This is post three in the Twitter Programs and Twitter Desktop Apps Series

If you’ve missed any of the prior posts here they are.

Hootsuite has been around for quite some time and is loved by many, especially for those who manage multiple social media accounts. Their basic plan is free but anyone wanting to manage more than two social profiles will have to upgrade to a paid plan starting at $5.99/month.

Since I manage multiple social media accounts for companies this is my tool of choice and I happily pay the $5.99/month. The reporting features alone make it a wise investment.

What I love most about Hootsuite for Social Media Account Management

  • Mix and match what streams you’d like added – “streams” can be any of the following: timeline, direct messages received, direct messages sent, pending tweets, keyword searches, lists, mentions, etc. Streams are shown in a column format and you can have up to 10 per social account
  • On any stream on your dashboard you can filter by keyword or Klout score
  • Ability to manage multiple accounts (including LinkedIn and Facebook – though I personally do not use those options)
  • Presented with the choice to use the “new” style of retweets vs. the “old” style
  • Ability to “reply all” on @ mentions
  • You can easily search for users by name or @ name; once found you can just as easily add them to lists, follow, unfollow and review their Klout scores
  • See a tweet you want to review later or need to forward to an account owner? Super easy with their “email” option
  • Love a particular tweet and want it saved in your favorites? Also easily done!
  • Need or want to schedule tweets out for the future? You can do it. They also offer a “bulk upload” option but admittedly even though I was using their template I was unable to get it to work and haven’t reached out to their support team to find out what I may be doing wrong.
  • They have two URL shorteners – ow.ly and ht.ly
  • RSS feeds can be added as well as Google Analytics accounts (I’ve never experimented with either of these options)
  • Manage certain accounts with specific team members? You can do that too.

Stats Galore!

I mentioned at the beginning of this post the $5.99/month I pay is well worth it for the reporting alone – each link you create through the dashboard (and send through Hootsuite) gathers stats. Disclaimer: I’ve never used the ht.ly option.

Sometime in March 2011 they rolled out a number of great changes to the reporting options. Some of those changes include the ability to add company logos and information as well as custom titles to reports. The reports you “build” can be saved and automatically emailed to team members on five different time intervals (e.g. once a week or on the first of each month). Click here to see a sample report (PDF file).

If you want to experiment with the click-thru rates on different post “titles” Hootsuite stands above the rest. Each time you shorten a specific URL it generates a new URL and each has its own statistic reporting associated with it.

How Could Hootsuite be Improved?

There is very little I’d like to see changed about Hootsuite. The four things I’d like to see changed are:

  • I’d like to be able to remove someone from a list within the dashboard
  • An option to block Twitter followers but not report as spam
  • Faster “response” times – this is something else I’ve been meaning to contact them about – maybe I have too many accounts and too many streams pulling at API limits which is causing it to be slow???
  • Lists seem to “bounce around and move” for no apparent reason – when I go to add someone to a list I have imported into Hootsuite it would really be nice to have all lists show in alphabetical order

I realize this is a pretty lengthy post and there are features I didn’t even mention. If you use Hootsuite (especially for managing multiple accounts) will you add your comments as to what you like / dislike?

Next Monday will be the review of MyVBO by @PrimoAssistance.

PS: May 4th-8th is when I will be accepting entries for the Lenovo All-in-One M90z Contest. One lucky person will win a new computer.  If you want to enter the contest consider signing up for my Weekly Wednesday (right sidebar), become a fan of my Facebook page or add my RSS feed to your reader.