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A few weeks ago Dennis Edell wrote a post asking for people to review both Twitter and Hootsuite. Originally this post was going to be posted over at his site Dennis Edell | Personal Coaching, due to issues, I decided to post it here.
I have been using Twitter a little over a year and started using it at an addictive rate sometime last summer. As I grew more knowledgeable about Twitter and various tools that were available; naturally I was attracted to both Hootsuite and TweetDeck. I tried out TweetDeck and found it worked well at that time and continued to use it for a little over a month.
Then I started spending more time away from my personal computers and using public systems where I wasn’t allowed to install anything. When this started occurring more often, I started using different web clients to use Twitter. But none of them did what I wanted or I found them to be to annoying for my tastes. Then I came across Hootsuite.
Almost instantly I was sold. The Twitter client does everything and even has it own built in URL shortener and click analytics! So for a few months I started using Hootsuite at work and at school. When I was at home, I was using TweetDeck. This setup worked great for while…
Then TweetDeck made some changes and it was almost impossible to use TweetDeck on my laptop and run several browsers, Photoshop, Dreamweaver at the same time. This became a big issue and I decided to not use TweetDeck unless I am on my main Desktop. I found it was just as easy to keep an extra tab open on Chrome or Firefox and click on the Hootsuite when I needed to make an update. Once I figured this out, it saved on resources and I began to use Twitter more often.
TweetDeck is one of the most popular Twitter Clients available and has a large diehard following. There are TweekDeck users that will never switch and refuse to try other clients out there. For those of you reading this that are die hard fans, keep on reading, you may find a reason to switch over, or you may find another reason to keep on using TweetDeck. After all, there is no rule to using Twitter and it is up to the user to decide what they prefer to do when they monitor Twitter.
What I like about TweetDeck is its dark theme, one large window and all you have to do is scroll back and forth to see all of your columns. You can even resize the columns to make them smaller so can see more of the columns. If you do not use a lot of columns, you can see most of the important ones without scrolling. If you have large widescreens like I do, you can see even more.
I also like that there is an option to setup a column that is for new followers. I use this feature to read what my new followers are saying. If they seem like someone I can find useful information from or they retweet my links and I can follow them back.
Using TweetDeck can make our daily Twitter experience more productive. When you can see more you can engage more.
Things you can do with TweetDeck
- Update Twitter, FaceBook, and LinkedIn.
- Large Twitter API Rate
- Custom Retweet or Twitter style
- Record, share, and watch video clip
- View YouTube Videos within TweetDeck
- Manage Multiple Twitter accounts
- Trending of local events and Twitscoop
- Create and mange Twitter List
- Follow Topics in real-time through saved searches.
- Saved Searches can be edited through the column
- Update Facebook
- Ingrates with LinkedIn Professional contacts
- See who is following you – you can have a who’s following you column so you can see what they are tweeting
- Preview short URL before opening. You can Also see the original link
- Backup TweetDeck by using sync and back-up
- Report and Block Spam Button ß Love this feature, it kills @mention spam quickly
- ·Flickr, Twitgoo and mobypicture is now supported
- keyboard shortcuts for speedy messaging
To be honest there really isn’t a drawback to using TweetDeck. There are only two issues for me and those are; that it’s a desktop application and not a web application. If TweetDeck came out with a Web Application that mirrored its desktop version, I might would switch. The program still uses a lot resources. For some, this is not an issue but for me, it is.
What originally drew me to Hootsuite was their own short link and click monitoring system. Using these features plus the Hootsuite bookmarklet for firefox, I was able to read an article and quickly post if I wanted to. Then over time I could monitor the clicks and see how many followers clicked on it or it was retweeted.
I also like that you can use multiple Twitter accounts and you can Tweet the same status updates or links at the same time. It is setup so easy to switch from user to user or social network. With ping.fm‘s integration I can now send status updates across multiple networks if I wanted to. All with just several clicks of the mouse and its done.
Another feature that I like is tabbed browsing. With tabbed browsing, it is laid out like Firefox where you can have access to multiple windows in one browsing screen. With Hootsuite, they do the same thing. This puts a lot of information on the screen at once but hides it hides what not needed by using tabs. Using tabs makes the client load faster by not loading all the information at one time. When you click on one of the tabs it will then load the new information.
Things You can Do With Hootsuite
- Schedule Tweets
- Ping.fm Integration so you can update social networks that are not supported by Hootsuite
- Team Workflow
- Add, create and manage Twitter Lists
- Topic Search and Keyword Tracking
- Create Columns based on searches
- Secure Log in
- Web App – I can use hootsuite on any PC, Mac, Linux system as long as I have access to Hootsuite’s page
- Message Drafts
- View, manage, schedule, post to WordPress
- Ow.ly and Ht.ly URL shorteners
- Track Statistics
- Featured User List
- Update Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace, and Foursquare
- RSS feed from your website to all of our social networks
- Preview Short Links and see Original Links before opening them.
- Report and block spam
- Follow User Lists in their own column
- Separate tabs for the different social media networks
Hootsuite has two drawbacks for me; those are the boring theme that you have to use and Ow.ly. Unlike TweetDeck you do not have a choice in shorteners. You can only use the ones they created. As Kristi puts it, "its cute". I just do not like it anymore. The reasons why I do not like Ow.ly anymore, is because it high jacks the reader’s screen and change’s the domain name to Ow.ly and leaves it that way until the user deletes it.
As of April 27th, Hootsuite has changed the way Ow.ly URL shortener works. When Ow.ly shortens URLs, it does works like Bit.ly and just shortens the URL. For those that want or need this option, Hootsuite has created Ht.ly URL shortener that still uses the social bar. Both URLs use Hootsuite’s statics and should be a great assist to a Twitter marketer.
I have tried the new Ow.ly URL and haven’t noticed much difference in the way users click on the Ow.ly URL. I still get more clicks using Bit.ly. My guess is most users still do not know Hootsuite has made the changes to the URL shortener. Maybe in a few more months Twitter users will know about these changes and will click on Ow.ly links agian. Later this year I will start testing Ow.ly again and see if the click stats change.
In the past, before Hootsuite made changes to Ow.ly, I noticed that slowly over time most of my readers were not clicking on my links. After some research I found many Twitter users do not click on Ow.ly because of the high jacking of your browsers. When I view the stats in Hootsuite I also noticed they did not match up with the rest my website site tools. I found a big difference in the number of users clicking my blog post links back to my site verses what Google Analytics says really happened. I even looked at some reports of returning readers verses new visitors from the Ow.ly referring link. I added them up and they did not match what Hootsuite stats said they were.
So I just use the trusty bit.ly and their bookmarking tool to create links for me. I then simply copy and paste them into Hootsuite. Once I started using bit.ly again I noticed more of my links being clicked and retweeted. My website stats matched bit.ly’s numbers and the best part is I can see who else tweeted my links or my blog posts without using the RT feature from my site or from one of my tweets.
So What Twitter Client are You Using Now?
Currently I am using both clients. I use Hootsuite 90% of the time. I use both clients because I like both systems but I only use TweetDeck on my desktop. My desktop is a multi-monitor setup that I use when I am working from home, working on film editing, or doing some heavy duty design work. When I only need one screen I usually throw up TweetDeck on the secondary screen and adjust the screen so I can see all the columns. Running Tweetdeck works great when you have a large widescreen setup where you can dedicate one screen to Twitter. For me, this increases productivity.
I use Hootsuite when I am on my laptop, at work, and when I am on a public computer. Hootsuite works great on my laptop and it doesn’t take up a lot of system resources. I spend a lot of time away from home and use my laptop and I tend to get busy with work, so I enjoy the scheduled tweets feature. When I know I am going to be to busy to find something to tweet about, I will spend my free time setting my day’s worth of tweeting and set those up to tweet out over the day and into the evening. I then just leave Hootsuite up and running so I can check it hourly and reply to in DM’s and @mentions.
So what is your favorite Twitter Client?