There are currently at least four widely used social media management applications available: Hootsuite, Socialoomph, Tweetadder, and Tweetdeck. Each claim to offer everything you need. But in practice, it doesn’t quite work that way. You must choose precisely which of the functions you want from each application. So here are the features of each app that can work well to manage all your social media activity.
And why not expand your footprint and select precisely with multiple tools? This also prevents you from relying too heavily on one application provider. Plus, it gives you the all-important patient outreach of scheduled tweets, who always need a careful approach to avoid the dreaded Twitter deactivation. So, let’s see how to get the best out of each tool.
1. Tweetadder: allows you to schedule Twitter direct messages, but your real point of difference is finding multiple targets to follow, based on the keywords you select. A great experience in the Twitterland API gives you thousands of goals. You can then schedule how and when you follow it, at what daily levels.
There may be a temptation to create a huge target list unless you are really limited with your keywords. It’s actually much better to do this for one keyword, in short bursts of a few hundred targets at a time. Then see the relevance of who you are following and who is following you. There is also a neat app to decide how long to wait for them to follow you, and stop following if they don’t follow you within the day limit you select.
2. Tweetdeck: allows you to display multiple accounts together and select the content and fields you want to view. Not very innovative in our opinion.
3. Hootsuite: allows you to display multiple accounts as tweetdeck, but on more social networks. Easy to retweet and keep track of your direct messages. But there are two points of difference that we love about Hootsuite. First is the ‘Hootlet’ that you paste into your browser bar. This allows you to capture a web page that you want to send on Twitter to your followers, on your Facebook pages, etc. It’s a breeze to add your page title, header, shortened URL, and often a thumbnail image as well, all with one click of your hootlet button. You can then select the accounts in your Hootsuite lists that you do or do not want to send page details to.
It even allows you to add some of your own text. And it has a box for you to add a secondary url that you want to highlight for the viewer. It is ideal for tweeting multiple news or new insights. But beware of two things that can get you banned from Twitter: One is using that secondary URL for a direct affiliate link or cloak. Better to use your own web page urls and then redirect. The second thing to keep in mind is to re-edit a hootlet to highlight a high profile @username. And if you put this in a reissue at the beginning, Twitter’s virtual police monitors will ban all your accounts on that hootlet. In the blink of an eye, without appeal.
So it’s best to use hootlets to spread a broad level of new content to your audience. And give due credit to the sources of the pages. Second, Hootsuite allows you to run a scheduled distribution of tweets. It is not easy to manage using Excel columns and differentiating the dates, but it can allow you to run important messages whenever you want.
4. Socialoomph: It does not offer a good search or a great account display interface, but it has a wide range of innovative features, including several blogs. And it allows you to run large lists of tweets and Facebook messaging programs, for much longer than Hootsuite.
Text files are also easier to configure. And they will compress long urls for you in your software. However, be careful to use the same URL (even if it is abbreviated) in tweets scheduled for more than one account. Twitter will block that tweet on all of its programs and, again, will put that account at risk of deactivation. We prefer the Socialoomph feature for shortening URLs, because you can select your own new codename to use across your entire web footprint and thus stay close to your brand or theme.
But once again, use it for your own web pages and not just to hide those volatile affiliate links. You can also set up email monitors to know when your accounts are favorite, re-tweeted, etc.
Therefore, it is worth investing in more than one service, below your monthly subscription fees. Be prepared to need a few more hours a week to stay on top of your shows, but it will pay off to accelerate your entire social engagement strategy to a completely different level of impact and coverage.