HootSuite Review: A Quick Look

hoot suite

Rating: 4 WaterTowers (Cool Twitter app)

Do you Tweet?  If so, you may want to try HootSuite 2.0….I think you will like it.  I have been using HootSuite for a few days now and I am hooked, hmmmm..well, I’m getting there.

HootSuite does almost everything I need it to do, and it does some stuff I have not used yet. For a full list of features, visit the HootSuite web site.

Sign Up and Installation

Since the folks using HootSuite are computer (or other electronic devices) users, the installation, for them, is a breeze.

I had a bit of an issue logging on to my TracyVirtOffice Twitter account, but, the next day I came back to it and it worked perfectly.

TelBitConsulting says: HootSuite will only work as well as Twitter works.   If you see the Big Blue Whale…you are down until the Whale goes away.

What I Like

Since I have only been using HootSuite for a few days (and love it!) I have yet to try every feature offered (and, knowing me, I probably never will), but, here are the features I do use (or friends use) and like a while bunch.

Shrink the URL right on the page

Using Twitter I had been using the TelBitConsulting manual method to shorten a URL:  I went to the web site, copied the url, went to j.mp, pasted the long URL in, shortened it, copied the new shortened URL, tested it, then put it in  the tweet.

Whew.

The new HootSuite procedure is:  Go to the web site, copy the URL, paste it in HootSuite, click “Shrink It”, send the tweet.

Much better!

Profile and Keyword columns

If you want the big view of your tweets and want to follow tweets with certain keywords (coworking, Neotics, etc) as well as view your Direct Messages (in and out boxes), and what you sent….Hootsuite shines!  The figure below shows the first page of columns for my account.

Three Hootsuite Columns

Three HootSuite Columns

The Home Feed is what I would see on Twitter.   I have a column looking for the keyword “coworking” next and then a column looking for “Mentions” of TracyVirtOffice.  Very cool.  I have more columns if you slide the pages over.

Oh yeah…if you find you need to move the columns…just grab one and slide it over to where you want it.  Extreme coolness.

Statistics

As you may know, I am a stats freak.  HootSuite satisfies my need for stats.

You can view general stats which show how many clicks to the URL’s you embedded in your tweets.  Better yet, you can dig down and look at the clicks from each individual tweet.  You can also see where the people live who clicked and where the clicks took place (Facebook, Twitter, etc).

Total Click Statistics

Total Click Statistics

Individual Tweet Click Statistics

Individual Tweet Click Statistics

Very easy to Retweet (RT), Reply (RE) and Direct Message (DM)

Just click the appropriate icon.  Dang….HootSuite makes this soooo easy.

In Twitter:  I copied the message, hit the “Reply” icon, typed in RT (or RE), pasted the message, then sent it.

Multiple “Profiles” and the ability to assign other users on a per “profile” basis

If you have more than one Twitter account, you can easily monitor each of these, send tweets from any or each, and set up users who can tweet from that profile.

I do not have multiple accounts, but, @nitewraith does and he loves this feature (I got this info from him!).

Delayed sending of a tweet!

I can be tweeting when I am sleeping (which happens earlier and earlier the older I get).  You can also experiment to find the perfect time period where everyone is looking at tweets and ready to click on your URL or RT.   🙂

RSS / Atom feed

I blog…obviously.  In Hootsuite I set up the RSS / Atom feeds to this blog as well as my Book Review blog.  6 hours (or less) after I publish a new blog entry, a link to it, with a few words and the title are tweeted.  The time Hootsuite scans for new entries is settable from 2 hours (see dislike below) to 24 hours.

RSS / Atom Feeds

RSS / Atom Feeds

What I Don’t Like (or What Can be Improved)

Caveat:  I may have missed the following or I may not know how to do it.  If that is the case, please leave a comment enlightening me! 🙂

I can’t see who I am following or who is following me.

I sometimes have to go into those lists to add a person to a tweet.  For those times that I need to see these lists, I have to go back into Twitter.

Embed a keyword column on my Blog or Web Site can’t be less than 300 pixels wide

My blogs columns, where I put ads and other interesting stuff, are 230 (or 250…I forget) pixels wide!  Yikes!  I can’t put the HootSuite embeds in my blogs.

I would to shrink the columns to fit 4 or 5 on a single page.

There is no number in front of  “hour” when setting RSS / Atom feeds.

@nitewraith just pointed out that you can set the RSS / Atom feed to 1 hour.  I missed that because my mind was looking down the list:  24 hours, 12 hours, 6 hours, 3 hours, 2 hours, hour.  Where is the 1 in front of the hour?    😉

When I click on the icon of a Twitterer I cannot tell if I am already following them or not.

I can only find that out AFTER I click on “Follow” or “Unfollow”.  It would be nice if there was an indication ahead of time.

IDEA for HootSuite:  Possibly a color change?  For example, if “Follow” is RED, it means I am already following that person.

Summary

HootSuite 2.o is a cool Twitter application.

I am using it, and will continue to use until something better comes along.  I will only go back to the Twitter interface when I need to find my followers or who I am following.

Oh yeah…sometime in the next 6 hours, you will see this on my Tweet!  🙂

Posted:  11:04 AM, Pacific, Nov 6, 2009.

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About Mike Pihlman

I am the Director of ForCarol.com a 501c3 non-profit that awards college scholarships to Tracy, CA scholars in honor of my daughter's best friend, and our part-time daughter, Carol Phan who we lost on Sept 18, 2010. I am a: Book Review (TracyReaderDad.com), Technology (TechyMike.com), and Movie Review (ForCarol.com) blogger.

Posted on November 6, 2009, in Product Reviews, Social Networking and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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