HootSuite Review: Should You Go For It?

  • December 19, 2012
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HootSuite Review: Should You Go For It?

Managing social networking websites the traditional way means opening each site on a new tab and logging in to each account. That’s fine if you only have Facebook or Twitter, but business owners who rely on social media tools to drive marketing efforts and attractpotential customers usually have five or more accounts. Enter HootSuite, a social media dashboard that lets you manage all of your social streams from one screen simultaneously. Most things you can do on the native website you can also do on HootSuite, including commenting, liking pages, retweeting posts and updating your status. There’s also a nifty scheduling feature that posts messages and comments at a later time.

hootsuite-the-professional-twitter

Features

HootSuite comes in two flavors: free (lets you manage up to five websites) and paid. The paid version lets you manage unlimited websites and comes with premium features.

Free

The free HootSuite web app installs in your browser and lets you manage up to five accounts (choose from Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, MySpace, FourSquare, LinkedIn and Ping.fm). Anytime you want to tweet or update your status, just click the HootSuite icon. Enter your message, select the sites you want to publish to and hit Send. For social media management on the go, HootSuite is also available on mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android. My only gripe about the web app is the cluttered interface that lumps up all the content in a tiny rectangle that makes for a lot of scrolling.

Visit HootSuite for a free 30 day trial

Paid

HootSuite Pro is the least expensive premium version. For $9.99 per month, you get all the basic features plus unlimited social profiles, advanced scheduling, unlimited apps and RSS feeds, HootSuite Conversations, Google Analytics, one enhanced analytics report and one additional user. If you want to add a third user, you must pay $10 per month additional. Four to 10 users cost $15 per user per month, which can set you back from $420 to $1,500 per year.

For really serious social media management, there’s HootSuite Enterprise. The price for Enterprise is so high it’s not posted on the HootSuite website—If you want to add more than 10 users, you’re going to have to pay a dizzying $17,988 per year. Definitely not for the small business owner on a budget, but HootSuite’s powerful analytics and features are extremely useful for companies who rely heavily on social media analytics for their marketing efforts.

hootsuite-office

Using HootSuite

It’s easy to set up both the free and paid HootSuite versions. You‘re asked to enter login info for all of the social networks you’ve chosen, after which you start with a blank page. There’s a message box up top and a list of websites on the left side. What you want to do next is add streams. Click on the plus icon to add a tab, enter a name for it and click on Add a Stream. From there, you can customize each stream to your liking and resize your feed boxes. Other programs like Nimble offer similar features, but what really sets HootSuite apart from its competitors is solid analytics reporting. Report Builder lets you collect data like follower growth and influencers on Twitter and regional stats and daily likes on Facebook.

Video Tutorial of HootSuite by 9malls.com:

Pros

Easy to use interface

Customizable streams

Message scheduling

RSS feeds and Atom updating

Powerful analytics

Support for mobile devices

Cons

Very expensive reports (Pro and Enterprise)

Expensive for more than ten users

Cluttered interface (free web app)

Could use more comprehensive help pages on complex operations

No e-mail or calendar integration

Verdict

Overall, HootSuite is a very useful extension. The free version of HootSuite should be enough for average users with multiple social networks, but business owners who can afford the cost of analytics and premium features should definitely invest in either Pro or Enterprise.

Visit HootSuite for a free 30 day trial

Visting the Hootsuite Office

Visit HootSuite for a free 30 day trial

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