HootSuite or TweetDeck: Which Twitter Client is Right For You?

by Jerod Morris on February 17, 2010

hootsuite or tweetdeck - comparison, features

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to today’s main event!

In one corner, downloaded onto your computer with its simplistic black/white design ready for tweeting, is our defending champion: TweetDeck.

And in the other corner, the web-ready application that is challenging TweetDeck for the throne of Twitter client supremacy, it’s HootSuite.

Two Twitter clients will enter; only one will leave. Leeeeettttttt’s get ready to rummmmmbbbbbble!”

Now that I have indulged my inner Michael Buffer, let’s take a look a look at some of the plusses and minuses of both TweetDeck and HootSuite to see which one is better (for you).

Before we begin, I do want to admit that I am writing this after months spent being a dedicated TweetDeck user who only yesterday hopped onto the HootSuite bandwagon.

After reading this tweet by Lauren Fernandez (author of this eponymously named and terrific PR/branding/community blog) I was directed to this post by the “Conversation Agent“, Valeria Maltoni. In her post, Ms. Maltoni describes how she uses HootSuite to measure the impact of what she shares on Twitter.

Seeing as how I share a lot of links on a daily basis from my Twitter account, yet really had no idea how often they were being clicked on, having such metrics appealed to me. So I started using HootSuite yesterday, and here I am some 24 hours later about to extoll its virtues.

Let’s just say that – at least for me – Valeria Maltoni was right.

HootSuite or TweetDeck: Feature Comparison

tweetdeck or hootsuite - comparison of featuresI don’t feel like re-inventing the wheel this morning. Thus, while I will share below the specific reasons why I will now be using HootSuite over TweetDeck, first I’ll reference a couple of other well done posts on this topic.

At Sazbean.com, Sarah Worsham does a nice feature-by-feature breakdown of HootSuite and TweetDeck. To summarize:

HootSuite feature advantages:

  • ability to schedule tweets
  • updates faster
  • provides robust statistics
  • allows for the incorporation of additional social networks
  • allows more multiple accounts to be controlled by multiple users

TweetDeck feature advantages:

  • photo tweeting
  • Twitter interface
  • user feature

Neutral features:

  • user interface
  • URL shorteners.

hootsuite or tweetdeck - comparison of featuresUltimately, Worsham comes up with HootSuite as a 6-4 winner. Her analysis is pretty solid so I don’t have anything in particular to disagree with her on.

On the side of TweetDeck advantages, I would actually add that its auto-complete function when you are typing in a Twitter username is better. With HootSuite you actually have to have physically typed the username once for it to regster; with TweetDeck, the user just has to be one that you are following.

Still, TweetDeck’s advantages simply are not critical enough for me to have stayed loyal.

Mark Clement also posted about the HootSuite vs TweetDeck debate, and something he said leads perfectly into my thoughts on the subject:

Finally, the 2 features that put HS over the top for me are the ability to schedule tweets for later and the option to monitor/track your links and click-throughs. Prior to HS you had to use third parties for this kind of thing and now it’s all in one place.

I wholeheartedly agree with Mark, and these are the two reasons why I will now be sticking with HootSuite.

HootSuite or TweetDeck: Why HootSuite is Superior…For Me

Before, when I tweeted a link it just floated out there in Twitter’s little corner of cyberspace without me ever really knowing what else happened to it. Sure, I could gauge some level of interest by the amount of retweets, but I didn’t know how many people were actually taking that next (more important!) step of clicking through to read the post.

Now? Without using a separate application, I can actually get some relevant post-tweet information.

hootsuite v tweetdeck - hootsuite popular messages and click-throughs
hootsuite-v-tweetdeck stats by region

In addition to what is picture above, I can see a line graph of the daily clickthroughs on my tweets, as well as top referring sites. All in all, the information is very useful, especially if traffic driven from the links you share is one of the metrics you use to determine the worth of your time spent on Twitter.

Additionally, HootSuite makes it very easy to drill into your followers and the people you are following to see who the influencers are in your Twitter network (Twetwork?).

HootSuite uses Klout to give you a quick snapshot of a Twitter user’s influence. It’s a pretty neat little tool and one I encourage you to register with. I did yesterday, and it provides further information that you can use as you plot your Twitter strategy.

With TweetDeck, you get none of this information. Now that I have it, I’m wondering how I lived without it for so long.

So HootSuite is perfect then, right? Well, it’s not perfect. And it may not even be the perfect Twitter client for you, despite the fact that I think it is for me.

HootSuite or TweetDeck: Which One is Superior…For You

One necessary annoyance with HootSuite is that you have to use their URL shortener, ow.ly, if you want to get the statistics described above. There is nothing egregiously wrong with ow.ly, but some people do get annoyed by the fact that the clicked-to domain is masked when someone clicks on your ow.ly link. (Click here to see what I mean.)

Still, in this day and age of ubiquitous shortened URLs, I think it’s a small price to pay for receiving valuable metrics that clue you in to whether or not your tweeting is achieving some measurable level of impact.

BUT, if you are a more casual Twitter user and do not care to know what happens with the links you tweet, the trade off of having a masked domain seen by clickers may not be worth it to you. It is to me, but that’s a decision that you will have to make.

For some people, this balanced perspective about the HootSuite v TweetDeck debate may resonate. Catherine Juon from Pure Visibility quickly breaks down the differences between the two and concludes that she can use both clients as follows:

  • TweetDeck manages my Tweeps
  • Hootsuite manages my Tweeting

Many of the posts I’ve read about the differences between HootSuite and TweetDeck have argued that TweetDeck is better from a following perspective. I think it’s pretty much even, but I can certainly see how people who are comfortable with the TweetDeck interface and would want to stick with it.

For me, convenience and efficiency are at the very top of the list of features I demand from a program if I am going to use it consistently. Thus, while I can understand the merits of the “use both” argument, it’s not something that will ever work for me.

hootsuite is better than tweetdeck

* – Boxing image credit: Al Bello/Getty Images via Beijing2008.cn

I want to have one central place where I do my tweeting, watching, and analysis, and I’ve seen nothing during my first 24 hours with HootSuite to suggest that it is not such a place.

I’ll update this post if I do, but for now, consider me a proud and committed member of Team HootSuite.

Which Twitter client do you prefer – HootSuite or TweetDeck?

In general what are the key features you look for in a Twitter client?

**********

Jerod Morris is the Director of Blogging and Social Media for Orangecast, a web marketing firm located in Dallas that specializes managing the online profiles of small- and medium-sized businesses.

Jerod is the managing editor for Corporate Compliance Insights as well as Midwest Sports Fans, where he hosts a podcast, has been a guest on ESPN’s Outside the Lines, makes regular radio appearances, and has hexes named after him.

Follow Jerod on twitter (@jerodmsf) or email him: jerod [at] orangecaster [dot] com.

{ 4 trackbacks }

dlligo.com
February 18, 2010 at 4:19 am
Twitter Tools: Managing Multiple Twitter Accounts | GROWMAP.COM
May 17, 2010 at 11:23 pm
Virtual Assistance by Tami Savage » HootSuite vs. TweetDeck
August 28, 2010 at 9:59 pm
{Pixels Space} » Blog Archive » hootsuite
October 7, 2010 at 7:34 am

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

CaptainSEO February 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm

You can do photo tweets from HootSuite. Files (including video) too.

Reply

Jerod Morris February 18, 2010 at 8:58 am

Good point. I don’t post photos very often, so this is not of huge importance to me personally. And when I do, I usually use an iPhone App to do it.

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starr February 18, 2010 at 5:31 am

Hootsuite all the way. I can log on anywhere in the world and use Hootsuite and the ability to schedule Tweets makes it a sure winner.

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Jerod Morris February 18, 2010 at 8:58 am

Yep, that’s a huge benefit of HootSuite: you don’t have to download anything, it’s all done online.

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cooper February 18, 2010 at 7:45 am

Well said.

I had started out using Tweetdeck early on then switched to Hootsuite, becoming loyal to it VERY quickly.

As someone who posts a lot of links to interesting material, I found the “schedule tweet” option to be invaluable to aid me in not flooding my social media streams with a bunch of links at once and instead being able to spread them out during the day.

Also the fact that I can post content to my twitter, facebook, linkedin streams all at once (or choose who sees what) all from one place makes it easy and functional.

Did I mention that I can also post to my blog straight from Hootsuite!

Lastly I am a nerd when it comes to stats and engagement and hootsuite just does a better job.

Great post!

@connectwithcoop

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Jerod Morris February 18, 2010 at 9:01 am

I usually only have certain periods of the day where I can concentrate on posting links. It helps out a ton to be able to schedule them out and not, as you mention, flood my stream with a bunch of tweets at once. I’m already seeing better click-throughs from this and HootSuite makes it possible.

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Ryan February 18, 2010 at 8:49 am

I use TweetDeck as a reader and organizer for multiple accounts and live streams. I use HootSuite only to publish and for tracking/analytics. If TweetDeck can ever incorporate that, I’ll abandon HootSuite.

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Jerod Morris February 18, 2010 at 9:02 am

I’m sure a lot of people do this. And I have to imagine that TweetDeck will soon incorporate analytics into its offering, otherwise its audience will only be casual users. People who use Twitter for more “serious”/business purposes are going to have to have analytics to justify the time spent. And for efficiency’s sake, they’ll want those analytics to come from the same place they tweet from…all-in-one. TweetDeck will have to be agile to keep the people who are serious users.

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Joy Argow February 18, 2010 at 10:05 am

I too started using Tweetdeck early and then switched to Hootsuite. Just blogged about my favourite aspects of Hootsuite here – 10 reasons why I use the twitter app Hootsuite – http://ow.ly/18y8K

@aussiejoy

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Jack Monson February 26, 2010 at 9:48 am

I suggest checking out a free tool I’ve been working on called enage121. It includes many of the discussed features of TweetDeck or HootSuite for Twitter management AND also manages your Facebook, LinkedIn, and more: http://www.engage121.com

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Aristarkhos March 4, 2010 at 3:11 am

’tis a good thing I came across this post after i started using HootSuite, two-three days ago. I totally agree with the comparison. TweetDeck has its own advantages and probably suits a different type of users. But the features HootSuite offers are also packed well and serves my purpose — analytics. Plus I use it in Mozilla’s Prism.

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Russell Cross April 24, 2010 at 11:32 am

HootSuite works well for me. I make heavy use of scheduling and have the Android version running on my Motorola Droid so I can tweet (and monitor tweets) while on the move.

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Dwayne Kilbourne April 28, 2010 at 2:39 am

I tend to use the scheduling features in HootSuite for some of my clients and periodically for personal use as well. Hmmmm… I do wish that HootSuite would come out with a WebOS app (I feel the same about TweetDeck). I also am looking forward to TweetDeck’s possible introduction of scheduling in a future release (only a possibility at this point). Currently, I use both as a one-two punch. New features have been added to both since this blog was posted, and I am curious what the verdict would be now… or in the future if TweetDeck adds Scheduling capabilities, etc.!

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Salman Arif May 25, 2010 at 7:33 am

Well now that TweetDeck has scheduled Tweets, multiple account support, and the ability to integrate into Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Google Buzz, and FourSquare, I believe them both to be tied…!

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Jerod Morris May 28, 2010 at 7:42 am

Great point! It was only a matter of time before TweetDeck incorporated this functionality.

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Richard Recuset July 13, 2010 at 9:50 am

Sorry, I don’t have time to get into details right now. I just bunped into HS and I like it. Among a few other items, the metrics capability is the clincher for me. I’m giving twittdeck a break.

Richard Recuset
Doral, Fl Real Estate Specialist
teamDoral-Team Leader
http://www.teamDoral.com
http://www.twitter/teamDoral
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Im-with-teamDoral-Richard-Recuset/

Reply

American July 19, 2010 at 1:27 pm

I think this are 2 different things, one is an application you must download, and the other one is a website.

For me, TweetDeck never worked, to slow, and not running in my PC (lack of memory) so Hootsuite, work great for me and is very simple, you have nothing to download and no need of installing Adobe Air (WTF is that, I need to download 2 programs for one to work, ¡No thx!

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Monet August 3, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Jerod, Thank you so very much for this informative analysis. I am just starting out and didn’t really want to test out both, you made my decision really easy. I also really am grateful for all your references throughout your article..have a few more to follow now.
Thnx again!

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Sunil August 24, 2010 at 5:42 am

Try TweetTwain too, free to use with one account, $24.95 for unlimited accounts, no monthly fee.

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Hannah Newlin August 26, 2010 at 9:10 am

I’ll check it out!

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Gabriella Kortsch September 14, 2010 at 11:55 am

aargh … I’ve been using Tweetdeck for a while (only since they had incorporated scheduling), and today I have run into a wall of glitches, and from past posts about the glitches, I see that this is not the first time … so am considering moving over to Hootsuite … thx for all your comments here and the post!!

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Jerod Morris September 14, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Yes! Do it! :-)

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Bridgette Mongeon October 13, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Thanks for the wonderful article. I have been trying to make a decision on what I can use to schedule tweets. I’m not a mobile phone twitter person. Scheduling tweets will help me with my marketing. So I am looking at hoot suite, but I am wondering. Was this article written before they changed their system. Looks like their is a paid program and a free one. I also am curious as to what “Ad supported” means. I’d appreciate any suggestions you have. The plus is that I have two twitter accounts and hoot suite will help with that. NOt sure I’ll understand all of the bells and whistles until I get into it, just not sure if the “free” plan is a good deal.

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Jerod Morris October 19, 2010 at 10:15 am

Yes, this was written before it was changed. I do not have any experience with their paid program, but I continue to use the free version and to enjoy it.

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Jerod Morris October 26, 2010 at 8:41 am

Thanks for the comment Bridgette. This was written before they changed and I have not used the paid program. The free version does everything I need it to.

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Andrew Mooers October 31, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Thanks for the one on one, side by side apples to apples looksey between the two platforms. We do a slug of blogging, boatloads of images, shoot our own videos and using the aggregate stepping stone broadcast to reach further, more frequently. http://www.twitter.com/mooersrealty

Reply

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