Late last year, the solution I was using to post and (more importantly) to schedule tweets was having problems. Specifically, it did not post at the times specified, bunched up, and duplicated tweets. After trying a few different tools, I settled on Hootsuite as being the best match for my needs.
I’m going to post some screen shots. I apologize for the redacted blocks, but there are some accounts that aren’t public and need to be kept confidential. Hootsuite has two levels: a free level and a paid level at $5.99 a month. The paid level gives you unlimited account connections, unlimited stat history, Google Analytics integration, Facebook Insights integration, and removes the advertising. I’m all for free tools but at $5.99 Hootsuite is extremely affordable and price shouldn’t be an issue at all.
When you log in to Hootsuite, it asks you to connect your social networks in Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare. It will create a tab for each account along the top, and place icons for the accounts on the top right. While I do keep the tabs for each account, I found it helpful to create custom tabs for all of my “@” responses and all of my Scheduled tweets.
You can create tweets for any account using the entry form along the top of the nav. You can push them out to multiple accounts (be careful) and schedule them. They have also recently added the ability to submit scheduled tweets in bulk format, which is pretty handy. The ability to schedule tweets for multiple accounts is a mission critical item for me. In addition to being able to do it from the dashboard, you can do it from any page you are reading using the Hootlet Bookmarklet.
The bookmarklet adds a little icon to your browser. Click when you want to post something and a window pops up. You can edit the tweet, Facebook post, Foursquare post, tell it which account(s) to post to, and schedule or post live. That’s all there is to it. It creates a shortened URL automagically for you.
The custom shortened URL is one of Hootsuite’s cool features: it gives you much better stats on who clicks your tweets or Facebook posts,
stats on popular tweets you made,
and insight into influential users who have tweeted with you or retweeted you.
You also have access to Google Analaytics and Facebook Insights from Hootsuite.
Hootsuite also has mobile apps, meaning you can access Hootsuite natively on your Android, Blackberry, iPhone, and iPad.
One thing that’s lacking is the ability to save your tab configurations on these mobile devices. For some reason, Hootsuite did an update and I lost all my tabs. The problem didn’t effect everyone, but it did effect enough other people that I got some sympathy tweets, so… Hey, Hootsuite, how bout adding it? The other feature I’d really like to see added is RSS reader capabilities. It would just make my workflow of posting and scheduling items a lot easier. So far, Hootsuite is opposed to the idea even though it has some support.
The one aspect I didn’t mention because I don’t use it is the ability to add other people into your account. So if you are running as an agency with multiple users, this feature is pretty handy. It does cost $15.99 to add each additional user.
The things that I really like about Hootsuite are first, its ability to add/schedule tweets reliably directly from the browser; second, its ability to see the Twitter activity for multiple accounts all in one place; and finally, its ability to show you states that measure how well your social interactions are doing. If this sounds like something you are doing, Hootsuite might be a good fit for you.
To be clear, I am a current paying customer of Hootsuite. If you sign up from my link I will get a commission. This is a product I have been using for a few months and have been happy with and I am comfortable recommending Hootsuite as a social media management tool.