Tuesday, 17 March 2009

I may never visit Twitter again! HootSuite does that for me.

I've been trying out HootSuite as a Twitter tool for the last couple of days and I have to say I'm really impressed.

A great feature of HootSuite is that you can use it to manage multiple Twitter accounts from a single place. You can also configure it to allow multiple people to be able to Tweet from a single Twitter account. Great if you're managing a group Twitter stream! These are what got me interested in HootSuite but what's kept me there is some of the other features.

Here's a bit more detail:
  • Posting: In-line url shortening makes it much simpler to add links. Delayed posting is also useful. If you've got more that one Twitter account set up you can post the same tweet from multiple Twitter accounts - simply tick each account you want to post from.

  • Stats: If you use the in-line ow.ly shortening HootSuite can keep stats on how many people follow your links. The ui is really good, you can see a breakdown of clicks on all of your links...

...or click on the little graph icons in the "sent" view to get a breakdown of how many hits a particular link has had. Good for working out what your followers are interested in!

  • Searches: HootSuite saves each search you run as an icon in your "Searches" tab. Really handy if you want to keep track of some trending topics or particular people. Some of the search options are quite powerful too.

  • User Management: Really simple to give others editing rights. Just add a users email address and name and select whether you want their password to be sent to you or them. You can also delete editors with a single click.

  • Twitterfeed-like function: There is an option in "Account Settings" that enables you configure Tweets from RSS or ATOM feeds. It's not quite as fine grained as TwitterFeed but fine for most purposes.

I've really only skimmed the surface here. It does lack follower management and the grouping functionality of say Tweetdeck right now. Another thing to be wary of is that account confirmations seem to end up in your email spam folder! In short though, I'm really impressed. The site is fast and simple and provides a great user interface for becoming a more advanced Twitter user.

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