Please note that I said “difficult”, not “impossible” (smile). It just occurred to me that while I have talked about HootSuite quite a bit on this site, I have never done a dedicated post on this wonderful tool. My bad. I can still recall the first time that I had a chance encounter with this application. Not very long after I started this blog. my page hits were rapidly rising on a recent post. I tracked the source of this back to a tweet that had been generated by something called “HootSuite”. At the time I had absolutely no idea of what that was. When I investigated further, I quickly decided that this was a tool designed for “power users” and that certainly was not me. I am still no power user but, HootSuite is my top choice for the one client to manage my all my social networks. Trapped on a desert island, I’d be packing this Owl instead of TweetDeck, Seesmic, Brizzly, or any of the other very capable tools that are available and here is why…..
- Multiple Twitter accounts, FaceBook, FaceBook Fan Pages, LinkedIn, & even WordPress
- Ping.fm integration and all the networks that this tool can reach
- Atom/RSS auto feed and send (think TwitterFeed)
- Multiple tabbed user defined columns with a slider and adjustable column widths
- Save draft, send now, or send later (as in … SocialOomph)
- User stats as supplied by Klout
- Integrated Tweet stats (like bit.ly)
- Short link translation (so you can actually read what it is)
- Integrated Twitter lists in addition to saved searches
- Full reply, retweet, direct message, follow, and unfollow in Twitter
- Comment and like in FaceBook with threaded conversations
- Add photos and files to tweets
HootSuite also features a browser bookmarklet called the Hootlet ….
When visiting a website that you would like to share with others, simply go to your browser toolbar and click the Hootlet button (FireFox & Chrome). A tweet is created along with a description of the article and a shortened URL. You can also add your own comments within the 140 character Twitter limitation. Click on the social network or networks that you would like to post to and then choose to save as a draft, send now, or send later at a day and time of your choosing. You can even add a photo or file. I practically wear this button out on a daily basis.
Still, HootSuite is not perfect. It has one feature that many find to be annoying. The only method that HootSuite will use to shorten a URL is by their proprietary ow.ly system. Keep in mind that ow.ly does provide its own stats but many people would like to choose to use another method such as bit.ly. Some networks may not recognize an ow.ly link. You can, however, insert a bit.ly or other link in your tweet and it will send that without problem. Also, when somebody follows an ow.ly link they will be presented with what HootSuite calls the “social bar”. Among other things, the social bar will allow you to retweet that link which is nice. Still, some will find the bar itself to be annoying. You will also notice that the URL in the browser will remain in an ow.ly format. The good news is that you can close that bar and return everything to normal and you can also choose to not have that bar displayed in the future on your specific computer.
I myself can easily overlook the ow.ly handicap when comparing HootSuite to my other choices. It is also of note that HootSuite is a native web application vs. Adobe Air. Now, a lot of folks like Air but I would not be among them. For me, Air applications have proven to be unstable and always in need of an update. HootSuite is, therefore, a breath of fresh air. HootSuite is available for the iPhone and Android but not for for my BlackBerry. What is up with that!? Two strikes (smile).
Thanks again for visiting!
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