools that allow users the same access to most of the Instagram features without the need for a phone.
- Loomly Features
- Loomly Strengths
- Loomly Weaknesses
- Loomly Pricing
- Hopper HQ
- Hopper HQ Features
- Trial requirements
- Hopper HQ Strengths
- Hopper HQ Weaknesses
- Hopper HQ Pricing
- Final Thoughts
|Strengths||Strong 3rd Party Integration||Carousel posting|
|Bulk upload + Media library||Bulk uploading/editing|
|Carousel posting||First comment scheduling|
|Strong collaboration options (approval, editing, scheduling, etc.)||Grid preview|
|Multiple account management||Free analytics|
|Weaknesses||Strong 3rd Party Integration||Limited account access|
|Rigid Posting Process||No media library|
|Analytics require minimum of 5 posts||Price per account is a bit steep|
|Tedious transition between accounts|
|Website||Click here to learn more about Loomly||Click to learn about Hopper|
After this short summary, let’s start looking at the two products in some detail.
Loomly is a social media management tool. It helps you organise content into a visual social media calendar, facilitating the process in which both individuals and teams create, schedule, and publish content for social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Here is a short video of how to get started with Loomly.
Unlike other programmes that ask you to secure your trial period by providing your credit card details, Loomly allows you to jump right in.
When signing up for a free trial, you’re redirected to the sign-up page, where you input some basic details including your name and email, which they use to send you a confirmation, so you can start your trial, and it’s pretty straightforward from then on.
1. Post Ideas
This feature draws ideas from Twitter Trends, RSS feeds, date-related events, and social media best practices, and turns them into posts for you, which you can save as a draft according to your preferences. This gives you content ideas and inspiration when you need a creative helping hand.
2. Content Library
Good for keeping all your images, videos, and content in one place for whenever you need it. Upload all your content in one go and have it ready for future use.
3. Optimization Tips
The app provides post optimization tips on the go, so that your content is ready to be published at its best-performing quality.
4. Post & Ad Mockups
See your posts before publishing them for your audience to see. Take a second and third look before you hit the post button, after seeing how your content will look like on the chosen social media platforms.
5. Approval Workflow and Collaboration options
Given the multi-user setup, the app allows work to flow through an approval system that can mirror any organization’s approval setup. Work can be shared internally and with any party that’s invited to collaborate, creating a more efficient system.
6. Automated Publishing
Get your content ready from weeks or even months before it’s planned to go out, schedule it on the app, and let it do the rest for you.
7. Ads Manager
Create, set targets, and manage your ad campaigns from the app.
Engage with your target audiences and respond to them directly from Loomly, without having to access your social media accounts.
9. Advanced Analytics
Gauge the success of the content you’re creating, and see how you can build your account and grow your reach.
Loomly is quite strong when it comes to integration with 3rd party applications and services.
As soon as you confirm your account and set it up, you’re immediately prompted to create a new content calendar. You are first asked for your posting preferences, whether you’d like to integrate the tool with Buffer (another social media management app) if it’s already part of your workflow, and which accounts/platforms you’d like to connect to.
Since the purpose of this review is focused on the app by itself, having the option to integrate the app with another one that serves a similar function seems like just an extra feature.
Another aspect of this integration is that Loomly allows you to connect multiple platforms for the same post. This can be useful for streamlining your social media channels and keeping things consistent across them, according to the user’s needs.
Ease of Use
New users are given some basic assistance about the app, and informed about the features of the programme while they’re using Loomly for the first time.
They also get tips on post content (called ‘post ideas’) when they’re creating posts.
In general, using Loomly is pretty straight-forward and in the general the user experience is quite positive.
A very useful feature in Loomly is the option to upload images in bulk, to be used at a later time when creating and scheduling posts.
This can be a great time-saver, and very convenient for when you have to source multiple images for a single post from more than one folder, or store all your photos in one place for easier access.
Users can schedule posts with multiple photos which many other Instagram desktop posting apps don’t allow. This is a neat feature with which you can create a “story” with your posts.
Post schedule view
There’s multiple options to view your work, depending on what you prefer aesthetically and what you think makes personal sense for you.
Scheduled posts can split by month, or they can seen in calendar view, list view, or post view.
The Master Calendar view option allows the user to view all their scheduled calendars in one screen. This gives a comprehensive look at the activity that the user has, potentially across multiple accounts, so they can be on top of all their content.
In addition, you can preview your scheduled posts in a grid view to get a better idea of how each photo will look in relation to the other, with the option to select between a view that only shows the selected post and the ones that have been scheduled or posted before it (see above), or all scheduled posts (see below).
Since even the basic plan allows for more than 1 user to use the same platform, when creating a content-scheduling calendar, the user has options that allow for collaboration.
This is a great when working in an agency, or when your posts need to go through a number of approval levels.
The main user can assign approval rights to other users – whether they’re editors, contributors, clients, or other types of viewers – and create content that can go through different stages: Draft, Pending Approval, Requires Edits, Approved, Scheduled, and Published.
Once you’ve invited all of the users who will be performing approvals, you can create a workflow, or flow of approvals of a post before it get scheduled and published.
To create a new post, the app takes you through a couple of steps in succession (date and time of post, social media platform selection, caption and image, overview, scheduling).
Unfortunately, you can only populate the post with text and images in the one specific stage of posting. When you reach the overview, any changes to the image aren’t saved (at least that’s what happened to us).
This process can be an advantage for users who like to divide their posting process into individual sections, but it can also be somewhat tedious and time-consuming.
For users who don’t want to populate their caption with extra text, there’s no option to post hashtags in first comment instead of adding them to the main body.
There are also no tagging features, so collaborations and tags might go unnoticed by the account’s followers.
The name you set for your content calendar shows up before the caption of the post. It’s unclear whether this will show up when the post is actually posted/online. If that’s the case, then it could come in the way of the account’s image, and likewise be confusing to the followers.
You have to go through all the steps of post creation again in order to edit the post, rather than be redirected to the caption or image selection editing section.
This can be time consuming if you need to edit multiple posts for some reason.
No Multiple Account Management
Loomly doesn’t allow users to manage multiple social media accounts simultaneously.
To schedule a post for a specific social media account (in this case, Instagram), the user has to be logged into the page they want to manage on their desktop first, outside of the app. So, to post for another account, one has to log into it manually first, then go back to the app to create content for that page.
As an agency, or a digital marketing working with multiple clients and several pages – this is a problem.
When you’re managing multiple pages, across multiple platforms, this function might become too complicated and time-consuming, since one would have to log in and out of accounts manually rather than having them all be accessible through a single click of a button.
While the app allows users to view analytics, it requires a minimum amount of 5 posts to have been published first. This is a drawback for people who are still using the trial without investing too much time in posting on it.
When it comes to pricing, Loomly’s cheapest monthly plan is $27 per month for 2 users and 10 social media accounts, with a fair amount of functionality.
Hopper HQ is a marketing solution designed for social media managers within brands, agencies, and other small businesses. It is ideal for those who are looking for a platform where they can create, plan, and schedule posts across multiple social media accounts, namely Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Before we begin with our review, check out this short video tour which has been shared by the guys, which is a great way to make sure you have access to Instagram Analytics.
Hopper HQ Features
Some of the main features of the app which you’ll find useful are:
1. Post Queue
With all your scheduled post in one place, the post queue feature lets you reorder your content according to how you want it to look in your feed.
2. Calendar Planner
The calendar planner view gives a visual representation of how much content will be going out throughout your week or month. This helps with staying organised and planning which posts you want to publish on which day.
3. Phone Preview
Given the large amount of people in your audience that are most likely going to view your content from their phones, the ability to see how your posts will look on mobile before publishing them is a feature that’s very helpful in today’s social media landscape.
4. Draft Posts
Start the process of creating your posts, with the option to pause at any moment without losing your progress.
5. Supporting Multiple Upload Sources
Supporting every major cloud storage product & social network, this feature makes it very easy to upload relevant data for content production, without having to go through the hassle of putting it all in one place first.
6. Built-in Image Editor
Choose which images you want to include in your posts, and edit them using the built-in image editor as you wish, with the option to add filters, make adjustments, change their orientation, and add borders & text overlays.
7. Multiple Account Management
Manage multiple Instagram accounts from a single Hopper HQ login.
8. Bulk Upload
Upload up to 50 images at once and use them to create individual posts for each photo, save them as drafts or put them in your queue.
9. Team Collaboration
Collaborate with your team members and set permissions for each account according to your needs and the structure your organisation has.
The app requires a credit-card upon sign-up in order to start your trial.
For business use, this is a more complicated process to go through for a trial, which might deter people from using the app in the first place
Users aren’t charged anything automatically, and the 14-day trial can be cancelled at any point for free as stipulated by their sign-up page.
Hopper HQ Strengths
The app has multiple authentication steps. This ensures that your identity and accounts are being used securely by an authorised person.
When you’re in charge of client accounts, this is even more important.
Users can schedule posts with multiple photos in them, which many other Instagram desktop posting apps don’t allow.
Bulk uploading and editing
Hopper HQ allows you to create multiple posts and edit them simultaneously on the same page/screen.
The only drawback to this is that each image you upload in this process becomes a post of its own, and any additional images in a carousel post need to be uploaded individually.
After uploading the images, users can change the time and date for posts, upload any additional images, edit them, and create captions for all the posts within the same page.
Hopper also has a ‘first comment’ feature, which will allow you to put your hashtags in the first comment if you prefer not to have them on the image itself. This makes it possible to post a comment along with the actual content simultaneously, where you can write up hashtags or additional text that didn’t fit in the description of the image.
You can also use this comment to push up the engagement of the post by asking questions or otherwise use engagement tactics.
Along with the ability to look at posts on a calendar (which is both slick and easy for visualising the sequence of your images), users can also view their scheduled posts in a grid that previews them chronologically as they would appear on Instagram.
Checking your posts’ analytics in Hopper is simple and straightforward. The feature is embedded in the trial version.
Hopper HQ Weaknesses
Limited account access
For the price you pay to use the app per month, you only get to manage one account, by one user, which is limiting given how much the app can do. One can decide to pay more to get more access, but when compared to other apps that cost less and provide more freedom, Hopper leaves you wondering whether its functionality is worth this limitation or not.
What balances this out is the simple layout of the landing page and what can be considered the dashboard, where you can see your scheduled posts and get an overview of your account’s activity. This is just enough for one user – with one account – and their needs.
No media library
Despite the ability to post multiple photos at once for bulk editing, there’s no actual media library to store photos and other visual content in for immediate or future use.
Hopper HQ Pricing
The starting plan for Hopper HQ is $19 per month for 1 user, for 1 social media account.
Both Loomly and Hopper HQ deliver on the premise of being social media desktop publishing apps.
Hopper stands out as the go-to app due to its straightforward interface and bulk posting options. These features will save users a lot of time when scheduling their content on their chosen platform.
Loomly’s main advantage is that is allows users to publish the same content on multiple platforms simultaneously, at a lower cost.
However, given the absence of the bulk posting feature, it’s still a more time-consuming process.
Overall, they are both easy to use and provide enough functionality to get the job done. What would probably best is for your to run a trial with both of them and see which one works best for your own needs.