Facebook and Twitter take maximum of our social media time. Many of us have multiple accounts and keeping a tab on all the messages and tweets can become really cumbersome. There are many applications like Tweet Deck where you can add your Facebook and Twitter accounts and post from a single window. The biggest drawback of Tweet Deck I found is the overall interface of the application which I found not pleasing to the eyes. Plus this application needs to be installed on your desktop. Switching between the applications can be tiresome when surfing or working on the Internet.
Hootsuite is one such service which lets you add your (multiple) Facebook and Twitter accounts. Above all nothing needs to be downloaded as it works in the browser. Simply register and log on to the Hootsuite site, add your accounts and you are done! Switching between tabs in the browser is quite painless while on the Internet. Here is a screenshot of my Hootsuite page.
Please click on the image for a bigger view. I have mentioned box 1,2,3,4 to understand how the tool works.
Box 1 shows all the accounts. It mentions whether it is a Twitter or a Facebook account. The message is written in box 2. It has it’s own URL shortener ow.ly. After writing a message one can simply select the accounts in box 1 from which the message need to be sent and that’s all. It also gives an option to schedule posting of the message later. Very useful if you don’t want to post 5 messages in succession or have multiple accounts.
Box 3 has the tabs for the Twitter and Facebook accounts where you can switch between accounts effortlessly. Box 4 has the messages where you can read and reply to them. The first column has all the tweets from your followers. The second one has the mentions where you find messages from people who have replied to you (@reply). Third column has direct messages from your followers. The interface makes it very easy to follow all the tweets.
Similarly for Facebook you will find all messages in the similar fashion as on Facebook site. You can read, reply, like and unlike the messages. I find this interface very useful as on the Facebook site you get many requests to chat with friends while you just log in to quickly browse through the messages.
The @reply is a killer function. Even if someone replies to your tweet though he is not your follower you get to see the tweet; making your @reply back more timely and effective. This is not available on Twitter page. Since Hootsuite uses it’s own url shortner ow.ly you can trace the click through from the Stats tab. The Stats show clicks by region, broken out by country, top referrers by click, most popular tweets and a click graph. HootSuite also has a Search feature, so you can perform Twitter searches from within the tool, and it even saves the keywords you’ve searched.
This is a clear winner tool and I have been using this for past 3 months. If you have a single account or many accounts I would recommend to give Hootsuite a try. With the latest update you can also manage your Linkedin and Ping.fm account from this tool.
If you have used Hootsuite or any other tool for Facebook and Twitter please share your experience. How much time you spend on social media sites?