For the past couple of years I’ve been singing the praises of Tweetdeck, an ancillary program to help you organize your Twitter stream. Well no more, I’ve spent the past few weeks switching to Hootsuite and I’m MUCH happier.
Why? Well, unfortunately, nothing stays the same in the changing climate of Social Networking! I know that’s the single most frustrating aspect of Social Media, but it’s one we all have to expect and learn to work around.
Last year Tweetdeck was bought by Twitter. Initially I thought that might be a good thing. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Most of the things I liked about Tweetdeck have been eliminated and we’ve been left with a clunky program that’s mostly ineffective.
Luckily, Hootsuite is more than taking up the slack. Now, before you ask, Hootsuite does have a FREE option. That’s actually the account I’m using right now, although I do think I’ll be moving up to the lowest paid option before too long. But here’s what I get in the free account:
- 5 social profiles.
- Basic analytics.
- 2 RSS feeds.
Best of all, Hootsuite does most of the things Tweetdeck used to do. Here’s a short list of what I like about it.
- It’s easy to schedule Tweets and Facebook posts
- You can copy and paste tweets into the update window with ease.
- It has two options for URL shortening.
- It keeps track of your @contacts to make tagging easier.
- It has a GREAT get-acquainted video to help even the rawest beginner get started.
Every morning I spend about thirty minutes scheduling my main Tweets and Facebook posts for the day. I usually line up at least 15-20 updates for the day. I try to schedule them evenly throughout the day so I can reach people in different time zones. Here are some of the things I try to include every day.
- I search my inbox for interesting articles from my favorite social media sites.
- I post updates from my regular writing related blogs, including My Book Therapy, the Blue Ridge Conference site, Novel Rocket and Chip MacGregor’s blog. There are many others, but these are some of my favorites.
- I look to see which of my friends’ blogs have sent me an email update and I try to highlight those.
- Most days I include something about my blog or books, but lately I haven’t Tweeted as much about myself. I haven’t really needed to. A lot of the people I interact with on Twitter are as diligent about posting info about others as I am.
During the day, while I’m working I check Hootsuite periodically to see who’s retweeted or mentioned me.
I do try to do an @reply to anyone who highlights something I’ve done. This accomplishes two things—it gives them a mention and it’s a public way to say thank you.
A lot of people ask me if my schedule has been beneficial? You better believe it! I’ve reached the magic 1000 follower mark on Twitter and I’ve been adding between 15 and 20 followers a day. And, I don’t spend much more than the 30 minutes every morning to schedule my Tweets and Facebook posts.
So I’m curious, how is Twitter working out for you? What are your frustrations and successes. Let’s learn from each other.
Don’t forget to join the conversation!