I started using HootSuite when I first started my Twitter account. I could see right away that I would need something to help me keep organized and keep track of my lists, mentions, and direct messages. You can also set up pending tweets on a timetable. This is really convenient when you know you’re going to be away from your computer, but want to promote yourself while away.
There is no charge for using HootSuite. I found that it was very easy to set up and it has great annalytical tools so that you can determine what types of tweets get the best response. The help section has a Fourm/FAQs section that will answer most of your questions. There is also a help desk that you can contact if you need further help. I have not had to use the help desk as the forum section is pretty complete.
Everything is in a column format and you can add and delete columns as needed. They can also be easily arranged in any sequence. Your different networking sites are set up as tabs above your columns so that you can easily switch back and forth. When sending out tweets you also have the choice of selecting which networks you want them to go out on.
Near the bottom of the HootSuite page there are tabs for Streams, Stats, Settings, and People. Streams is what you will use most often as this is where you will see tweets or postings to your network sites. The Stats is where you can see detailed information about your tweets. This section will only display information that has been shortened with HootSuites’s ow.ly URL shortener. Everything that you send out from HootSuite is automatically in this form. You can see information such as which countries and what websites clicks are originating from.
There is also a tool, that is called a Hootlet, that you can drag to your bookmark toolbar that makes sending a tweet from any webpage effortless. When your are on the webpage all you do is click on the Hootlet, the webpage is put in the ow.ly format, select the network you want to broadcast to, and press send. Nothing could be easier.
The People tab is where you will see all the people you are following and those that are following you. Here you will find information about the number of followers each person has and the number of tweets they have sent. You can also choose to follow, unfollow, block, report, and add to lists any of the people that are following you. I like having all of this information at my fingertips.
If you’re going to use Twitter and other social networking sites, this a must have tool. I never thought I would have a use for this, but as time progresses, I’m finding it invaluable. If you use several social networking sites, this will keep you connected and organized all at once. There is a lot more to HootSuite then I have indicated here. I’ve just highlighted some of the features that I use most. You can check out the other features at HootSuite.com.