“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
I 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
- user interface
- URL shorteners.
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.
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.
* – 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 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.