A Twitter Client For Professional Use: Hootsuite – A Review

Posted: August 14, 2009 in Advertising/Marketing, Business, PR, Public Relations, Recommendations, Social Media, Twitter
Tags: , , , , , , ,

There are Sooooo many twitter apps and clients out there, including, but not limited to, Seesmic (Desktop & Web), TweetDeck, iTweet, Mixero, not to mention all the mobile apps like Ubertwitter, Twitterberry and the plethora iPhone apps…it would be nearly impossible to review them all (though Mashable & TechCrunch usually do a nice job of covering most of the worthy ones as the debut or update their service).

Anyhoo – I happen to have a particular interest in which Twitter App/Client is best suited for professional use – and I suspect many of you do, as well. Whether you’re in customer service, branding, marketing, PR, or advertising, there are certain tools that make a twitter client better suited for professional, rather than personal, use.

When Twitter was more for personal communication, networking, etc., I was partial to Mixero for my Desktop/Adobe Air platform and iTweet for my web based service. But that’s changed now that my uses for Twitter have evolved beyond simple chatter. In short, I’ve found Hootsuite to be the best for 3 reasons – metrics, multiple account management, and it’s browser-based.

I’ve included a short review of functions and features, as well as additional features I’d like to see added. But suffice it to say, between Hootsuite’s accurate and easy to read metrics and graphs on links and clickthroughs, the ability to create custom user groups, and the multiple account/use/profile option, it is really a wonderfully designed service and well suited to employ from a professional standpoint.

User Groups

User Groups


  • The search-column function allows for continuous monitoring of brand mentions
  • The customizable user groups and tabs have allowed me to build my own personal interface – with one tab dedicated to news outlets and separated by topic and another for reporters, journalists, and bloggers, separated by beat and outlet.
  • The multiple users and profile option lets people you work together with your client, or your counterpart, in-house – you can train them, show them how to use the service.
    • With the ability to teach clients basics and the best tactics and strategies, you can build up the account and hand it over to the client for full-time use and interaction, while you continue to oversee the operation.
  • The statistics, metrics, and graphs on links and clicks – Clients will never stop asking you to show them the ROI of the time, money, and effort they’ll expend on anything, especially in the realm of social media. What better way than to show them how many people clicked on a link they tweeted with all the graphs and stats at your fingertips?

Features I’d Like To See In HootSuite

  1. Enter/Return Key Tweets.
  2. View List of Following/Followers.
  4. Tags or Labels on Users/Tweets Already In Groups as the tweets appear in your stream (So you know not to add them to another group!).
  5. The Ability to Drag Users into Groups/Columns/Tabs.
  6. The Ability to Drag Columns to Different Tabs.
  7. An “Is This Person Following Me” Feature – As Seen in iTweet.net.
  8. The Ability To Send or Share Your Customized User Groups with other Hootsuiters
  9. A REPLY ALL option to conversations/tweets with multiple participants
  10. Integrated Twit-Picture/Twit-Video Service
  11. The ability to search for keywords or topics just within the people I’m following
  13. A “You’ve Got A New Follower” Announcement Message…preferable with a pleasant accompanying sound effect.

Features That Make HootSuite the Perfect Twitter Client For Professional Use

  1. The Ability To Create Customized User Groups.
  2. The Ability To Build Customized Tabs & Categories.
  3. The Tweet Later Feature.
  4. The Built in Ow.ly URL Shortener with AMAZING Stats & Tracking!
  5. The Multiple Users/Accounts/Profiles.
  6. The Option to save ANY search as its own column.
  7. You Never Seem To Run Out Of APIs or Refreshes.
  8. As a Browser Based App – it’s easier on the old motherboard and overloaded server than a Desktop client.

Stats & Metrics - Click-Throughs

Stats & Metrics - Click-Throughs

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    1. UnderstndnMrktg says:

      Really the only thing I don’t like about the updated Hootsuite is that it’s not as easy to update. In the old version when you clicked on the specific profile you wanted it would refresh and update to the current date/time. In the new version there is no place to select a profile screen. Other than that I’m liking it.

    2. prcog says:

      I’ve tinkered with Hootsuite before, but never to this extent. I may have to revisit.

      My own criteria, though, are different (for what should be obvious reasons) — make the app with the smallest possible screen footprint while still having a good UI and features that don’t require me to go to the site for each click.

      • Aerocles says:

        So What’s your twitter client of choice that meets those criteria?

        • prcog says:

          Sorry, didn’t want to start the inevitable trotting out of competing clients.

          I like twhirl. I can view follower bios w/o visiting the twitter website (and it’s unsubtle gigantic graphics). Following is a simple click away, blocking 2 clicks.

          One additional big benefit, which other clients fail miserably at, is it’s nearly impossible to @ reply rather than ‘d’ a response while in the direct tab. The option simply doesn’t appear so you’d have to change tabs/screens and then reply. Many others present the usual 4 options (@, D, RT, Favorite) on any screen meaning you can @ rather than D from the D list, which we’ve all done at some point.

          Going back to my original comment, notifications are simple to turn off, color scheme easy to set to match a GMail color setup, minimizes to the taskbar quickly and only takes up about 15-20% width of the screen at its smallest.

    3. Kellye Crane says:

      This gives me some good insights, thanks. But I can’t shake the feeling that HootSuite is – at the risk of sounding overly dramatic – a little bit evil. The forced use of ow.ly links, and its frames, are problematic to me. Initially the ow.ly bar up top included advertising — I don’t find it hard to imagine that once everyone gets completely hooked on the new features, the advertising will return. I’m also bothered by any company that forces people to send a spammy Tweet before they’re allowed to try the product.

      This feeling of “something evil this way comes” has been building for me over the past couple weeks. So, while you’ve done a great job explaining the advantages and the product sounds very tempting, I think I’ll remain on the sidelines a while longer.

    4. I have my pluses and minuses with both TweetDeck and Seesmic, which I use regularly. I’ve never tried HootSuite, but sounds like I might have to give it a try.

    5. David – I have been testing CoTweet, HootSuite and TweetFunnel for the purpose of multi-user tweeting. There is functionality that are unique to each which I like (if only I could mix and match). I still haven’t decided which to commit to. I like the funnel feeding in TweetFunnel (where multiple people can add to the funnel, but one “publisher” gets to decide whether to allow the tweets to go through), I like the columns and reporting in HootSuite, and I like the page layout and the who’s “on duty” on CoTweet. I’m giving them all another week, then I’m committing…for sure 🙂

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