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What is Hootsuite?

Hootsuite is a web based application(SaaS) which allows you to manage, track and schedule your social networking accounts, all from beautiful little dashboard; and like all new web services supports your pc as well as ipad and mobile.

Created by Ryan Holmes in 2008, it was one of the first tools that allowed you to manage multiple social media accounts.

It has a browser plug-in through which one or many social network accounts can be posted at the same time while browsing the web, content can be shared and all in the same browsing session, without going to another site to post or Tweet.

So is it good?

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Hell YES! The key stone of it popularity is its efficient and streamlined nature. It has a variety of features, some of which cater to specific demands of specific networks also.

You have each of your different social accounts on a different tab on the window, allowing easier access and management. You can manage Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + pages, Myspace, Foursquare, World Press, Mixi etc.

Features at a Glance:

  • Well designed website and user friendly graphics. Most users find it easier to navigate and work on Hootsuite as compared to other social management sites.
  • Multiple networks in one place on the DASHBOARD. It’s easier to handle many accounts by navigating through the different tabs for each account.
  • You track the progress of your social media strategy using custom analytics.
  • It’s easier to work with Hootsuite when collaborating with many people and teams. Teams can manage complex campaigns – including Profiles, Pages, Events, Groups, and Search.
  • It keeps tracks of your clicks with built in URL shortening using Custom Links.
  • Hootsuite provides you with an analytics report once a week for review.
  • Another good feature is RSS Integeration.You can auto post directly from your blog or for blog that you follow.
  •  A personal favourite is scheduled messages. You can go to the send later button and schedule your dates by clicking on the calendar.

The Gallery:

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Pros vs Cons:

As compared to other social management sites such as TweetDeck, Social Oomph, Seismic, Nimble contact, Sprout social etc a general chart of pros and cons:

The Cons:

  • Pro version is expensive
  • Weak contact management.
  • As of now there is no e-mail or calendar integration.
  • Help is slim and fragmented
  • Uploading photos is better on TweetDeck, it allows you to integrate with your choice of 3 different Twitter photo services.
  • Twitter follower features is better at Social Oomph.
The Pros:
  • Good user interface and speed
  • Scheduled updates
  • Statistics and analytics report
  • Auto update from RSS or Atom feeds
  • Can handle Multiple Accounts and Multiple Users
  • Additional social networks
  • Mobile versions are also available.

The Verdict

It is a good tool for a competitive social media and business analysis, allowing easy manipulation of multiple accounts and multiple users on many social networks. Frankly the huge following that HootSuite had built was thanks to its Schedule Posts feature, RSS Integration and having multiple social profiles under one dashboard. Now that Facebook has launched Scheduled Posts for all Pages, lets see how it affects HootSuite and other similar apps.

Overall it may lack behind in a few features in comparison to its competitors, it’s a fast growing network that I would definitely keep my eye on.

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