If you are unfamiliar with Hootsuite, it is a very feature-rich web based Twitter client. Their tag line is “The Professional Twitter Client”. This is very true. It has a great number of configurations and options which make managing one or multiple Twitter accounts very easy. Many of its features are pretty appealing to big businesses who use it, of which, there are some pretty big names listed on the Hootsuite homepage.
I personally do not use the desktop application, so I am going to talk about the web version.
First off, it has tabbed windows just like most web browsers. This feature alone is a great reason to try it. The tab feature allows for multiple accounts to be monitored with multiple columns per tab. If you are monitoring anything, this is really a time saver.
The columns can be a group, search, account timeline or keyword tracking. If you’d like to track your business or a product you are selling, you can set up an entire tab full of columns dedicated for that. I use the group function to track people I follow in the technology field. It is a lot easier to see what they are saying if they are separated from the herd.
Drag and Drop Ease
Drag and drop rearranging of tabs and columns makes it super easy to arrange things in an order which make the most sense to you. This is a great advantage if you have more columns than screen space. For example, you don’t always need to see your pending tweets column. If it was one of the first columns you created, by default it is near the front. Simply grab it and drag it to the end of the line. If you need it again, you can scroll over to the end of the row to take a peek at it.
This is a feature geared more towards businesses or a group needing multiple users for the same account. If you want to give employees or other people access to update on your account, this is a great way to do that. The account owner becomes the administrator for the account. Each person has their own log in and password, yet the admin can choose what accounts the person can post to and also cancel their account if needed. In each separate account, the user can select to have their initials automatically added to each tweet. This helps differentiate who is sending what.
The built in URL shortener saves the step of having to go to a different site or use a third party service to shrink the long URL you are posting. If you see a link with http://ow.ly/ then some letters and numbers, that’s a link from Hootsuite. Another benefit you receive from using the on board shortener, is click tracking.
If you have ever been curious how many people are clicking on the links you tweet, the built in tracking of all the ow.ly URLs. Its great for businesses or really anyone who wants to see how engaging they are to their followers. Below are a few of the different style graphs.
Here are a couple other graph views
This is a cool feature that helps you still appear active, yet allows you to not be tethered to your computer. You can schedule tweets for minutes, days or months ahead. If you wish to be notified when the scheduled tweet is sent. If you are scheduling a bunch of tweets, it’s not be a bad idea to have a column dedicated to pending tweets.
The bookmarklet allows for tweeting and delayed tweeting without having the Hootsuite page open all the time. When you click the bookmarklet, a window pops up. In the window (after you sign in) will be a shortened link, the name of the site and a description of the site. If you would like to send it right then, just hit send. If you’d like to schedule it, click schedule and pick the date and time you want the update sent. You can also receive a notification when the tweet is sent.
I haven’t see any other Twitter clients offer this. (Maybe I over looked it.) Hootsuite makes it super easy to embed the stream of tweets from one of your columns. To do this click the [<>] symbol. A box will pop up asking for the title, dimensions you’d like the window to be and how often you want the stream to refresh. After you click the grab code button, the code is generated. Just copy and paste that to your website per the instuctions and your done.
Does this web application have enough for you to ditch your desktop Twitter client?