HootSuite: Get Social

There are people who play around with Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, and then there are those who have made a career out of posting online. For a long time, people in both camps had to use multiple sites or programs to access the various networks, but today there’s HootSuite for Twitter, which contrary to the name, puts all of your social networks in one convenient location.

But is it right for you? Let’s take a peek under the hood and find out after the jump.

It’s About Options

The problem with all of these social networks is that there always seems to be a new one that shows up on the radar daily, and that means yet another site that you have to log in to if you want to stay current. HootSuite is about putting the major social networks in once place for easy consumption, as well as for power users to broadcast their thoughts on multiple channels at once.

Watch your feeds in one place.

Watch your feeds in one place.

HootSuite is nothing new. In fact, we’ve even talked about it before on our sister site, iPad.AppStorm.net. Although the app has more room to stretch out on the iPad, having it with you at all times is handy if you’re a frequent poster, and that’s what makes the iPhone version arguably more important than the iPad’s app — accessibility.

How it Works

Before you get rolling, head to HootSuite.com and sign up for a free account (Note: I’m pretty sure you can sign up via the app itself, but not 100 percent sure). Once that’s done, load up the iPhone app and start entering in your social networks. At the moment, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and LinkedIn are the four available options on the iPhone, so pick out one of them and enter in your info. You can enter a total of five accounts into  HootSuite for free, so keep that in mind.

Specify your preferences

Specify your preferences

Once you’ve got your networks loaded into the system, now you can select what types of feeds you want to show up on your home screen. HootSuite creates tabs for each network that are designed for the power user. Sure, you can have one tab that’s just your local feed, but you can also have tabs that represent Sent Tweets, Pending Tweets and more. It’s pretty cool.

Making a Post

When it comes time to post up a comment or image, just click on the button in the top right corner. On the top of the screen you’ll see all of your icons for your respective accounts. In my case, I have my two Twitter feeds for myself and my company, my two Facebook feeds for myself and my company, and the Twitter feed for iPhone.AppStorm. Speaking of, it would be really cool if you followed us on Twitter and Facebook.

Just type in your message and select which networks you want to post to.

Just type in your message and select which networks you want to post to.

All plugging aside, all you have to do is touch the icons until a green checkmark appears, then type out your post. The character count runs up just to the left of the menu button, and turns red when you go over 140 characters and you’ve selected a Twitter feed. When you’re done you can hit send, and it will automatically go out to everyone in those respective networks. Neat, right?

Yes it is, but it gets so much better. By tapping on the Menu button, you can add a photo, a link, contacts, a location, translate the post or the best part yet, schedule a post. There have been times where I wanted to post something to Twitter, but I wanted to save it until later in the day. By using HootSuite, I can schedule that post for whenever I want by just specifying the date and time. That’s super handy to have.

Post date your posts if you like by scheduling them in HootSuite.

Post date your posts if you like by scheduling them in HootSuite.

Stats

Another nice feature in HootSuite is the ability to track your posts and see their performance. Let’s say I put up a post on the iPhone.AppStorm Twitter account, and I link to a post we did on the site. I can see how many people clicked the link over a period of a few days, which helps me determine if my posts are performing well. If social media is your business, this is definitely a good tool to have in your arsenal.

Follow and watch stats.

Follow and watch stats.

Summary

HootSuite is a fun app to use, but I haven’t really answered that original question: Is it right for you?

Ask yourself how many posts a day you put out and how many times you would like to broadcast that same post through multiple networks. If you’ve never done that and don’t consider it necessary, then you should stick with your regular apps. HootSuite is interesting as a feed reader, but it does no better or worse than the native Facebook or Twitter apps on the iPhone anyways. In fact, novice users may get wrapped up in the different tabs, and it could get frustrating.

But if you do like to post on multiple channels, this is your app. Even if you just want to post the same thing to your Twitter and Facebook simultaneously and have no need to use it for business, this is the best way to go. And for power users who rely on the social networks for income or business, this works out nicely as well.

HootSuite probably won’t replace your Twitter and Facebook apps on your iPhone, but it certainly does complement both of them nicely.

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