With hundreds of Twitter applications available at the moment, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of promises. As with any technological movement, many apps are popping up to take advantage of businesses and users trying to promote themselves using Twitter. Unfortunately, a majority of these apps are probably useless for most businesses looking to start a twitter campaign, but a few seem to be invaluable. In our opinion, the one Twitter application that every business needs is “Hootsuite”:http://www.hootsuite.com.
Built by Vancouver’s own “Invoke Media”:http://www.invokemedia.com/, Hootsuite is widely regarded as an “indispensable tool for Twitter Power users”:http://www.invokemedia.com/hootsuite-wins-best-app-at-shorty-awards/. After toying with the application for our own Armadillo Studios Twitter campaigns and for our first “two private campaigns”:http://blog.armadillostudios.ca/article/twitter-for-the-calgary-market, we have to agree with that judgment.
Why Use HootSuite?
*Hootsuite* is an online tool that leverages information from your Twitter stream into a similar, yet powerful interface. Hootsuite’s interface is like flying first class to Twitter’s economy class web interface.
While an upgraded interface really doesn’t justify Hootsuite’s power, the real benefit comes from the application’s ability to *add multiple admins to a single account, the integrated tiny-url creator (Ow.ly), to schedule tweets to post on a time delay and to view the metrics on links that you send out*. All the bells and whistles that can really enhance any sized Twitter campaign. Whether it is for a large company, non-profit or for a small-medium sized business.
But in our opinion the two aspects of the Hootsuite application that make it worthwhile are the *Time Delay Posts* and *the ability to view metrics on links*.
Time Delay Posts
The beauty of Twitter is it’s simplicity. You post short snippets throughout the day and your followers (or potential customers) read your tweets. Unfortunately, there are a couple of occasions where the ability to schedule tweets can be a real benefit. Either for maximizing your potential readership or when you know you won’t be online for a certain time period.
For example, say you religiously post a “#FollowFriday”:http://mashable.com/2009/03/06/twitter-followfriday/ recommendation every Friday at 10:00am, but you’ve got a morning meeting this Friday. Hootsuite’s scheduling app allows you to create the tweet on Monday and schedule it to post later that week. Simple as pie.
Now the previous example was a very simple run down of the benefits, but you scheduling of tweet to coincide with a product or site launch can help to focus you on the important tasks rather than worrying about tweeting at the proper time.
Viewing Link Metrics
Embedded in the Hootsuite application is the tiny-url creator “ow.ly”:http://ow.ly/url/shorten-url. Like all tiny-url creators it allows you to take a long link and shorten it to a 10 to character link. *The ow.ly service embedded straight into the posting interface on it’s own, is a fantastic addition to Hootsuite*.
But it gets better.
For all links which use the ow.ly tiny-url, Hootsuite will track the metrics of that link. It will track the amount of followers opening the link over a variety of time periods; providing you with some key information, which can determine what the optimal time to make a post is or what subjects are producing the most interest. Two critical bits of information for any campaign.
Your Campaign’s Best Friend
Without question, Hootsuite is a great addition to any business driven Twitter campaign (or for personal users interested in their own metrics). Rumor around town is that “Invoke is launching a 2.0 version, which includes multiple columns and other bells and whistles”:http://www.techvibes.com/blog/hootsuite-2.0-get-your-beta-invite-here. But in the meantime give Hootsuite a try. We promise you won’t be disappointed.