Writecombination Social Media
by Andrew Knowles

Managing your social media: Hootsuite v Tweetdeck

Of all the social media tools available to support Twitter users, Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are the two that always get a mention early in my social media training courses.

That’s because they’re essential to my Twitter activities, and if you’re committed to getting results from tweeting, you should give them serious consideration. This short guide explains what they can do for you and the differences between them.

Hootsuite is perhaps the ultimate social media dashboard

It wasn’t long after social media came along that people wanted a system that allowed management of multiple accounts, across multiple social media networks. That’s why Hootsuite was developed and that’s what it does. It was set up by, and is still run by, a company independent of the social media networks.

From Hootsuite, you can run social media accounts in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and more. It’s great for people like me who have more than one account on one or more networks.

The other attraction of Hootsuite is as a dashboard – that is, you can see a lot of information at a glance. If you use Twitter on a desktop or laptop computer, jumping around Twitter.com can be tedious, as you move from the timeline to mentions and then to search.

Hootsuite puts all of this information on a single page and, really importantly, lets you schedule tweets to go out at a date and time in the future. So you can write a batch of tweets at the start of the day and schedule them to go out over the next few hours.

The same dashboard and scheduling options are available for other social networks via Hootsuite.

There are many other features besides being a convenient place to send and receive messages across multiple networks. Hootsuite provides reporting on social media activity, such as how many people have clicked on a link in your tweet. You can follow and unfollow people, favourite or like messages, retweet or share posts from others, and block people.

Here's what Hootsuite looks like, with two columns displayed.

Screenshot of Hootsuite

Hootsuite is available for free

There is no cost to being a basic user of Hootsuite, which gives you access to a wide range of functions.

The paid version gives even more options, such as managing a social media team and uploading large batches of posts. It’s generally regarded as the best management tool available.

Tweetdeck focuses on Twitter

I discovered Tweetdeck before Hootsuite, and I loved it. Like Hootsuite, it was independent of the leading social media networks, but its primary focus has always been Twitter, who bought it in 2011 and removed the ability to post to other networks.

So Tweetdeck is not directly comparable to Hootsuite, because it is for Twitter alone. But there are many similarities. Both use a columnar approach to create a dashboard, letting you see your timeline, mentions, direct messages and more in a single glance. Both allow you to manage multiple Twitter accounts.

Both are free. And both provide that really useful capability, to schedule posts in the future.

I use mainly Hootsuite but I keep going back to Tweetdeck because it has one very useful feature, which is to do with posting pictures in tweets.

Tweetdeck allows you to schedule tweets that include pictures that are automatically displayed in your Twitter timeline. Pictures sent from Hootsuite are accessed by clicking on a link and are not automatically displayed, which is a significant disadvantage.

Below is a screenshot of Tweetdeck, also two columns displayed.

Screenshot of Tweetdeck

The differences between Tweetdeck and Hootsuite

Cost: Both are free, but Hootsuite also offers premium options, for a price.

Social networks covered: Tweetdeck is Twitter only, while Hootsuite includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and others.

Management of multiple Twitter accounts: Both permit this.

Scheduling of tweets: Both permit this.

Presentation: Both are very similar and use a columnar display, and Hootsuite also has tabs, making it even easier to manage multiple accounts.

Ease of use: Both are similar. Hootsuite can be more confusing, because it has more options.

Mobile version: Yes for Hootsuite and no for Tweetdeck.

If you would like to know more about how to use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, please get in touch. Call me on 07970 108191, email andrew@writecombination.com or reach me on Twitter at @dorset_social

By Andrew Knowles 

We're now publishing all new social media blog posts on the Dorset Social website

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