For anybody who uses Twitter and Facebook as their primary social media platforms, Hootsuite is a powerful tool that should be part of their arsenal. The free version offers a couple of valuable services. The first service is the built in URL shortener. This by itself, is no big deal since Twitter now has it’s own URL shortener. When combined with Hootsuite’s tracking and reporting features, the short URLs can be tracked for clicks (and reach?) and reports can be automatically generated for you, or your client all in one application. Pretty sweet, right?
The second service is tweet/post scheduling. Again, this is a service offered by other applications (like Tweeteck?), but when combined with the Short URL tracking an multiple social media accounts all in one app, it’s a hard combination to beat.
Like any free version of a quality app, it has limitations that may be annoying to someone trying to juggle a lot of clients on multiple platforms, but it does a better job than any other free service I’ve experienced. One way to continue to work around the paid version is to sign up for multiple Hootsuite accounts to manage all of your social media needs. You can have 5 different streams per account, and be logged into one Hootsuite account for every browser you can have open an at your disposal. There came a time for me when it all ot to be too much for me, my computers and my eyes to handle. When I had to have different browsers open to see all of my accounts, I finally ponied up the $10/month to get Hootsuite Pro.
The one thing that really pushed me over the edge on buying Hootsuite pro was the Bulk Scheduling option that isn’t available in the free version. With a properly formatted spreadsheet, you can schedule up to (500?) unique tweets or posts. They have to be unique, but not original. Changing just a character (not including the shortened URLs) can make a tweet or post unique. This came in handy when scheduling posts for two clients before a vacation. I had enough to cover half of the vacation for each client with the normally scheduled tweets, but by duplicating, and slightly modifying each tweet, I was able to double the amount and relax in Florida.
If you have the material for a long term schedule of Tweets or Facebook Posts, and you value your free time (an can afford the $10/month charge), I highly recommend Hootsuite Pro.