Savvy Twitter Tools: Hootsuite

Social networking is an integral part of blogging, communication, and growth– and it can get really cumbersome to manage a bunch of social networking sites!

 

I've been using Hootsuite for several years now– and while it is far from perfect, I've found it best suits my needs for communicating with other bloggers, businesses, and readers on a regular basis.

(Note: by clicking on each of the images, you can see a larger version than is in the post.  This will allow you to see more details.)

 

Hootsuite is a browser based social networking site– I love this because I can log in from home or work, without having to download programs on to my computer (especially good for work use!).  It's one site that allows me to access Twitter and Facebook, along with sites like Foursquare, WordPress, LinkedIn, and more.  I primarily use it for Twitter and Facebook, for home AND work.

 

You can manually adjust how many streams you see on each tab– I prefer three, as it easiest to follow (but it allows from 1-4 streams).

Easy Access to Lists:

One of the great features on Twitter is its ability to create lists: you can organize the people you follow in to various categories– above shows a sample page of mine: Business of Blogging.  You can see the titles of the lists in each category.

Facebook Fan Page Management:

For me, one of the most valuable and useful parts of Hootsuite is the ability manage my Facebook fanpage without having to go in to Facebook.  This could also be useful for bloggers who have employers that block Facebook (and Twitter, but may not think to block Hootsuite).  I have both Facebook Fan Page columns set up: the option to see my page's stream, and to see pending posts.

Scheduling Tweets & Status Updates:

One of my favorite features on Hootsuite is the ability to schedule tweets and status updates on Facebook.  I've found that, if you're active on Facebook, it's really useful to re-tweet new posts (I only do it once per every 10-20 tweets at the minimum so as not to spam people).  But when you're working a full time job on top of blogging full time, it can be really hard to remember to re-tweet!  Scheduling is a great way to remind people about your giveaways and more.

 

To schedule a post, you click on the little “calendar” button (I think it looks like a TV saying '30').  It pops up a screen with all of your scheduling preferences: time and date!  Schedule in Bulk is a tool only available for Hootsuite PRO users, sadly.

 

Pros & Cons:

  • Con: For those on a free account, there are occasional tweeted ads that will appear in your stream. I've never found more than 2-3 a day (when I'm really active that day) and many days I don't see any.
  • Pro: Hootsuite's free features are pretty good for the most active user.  You can manage up to 5 accounts on it: 5 Twitter accounts, 3 Twitter accounts and 2 Facebook accounts, 1 Twitter/Facebook/MySpace/LinkedIn account, etc.  It's in any combo you'd like!  Anything beyond that you'd need the PRO account, which is $5.99 a month.
  • Con: You can't have a “team member” manage an account without a PRO account.  So, for example, I can't manage the IFB Twitter account from my Hootsuite account without IFB being on a PRO account.

 

For an extra opinion: The Difference Between TweetDeck, Hootsuite, and Seesmic

 

Admittedly, Hootsuite isn't perfect.  There are days you can catch me damning it on Twitter.  But for my own personal needs and uses, it's the best option I've found so far.  Do you use a client like Hootsuite to help manage your social networking?  Are you a fan? A hater?  What are the perks and cons that I've left out (because I know there are many!).

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16 Responses

  1. Leo

    Hi Ashemischief! really great post. Me too, I love using hootsuite for your mentioned reasons. What I like most are the lists which make it really easy to navigate. As regards scheduling tweets, which is very important for me too, I feel it’s quite a hassle with hootsuite though. Bufferapp (http://bufferapp.com) does a far better job on tweet scheduling. A lot easier with this tool.
    Thanks for sharing this :).

    Reply
  2. Dave from HootSuite

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about HootSuite. We’re striving for perfection and appreciate your opinions as we add new tools and networks.

    As for lists, one of my fave features is adding people to lists using drag and drop.

    To do this… Click the Owl and choose Contacts. Choose an profile, then choose followers or following. Then drag the avatars from the right pane and drop onto the desired list on the left.

    This is handy for sorting new followers based on interest, activity level or influence score.

    Also, re: scheduling. We’ve added the ability to batch schedule up to 50 messages at a time from a CSV file. it’s a bit tricky at first if you aren’t familiar with the format but ultimately very powerful.

    Thanks again from HootSuite HQ

    Reply
  3. Treacle

    I haven’t used HootSuite but I’ve reached the point where I think it’d be a good idea. Thanks for “breaking it down” here.

    Reply
  4. Gemma

    Oh this looks much easier than having lots of windows open and logging into different sites. Going to give this a go. Thanks!

    Reply
  5. Ondo Lady

    I have just read this and it has been really useful. I am an avid tweeter who used Twitter, Ubertwitter and Tweet Deck. I am happy with the first two but Tweet Deck kind of sucks. I have often seen HootSuite at the end of people’s tweets but never really looked into it till I read this post. I had no idea that HootSuite was so versatile. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Reply
  6. Christy

    I actually started using HootSuite after you mentioned it at the last blogger meetup at CC’s. Prior to that I had thought about cutting out most non fashion related banter to make my @slowsouthstyle account a bit more professional and “branded”. I like Hoot Suite because I can easily flip back and forth between that account and my personal @nolaxty without logging in and out.

    Aside from that I haven’t really had a chance to delve into creating lists but I really should since as the list of people that I follow grows it gets hard to manage it all.

    Reply
  7. Arash Mazinani

    I use tweetdeck, I love it I have the software on my mac and the android app both of which are brilliant. I only use it for twitter as I don’t really do much on my facebook account in terms of my blog. However I may look into it’s functionality for facebook fan pages.

    Reply
  8. Chelsea Rae

    I use Tweetdeck, but to use it on my work computer or any other computer, I’d have to download the application. Plus, I don’t think I can manage my Facebook fan page using Tweetdeck. I’m going to take a look at Hootsuite and maybe switch over.

    Reply
  9. LoveBrownSugar

    I’ve been using Hootsuite for about 2 years now and it’s the best thing since sliced bread ESPECIALLY if you have multiple twitter accounts. Personally, I have an account for my blog, for my friends AND for my job (I work at a magazine) so it’s a life saver.

    Be careful with using it in “Teams” though because once someone saves your account password on Hootsuite, they can always access your Twitter account whether you change the password or not. That’s another huge con. A super popular entertainment blogger just posted about how her account was hacked because one of her interns saved the password in their Hootsuite. Be careful guys! Buy yeah other than that it’s the bomb.com

    Cece from LoveBrownSugar

    Reply
  10. Angeline

    I love hootsuite and have been using it for over a year–it’s open all day long whether I’m at home or work, since I manage some of our work accounts, too. I love the different lists and panes, and keep a tab of search terms, too.

    Reply
  11. Susan

    Hi there,
    I have recently started using Hootsuite… Really like it, BUT how do I stop it from double posting tweets? When I post a tweet via Hootsuite and click the FB link for redirection it will show up on my FB page as well as the exact same tweet via Twitter… (without thumbnails etc) I tried to disconnect Twitter to FB so it was only linked to Hootsuite but it messed everything up and nothing got redirected, so I’m back to square one.. Help?!?
    Thanks,
    Susan

    Reply